Dolphin 13 Nenagh Ormond 6: Dolphin retained their Ulster Bank League Division 1B status with a hard-fought victory over Nenagh Ormond in Saturday’s relegation/promotion play-off.
Head coach Chris Rowe admitted: “We enjoyed the win, the boys were outstanding. People wrote us off a while ago; we were committed for sure and I am so proud of what the players did in the last few weeks to guarantee survival.
"Staying in this division was important, now is the time to re-group but re-building is not the immediate issue. Now is the time to enjoy the moment.”
A first half played in driving rain ended with Dolphin having their noses just in front. That was despite having had some difficulty in coping with an aggressive Nenagh, who missed two penalty chances before kicking one from out half Clayton Stewart.
However, Dolphin grabbed the only try of the half, an excellent effort from busy scrum half Daryl Foley and Barry Keeshan converted. That came in ten minutes and established a 7-0 lead before Stewart’s successful kick.
Nenagh cut that deficit early in the second half with a second penalty from Stewart after his side forced a turnover inside their own ’22 to break downfield and create a scoring chance.
Dolphin dominated territory in that second half but frustrated their supporters by a failure to push the game out of Nenagh’s reach.
They eventually managed to pull away from the danger zone with a couple of penalties from the experienced skipper Keeshan and, generally, they finished the game on the front foot by keeping Nenagh in their own defensive zone for the better part of the spell.
T Phelan; G Ryan, C McGovern, I O’Donoghue, W Hanly; B Keeshan (captain), D Foley; L Walsh, D Byrne, J Rochford; R O’Herlihy, D O’Mahony; B Fitzgerald, K Allen, J Fitzgerald.
C O’Flynn, J Madigan, L Coughlan, R Murphy, K Keogh, S Kennedy, C Monahan.
E Moloney; D Hassey, W O’Connor, W Coffey, D Corcoran; C Stewart, E Gardiner; F Brislane, C Muldoon, J Hayes; K Seymour, K O’Flaherty (captain); J Healy, K Quigley, L Viapula.
A Doyle, J Coffey, M Slattery, K O’Gorman, J O’Flaherty, B Hayes, P O’Leary.
D Phillips (IRFU)
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