Dolphin got back to winning ways with their first AIB League Division 1A victory in three games at a cold and sunny Stradbrook on Saturday afternoon.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, December 12
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 6 DOLPHIN 12, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Pens: Ian Madigan 2
Dophin: Tries: Nick Williams, James Coughlan; Con: Barry Keeshan
A superior Dolphin side made the journey fully worth their while and dominated the forward exchanges, with Munster back row duo Nick Williams and James Coughlan scoring the game’s only tries.
Williams touched down with a close range surge before the break and Coughlan also crossed the whitewash following a brilliant crossfield kick by Dolphin captain Barry Keeshan.
Keeshan, Williams and Coughlan were all superb on the day for the Corkmen, with scrum half Sam Cronin producing an impressive display as the link man.
Blackrock took the lead thanks to an Ian Madigan penalty, but one of the best runs of the game from Dolphin full-back Denis McCarthy had the visitors camped close to the line with Williams breaking over for a 28th minute try.
With underage internationals Andrew Conway and Brendan Macken kept largely quiet, ‘Rock trailed 7-3 at half-time.
Dolphin, 19-15 winners over the Stradbrook men in the corresponding game last season, dominated the forward exchanges in the second half to push on for the win.
Blackrock broke out twice in the closing 40 minutes, the first attack petered out with a penalty, but they made amends with the second as Madigan slotted over five minutes from time.
However before Madigan’s second penalty success, Dolphin had already made the game safe.
Keeshan took the ball on the right hand side and promptly dropped it onto his left boot, landing it some 40 metres away in the left corner for Coughlan to touch down.
It might have been a good away win for Dolphin, but ‘Rock’, who are now winless in four league games, can take credit for taking a bonus point in a game in which the visitors held firm dominance.
Credit must go to Leinster’s Niall Morris at full-back. He had his hat in the ring alongside at least four Dolphin players for the man-of-the-match award.
Dolphin now face into an AIB Cup semi-final clash with Garryowen next weekend, boosted by this impressive victory.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Niall Morris; Andrew Conway, Brendan Macken, Shane Monahan, David Rowan; Ian Madigan, David Moore; Jonathan Barretto, Cian Culleton, Arthur Lyons, Des Dillon (capt), Trevor Hogan, Zach Farivarz, Paul Ryan, Alex Dunlop.
Replacements used: James Power for Conway (54 mins), Paul Huntly for Dillon (70). Not used: Sean Byrne, James Mannion, Darragh Fitzpatrick.
DOLPHIN: Denis McCarthy; Paul Hurley, Eric Moloney, Kevin Lynch, Danny Barnes; Barry Keeshan (capt), Sam Cronin; Ronan O’Neill, Andy O’Driscoll, Christy Condon, Chris Rowe, Fraser Stone, Nick Williams, Barry O’Mahony, James Coughlan.
Replacements used: Aidan Foley for Condon (17 mins). Not used: Timmy O’Callaghan, George Finn, Mark Purcell, Rory Kenneally.
Referee: Mark Hermin (IRFU)