St. Mary’s College consigned Dolphin to their fourth straight Ulster Bank League defeat as they came from behind for a 20-18 victory at Templeville Road.
Tries in each half from James Kiernan and Cian Bohane, allied to eight points from Barry Keeshan’s boot, had the Corkmen leading 18-9 at one stage.
Snow was falling as the game got underway and Dolphin’s scrum got on top early on with Keeshan unable to put points on the scoreboard.
But the experienced out-half nailed a tough touchline conversion to add to winger James Kiernan’s try, the groundwork for which was laid by a tremendous Bohane break.
St. Mary’s came more into this mid-table tussle as half-time approached, out-half Gavin Dunne responding to a Keeshan penalty with his first of the day.
St. Mary’s, who have pushed clear of relegation trouble, closed the gap to 10-6 with a second Dunne penalty and Dolphin had to readjust after leg injury victim John Quill was stretchered off.
The Dolphin backs showed their attacking quality once more as full-back Eamon Mills charged through a gap and Bohane was on hand to complete a swashbuckling try.
Keeshan cancelled out another Dunne penalty with a well-taken drop goal for an 18-9 advantage. But the hosts soon closed the gap with a Dunne three-pointer and a charge-down try from scrum half and captain Matthew D’Arcy.
Dolphin let their discipline slip at crucial times and D’Arcy broke through while Dolphin’s young lock John Madigan was in the sin-bin.
D’Arcy’s half-back partner Dunne then stepped up to hammer home his fifth successful penalty of the game to guide St. Mary’s to a dramatic late win.
Referee: Eanna O'Dowd (IRFU)