GARRYOWEN maintained their strong early season push for All-Ireland League Division 1A honours thanks to a hard fought 12-6 victory over a spirited Shannon side at Dooradoyle on Friday night.
Garryowen remain within a point of top flight leaders Lansdowne after four Jamie Gavin penalties guided the ‘light blues’ to a precious derby victory over their great rivals.
A traumatic week for Shannon, which saw the Parish side suffer a thumping at the hands of Old Belvedere and part ways with their head coach Stephen Keogh, ended on a relatively positive note as the AIL’s most successful side picked up their first point of the campaign.
A tenacious Shannon side, with Munster star Luke O’Dea impressing at full-back, bossed long stages of the opening period, but still trailed 3-6 at half-time.
Out-half Rob Guerin landed a 46th minute penalty goal to tie the scores, but the visitors ran out of steam through the final quarter and two further Gavin penalties steered Garryowen to victory.
Next up for the Garryowen is another Limerick derby with Young Munster at Clifford Park on Sunday, November 18 (2.30pm), while at the same time, Shannon host St Mary’s College at Coonagh.
SCORERS – Garryowen: Jamie Gavin four penalties; Shannon: Rob Guerin two penalties
GARRYOWEN – Ronan O’Mahony; James McInerney, Cian O’Shea, Conan Doyle, Eamon Connolly; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin; JP Cooney, James Rael, Rory Brosnan; Alan Kennedy, Aaron McCloskey; Shane Buckley, Anthony Kavanagh, David Sherry (Capt). Replacements: Dave Rowley, Brendan Cullinane, Mark Hanrahan, Conor Hartigan, Geoff Ryan.
SHANNON – Luke O’Dea; Richard Mullane, Eric Moloney, Willie O’Connor, Cormac O’Donnell; Rob Guerin, Mike D’Arcy; Niall Horan, Duncan Casey (Capt), Gary McNamara; Fergal Walsh, Sean McCarthy; James Murphy, John Shine, Mike Essex. Replacements: John Sherin, Kevin Griffin, Jason Cronin, Mike Culhane, Mark Leonard.
REFEREE – Paul Haycock (IRFU)