Who would have seen this coming, scoring 34 points away from home and being denied victory with the last play.

Nothing went according to plan, the weather conditions in Belfast during the week meant the game was switched to a nearby 4G pitch and a delayed kick off.

The home side had the benefit of a strong wind in the opening half, while it was across the pitch it did favour Quins. A quick ball out left Dolphin shy of numbers on the right and after four mins  Dolphin were 0-5 down. Worse was to follow when after 10 mins, a clearance kick was blocked down and ran over the line by the posts and Belfast Harlequins were 12-0.

Dolphin finally settled into the game and pressured the Quins defense, the referee had issued a warning before Sam Boyle crossed the line for a try which Daryl Foley converted. Dolphin were defending on their 22 when Cam O’Shaughnessy picked off a stray Quins pass and scored under the post without difficulty and Foley added the extras.

The second half started brightly for Dolphin when Daryl Foley extended the lead to 17-12 with a penalty. Belfast Harlequins then put on the pressure, some excellent defense saw referee calling the ball held up over the line and awarded a goal line drop out.

A number of penalties went against Dolphin before a Dolphin forward saw the line for a deliberate knock up. Quins kicked to the corner and the referee adjudged that Dolphin brought down the maul and awarded a penalty try and another Dolphin forward went to the bin.

Defending with 13 proved very difficult and Quins added two more tries, although Daryl Foley did kick a penalty so it was 31 -20 when the cards returned.

Dolphin went on the attack and with 8 mins to go Daryl Foley scored a converted try and with 2 mins to go Ryan Foley added the 4th try and his brother made it 6/6 from the kicking tee and Dolphin were 31-34 ahead.

The game could not finish fast enough for Dolphin, but unfortunately Quins took possession of the ball and the final play of the game so them scoring a try, once the conversion went over the referee called full time.

Staying up is no longer in Dolphin’s hands, a win over Dungannon next Saturday is a minimum, they must also get 4 points more than Belfast Harlequins who play Malahide. A Quins win sees Dolphin down and Malahide in the play offs, so Malahide will be up for it as well.