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BBC Sport's Ian Robertson
"Newcastle deserved to take the cup back to the north east for the first time since 1977"
 real 14k

Newcastle coach Rob Andrews
"I genuinely thought that we had lost it"
 real 14k

Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans
"That was hard to take, I must say"
 real 14k

Falcon's lock Doddie Weir
"What a victory it was"
 real 14k

Newcastle full-back Dave Walder
"Cup finals, you don't want to say die"
 real 14k

Newcastle's man of the match Inga Tuigamala
"The youngsters did well, they led from the front today"
 real 14k

Saturday, 24 February, 2001, 16:50 GMT
Newcastle snatch Cup glory
Tom May of Newcastle Falcons scores the first try
Tom May celebrates scoring the first try of the afternoon
Harlequins 27-30 Newcastle Falcons

An injury-time try from Dave Walder snatched victory for Newcastle in a thrilling Tetley's Bitter Cup final at Twickenham.

The full-back went over with the last move of the game to completely stun Harlequins - who were only 30 seconds away from receiving the cup.

Jim Jenner's 73rd minute try set-up a pulsating finale as the Falcons threw wave after wave of attack upon the desperate Quins defence.

And when Jonny Wilkinson kicked over the conversion after Walder's try, referee Ed Morrison blew the whistle to cap an amazing comeback.

The disconsolate Quins players could only watch the scenes of jubilation among the Newcastle camp.

The victory was made the more remarkable considering the poor kicking form of star fly-half Wilkinson.

Forward strength

Jonny Wilkinson in action
Jonny Wilkinson was not in his usual kicking form
The England man, who scored 35 points against Italy at Twickenham seven days ago, missed two penalties and two conversions - an off-day by his high standards.

Newcastle started the game brightly, scoring the first try of the afternoon after eight minutes.

Quick hands and second phase possession gave Tom May the opportunity to score the first try of the game, converted by Wilkinson.

Despite all the pre-match predictions emphasising the potential danger of Will Greenwood, the Quins' other major strength, the forwards, made the vital contribution for their first try.

Efficient recycling, coupled with persistent pressure on the blind side let captain David Wilson for the score in the corner.

The Quins forwards began to impose their domination on the first half, culminating in a 20 metre rolling maul which was eventually stopped right on the Falcons try line.

But despite the continual pressure, the Newcastle defence displayed their resolve.

Kicking error

A brilliant piece of defence from Gary Armstrong denied Quins their second try.

Ryan O'Neill seemed destined for the five points - but the Scottish scrum-half somehow managed to wrap his hands around the ball before the full-back could ground it.

But Quins did manage to get three points for their attacking endeavours thanks to a Paul Burke penalty on 28 minutes.

Wilkinson's first kicking error - a mis-hit penalty from 40 metres - let Quins go into the break 14-10 up thanks to another Burke penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Both sides began the second-half positively as Burke and Wilkinson both added three points for their sides with penalties within five minutes of the re-start.

Burke stretched Quins' lead to seven points, but then May hit back with his second try of the afternoon.

His powerful burst split open the Quins defence before a clever side-step took him past O'Neill for the five points.

Quins captain David Wilson scores Quins first try in the corner
David Wilson scored Quins' opening try
And when Burke scored Quins second try on 69 minutes, the match looked beyond the Falcons.

The move began after a mistake from May, whose poor kick was gathered on the wing by substitute Ben Gollings.

Excellent work from Greenwood and then Keith Wood set Burke for the try which he successfully converted.

But the Falcons would not lie down and when Jim Jenner scored in the corner with only five minutes on the clock, it set-up a nervous end for the Quins defence.

Referee Morrision, officiating in his last major rugby match, added an extra four minutes of injury time to add yet more tension to the finale.

And in the fourth minute of injury-time, Walder finally capped an unbelievable comeback when he went over for the winning try.


Harlequins: R O'Neill, N Greenstock, W Greenwood, N Burrows, B Daniel, P Burke, M Powell, J Leonard, K Wood, J Dawson, G Morgan, S White-Cooper, P Sanderson, D Wilson (capt), R Winters.
Replacements: P Richards, C Chalmers, B Gollings, B Starr, T Fuga, A Codling, R Jenkins.

Newcastle: D Walder, M Stephenson, J Noon, T May, V Tuigamala, J Wilkinson, G Armstrong, M Ward, R Nesdale, M Hurter, S Grimes, D Weir (capt), R Devonshire, A Mower, J Jenner.
Replacements: H Charlton, L Botham, G Maclure, I Peel, M Howe, H Vyvyan, R Arnold.

Referee: Ed Morrison (Rugby Football Union),
Touch judges: Steve Lander and Brian Campsall.

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24 Feb 01 |  Rugby Union
Clockwatch: Harlequins 27-30 Newcastle
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