Dolphin 19 Ballynahinch 35: Dolphin coach David Corkery was far from impressed after watching his charges capitulate to a strong Ballynahinch at Musgrave Park on Saturday.
Ballynahinch moved up to a mid-table position, and Dolphin, after their impressive win over UCC the previous week, slipped back down into the Division 1B danger zone, just two points above bottom side Shannon.
Corkery had no complaints about the result and he acknowledged that Ballynahinch were worthy winners - admitting Dolphin were lucky to hold a 12-11 lead at the interval. “That game should have been over at half-time. They butchered two scoring chances and we were fortunate.
“Tackle was, is, and always will be king. If you miss that many tackles in a game you can’t complain. Our attitude was all wrong and it stems from last weekend. Our boys thought they would turn up and everything would just tick over again.
“Ballynahinch got their backsides served on a plate to them last weekend (beaten at home by Ballymena) and they were hurting from it.
“The kick chase was the worst performance in that department since our first game of the season against UL Bohs. It’s something we really, really, worked on over the last couple of weeks and that comes back again to your kick only being as good as your chase, but the fundamentals of the game won’t ever change; you [have to] make your tackles, put the guy on the ground and they can’t score tries.
“We were way off the mark and the boys know it. It’s like a morgue in the dressing-room.
“We’re in a horrible place now for Christmas. Then our next league game is away – to Ballynahinch!”
Though Ballynahinch always looked more dangerous, there were times in Saturday’s game when Dolphin played some good rugby and they did score three tries, the last an excellent effort from winger Gerry Ryan. But 19 points was never going to be enough against a side that created as many more chances as they scored. Kevin Allen, Ryan Murphy and Ryan got the home tries and Cillian Monahan added two conversions. Ballynahinch had tries from Jonny Simpson, Jonny Murphy, Willie Stewart and Angus Lloyd, while Chris Quinn had three penalties and three conversions.
T Phelan, G Ryan, C McGovern, K Allen, W Hanly, C Monahan, D Foley, J Rochford, D Byrne, B Scott, J Madigan, D O’Mahony, R O’Herlihy, R Murphy, J Fitzgerald (captain).
L Walsh, J Leahy, B Fitzgerald, K O’Keeffe, S Kennedy.
C Quinn, C Orr, J Grattan, S Morrow, D Nicholson, J McBriar, A Lloyd, J Blair, J Murphy, J Simpson, M Graham (captain), J Simpson, C Joyce, C Irvine, L Dow.
S Stevenson, A Harper, S Evans, R Wilson, W Stewart.
B MacNeice (IRFU).
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