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Quins save their best display for a poignant day

By Michael Sadlier

With the pressure really on them, Division 1B's bottom side Belfast Harlequins delivered the performance of their season so far when they put UL Bohemians to the sword by a whopping 38-7 at Deramore.

Coach Adam Larkin's men knew that this was a must-win in their bid to fight their way out of the relegation zone, ­­­­­ they now trail Shannon and Malone by only two points, and they certainly raised the bar after four straight defeats as this result also saw them bag their first try bonus of the campaign.

It was also a poignant day for the Belfast club too as, on Saturday, they paid tribute to former player Fintan Hillyard who died earlier in the week after an illness.

Quins scored five tries with winger David McMaster netting himself a brace while skipper Danny Annett, Rory Scholes and Michael Heaney also crossed for tries with Heaney ending the day on 16 points after also adding a conversion and three penalties in a game which saw the home side lead 26-7 at the break.

"It's been a difficult week for the team and they have responded in an ideal way," stated Larkin who also paid tribute to the presence of Ulster squad members Heaney, Scholes and Neil McComb in helping lift their club-mates.

As to whether this victory helps kick-start Quins' season remains to be seen but Malone's heavy defeat at Buccaneers on Saturday evening will have done the Deramore side's cause no harm at all.

Malone were seen off 32-14 by their hosts and though they did manage to fight back from trailing 20-7 at half-time there was nothing to be had from their evening's work at Dubarry Park.

Up at the other end of the table, second-placed Ballymena were only able to draw 13-13 at Corinthians with all their points coming in the opening half via tries from Conor Smyth and Jordan Foster and a Ritchie McMaster penalty.

In Division 1A, Ballynahinch continued their good form by tanking Young Munster 30-6 at Ballymacarn Park with Chris Quinn kicking 15 of their total with Hinch's tries coming from Stephen McCauley, Ross Adair and Paul Pritchard.

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