Cooney holds his nerve to seal late win for Ulster as they maintain unbeaten Euro record against Harlequins
John Cooney's last minute penalty earned Ulster a dramatic 25-24 win over Harlequins at Kingspan Stadium to maintain their unbeaten record in Europe.
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Elia Elia's double had threatened to undo Ulster's excellent work thus far in the Heineken Champions Cup, but the scrum-half landed a fantastic penalty in the dying stages to earn the win.
Stuart McCloskey scored a try and had an assist in the win as Ulster moved back up to top spot in Pool Three of the Champions Cup and stay on track for a place in the quarter-finals.
The two sides traded penalties through Cooney and Marcus Smith early before Cooney arguably should have scored when he went on a two-on-one break with Louis Ludik but failed to give the pass.
They paid for that when Alex Dombrandt went over for the opening try, taking Kyle Sinckler's short pass and crashing over to stun the crowd into silence.
The two sides would be level at the interval, however, with McCloskey feeding Sean Reidy for the seven-pointer after Billy Burns' cross-field kick, and then they retook the lead four minutes after the restart when McCloskey crossed for his own score.
But out of nothing, Elia suddenly manufactured an incredible double to put Quins nine points ahead, going over from the back of a maul and then finishing a flowing counter-attack after Dombrandt's intercept.
It seemed like that would be too much for them, even whenever Adam McBurney crossed from the back of a maul with just over ten minutes left to play.
But up stepped Cooney to land a long-range kick to hand the hosts a massive win and send the fans home happy.
Find out if they can do it right here:
Belfast Telegraph Digital