Sixteen years ago this week Dolphin hosted Ballymena in Division 1 of the AIL. John O’Mahony extended the lead to 17-10 with a drop goal after 64 minutes and this was followed by a Conor Twomey try, converted by John O’Mahony. Then it all went wrong, Andrew Trimble then an Ulster U21 star scored in the corner, converted by World cup squad member Paddy Wallace. Another try at the death, up stepped Paddy Wallace and he converted from the corner to level the game 24-24.

History repeats itself

Dolphin had the upper hand in the first half and were deserving of a 21-7 half time lead with tries from Callum MacKintosh, Cillian Ansbro and Dave Jennings all converted by Daryl Foley.

Yellow cards played a big part of the 2nd half. Ballymena had the first one seconds before half time and he returned as another player went into the bin, during this period Dolphin through Rob Reardon got the 4th and bonus point try. When Ballymena were back to full strength they put Dolphin under pressure and with 74 mins on the (unstopped) clock Ballymena made in 26-12. Nobody would have thought at that stage there was still 17 mins to be played. There had been one serious injury to a Dolphin player, it was a terrible 18 hours for the Phelan family. On Friday night, in his first game back for U 20’s after injury, Rob Phelan unfortunately dislocated his shoulder, 18 hours later, older brother Timmy suffered a similar injury.

Dolphin then lost a half back to the sin bin and before he returned he had been joined by a front row and Ballymena kept coming and in the 88th minute leveled the score. Dolphin did get a chance to win the game but the penalty was to far out for Daryl Foley and the sides shared the spoils, with three points each.