Dolphin XV V MU Barnhall.

By Aoife O’ Callaghan

As the rain fell on yet another grey day in Cork City, Dolphin took on MU Barnhall in their first home game of 2023. After an incredibly close game against Crescent the week beforehand, head coach Brian Scott was hopefully his squad were on the brink of returning to winning ways and rising from their current seat at 9th place on the table.

There was only the one change to the squad that lined out against Crescent as we saw the return of centre Craig O’ Connell.

Barnhall got scoring underway as they crashed over in the 5th minute. A conversion from the boot of Adam Chester, brother of our very own Evan Chester, followed.

It only took Barnhall another 3 minutes to get yet another score on the board as Adam Chester sent a penalty through the uprights.

Dolphin finally got a score on the board in the 28th minute as Craig O’ Herlihy found the try-line. A quick conversion from Tomas Quinlan followed and with only 10 minutes to go until halftime the score-line now stood at 7-10 in favour of the Leinster outfit.

But Barnhall retaliated quickly, as not even a minute later they ran in for their second try of the afternoon. A missed conversion followed.

Luck really was not on Dolphins side this afternoon as Craig O’ Connell saw yellow just before halftime.

Barnhall got the final word of the first half as they crashed over once more on the stroke of halftime. Running into the sheds the score-line now stood at 7-22.

It was Dolphin who got scoring underway in the second half as Craig O’ Connell crashed over having only just returned from his time in the bin. Quinlan followed with the conversion.

A penalty for Dolphin in the 60th minute put them just within reach of Barnhall. But alas this was not meant to be once again as Barnhall score a further two successive tries. With only minutes to go Barnhall now led 17-34.

As the curtains began to close on what would be another loss for Dolphin, they made one last attempt at crossing the line. Thankfully they were successful and awarded a penalty try for their efforts. But this was unfortunately not enough as it finished 24-34 in Musgrave park.

MU Barnhall come away with a bonus point for their efforts and leap to 2nd in the table. We on the other head remain in the latter half of the table.

We take on Ballymena in Musgrave Park once more this weekend. It is a battle between 8th and 9th and a must win game. Kick off this Saturday is 2:30pm.