Larkin delight at Quins' super success on road
Events certainly threw a few unexpected shapes with Belfast Harlequins claiming a dramatic victory at Buccaneers while, up in Division 1A, Ballynahinch failed to make home advantage pay as they succumbed to Dolphin.
All the weekend's plaudits have to go to Quins who grabbed four highly prized points from their trip to Connacht, triumphing by a mere point, 19-18, to bring them their fifth win in 10 outings which, rather neatly, moved them up to fifth in the Division 1B table.
The Deramore side certainly had to stage a substantial rearguard action as their 19-8 lead was pretty much eaten up in the game's final quarter, but they held firm, despite being reduced to 14 men, to take the result.
Coach Adam Larkin's squad – bolstered by the presence of Ulster squad members Michael Heaney, Neil McComb, Ricky Lutton and the returning Rory Scholes – scored three tries with second row McComb, scrum-half Heaney and flanker Oliver Loughead getting over the line.
Heaney's was the pick of the bunch while out-half Liam Cambridge added two conversions.
"We made hard work of it at the end," Larkin said.
"We pulled through, though, and I'm delighted for the guys," he added.
As for Hinch, this was a game they had targeted in their bid to still be around Division 1A after their debut season at this level, but the performance they had produced last time out to win at UCD was never replicated and they ended up on the wrong end of a 13-0 scoreline to their visitors from Cork.
The result keeps Hinch in ninth and the disappointment of this showing was added to by the fact that St Mary's College, the side above them in the table, managed to draw with Old Belvedere who have now opened up a tricky looking five points gap which Hinch will have to focus on overhauling while hoping that the margin gets no wider.
Meanwhile, Malone's run of eight straight defeats came to an end on Friday night when their 13-3 win at Dungannon moved them up to seventh.
Gannon are bottom and Paddy Johns' squad must get the better of Dublin University this weekend to try and recover from their perilous position.