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Dolphin Overcome Champions Shannon

Dolphin Overcome Champions Shannon

Dolphin defeated defending champions Shannon 18-14 at Musgrave Park on Saturday afternoon, with tries from half-backs Barry Keeshan and Sam Cronin helping Steve Ford’s side make it three wins out of three in AIB League Division 1A.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, October 24

DOLPHIN 18 SHANNON 14, Musgrave Park

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Scorers: Dolphin: Tries: Barry Keeshan, Sam Cronin; Con: Barry Keeshan; Pens: Barry Keeshan 2
Shannon: Tries: Stephen Kelly, David Quinlan; Cons: David O’Donovan 2

Dolphin are just a point off top spot after another encouraging afternoon’s work. Given that they have beaten Cork Constitution, Clontarf and Shannon in successive weeks, the Corkmen have to be up there as serious contenders for the title.

Team captain Barry Keeshan intercepted a pass on halfway and scooted over for a fifth minute try which he converted.

A forceful wind was blowing across the pitch, aiding neither side in the first half, but nothing would knock Dolphin off their stride.

Keeshan added two penalties, sandwiching a 22nd minute try from nippy scrum half Sam Cronin, who was playing for UCC last season.

Cronin started and finished the move, latching onto a kick through from winger Niall O’Driscoll to get the touch down.

Dolphin full-back Niall Walley impressed when put under pressure by Shannon, while back rowers Nick Williams and Barry O’Mahony carried well up front.

Shannon, having lost their two opening games and trailing here 18-0 at half-time, needed a serious shot in the arm and they got it, six minutes into the second half.

Number 8 David Quinlan made a charging run before offloading for speedy winger Stephen Kelly to finish off a much-needed try, which full-back David O’Donovan converted.

Shannon muscled their way forward and were soon celebrating their second try, this time Quinlan was the scorer and O’Donovan added an excellent conversion from the tightest of angles on the right.

However, he was off target will penalty attempts after 65 and 71 minutes and Dolphin’s resolute defence helped them hold on for a famous victory.