NEC Harlequins scored their first GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP win of the season in style on Saturday, running in four tries to collect maximum points from their 34-19 victory over Northampton Saints at the Twickenham Stoop.
Winger Simon Keogh, called up in place of the injured Ugo Monye, marked his return to the starting line up by striking twice with half-backs Andy Gomarsall and Adrian Jarvis also touching down.
Fly-half Jarvis contributed a total of 19 points by adding a 100% kicking display to his try to claim four conversions and two penalties.
Northampton replied with three penalties from former All Blacks fly-half Carlos Spencer and late consolation tries from Scotland winger Sean Lamont and scrum-half Mark Robinson.
Keogh struck the blow which set Harlequins on the way to victory in the 22nd minute, racing over in the right-hand corner after Jarvis’ cross-field kick bounced well for him.
An identical move put Saints under pressure again 13 minutes later but this time their left-wing Chris Wyles did well to collect the high-ball with Keogh again in close attendance.
Mark Easter, the Harlequins number eight and strong-running centre Jordan Turner-Hall both came close to breaching the visiting defence again at the start of the second-half before former England scrum-half Gomarsall, who has played such an instrumental role since joining Harlequins a few weeks ago, squirmed over following a scrum near the Northampton line in the 44th minute.
Keogh scored his second in the 57th minute, crossing virtually unchallenging after Quins stretched the beleaguered Northampton defence beyond breaking point.
The bonus point was clinched in the 66th minute when Northampton cracked again, allowing Jarvis to force his way over from close range.
Northampton finally managed a try when Lamont raced clear in the 87th minute but it was too little too late, leaving them still without a win away from home this season.
Spencer hoisted some speculative kicks but showed few signs of producing his usual magic.
Hooker Steve Thompson, left out of the England squad for the autumn internationals, managed one barnstorming run down the left wing but did little else to stake a claim for an early international recall before retiring in the 72nd minute after taking a heavy knock.
To add to Northampton’s problems, centre Luke Myring was carried off in injury time with his neck in a brace, just before Robinson grabbed their second try.