Dolphin’s aspirations of avoiding relegation from the Ulster Bank League division 1b suffered a serious blow as they were defeated 13-6 by U.L Bohemian at Musgrave Park on Saturday afternoon.

A Harry Fleming try for Bohemian early in the first half proved to be the difference between the sides but a spirited display from Dolphin ensured they at least secured a one-point loss bonus for their efforts.

Dolphin have made an underwhelming start to the campaign as prior to this game they lost six of their opening seven encounters, racking up a points difference of 133 in the process.

But the Cork club made a bright start to proceedings here as they raced into a three-point lead with just five minutes played thanks to a well-executed penalty from Barry Keeshan.

Entrance to Musgrave Park where Dolphin took on UL Bohemian. (photo by Andrew Horgan).

Entrance to Musgrave Park where Dolphin took on UL Bohemian. (photo by Andrew Horgan).

UL Bohemian soon stomped their authority on the match as they dominated possession but they struggled to break through a stubborn Dolphin defence who stood firm.

The pressure on the home rearguard finally told though as the Limerick outfit eventually got on the scoreboard with just over a quarter of an hour played.

Bohemian’s continued to remain patient in their approach and calmly waited for a gap to appear in the Dolphin back line.

Good ball work from Robbie Bourke and Ian Condell close to the Dolphin end line eventually created the chance for Harry Fleming to break through and he graciously accepted, bursting past his man before touching the ball down underneath the crossbar.

Robbie Bourke coolly stepped forward and emphatically drilled his conversion between the uprights to give Bohemian’s a 7-3 lead.

Bourke was again called upon moments later as the referee awarded his side a penalty and he again made no mistake, firing his effort over the bar from long range to stretch their lead to seven points midway through the half.

Musgrave Park shortly before Dolphin took on UL Bohemian. (photo by Andrew Horgan).

Musgrave Park shortly before Dolphin took on UL Bohemian. (photo by Andrew Horgan).

Dolphin manager Chris Rowe decided to make a number of substitutions in quick succession as he looked to keep his side in the contest.

But it took an excellent tackle from David Byrne to prevent his side from falling even further behind as Harry Fleming looked to break clear and touch down for his second try of the game.

With the first half drawing to a close, Barry Keeshan reduced the deficit as he scored an excellent penalty from distance shortly before they again needed their backs to stop them from conceding another try.

The much tamer second period started with Robbie Bourke tucking over another penalty for Bohemian but Dolphin finished the match the stronger side but just couldn’t force over a try that would have seen them earn a draw.

Scorers for Dolphin: Pens: B Keeshan (2).

UL Bohemian: Try: H Fleming. Cons: R Bourke. Pens: R Bourke (2).

DOLPHIN: L Walsh, D Byrne, J Rochford, A Denby, D O’Mahony, J Vaughan, B Fitzgerald, K O’Leary, D Foley, B Keeshan, C Sisk, I O’Donoghue, C McGovern, W Hanley, S Kennedy.

Subs: K Allen, C O’Flynn, J Leahy, D Collins, C Walsh, K O’Keefe and A O’Sullivan.

UL BOHEMIAN: J Conway, J Bennett, M Lynch, E Kelly, D Frawley, N Kinane, I Condell, D O’Grady, R Hennessy, R Bourke, J Murray, H Fleming, M Mullally, J Ryan, M McDonald.

Subs: J McNamara, D O’Connor, B Walsh, O Scannell and M Bromell.

Referee: R Horgan.