Bohs booked a home semi-final against Garryowen on December 13 with a result that enthused head coach Colm Tucker, who has seen his side suffer six successive Ulster Bank League defeats.
Dolphin still await a league win after eight matches and the absence of around half their regular team due to Munster A duty and injuries meant they were always likely to struggle against a fired-up UL Bohemian side.
“We always knew this was coming”, said Tucker. “I was pleased with a lot of our play today and especially our work rate. We are four points off the bottom of the Division 1B league table but only two off 5th place and it’s much too early to talk about relegation. This result will give us a nice bounce.”
Dolphin’s understrength squad tried every inch of the way and, with Bohs also keen to show their paces, this was a keenly contested encounter from which Tucker and his counterpart Steve Ford were entitled to take a considerable degree of encouragement. Bohs centre Rory White and Dolphin full-back Edmund Mills were the game’s outstanding performers, with the former showing tremendous pace in scoring two of his three tries. Mills also touched down for two Dolphin tries, the second of which gave his side a fighting chance at 29-22 down with 15 minutes still to play. However, UL Bohemian scrum-half Tim Rafferty, who had a fine game, put the issue beyond down with a smartly taken left corner try. And their impressive total of 36 points was completed by five penalties and two conversions by out-half Shane Airey.
The two Dolphin tries by Mills were augmented by a third from Killian O’Keeffe and a penalty and two conversions by Stuart Lee.
Scorers for UL/Bohemian: R White 2 tries; T Rafferty one try; S Airey 5 pens, 3 cons
Scorers for Dolphin: E Mills 2 tries; K O’Keeffe try; S Lee pen, 2 cons).
UL/BOHEMIAN: R Burke; C Ryan, A Enright, R White, F Ryan; S Airey, T Rafferty; J Moloney, T Doyle, V O’Regan, S Boyle, E Kelly capt, B Bolger, I Condell, E Sweeney.
Replacements: C Flanagan, P Poillot, J Fahey, K Moore, J McMahon.
DOLPHIN: E Mills; E O’Shaughnessy, S Dinan, D Horgan, R Reardon; S Lee, K O’Keeffe; J Leahy, B Duggan, K O’Halloran, D O’Mahony, B Quill, R O’Herlihy, K Allen, J Vaughan.
Replacements: C Scanton, J Rochford, G O’Herlihy, M O’Connell, C Flanagan, L Abbott, J Inglis.
Referee: Mark Connolly (IRFU).