Hodgson has given England boss Clive Woodward plenty to think about ahead of their November Tests and the young fly-half was again one of the stand-out performers in a game that really only rose to the heights in the closing seconds.
A try from Harlequins substitute Luke Sheriff in the dying moments had moved the Londoners to within in one point of the home side, stand-off David Slemen missing the potentially crucial conversion although Hodgson capped another productive night for the Manchester side with a even later drop-goal to make Slemen’s miss academic.
Quins backrower Pat Sanderson gave his side the early advantage as he went over for an uncoverted try after just five minutes although Charlie Hodgson hit back soon after with a penalty.
Neither side made much of a headway through until Harlequins fullback knocked over an opportunist drop-goal just before the half-hour mark to restore Quins’ five point cushion. Stand-off Slemen, in for the injured Paul Burke, notched his side’s first penalty as the vistors led 11-3 at the interval.
However, almost immediately after the break Hodgson scampered over for the home side’s first try, adding the extras himself, as the home side pulled to within one point just ninety seconds in to the second half.
Back came Quins for a period of sustained pressure but they could not find a way through before the game became a scrappy affair, both side’s getting on the wrong end of referee Tony Spreadbury’s whistle.
However, the home side began to get the upper hand during the midway period of the second half and winger Mark Cueto got the home side their reward as he powered through the Quins defence to touch down for his third try of the season on 63 minutes, Hodgson adding the simple conversion.
Quins worked hard to get back into the game, Sharks forced to defend furiously in the late stages as the game moved to its exciting conclusion.
Sharks:Tries: Hodgson, CuetoCons: Hodgson 2Pens: HodgsonDG: Hodgson
NEC Harlequins:Tries: P Sanderson, SherriffPens: SlemenDGs: Williams