Ulster Bank League Division One A points will be of huge importance to both sides in tonight’s Cork derby at Musgrave Park given, after five series of matches, home side Dolphin currently prop up the table and Cork Constitution are down in seventh.
Dolphin’s season looked to be headed for serious trouble through most of the first half of last week’s clash with Old Belvedere, a game they went into on the back of four successive defeats.
They were 15-0 down but a try just before the interval by Niall Scannell, converted by Cian McGovern, gave them a fighting chance going into the wind assisted second period. They then fell 22-12 behind with seven minutes to play before an inspired finish enabled them to snatch a draw with a late penalty by replacement scrum-half Stuart Lee.
Accordingly, Dolphin go into tonight’s game with a renewed sense of confidence, boosted also by their double over their Cork rivals last season when they won the corresponding game 14-9 thanks largely to a try by winger Darren Sweetnam while they also edged the return at Temple Hill by 9-6.
The presence of Munster flanker Sean Dougall made for a big difference last week against Old Belvedere and coach Steve Ford will be hoping for a similar contribution tonight.
Constitution’s wins so far this season have come against Ballynahinch and St Mary’s College and it will be for a repeat of that latter performance rather than the form they produced in losing at home to Young Munster last week that coach Tom Tierney will be looking for.
They hope to have Munster’s Johnny Holland available and his half-back partnership with the experienced Gerry Holland could see Con home by a very narrow margin.
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