BELFAST HARLEQUINS 16 ST MARY’S COLLEGE 32
Bottom club Belfast Harlequins battled hard at a weather-blasted Deramore but still fell to their ninth straight defeat with league leaders St Mary’s College making off with a bonus point win.
The visitors took maximum points with an injury time try from sub Barry O’Flanagan just to rub further salt into Quins’s wounds who have failed to win any games at the league reaches the halfway mark and are now looking in real danger of automatic relegation.
Quins played into the gale in the first half and quickly conceded when Ray Crotty scored for St Mary’s after seven minutes with Sean Kearns converting.
This became 12-0 five minutes later with a Kearns penalty before Quins replied with a Mark Best penalty which was his second shot at goal after an early miss.
From there, though, Quins stayed very much in the game and grabbed a try just at the end of normal time in the first half when winger Andrew McPhillips got over after some sustained pressure.
Best missed the conversion but after Quins knocked on at the restart, St Mary’s finished the half with a killer score in injury time when Mark Fallon scored from a scrum pushover.
Kearns hit a great conversion to see the Dubliners lead 20-8 as the sides turned around to give Quins the benefit of the deteriorating elements.
However, Quins cause shipped further damage six minutes in when St Mary’s mauled over the line with Brian McGovern getting the unconverted touchdown.
To their credit, Quins refused to lie down and after Best kicked a 50th minute penalty they got over the St Mary’s line on 68 minutes after Matthew Fisher drove over.
However, Best missed the conversion and trailing 25-16 was as good as it got for Quins.
With Ben Alexander binned in the 75th minute, Quins weren’t able to resist a late surge from the visitors which resulted in Barry O’Flanagan driving over for the bonus point deep in injury time with Kearns adding the extras.