A try from winger Simon Keogh in the last play of the game gave NEC Harlequins a 25-22 victory over Zurich Premiership league leaders Bath at the Stoop. A poor first half performance saw Quins trail 22-9 at the break but a tremendous second half fight back saw the home side score 16 unanswered points, with Keogh's score, converted by Andy Dunne, putting Quins in front for the first time in the match.
Bath had their first try of the afternoon with just under two minutes on the clock. Winning possession from the kick-off, the visitors took play deep into Quins twenty-two before the ball went out wide. Matt Moore was harshly penalised for a deliberate knock-on and referee Dave Pearson awarded Bath a penalty try that fly half Chris Malone converted.
Quins hit back with a penalty from Paul Burke, though Malone cancelled this out in similar fashion to make the score 10-3 to Bath after 11 minutes. Burke converted a second penalty but the visitors responded with a try from centre Robbie Fleck as the game entered the second quarter. Flanker Michael Lipman made the break that allowed Fleck to sprint clear for the score by the posts that Malone converted to put Bath 11 points clear (17-6).
Burke cut the deficit with his third penalty of the half before Bath scored what would be their last points of the match with 30 minutes on the clock. Scrum half Martyn Wood and number eight Isaac Feaunati made the hard yards into Quins territory, and with a huge overlap created on the right it was full back Matt Perry who strolled over for the try. Malone failed to add the two extra points on offer from the conversion, though Bath looked in complete control leading by 13 points (22-9) at the halfway stage of the contest.
Quins dominated possession and territory immediately after the restart and with Burke converting his fourth and fifth penalties of the game, just seven points separated the two sides (15-22) going into the final quarter. The Quins fly half then had further chances to add to his tally but uncharacteristically missed three penalty attempts in the space of six minutes.
Replacement Andy Dunne took over the kicking duties and converted a penalty eight minutes from the end to set-up the grandstand finale. Looking for the match winning try, Quins constantly hammered away at the Bath line in the time that remained but looked as if they were going to be denied a victory. Despite having flanker Andy Beattie in the sin-bin, the Bath defence was holding out and looked to be helping the visitors secure a vital win.
However, with time left for one last attack the Quins pack drove play deep into Bath's twenty-two and after a number of further rolling mauls were repelled, the ball went wide to Keogh who cut inside and then had the power and the strength to force his way over from five metres out. Dunne's successful conversion proved to be the last kick of the game, much to the delight of the majority of supporters inside the Stoop.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.