Con were trailing 28-10 after 61 minutes following a three-try burst from Dolphin straddling half-time, only for the home side to grab the bragging rights and a bonus-point win with late tries from Cathal Quinn, Gerry Hurley and Scanlon’s second of the night.
The celebrations were tempered by an injury to Dolphin’s double try scorer John Quill, the openside flanker stretchered off with his neck in a brace after going down just before Con’s winning try.
Con had taken a ninth-minute lead but five minutes later Dolphin full-back Scanlon scored their opening try in the corner. Scrum-half Gerry Hurley failed with the conversion and again from closer range with a 15th-minute penalty.
Dolphin lost lock Chris Rowe through injury in the 18th minute but were on the scoreboard three minutes later when Barry Keeshan slotted over a penalty.
The visitors took advantage and got their reward on the stroke of half-time as Quill grabbed his first try, finishing off Cian Bohane’s break down the right wing for a score, converted by Keeshan to give Dolphin a 10-5 half-time lead.
The interval failed to curb Dolphin, though, and a double from Quill gave them what appeared to a commanding 22-5 lead. Niall O’Driscoll replied for the home side but Keeshan looked to have finished off the game with a superb drop goal quickly followed by a 61st-minute penalty to give the visitors an 18-point cushion.
Quinn’s converted try two minutes later narrowed the gap but it was not until Hurley’s try from his own tap penalty that things got interesting with three minutes left. There was still time for Con and Ivan Dineen was the difference, his crossfield break ripping through Dolphin’s defences before the centre spread it wide to his Munster colleague Scanlon to score a famous victory.
CORK CON: S Scanlon; R Clune, N O’Driscoll, I Dineen, C Quinn; J Holland, G Hurley; J Ryan, A Cudmore, B Cagney; B Hayes – captain, P Donellan; C O’Flaherty, B O’Hara, J Ryan.
Replacements: K Stokes, C Corkery, I Nagle, J McSwiney, D Lyons.
DOLPHIN: E Mills; C Bohane, E Moloney – captain, K Lynch, H Fleming; B Keeshan, C Banon; J Cronin, A O’Driscoll, C Condon; C Rowe, D O’Mahony; R O’ Herlihy, J Quill, R Murphy.
Replacements: G Duffy, J Leahy, J Clery, E O’Shaughnessy, K O’Dwyer, C Nolan, M Cronin, R Allen, W Devane.
Referee: Leo Colgan