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Harlequins Complete Derby Comeback

Harlequins Complete Derby Comeback

In a cracking Ulster derby in Division 1B, Belfast Harlequins came from behind to take the spoils against Dungannon at Stevenson Park.

Harlequins made it two league wins on the trot with a 23-13 triumph, despite a superb start from the hosts which included a converted try from winger Mark Faloon.

Dungannon looked comfortable when leading 13-0 and just nine minutes of the first half remaining. However, a converted Stuart Olding try just before the break ignited a flare of confidence in the visitors.

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They then went on to score a further 16 unanswered points through the boot of Ulster scrum half Michael Heaney and a Michael Ferguson try.

Dungannon had edged ahead after four minutes with out-half Jaryd Bennett landing an early penalty. Seven minutes later, centre Stuart McCloskey increased the home side's advantage with a long range penalty goal.

'Quins struggled to settle for much of the first half and there were numerous unforced errors from the Belfast outfit.

It was from a knock on that led to the game's opening try. 'Gannon quickly snatched up the ball and with the visitors' defence in disarray, McCloskey fed Faloon who sped in to touch down behind the posts. Bennett added an easy conversion.

Harlequins regrouped and they were soon attacking in the Dungannon half. The ball was recycled quickly 15 metres out and the promising Olding with options outside him, spotted a gap in the home defence and lit the afterburners to zip over the line just right of the posts.

Heaney added the extra points just before the end of the half and right from the restart, the 'Quins forwards started to flex their muscles. They went on to dominate much of the loose play in the half.

''Gannon were pinged for holding on in the ruck inside the first minute. Rather than opt for a kick to the corner, Heaney stepped up to drill an awkward kick through the posts from just five metres inside the 'Gannon half

A confident Heaney was again called upon after 55 minutes and he brought 'Quins level with another well-struck penalty goal.

'Quins defence was relentless and they were now making numerous surges into the Dungannon half as the home pack seemed to tire.

From a Dungannon lineout on their own 22, 'Quins replacement lock Michael Ferguson ripped the ball free and rampaged his way over the line to score his side's second try. Heaney was on target again with the conversion.

'Quins continued to camp in the home half with only minor incursions from Paddy Johns' men being repelled by a robust defence.

With five minutes left, Heaney's third successful penalty put the result beyond any doubt and also took the losing bonus point away from Dungannon's grasp.

Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)