September 4 2011
We started the season with the closest thing to a derby we have, Irish versus Quins. Both Irish and Quins were without some of their star players but both the team sheets looked pretty strong. The fans turned up to Twickenham bathed in sunlight, many wearing their new London Irish shirts with pride. I even ha d time for a burger before the game began.
We didn’t get off to the best off starts by dropping the ball from the kick off but Adrian Jarvis kicked to touch and relieved the pressure. Unfortunately the lineout ended in a penalty being awarded to Quins which Nick Evans Kicked through the posts after three minutes. From the restart Irish got the ball back and after a great run by Marlande Yarde, who nearly got to the try line, Quins were penalised at the breakdown. Tom Homer converted the penalty and brought Irish back level. Irish had more possession after this but Quins turned the ball over whilst Irish were attempting to attack. Tom Homer made a great tackle on Mike Brown just before the line but due to great forward work by the Quins pack James Johnston powered over to score the first try of the game after sixteen minutes. Nick Evans converted. From the restart Irish attacked putting pressure on the Quins defence and eventually the pressure became too much and they gave away a penalty and Joe Marler was sin binned. Tom Homer got the three points for Irish to bring the scores to Irish 6 – 10 Quins. Despite being down to 14 men Quins stopped us from scoring and even scored a penalty to bring the score to Irish 6 – 13 Quins. Unfortunately at halftime FanFair made things worse by performing.
From the start of the second half Irish put Quins under pressure forcing them to kick away, Dan Bowden collected the ball and then beat a few defenders before releasing Topsy Ojo to score the try. Tom Homer then converted to level the scores. Nick Evans added another penalty for Quins, but Irish came back again with great running from Yarde and Joseph to set Topsy up for his second Try. Tom missed the conversion. Evans kicked slotted another penalty for Quins and shortly afterwards Ugo Monye scored for Quins to give them a 26 – 18 lead. The Irish pack put more pressure on Quins leading to a penalty which Tom Homer converted with ease. Moments later we gave away another penalty which Nick Evans Kicked through the posts. In the last ten minutes Irish looked strong and Tom kicked another penalty for us. In the dying seconds Irish attacked again but the Quins defence handled it well and forced Irish to give away a penalty which they kicked to touch to win the game.
Final score: London Irish 24 – 29 Harlequins
The result didn’t go our way but it was still a good day out.