Maloney the hero as Dolphin come back from the dead

A WELL-WORKED injury time try turned this competitive AIB League tie on its head at Musgrave Park yesterday.

Eric Maloney was the hero as Dolphin came back from a hopeless position to deservedly secure the points.

Old Belvedere, though, proved to be dogged opponents and, were it not for a missed tackle in midfield, would have won this match.

In fly-half Richie Murphy, an AIB League veteran, they have a scoring machine and full-back Felix Jones (two tries) is a potent attacking threat.

However, Dolphin had the will to win and when the going got tough, a formidable back row of captain Ruairí Geoghegan, James Coughlan and Henry O’Flynn showed their class. They have a resolute scrum half in Tomás O’Leary and the reliable Barry Keeshan, who kept Dolphin in touch when a highly competitive Old Belvedere side threatened to put them to the sword.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges with Murphy kicking them into the lead twice before Keeshan hit back with penalties.

Andrew O’Driscoll gave Dolphin an unexpected advantage after 38 minutes when he drove over for a try that Keeshan converted.

However, the visitors struck back immediately, as Jones raced over for a try and Murphy added the points to level the scores before the latter added a penalty to make it 16-13 at the interval.

Nine minutes into the second half, Jones stormed through for another try and Belvedere led 21-13.

They threatened to pull away on a couple of occasions, but Fergus Gately brought Dolphin back from the brink when he touched down after a superb rolling maul. Keeshan kicked a further penalty to level the game before Murphy threatened to grab the headlines with a 70th minute drop goal. Keeshan missed a penalty, but in injury time he added the extra bonus points to Moloney’s brilliantly orchestrated try.

DOLPHIN: D. McCarthy, P. Phelan, E. Maloney, D. Richardson, K. Lynch, B. Keeshan, T. O’Leary, F. Gately, A. O’Driscoll, C. Condon, R. McGrath, D. Harty, H. O’Flynn, J. Coughlan, R. Geoghegan (captain).

Replacements: R. Kenneally for Lynch (64), F. McCormack for McGrath (74).

OLD BELVEDERE: F. Jones, P. Treacy, E. O’Malley, B. Kinsella, K. Barden, R. Murphy, R. Cushion, V. Soden, P. Hogan, M. Wilczuk, B. Nagle, B. Wiedemer, R. Leyden, S. Rockett (captain), R. Leyden.

Replacements: B Kose for Barden.

Referee: G. English (IRFU)

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