Winger Chris Quinn put an injury-plagued season behind him to score the 79th minute winning try against Nenagh in the All Ireland Division Three final to give Queen’s the trophy.
Queen’s had already set a new points record in winning promotion and they added the Ulster Senior Cup last week but looked beaten in the Dublin final against a powerful Nenagh side as they trailed by a point going into injury time. But Quinn’s try gave the Belfast boys a 17-16 victory despite a below par performance.
“I haven’t played a lot this year and I didn’t actually expect to play again this season, so it’s a real bonus personally not only to be playing again but to get the winner,” Quinn said.
Queen’s looked to have blown the chance for victory following a number of knocks in the Nenagh 22 but Quinn kept his head to finish off a simple chance.
“To be honest the ball sort of came out of nowhere. There were a couple of people outside me and I was expecting the ball to go to them. I saw the ball coming towards me and thought I’d better catch it,” he said.
Queen’s will be in Division Two for the first time in their history next season and Quinn believes if they can reproduce the form of this season they will have nothing to fear.
“We had some great results against Division One and Two teams this year so hopefully we can do as well as we did this year, hopefully I can stay injury free but it’s a pretty rough game and you expect to get injured now and again,” said Quinn.
Queen’s took the lead against the run of play with an intercept try from out half Michael Pyper.
David Delaney scored a penalty for Nenagh before the Co Tipperary side took the half-time lead with a comical try. Delaney put a penalty wide and with the Queen’s defence wanting the ball to roll dead, stood and watched as Nenagh lock David Walsh was allowed to touch down for a try which was converted.
Mark Sampson got Queen’s back in the game with a converted try but Delaney added two more penalties to give Nenagh a four-point lead before Quinn won it for the students.
Despite the success, Queen's director of rugby Robbie Moore was annoyed at the performance.
“It was one of our worst performances of the season. We didn't play at all this afternoon,” he said.
“Our first objective was to achieve promotion. We did that. Then, the Ulster Senior Cup was next in our sights. We won that final 34-0 against Malone last Friday week.
“Don't get me wrong. Nenagh played very well. They made it difficult for us. There wasn't much in it in the regular season league match.
“Had we lost I would have had no complaints whatsoever. Probably, the winning of the toss and playing with the wind in the second half were the winning of the game for us.
“In fairness to Nenagh, their defence was good and firm. But, we butchered a lot of chances through a number of players who are Ulster Ravens or Ulster 'A' standard.
“We didn't play well at all but somehow came through.”