Dolphin V MU Barnhall

By Aoife O’ Callaghan

After the stressful and last minute cancellation of last week’s game against Buccaneers, Dolphin were hoping that this mini- break and extra week of preparation would stand to them as they faced MU Barnhall on home turf. Coming off the back of three losses in a row Dolphin needed to return to winning ways.

With the wind at their backs MU Barnhall got scoring underway in the opening minutes as their 10 sent the ball flying through the uprights.

But Dolphin soon retaliated as two minutes later an offload from Daryl Foley saw James Vaughan crash over the whitewash. Foley added the conversion and for the first time in the game Dolphin found themselves with a lead of 7-3.

Quick with a reply MU Barnhall soon found themselves crossing over the try line twice in the space of 15 minutes. But with only one being converted the score-line stood at 7-15 to the away side.

But the home side came back swinging at they fought their way back into MU Barnhall’s 22. Unfortunately their try attempt was help up and resulted in a goal line drop out for their rivals.

After a strong kick to the corner and a lineout win, MU Barnhall found themselves crashing over once more. With only four minutes left in this first half the Kildare natives found themselves leading 7-20.

Dolphin put in another strong fight back just before the half-time whistle. Held up over the try line once more the referee awarded the home side a penalty for a previous infringement. Taking the scrum option Dolphin pushed onwards and James Vaughan found himself crossing the whitewash for a second time this half. After a perfect conversion from Foley the sides ran in 14-20 at half time.

As second halves go the fight was incredibly tight between the two sides. Dolphin put on a massive shift in defence, preventing MU Barnhall from scoring the entire half.

It wasn’t until the 55th minute mark that Dolphin were finally awarded for their efforts. After a beautiful 50-22 kick from Cam O’ Shaughnessy made touch just two metres out. A quick lineout was taken and soon Barry Fitzgerald found the try line. Converted once more by Daryl Foley, Dolphin regained the lead 21-20.

Shortly after the home side found themselves down to 14 men as MU Barnhall were given the opportunity to regain the lead. But a slow response from the assistant referees saw the referee overrule them and the score remained 21-20.

As the sun began to set on Musgrave Park one last attack was launched by Dolphin which saw the bonus point try be scored by Cian Scott and converted once more by Daryl Foley. As the sharp tone of the refs whistle rang out Dolphin returned to winning ways as the game finished 28-20.

A truly deserved win for Dolphin as they put on an absolute show defensively in the second half. They put their bodies on the line for that final 40 minutes and were duly rewarded for it.

With only two games remaining in this half of the season, it is now full steam ahead for Brian Scott’s side as they face Cashel away next Saturday.