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Dolphin Get Back To Winning Ways

Dolphin Get Back To Winning Ways

Ballynahinch were unable to make to back-to-back wins in Ulster Bank League Division 1A as three-try Dolphin deservedly took the spoils in this entertaining clash at Musgrave Park.

It took just 23 seconds before referee Peter Fitzgibbon awarded the game's first penalty which Dolphin out-half Rory Scannell failed to convert.

However, Ballynahinch full-back David McIllwaine had an even easier opportunity three minutes later which again was pushed wide.

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'Hinch were full of running in these opening stages and McIlwaine made up for his earlier miss with a penalty in the eighth minute to take the County Down side 3-0 clear.

In the 26th minute Dolphin were awarded a penalty 10 metres from the 'Hinch line, with captain Christy Condon asking for the reset.

From the resultant scrum, Rory Scannell almost made the line and then USA International flanker John Quill picked up from the ruck to score. Scannell added the extras to make it 7-3.

Within four minutes Ballynahinch had hit back with a wonderful team try, prop Kyle McCall smashing his way past two defenders to cross the line after they had gone through a number of phases. The conversion was missed.

Dolphin earned a penalty and Scannell put it into touch well within the 'Hinch 22. Darren O'Shea took the lineout which was quickly delivered to centre Cian Bohane who crossed the line by the posts with Scannell adding the conversion for a 14-8 lead.

Dolphin lost influential back rower John Fitzgerald to a serious leg injury just two minutes later, but they continued to dominate the game approaching half-time.

A clever cross-field kick from Scannell to James Kiernan created an opportunity for the winger to chase the ball down for an unconverted score, and a 19-8 interval scoreline.

In the 45th minute Dolphin second row O'Shea was yellow carded for deliberately slowing 'Hinch ball 10 metres from his line.

Harry McAleese took a quick penalty to send Ross Adair clear to score. McIllwaine added the extras to close the gap to 19-15.

Dolphin kept 'Hinch scoreless for the remainder of the sin-bin period and in the 60th minute the position was reversed when a penalty in the visitors' 22 led to a further yellow card for Paul Pritchard for not releasing the tackled player. Scannell converted the resulting kick for 22-15.

In the 72nd minute Dolphin's second row David O'Mahony received a yellow card for not releasing the tackled player, allowing McIlwaine to reduce the deficit to four points.

But Steve Ford's men had the final say when Scannell kicked another penalty in the 76th minute, confirming Dolphin as victors but 'Hinch had picked up another hard-fought losing bonus point away from home. 

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)