10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
AIB League Division One Semi-Final: Saturday, April 30 Garryowen 8 Belfast Harlequins 15, Dooradoyle Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Paul Neville; Pen: Gerry Hurley Harlequins: Tries: WP Strauss, Stuart Lamb, Stuart Wilson
'Quins - 27-13 losers to Shannon at the semi-final stage twelve months ago - were never headed and used their well-oiled backline to pick off tries through WP Strauss, Stuart Lamb and the eventual clincher from Stuart Wilson.
Paul Cunningham's Garryowen edged back into contention as they built on the foundation of scrum-half Gerry Hurley's first half injury-time penalty.
Skipper Paul Neville netted a 63rd-minute try after concerted forward pressure from the Limerick men. Hurley's conversion hammered off the upright however and 'Quins defence - the best in the top flight with just 12 tries conceded - held out in a climatic closing quarter.
Although Garryowen - angling for a club record ninth straight league win - began well, 'Quins were first off the mark on 28 minutes.
A left wing snipe saw South African centre Strauss beat Hurley for the corner after a broken field link-up between Greg Mitchell and Paul McKenzie.
Humphreys - who had earlier tailed a first-minute penalty wide - missed the conversion, but it was the 23-year-old's play in the loose which led to two more tries for Gillespie's side.
With five minutes in the half remaining, man-of-the-match Humphreys' 30-metre jinking run set up a close-range lineout drive, which Lamb dived over on the end of. The flanker's score went unconverted and Hurley's 25-metre penalty kept the home side interested at 10-3 down.
Another elusive run from Humphreys helped Wilson net a try in the right corner just two minutes after the restart. Ireland Sevens skipper Humphreys delayed his pass sufficiently for left wing Wilson to duck under Alan Purcell's late challenge.
Again the conversion was pulled to the right. 'Quins nonetheless, held their nerve despite leaking a deserved try to Neville, to book their first visit to Lansdowne Road since 2002's Division Two final win.
Harlequins - whose new head coach Andy Ward assumes control next month - are now in line to become the third Ulster club in five years, following in the footsteps of Dungannon (2001) and Ballymena (2003), to lift the Division One trophy.
Humphreys said afterwards: "We always said that if the forwards fronted up there was no reason we couldn't win. Perhaps we made the mistake of sitting back after getting a good lead, but we're in the final and that's all that matters.
"All season we've based our game plan on our defence. We knew Garryowen would come out with all guns blazing at the start. We defended well and then scored three tries which left them chasing the game."
Garryowen: A Finn; D Heaton, K Hartigan, R Niland, A Purcell; C Doyle, G Hurley; R Callaghan, P Humphries, R Laffan, M Melbourne, D Sheahan, P Neville (Capt), K Gallagher, P Malone. Replacements used: C O'Boyle for Finn (4-11 mins), O'Boyle for Niland (45), C Hartigan for Gallagher (53).
Harlequins: J Lowe; P McKenzie, G Mitchell, WP Strauss, S Wilson; I Humphreys, A Matchett; J Carey (Capt), N Hanna, J Andress, M Mustchin, L McGowan, S Lamb, D Dougherty, C McCarey. Replacements used: D Fitzpatrick for Andress (55 mins), D Barbour for Lamb (64), A Gillespie for Dougherty (75), C Keown for Carey (80).
HT: Garryowen 3 Harlequins 10 Referee: Alain Rolland (Leinster)