Worcester 7 Harlequins 10
Loki Crichton's moment of magic was not enough to end Worcester's nine-match run without a league win but the bonus point it secured could be crucial at the end of the season.
First-half tries from Chris Robshaw and Gary Botha allowed Harlequins to take control of this crunch battle. But replacement fly half Crichton chipped ahead and won the race with opposition full back Mike Brown to touch down in the 78th minute before converting.
Despite the defeat, the bonus point was enough to hoist the Warriors off the bottom of the Guinness Premiership table.
England coach Brian Ashton, having been awarded an MBE in the New Year honours list, found little cause for celebration at Sixways, however, with Harlequins skipper Nick Easter limping off in the 58th minute.
Ashton will be mulling over his England squad for the RBS 6 Nations Championship and Easter, seen as one of the game's rising stars, would be a loss if he were to be sidelined.
Warriors director of rugby Mike Ruddock was philosophical afterwards. He said: "Harlequins got the first score in. We were always chasing the game after that.
"We've always given our boys a licence to play a quick-tempo game, but we were frustrated and couldn't get any quick ball.
"It was a difficult day all round for halfbacks in those conditions. It was blustery and passing was difficult.
"Harlequins did their homework and were always in front. We believe we are potentially a very good team and we need to get some wins together to move up the table."
Worcester went into the game without a win in eight league starts and Harlequins were hoping to shake off the effects of not having won in any competition in their last eight outings. The pressure was already beginning to build on rival coaches Dean Richards and Ruddock.
Richards' lot eased in the opening period with his side doing the basics well and Worcester doing the opposite.
Perhaps being at home in a game many would have expected the hosts to win got to Pat Sanderson and Co before the break. But whatever the reasons for being unsettled, Worcester were unable to hold on to hard-won possession, particularly on the rare occasions they got within striking distance.
Quins on the other hand may not have made the most of their opportunities but they at least took two of them to capitalise on the pressure they consistently applied.
Flanker Robshaw claimed the first after 18 minutes and hooker Botha got the second in the 23rd, each of them the result of sustained forward power, applied wide out.
However, the fact that Chris Malone could not convert from the touchline either of the scores - and then missed the sort of penalty shot that is usually meat and drink to the Australian - should have done something to comfort the home side.
The Warriors spurned asking Shane Drahm to attempt their first penalty at goal, instead opting for a close-range line-out, but Quins' absorbed the pressure to keep the hosts at bay and go 10-0 ahead at the break.
As the rain began to drench proceedings, Ruddock sent on Darren Morris, Gavin Quin-nell and Chris Fortey in an attempt to spark a revival.
Then came the injury to Easter and a worrying moment for the watching Ashton as the Quins No 8 limped off with his injury.
Quinnell certainly made an impact with his powerful charges into contact, but the home side could made little headway when it really mattered. The Quins soaked up the pressure and the Warriors found making the final pass difficult, leaving Crichton's piece of magic as their only crumb of comfort.
WORCESTER: Delport, Gear, Rasmussen, Tuitupou, Garvey (Benjamin, 14), Drahm (Crichton, 69), M Powell (Arr , 69), Mullan (Morris, 44), Lutui (Fortey, 55), Tuamoepeau, Rawlinson, Gillies (Bowley, 72), Wood, Sanderson, Hickey (Quinnell, 55).
HARLEQUINS: Brown, Strettle, Barry, Turner-Hall, Monye, Malone, Gomarsall (So'oialo, 79), Jones, Botha (Fuga, 73), Ross, Kohn (Percival, 73), Evans, Robshaw, Skinner, Easter (Hala'ufia, 58). Replacements: Nebbitt, Jarvis, Keogh.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England). ..SUPL: