Ballynahinch turned on the afterburners last night to torch Belfast Harlequins 36-5 in the floodlit match at Deramore with their five tries ensuring that Derek Suffern’s men have now remained unbeaten in all 10 games to remain in comfortable control at the top of the table.
As for Quins, even though they had Michael Heaney released to them, this was a tale of too many missed tackles and their failure to take any opportunities from their powerful scrum after taking control of the game for the first 20 minutes of the second half which had seen them turn round 24-3 adrift.
It had all started well for Quins who saw Heaney push an early penalty wide but had then slotted his second attempt after the Quins scrum had set out its stall in the seventh minute.
But then, in Hinch’s first meaningful attack, Craig found a chink of space on the right wing and simply left the Quins defence floundering as he ran over to touch down.
Lawton converted and Hinch had a lead they were never to surrender. On the quarter of an hour mark, Lawton kicked a penalty to make it 10-3 to the visitors and then five minutes later Morrow scored near the posts after a Gavin Armstrong half-break with Lawton converting.
It was all Hinch at this stage and just before the half hour mark, a McBurney break was followed by a chip which bounced into Robert Greer’s hands and the flanker got over in the left corner.
Lawton magnificently converted and Hinch were up 24-3 which Quins failed to haul back after a long range Heaney penalty fell short.
But if Hinch thought things were going to continue in this vein, Quins then managed to get some good territory and a series of scrums which seemed to offer them some solace on the scoreboard only for some poor finishing to wreck their chances.
On the hour mark, the game changed gear with Hinch suddenly getting some decent ball and being able to again attack Quins at pace.
The result was the bonus point try which was scored by Craig and then in the last seven minutes, Robin Harte hacked through with Lawton adding the extras after missing from Craig’s second effort.