Although they were out-scored three tries to two, Dolphin still managed to win an entertaining AIB League Division Two final in Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
Although theyr were out-scored three tries to two, Dolphin still managed to win an entertaining AIB League Division Two final in Lansdowne Road on Saturday. And it was a victory that the Cork club fully deserved. They took an early lead which they held going into the break and then survived a third quarter mauling before out-half John O’Mahony kicked three penalties in the final ten minutes to earn them the title. O’Mahoney’s contribution was immense. In total he landed five penalties and two conversions and in the end his accuarcy from the placed ball was the essential difference between winning and losing.
Dolphin opened the scoring with a try from prop Eddie Knowles after James Coughlan had opened up the Crescent defence and captain Dave Pomeroy added a second with O’Mahoney converting both and adding a penalty.
Crescent full-back Jay Cusack scored wide on the right for Eoin Reddan to convert and the Limerick side trailed 17-7 at the break.
But they were always going to give it a go and for the opening 20 minutes of the second half they hammered the Dolphin defence and scored two tries, the first from replacement PJ McLoughlin in the 54th minute. Then, with fifteen minutes to go, Shane Stephens scored their third try to leave just one point (20-19) in it and it was very much a case of game-on.
However, Dolphin rose to the challenge superbly and with Coughlan, Sean Madigan and Donncha Murphy providing the inspiration, they gave O’Mahony the field position to strike the crucial penalties.
Dolphin. D Keeshan; M Knowles, B O’Neill, M Manning (R Kelleher 48 min)), D Whelan (J Purcell 74 min); J O’Mahony, D O’Mahony (K Murphy 50 min); E Knowles, D O’Farrell, J O’Sullivan; D Pomeroy, R McGrath; S Madigan, D Murphy, J Coughlan.
Old Crescent. J Cusack; A O’Loughlin, S Stephens, M Brodie, F Hogan (D Fitzgerald 49 min); M Mullins, E Reddan; S Murphy (PJ McLoughlin 40 min), L Browne (A McMahon 75 min), J Cullinane, I Bloomer (D Bowles 44 min), P Ryan, D O’Malley, D McDonagh, M T’Pau. .
Referee: D Courtney (Leinster Branch).