The results hung in the balance until the last couple of minutes at both venues, with 'Quins requiring a late penalty from out-half Niall O'Connor to squeek past the Division One champions, while two late converted tries from centre Conan Doyle ensured Garryowen's presence in the April 14 final, which will be played at Dubarry Park in Athlone.
Afterwards, Garryowen coach Paul Cunningham paid tribute to a battling Clonakilty side that had heaped the pressure on their top flight opponents, particularly in the forwards. "Clon are not close to the top of the Division Two table for nothing and would be in contention for promotion barring injuries," he commented.
"I expected this kind of commitment. They play a nice brand of rugby and I thought they were very good today. They came up with nothing to lose and really put it up to us."
On a weekend to forget for the provinces, it was heartening that the club game raised the spirits again with two high quality semi-finals that were full of drama and emotion and watched by large crowds enjoying the spring sunshine.
Con Murphy will present tonight's 'Against The Head' programme with former Ireland captain and coach Ciaran Fitzgerald and Irish Times Rugby Correspondent Gerry Thornley joining him for a look back at the weekend's action on the domestic and European fronts.
- 'Against The Head' is on RTÃ0 Two tonight, starting at 8pm -