Sale Sharks’ Raffi Quirke scored twice as the two-time Challenge Cup winners overcame Harlequins 28-22 in a topsy-turvy affair between two Heineken Champions Cup hopefuls on Friday evening.

The 20-year-old scrum-half opened the scoring for Sale – the beneficiary of a delectable offload by South African lock Cobus Wiese – before touching down for his second try late in the second period. Flanker Jono Ross was the filling in the Quirke try-scoring sandwich, finishing off a rolling maul just before the break.

Reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Quins led at various stages through the contest – scrum-half Danny Care, full-back Tyrone Green and outside centre Luke Northmore with tries for the visitors – but it was Sale who took the spoils condemning Harlequins to their first defeat of the season.

In the United Rugby Championship, flanker Nick Timoney was the hero as Ulster Rugby defeated Lions 26-10 at the Kingspan Stadium.

The Ireland international crossed the line in the opening five minutes, adding a second try mid-way through the second period. Outside centre James Hume and fellow flanker Matty Rea added the other tries for Ulster.

Elsewhere, Dragons – who have been drawn in Pool B of this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup – suffered a disappointing 24-10 reverse at the hands of Stormers. Full-back Josh Lewis grabbed the only try for the Dragons, while Sam Davies added a penalty and conversion.