Dolphin 18 Cork Constitution 27
Cork Constitution reclaimed top spot in Division One as they ran four tries past Dolphin in a 27-18 derby win at Musgrave Park today.
A late pushover drive saw hooker Robert Quinn notch the bonus-point try, which moves Con three points clear of second-placed UL Bohemians.
The visitors were 22-0 ahead inside 23 minutes. Lock Merle O'Connell scored an intercept try and winger Richie Lane bagged the rest of the points (two tries, two conversions and a penalty).
Two Barry Keeshan penalties made the half-time deficit 22-6, and while Dolphin registered tries through centre Eric Moloney and flanker Alan Daly, Con finished the stronger.
Some early pressure paid off for the visitors, who had beaten Dolphin in the sides' only previous two league meetings, when O'Connell snapped onto the ball and raced over in the sixth minute.
Two excellent backline moves were then finished off by former Ireland U21 international Lane, who took his league tally to 64 points by adding the extras and a penalty from 35 metres out.
Dolphin, beaten in three of their last four league outings, managed to erase some of the difference before the interval when out-half Keeshan cracked over two penalties.
Moloney's 56th-minute try, created by some great passing between the home side's backs and forwards, cut the gap to 22-11 and it was game on.
The pressure told on 72 minutes when a series of mauls resulted in Quinn going over in the right corner for Con's fourth try.
Con lost prop Colm Murphy to the sin-bin for the closing stages and leaked a late try when Dolphin's replacement number six Daly went over for his first league try.
Keeshan converted but David O'Mahony's side could not strike again for what would have been a deserved bonus point.
UL Bohemians 19 Buccaneers 17, Thomond Park
Buccaneers were denied in injury-time as UL Bohemians beat the Connacht side 19-17 to move up to second in the Division One table.
Ben Martin converted Colman Finn's 83rd-minute try to provide the difference between the sides at Thomond Park.
Tries from winger Tom Luke (10 minutes) and full-back Mark Butler (15) sent the hosts into a 12-0 lead but before the break, Buccs narrowed the gap to just two points.
Lock David McGowan muscled over for a 31st-minute try, adding to a Tom Cregan penalty. Cregan then converted winger Niall O'Hara's 64th-minute score.
Bohs kicked three late penalties to touch and their persistence paid off at the death.
Buccs were struck a hammer blow in the fourth minute when they lost their inspirational back rower and captain Conor Hartigan to a leg injury.
The Pirates' chances of bagging their third win in five league games were rocked further when the elusive Luke scampered over for a well-worked try.
Butler, timing his support run to perfection, followed suit and Australian centre Martin chipped in with a conversion.
Five minutes later, Tom Cregan, Buccs' leading scorer with 79 points before kick-off, knocked over a penalty and the former Shannon full-back also added the extras to McGowan's effort, as Geoff Moylan's men bit back.
McGowan, the Sligo-born Ireland U21 lock, showed good hands to gobble up a block down and hold off the cover to score.
Buccs had the better of the possession for the third quarter, but could make it tell until a lightning break from scrum half Mark Bruce resulted in O'Hara going over for his try.
Cregan missed the conversion attempt and agonisingly, that miss proved crucial as Bohs bossed the final 10 minutes and an overlap put skipper Finn over. Martin held his nerve to convert and chalk up their sixth win of the campaign.