Action from Shannon versus UL Bohemian at Thomond Park
Shannon extended their lead at the top of Division 1B of the Ulster Bank league with a hard fought 27-22 win over Limerick rivals UL Bohemian at Thomond Park this evening.
Seventeen points from the boot of Conor Fitzgerald saw the famous Limerick club win their fifth game in a row this season and remain unbeaten in the league.
The first half, which ended 21-10 to Shannon was started better by the Robins. Robbie Bourke had his side in front after just three minutes when referee Shane Kierans awarded him a shot at goal following an offside infringement from Shannon.
The 3-0 lead lasted less than 60 seconds however when Shannon crossed for their first try of the night. A collapsed maul advantage was pounced upon by winger Nathan Randles to put his side 5-3 up. Conor Fitzgerald missed the touchline conversion, but five minutes later was on hand to extend his side's lead to 8-3 when a well taken shot at goal.
The game was level just six minutes later as field position from UL Bohs lead to an impressive carry from Joe Bennett who forced his way over for the try. When Robbie Bourke kicked the extras, the lead was 10-8.
Then came the Conor Fitzgerald show. Nineteen unanswered points from the men in blue and black saw them take a strangle hold on the game.
Fitzgerald, a Munster academy out half, who was the star of the opening half, was on hand once more in the 20th minute, breaking up the pitch from a set piece move before putting Ethan Moloney in for a superb try. When the extras were kicked, Shannon led 15-10.
UL Bohemian's lack of discipline (10 penalties in the opening 40) saw them end the half with fourteen men as captain Ian Condell was sin binned. With that amount of penalties and with Fitzgerald in such fine form from the tee, four more kicks before the break saw Shannon lead 27-10 at the short whistle.
The second forty belonged to UL Bohs. Tries from Harry Fleming and James Ryan saw them race back into the game which looked to have been getting away from them at half time.
Fleming fought hard on the floor to get his side back into the game and as Bourke converted, the score read 27-17. As James Ryan crossed against his old side in the 58 minute, the large crowd at the famous venue were in for a finish.
With the score at 27-22, UL Bohemian's opted to kick at goal with five minutes remaining. Something they regretted as the shot from Bourke went wide and the momentum of the comeback was lost. Next up for UL Bohemians is a trip to Old Belvedere, while Shannon will look to make it six from six when they host Banbridge.
UL Bohemians : Mike Mullaly, Jamie Mc Namara, Adrian Enright, Harry Fleming, Shane Scannell, Robbie Bourke, Rob Hennessy, Joey Conway, Joe Bennett, Mike Lynch, Darragh Frawley, Darragh O'Grady, James Ryan, Ian Condell (capt), Brian Walsh. Subs: David Rowsome, Paraic Nesbitt, Ed Kelly, Noel Kinnane, Matt Donald.
Shannon: Stephen Fitzgerald, Nathan Randals, Jack O'Donnell, Will Leonard, Ethon Moloney, Conor Fitzgerald, Jack Stafford, Conor Glynn, Duncan Casey, Tony Cusack, Ronan Coffey, Luke Moylan, Charlie Carmody, Kelvin Brown, Lee Nicholas (capt) Subs: Ty Chan, Ciaran Parker, Jade Kriel, Keith Kavanagh, Fionn Mc Gibney.