Dolphin fall just short with fightback
GARRYOWEN squeezed out of the relegation zone after securing a precious one-point victory over a gritty Dolphin side at Dooradoyle yesterday.
Garryowen laid the foundation for this timely victory in the opening half when backed by a stiff breeze. The home side raced into a 13-0 interval lead, with Munster hooker Damien Varley barging over for a second-minute try and scrum-half Conor Murray adding eight points with the boot.
Garryowen were dealt an early injury blow however, when try-scorer Varley was forced off in the eighth minute.
Play-off-chasing Dolphin were a transformed side after the break. A try from winger Paul Hurley in the 45th minute and a penalty-try helped Dolphin close to within a point of their opponents.
The match featured uncontested scrums for the final 10 minutes as Garryowen's front-row injury woes grew. Dolphin did have opportunities to win the game late on, but two drop-goal attempts from out-half Barry Keeshan flew narrowly wide, much to the relief of the home supporters.
Garryowen -- R O'Mahony; I Hanley, C Doyle, K Hartigan, A Gaughan; W Staunton, C Murray; J Harney (L Bourke 70), D Varley (D Rowley 8), D Lavery (R Brosnan 53); F McKenna, E Mackey; C Hartigan (M Melbourne 45), A Kavanagh, D Sherry (A McCloskey 57).
Dolphin -- N O'Driscoll; R Kenneally, C Bohane, E Moloney, P Hurley; C O'Flynn (B Keeshan 56), S Cronin; D Ryan, R O'Neill, J Brugnaut (C Condon 53); C Rowe, K O'Dywer; F Stone (G Finn 65), B O'Mahony, J Coughlan.
Ref -- J Carville (IRFU).
Clonakilty hold on in tight affair
Clonakilty have drawn level on points with Highfield after this victory over Thomond at The Vale. The hosts side still occupy the second-last spot in the table on points difference but will go into next Saturday's big relegation tie against Highfield full of confidence.
A try by Dean Landy and three penalties by Kurt Mortagh had the home side ahead 14-0 at half-time. Thomond hit back after the break with a try by Darragh O'Neill and a conversion and two penalties by Ger Finucane, but couldn't catch Clonakilty.