Former Buccaneers player Alan Gaughan helped himself to two tries as Garryowen beat Dolphin for the second time in the space of two weeks.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, February 20
DOLPHIN 9 GARRYOWEN 21, Musgrave Park
Scorers: Dolphin: Pens: Barry Keeshan 3
Garryowen: Tries: Alan Gaughan 2; Con: Conor Murray; Pens: Conor Murray 3
Dolphin suffered a rare AIB League loss on their home patch at Musgrave Park, in a sometimes tempestuous Division 1A encounter.
The sides’ most recent meeting ended in controversial circumstances, with injuries to Garryowen forcing uncontested scrums in an area Dolphin had been dominating.
Despite ending the game with 14 players, Garryowen held on to claim a 13-12 win and hold onto their hopes of fighting back into play-off contention.
Today’s clash saw Garryowen use a first half wind advantage to canter into a 13-0 half-time lead.
Their multi-talented scrum half Conor Murray kicked them ahead from a 22-metre penalty and added a second with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Dolphin captain Barry Keeshan, back from injury, missed two long range penalty efforts and the visitors closed out the half with a converted try from Alan Gaughan, who was a constant threat on the left wing.
Keeshan reduced the arrears for his side with penalties after 45 and 58 minutes. Murray and Keeshan swapped further penalties, after 61 and 66 minutes, to set up a hugely exciting finish at 16-9.
Back rower Barry O’Mahony intercepted a pass on the Dolphin 22 and thundered towards the visitors’ try-line, only to agonisingly knock on as he went to ground the ball.
In the end, there was no way back for Dolphin and Garryowen sealed the issue in the fifth minute of injury-time with a second try from Gaughan.
The Light Blues deserved it as they were the better side on the day, with hooker Mike Sherry, fresh from a replacement appearance for Munster, playing his part in their fourth win in five league games.
DOLPHIN: Niall O’Driscoll; Rory Kenneally, Danny Barnes, Eric Moloney, Paul Hurley; Barry Keeshan (capt), Sam Cronin; Dave Ryan, Timmy O’Callaghan, Christy Condon, Chris Rowe, Kyle O’Dwyer, David Nathan, Barry O’Mahony.
GARRYOWEN: Ciaran O’Boyle; Ian Hanley, Conan Doyle (capt), Kevin Hartigan, Alan Gaughan; Willie Staunton, Conor Murray; Rory Brosnan, Mike Sherry, Declan Lavery, Frank McKenna, Ed Mackey, Paul Neville, Anthony Kavanagh, Dave Sherry.
Replacements: Dave Rowley, Brendan Cullinane, Aaron McCloskey, Diarmuid McMahon, Lorcan Bourke.
Referee: Alan Lewis (IRFU)