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‘Belvo And Dolphin Share The Spoils

‘Belvo And Dolphin Share The Spoils

Captain Barry Keeshan clawed a draw back for his Dolphin side as they finished on level terms with Division 1A leaders Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road.

Dolphin bite back in the closing minutes with Barry Keeshan kicking them to a hard-earned draw with Old Belvedere, thus ending their run of two successive league defeats.

'Belvo won 18-15 when the sides met at Musgrave Park in November, and another tight game looked in prospect here as the Dubliners turned around with a 13-10 lead.

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Full-back Daniel Riordan broke through for his seventh try of the campaign to get the hosts off the mark. In the 13th minute, a clever pass from Simon Keogh to Andy Dunne set the 'Belvo backs in motion and Riordan did well to finish off in the left corner.

Dunne's missed conversion was followed by an opening penalty from Dolphin skipper Keeshan in the 22nd minute, after Keogh was sin-binned for a ruck offence.

'Belvo player-coach Dunne replied with a penalty of his own, before the talismanic Keeshan scored a 27th minute try for the Cork side, with a terrific conversion following from the same player.

The home defence was opened up by an attack down the right wing and after a quick grubber kick, Keeshan sniped through to score in the corner. His conversion nudged Dolphin into a 10-8 lead.

The table toppers went back in front just before the break when winger David Mongan crossed the visitors' whitewash. Flanker Jason Risdon secured turnover ball for his side and Mongan applied the finish in the left corner.

'Belvo had opportunities to sew up the win in an attritional second half, but the final pass was missing on a few occasions. Most notably when Riordan held onto the ball when an offload would have led to a try.

Dolphin kept things tight, using their pack to bludgeon their way forward through a series of rucks and mauls. Keeshan kicked Steve Ford's men level in the 54th minute before their openside flanker John Quill was shown a yellow card.

'Belvo replacement Conal Keane, who came on for Dunne, eased the tension with a 74th minute penalty, but Keeshan, who had missed an earlier effort, fired over his fourth successful kick of the afternoon to ensure a drawn game.

The 16 points for the Dolphin out-half has taken his total for the league run to a very impressive 130 points.

Keeshan will face his closest rival in the points-scoring stakes, Young Munster's Alan Kingsley (115), when the sides clash in Cork on Sunday, March 27

Referee: Alain Rolland (IRFU)