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St. Mary’s Collect Bonus Point

St. Mary’s Collect Bonus Point

Dolphin slipped to their first defeat in three Ulster Bank League games as a fiery first half display pointed St. Mary’s College in the right direction at Templeville Road.

St. Mary's claimed only their second try-scoring bonus point of the season, with Mark Sexton, Rob Sweeney, Gavin Dunne and Darren Hudson all crossing the Dolphin whitewash.

Sexton, Sweeney and Dunne finished off scores in the opening half, with out-half Dunne converting all three tries for a 21-0 half-time lead.

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St. Mary's drove forward after taking a ninth minute lineout and a series of rucks, centre Sexton's angled run saw him open up the Dolphin defence and dot down under the posts.

Dunne converted and added the extras to prop Sweeney's 26th minute try, which saw hard-working lock Damian Hall and Dunne make good ground in the build-up.

Dolphin's defence gave way for the third time just before the break. Full-back Paul Gillespie attacked the line at pace and popped a reverse pass to the supporting Ronan Doherty who was stopped short of the try-line. A quick recycle allowed Dunne to touch down from close range, adding the conversion for good measure.

Dolphin missed the ball-carrying ability of James Coughlan, whose services were required by Munster, but they did show signs of an improvement in the second half.

Prop Christy Condon touched down for the second week running, finishing off an early maul from the visiting pack for whom Munster's Dave Ryan impressed. Captain Barry Keeshan converted for a 21-7 scoreline.

Dunne and Keeshan swapped penalties before St. Mary's garnered their bonus point with 13 minutes to go. Their bench was emptied to good effect and the 20-year-old Hudson sealed the bonus point for the hosts, skipping over in the corner for his sixth try of the campaign.

It was an important win for Ciaran Potts' side after their loss away to Shannon last weekend. St. Mary's remain third in the table and well-placed to challenge for silverware.

Dolphin, who had won their previous two league matches, are ten points back in fifth place. Next Saturday's derby tussle with Cork Constitution at Musgrave Park is a huge game for Steve Ford's men.

Referee: Alan Rogan (IRFU)