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RUGBY UNION: Quins bag first win in thriller
10:00am Tuesday 16th October 2012 in Sport
National 3 South West
OXFORD Harlequins secured their first victory of the season with a last-gasp 29-28 success at home to Malvern.
It looked as if Quins would suffer a seventh straight defeat when they trailed 28-19 with nine minutes to go.
But a try from debutant wing Issai Fitzer gave them hope before replacement Pita Halatokoua sprinted over from the final play.
The bonus-point victory also saw Quins climb out of the relegation zone.
Quins had hoped to field another debutant in flanker Stuart MacDonald, but he pulled a hamstring in the warm up, so John Derrick came in.
Fly half Will Hilton kicked the hosts ahead with a fifth-minute penalty.
Centre Jonny Tevita, on his return from injury, was sin-binned after 20 minutes and Malvern fly half John Southall dived over for a try a minute later.
Quins regained the lead when full back Harry Whittington sent wing Jack Briggs over for a try.
Hilton and Southall traded penalties before home prop Pete Boulton took the ball from a quick lineout and raced in from 35 metres.
Quins then shipped two soft tries to speedy wing Will Pennell in quick succession, Southall converting the first to give Malvern a 20-16 lead at the break.
Southall added a penalty, but was yellow-carded on 59 minutes.
Hilton reduced the arrears with his third penalty, but a long-range interception try from Malvern full back Luke Milton looked to have won it for the visitors on 71 minutes.
Quins showed character and kept moving the ball.
This paid off when Fitzer scored from 35 metres on 78 minutes.
Then from the final play, No 8 Ollie Rees won a lineout and the ball was whipped out for Halatokoua to seal the comeback.