Garryowen won at the third attempt in this season’s All-Ireland League, turning on the style against their Munster rivals Dolphin at Dooradoyle on Saturday.
The Light Blues got off to a dream start when winger Ronan O'Mahony touched down after only 90 seconds. Out-half Declan Cusack's conversion attempt bounced back off the crossbar.
Cusack had better luck with his next conversion, adding the points to a well-taken Ian Hanly try, in the 19th minute. A clever chip ahead from Conor Murray was gathered by the onrushing scrum half who gave the pass to Hanly.
Captain Barry Keeshan opened Dolphin’s account from a penalty, but Garryowen soon made it 19-3 as hooker Robert Meyer got over following a close-in maul and Cusack again converted.
But nine points inside the final five minutes of the half – two penalties and a drop goal from Keeshan – kept the Corkmen very much in contention at 19-12 down.
Within four minutes of the restart, Dolphin were level thanks to a try from centre Brian Dennehy which Keeshan converted.
Cusack and Keeshan traded penalties, and Dolphin looked to be turning the screw as replacement Tom Parker grabbed their second try.
But Garryowen found an extra gear in the closing quarter, replacement Frank McKenna, number 8 David Sherry and O’Mahony all crossing to garner the bonus point for the fast-finishing hosts.
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)