Quinton Davids made his Kingsholm debut on Monday night
GLOUCESTER got back to winning ways in the Guinness A League on Monday night with a five-try victory over leaders Harlequins.
In a contest that was always competitive and not as free-flowing as previous matches at Kingsholm this season, a crowd touching 3,000 saw Gloucester scrap their way to a 35-24 victory.
But Harlequins were never anything other than competitive and with flanker Luke Sherriff and number eight Tony Diprose at the head of a powerful forward effort, Gloucester needed all the experience of Mark Cornwell, Quinton Davids, Nick Wood and Luke Narraway to contain them.
Harlequins opened with a second minute penalty from Adrian Jarvis but Gloucester responded when hooker Rob Elloway intercepted a pass 30 metres out and ran home clinically to score.
Brad Davies kicked the conversion and a penalty soon after to stretch the lead to 13-3 but Quins rallied and centre Mike Brown bundled himself through an alarming gap in Gloucester's midfield to score to the left of the posts after 13 minutes.
However, Gloucester struck back with their second try when Narraway charged down Luther Marais's kick from full-back, controlled the ball and scored.
The topsy-turvy nature of the game continued when Harlequins used the experience of Diprose at the tail of a line-out and lock Kevin Burke charged through on his pass to score and cut the gap to 18-17.
But Gloucester were to score again before the break when Davids tapped a line-out down to Simon Amor, Davies fed Marcel Garvey coming in off his wing into centre field. When possession came back, Davies kicked in behind the Quins defence and Olly Morgan, making his first appearance of the season following a thigh injury, steamed through to score.
The home side then took themselves 13-points clear when Amor and Anthony Allen combined to send James Bailey wriggling to the line after 51 minutes.
However, the home side could not shake Quins off and they reduced the gap to six points when winger Charlie Amesbury slid home to score following patient build up play after 66 minutes.
There was the very real danger that Quins could snatch a victory at this stage but Gloucester sealed the win when Elloway turned over possession and the excellent Will Matthews shifted a lovely pass under pressure on the short side to Marcel Garvey, who blitzed home to score.
GLOUCESTER: Olly Morgan; Marcel Garvey, Anthony Allen (Will Merrivale 66), Reuban Aiano, James Bailey; Brad Davies, Simon Amor; Nick Wood (Terry Sigley 60), Rob Elloway, Jack Forster (Nick Wood 70), Mark Cornwell (capt), Quinton Davids (Dan Tuohy 58), Will Matthews, James Merriman, Luke Narraway.
Scorers: Tries: Morgan, Garvey, Bailey, Elloway, Narrway. Cons: Davies (2/5), Pens: Davies (2/2).
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.