Dolphin 28 Old Crescent 31
DOLPHIN ended the year on a disappointing note as a try in injury time saw them lose to Old Crescent in their energia All Ireland League 2A clash at Musgrave Park on Saturday afternoon.
A brilliant brace from Eamonn Mills in the second half helped secure try and losing bonus points for Dolphin but a fine display from Ronan McKenna - including a converted try late on - ensured they suffered their eighth loss in their tenth fixture this campaign.
The home side started this game on the front foot and they almost got their rewards inside just two minutes but Tomás Quinlan knocked on Cam O’Shaughnessy’s pass when he had a clear run to the line.
But that relief for the visitors wouldn’t last long as Dolphin deservedly opened their account in the 11th minute when Ryan Foley quickly found O’Shaughnessy following a scrum near the line and he had the simple task of scoring the try.
Tomás Quinlan’s conversion wasn’t so simple but he split the post with a great strike with his left boot from the left flank to make it 7-0.
Old Crescent soon grew into the contest and after a sustained period of pressure at the other end of the pitch, they levelled the scores with Cathal O’Reilly powering his way across the line before Ronan McKenna added the extras.
But Dolphin would retake the lead before half time when Dave O’Mahony finished a prolonged attack before Quinlan again fired over the crossbar to give the Cork side a 14-7 advantage at the break.
Crescent decided against returning to the warmth of the away dressing room during the interval and it proved to be an inspired decision as Jason Aylward raced into the corner shortly after the restart although McKenna wasn’t able to convert from a tough angle.
But they would soon take the lead for the first time in this clash as McKenna atoned for the miss by going down under the posts before then adding two further points with ease to make it 19-14 in the 51st minute.
Those tries set up a highly entertaining finale as momentum swung one way and then the next as Dolphin soon edged back in front as Eamonn Mills first equalised with a try at the end of a great team move before Quinlan added the conversion, 21-19.
The Crescent pack claimed an unconverted try moments later before the Dolphin pack scored through Mills again with Quinlan adding his conversion as the match remained on a knife edge, 28-24.
But while both sides claimed the bonus point and both finished with 14 men, it was Crescent who claimed the victory as McKenna went over for a try he would convert in the final moments.
Tries: E Mills (2), C O’Shaughnessy, D O’Mahony, Cons: T Quinlan (4).
Tries: R McKenna (2), C O’Reilly, J Aylward, A Simpson. Cons: R McKenna (3).
T Quinlan, R Reardon, E Mills, S Boyle, A Pope, C O’Shaughnessy, R Foley; J Leahy, C Scott, J Rochford, D O’Mahony, B Fitzgerald, J Fitzgerald, M Barry, B O’Mahony.
P Dowling, D Jennings, A Denby, C O’Herlihy, D Foley.
J O’Mahony, J Aylward, C Monaghan, S Mullally, J Higgins, R McKenna, M O’Hanrahan; C O’Reilly, J Rickard, A Simpson, P Monaghan, K Doyle, S Monaghan, O Toland, R Quinn.
L Grady, R McGill, G Coyne, T Tali Toia, A Cosgrove.