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Leaders Old Belvedere Defeat Dolphin

Leaders Old Belvedere Defeat Dolphin

Old Belvedere came from 12 points down to beat a determined Dolphin side this afternoon, extending their lead at the top of All-Ireland League Division 1A to three points.

The kick-off at Musgrave Park had to be delayed by 20 minutes as the Old Belvedere team bus broke down in Mitchelstown, and Dolphin got off to a blistering start when the game got underway.

A break from out-half Barry Keeshan, on his own 22-metre line, caught the 'Belvo defence napping and winger Paul Hurley was on hand to finish off a fluid move for the opening try.

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Keeshan missed the conversion but added the extras to full-back Niall Walley's try, five minutes later, and the table toppers were suddenly 12-0 adrift.

Munster's Danny Barnes was the key man in the build-up to the second try, putting scrum half Gary O'Keeffe into space with a lovely offload.

'Belvo were back on terms, however, by half-time. There was no sense of panic from Phil Werahiko's men as full-back Daniel Riordan ran in his third try in two league games.

Former Ireland Under-20 prop Stewart Maguire bulldozed through for the visitors' second try of this end-to-end clash, six minutes before the break, with Keane supplying one conversion.

Dolphin, who had 18-year-old senior debutant Rob O'Herlihy in the second row, had to rejig their side owing to injuries to O'Keeffe and centre Brian Dennehy.

The Dubliners lost their blindside flanker Karl Miller to a straight red card before Keane landed a fantastic 44-metre drop goal, in the 58th minute, to send wind-backed 'Belvo in front for the first time.

There were still three points ahead by the time referee Alan Rogan blew for full-time. The final quarter contained just two scores – a 62nd minute penalty from Keeshan and an 81st minute match-winning drop goal from man-of-the-match Keane.