BELFAST HARLEQUINS 36 BALLYMENA 26
Belfast Harlequins gave coach Adam Larkin the prefect send off in his final game in charge of the club with a bonus point win over Ulster rivals Ballymena at Deramore Park.
Quins took the lead of 13 minutes with the opening try, from a lineout the forwards made the hard yards mauling into the Ballymena the ball was spun wide and winger Peter Dunlop when over in the corner but Best couldn’t convert.
Out half Ritchie McMaster missed Ballymena’ s first chance to put points on the board when he missed a penalty from the 22 drop out Frankie Taggart stole the ball on the ground for Quins they moved it to the blindside and full Mark Glover outpaced everybody to run in from just inside his own 10 metre line and Best converted.
Best was sin binned on 28 minutes for deliberately killing the ball, Ballymena kicked the ball to the corner, from the resulting lineout they were stopped five times on the line before they moved the ball out to the backs and winger James Beattie broke two tackles to score but McMaster failed with the conversion.
Ballymena got their second try on 49 minutes, from a scrum the ball was worked infield, Master fed full back Rodger McBurney and he fed centre Callum Patterson who took a great line to come onto a crash ball and burst through to go under the posts making the conversion a formality.
Ballymena took the lead three minutes later, centre Marty Irwin broke through he grubber on and was winning the race to touchdown but was tripped as he went over the line and the referee awarded a penalty try which McMaster converted.
Quins hit back when Ballymena overthrew a defensive five metre lineout allowing lock Callum Lecky to collect and cross for an unconverted try.
Ballymena got their bonus point try after the forwards probed away for a few phases on the line before replacement hooker Adam McBurney powered over with Andy McGrath converting.
Dunlop got his second try and the home side’s bonus point on 70 minutes after Glover made a break drew the last defender before popping it to the winger to score and Best converted.
Quins won the game with five minutes left when they were awarded a a penalty try from a kick the referee adjudged a Ballymena defender deliberately knocked the ball into touch preventing a score which Best converted and the home side sealed the win with a David McMaster try with the last play.”
BELFAT HARLEQUINS: M Glover, D McMaster, J Newman, M Best, P Dunlop, R Blake-Knox, C Young; O McCollum, S Weir, M McGrath, C Lecky, N McComb, F Taggart, O Loughead, B Alexander
Replacements: N Montgomery, p Cooper, C Boomer, D Annett, T Emerson
BALLYMENA: R McBurney, J Beattie, C Patterson, M Irwin, J Foster, R McMaster, D Shanahan; M Lagan, J Andrew, C Cundell, D Whann, M Foster, O Millar, W McKay, S Mulholland
Replacements: B Young, A McBurney, D Gallagher, A McGrath, G Bailie