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Keeshan Keeps Dolphin In Winning Form

Keeshan Keeps Dolphin In Winning Form

Garryowen suffered their sixth defeat in nine Ulster Bank League games as Dolphin led from start to finish at Musgrave Park on Saturday.

Out-half and captain Barry Keeshan was a dominant figure once again for the Corkmen, kicking nine points to take his tally for the Division 1A campaign to 98.

Keeshan landed two drop goals and a penalty to push Steve Ford's men into a 9-0 interval in difficult conditions. His first drop goal came in the 15th minute, with a strong wind behind the home side.

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Garryowen had decent spells of possession but they only had one visit to the Dolphin 22 in the opening 40 minutes. Keeshan's opposite number Declan Cusack had one penalty attempt which he could not convert.

Keeshan's second drop goal followed in the 39th minute and he also landed an injury-time penalty to open up a gap that many home supporters thought would not be enough, given the strength of the wind.

Cusack opened Garryowen's account with a penalty six minutes into the second period, but their try-scoring attempts were thwarted by Dolphin's disciplined defending.

Scores were at a premium in a scrappy second half that was fought out up front, with Dolphin's pack, which included debutant Peter Borlase and his Munster colleague James Coughlan, maintaining possession and frustrating the visitors.

The hosts got on top for some crucial periods, helped by a man-of-the-match performance from flanker John Quill.

Then, with 81 minutes on the clock, a close range try from prop Christy Condon sealed his side's second successive win. The score came after a series of five-metre scrums for Dolphin.

Keeshan's conversion attempt bounced back off a post, but the damage had been done and there was no way back for Garryowen.

Dolphin, who put 32 points on Blackrock College last time out, seem to be coming good at just the right time. Fifth in the table, next weekend’s trip to St. Mary's College could make or break their season.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)