12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
DOLPHIN 0 UL BOHEMIANS 3, Musgrave Park
Scorers: Dolphin: -
UL Bohemians: Drop: Fergal Lawlor
The Limerick students showed the greater resolve and commitment, with a 78th minute drop goal from out-half Fergal Lawlor seeing them take the spoils.
In horrible conditions, Dolphin had the wind and rain at their backs in the opening half but they struggled to take their opportunities when in the visitors' 22. Credit must go to UL Bohs' determined defence during an early onslaught from the hosts.
The only scoring chance of the first quarter was a second minute penalty for Barry Keeshan which the Dolphin skipper made a poor connection with in the difficult conditions. Indeed, that was Keeshan's only shot at the posts in the entire game.
The crowd was huddled together in the stand as the weather took a turn for the worse and it was no surprise that the sides remained deadlocked at 0-0 for half-time.
Bohs forwards got ball in hand before the break and showed good continuity, with scrum half Paul Rowley also kicking intelligently.
Rowley's half-back partner Lawlor had a chance to open the scoring in injury-time but his penalty effort from the 22 was blown off course.
Dolphin missed the physical presence of Munster back rower Nick Williams who starred for the Corkmen in last Sunday's AIB Cup success over Galwegians.
But Williams' provincial colleague, French prop Julien Brugnaut, did have an impact on the Dolphin scrum as a half-time replacement.
Dolphin made the hard yards with pick and drive attacks, but their backs had little influence on the game such was UL's ability to keep the exchanges tight.
With Dave Kilcoyne, Dave Foley and Tommy O'Donnell impressing up front, alongside the hard working Kieran O'Gorman and his replacement John Ed O'Connor, battling Bohs eked out one final chance which Lawlor superbly converted from 28 metres out.
Lawlor showed great resilience to land the kick, having earlier missed a second penalty as well as a snap drop goal attempt.
It was a gutsy performance all round from the visitors, who went through eight phases before Rowley released the ball to the number 10.
The win, only Bohs' second of the campaign, has seen them close the gap on fourth-placed Shannon to just three points, ahead of next weekend's Limerick derby against bottom side Garryowen.
DOLPHIN: Denis McCarthy; Niall O'Driscoll, Eric Moloney, Danny Barnes, Paul Hurley; Barry Keeshan (capt), Sam Cronin; Ronan O'Neill, Andrew O'Driscoll, Christy Condon, Chris Rowe, Fraser Stone, George Finn, Barry O'Mahony, Robbie Allen.
Replacements: Timmy O'Callaghan, Julien Brugnaut, Thomas Keogh, Mark Purcell, Rory Kenneally.
UL BOHEMIANS: Ed Torrie; Martin McPhail, Danny Riordan, Dan Kelly, Dave Moloney; Fergal Lawlor, Paul Rowley; Dave Kilcoyne, Sean Henry (capt), Pat O'Regan, Ed Kelly, Dave Foley, Kieran O'Gorman, Tommy O'Donnell, Kieran Essex.
Replacements: Eddie Rossiter, Mike Storey, Noel Kinane, John Ed O'Connor, Giles Boland.
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)