A very Goode home win
By Leipziger
February 1 2016

For the third home game in a row, the Falcons took an early lead before the opposition recovered and went ahead in the second half – before a late fightback secured victory. It’s never simple, but that’s why we love sport. Everyone thinks they know what’s going to happen, but until the final whistle, you never really know.   

Cometh the hour, cometh the big man as Andy Goode’s boot kicked the Falcons back into the game before a late try brought about a superb win.


All seemed to be going well yesterday for the first thirty-eight minutes. The Falcons weathered some early Harlequins possession before breaking and Scott Lawson scored the first try from a maul. Our 10-0 lead didn’t look in danger at all, though there was a cautious mood in the stands. Although there was plenty of kicking mixed in with the Falcons’ running game, the kicks were chased to gain an advantage from them, rather than them being as good as a turnover for the opposition.


Then it all seemed to go wrong. Just two minutes before half-time, Dave Ward went on a mazy run through a number of slack defenders, and once in the 22 Quins recycled well to put in Charlie Walker for a try. 10-7 at half-time.


Annoyance turned to horror as within seven minutes of the restart, the scoreline had spun by a full nineteen points in a ten-minute period thanks to two more Harlequins scores. The Falcons were 10-19 down and the buoyant atmosphere had fallen flat. At this point all kinds of negative thoughts come in – how many more could Quins have scored in the first half had their fast running not been hampered by numerous handling errors?


The Falcons stabilised the scoreline but struggled to make much headway into the game for a long time in the second half. An attacking lineout on the 22 was overthrown. Fortunately, inspiration arrived from the bench in the form of Andy ‘the big fella’ Goode in place of Craig Willis. Goode’s first penalty got us back into range for a losing bonus point, and then came a second.


Goode’s third kick levelled the scores at 19-19 with minutes to go and the Falcons had the crowd back onside. There was a real belief now that a fourth consecutive home win was imminent.


The Falcons went back on the attack and pounded the Quins’ line in the final five minutes, roared on by 6,500 screaming fans. Rare is the time I’ve heard it so loud in the South Stand. Harlequins defended each drive valiantly until finally a bundle of bodies fell over the line with the ball in Rob Vickers’ hands and the referee contacted his TMO. After the first replay Luke Pearce seemed to make up his mind after the first viewing, but checked once more and then signalled a try, sending the crowd potty. Goode’s conversion meant that the Falcons had secured at least a draw with about thirty seconds to go.


Quins won the ball from the kick-off – the stress just continues! – but conceded a penalty and, according to the announcer, the game was over! Actually it remained for the Falcons to send the ball out of play but that was a formality, and the result is that we are now three points ahead of London Irish in the relegation battle.


There are still twelve games to go and no doubt there will be many more twists and turns, but this win should give the Falcons a lot of confidence even when things don’t go our way in the remaining games. It would have been easy for things to go even more to pot after Quins’ third try but the Bath and Brive games will have helped to keep heads up. Lets go out and play with confidence for the rest of the season, play with ambition, and see where it takes us. It will win more games, I am certain.