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Timely Win For Dolphin Over Struggling Champions

Timely Win For Dolphin Over Struggling Champions

Tries in each half proved crucial at Anglesea Road on Saturday as Dolphin came out on top to secure a vital four points in this bottom of the table clash with Old Belvedere.

This was a tentative Division 1A encounter between two sides struggling for form. The result means that defending champions 'Belvo have now lost six of their opening seven games this season, which puts them in a perilous position heading into the New Year.

Dolphin, who were beaten in their last four league outings, made a lively start to proceedings and looked like getting through on a couple of occasions during the early stages.

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But it was actually 'Belvo who opened the scoring against the run of play, eight minutes in. Winger Peter Woods, who has hit a rich vein of form, got through on the right wing for a terrific individual try, converted with ease by out-half Andy Dunne.

Dolphin fell further behind when Dunne landed a 30-metre penalty ten minutes later, but the Corkmen finally broke through a stern home rearguard to register their first try courtesy of flanker John Quill after 22 minutes.

Barry Keeshan was on hand to slot over the subsequent conversion, and he would bring his side level with seven minutes remaining in the half with a tricky place-kick on the right hand side.

Dunne did restore 'Belvo's three-point lead soon after, but another close range Keeshan penalty ensured that the teams were level at 13-13 heading into the second half.

'Belvo had been playing against a strong wind before the break, and would have been extremely pleased that they were in a position to push on with the breeze at the backs upon the resumption.

Indeed, Phil Werahiko's charges were on top during the opening stages of the second half, but they were finding it difficult to apply the finishing touches, and subsequently let Dolphin back into the contest.

Dolphin would take full advantage of this as well, as a long spell of pressure led to prop Christy Condon getting over the line in the 58th minute, followed swiftly by another conversion by the deadly accurate Keeshan.

This put the pressure on the home side to regain a stranglehold heading into the final 20 minutes, but try as they might they could not force their way through a tight and compact Dolphin defence.

There was some consolation for 'Belvo at the end, though, a wayward place kick by Keeshan in injury-time ensured that they came away with a losing bonus point.

Referee: Olly Hodges (IRFU)