UL Bohemians v Shannon RFC at Thomond Park
Eight placed UL Bohemian RFC shocked neighbours Shannon RFC at Thomond Park this evening in Division 1B of the All Ireland League. Second placed Shannon, the hosts on the night, went into the game as hot favourites, however they found themselves on the wrong end of a 26-22 scoreline at the final whistle.
Sixteen points from the boot of Robbie Bourke and tries from Adrian Enright and Matthew McDonald saw the Robins home in what was an excellent performance from the 'visitors' this evening.
Shannon's out half Conor Fitzgerald had a personal tally of 17 points, while Shannon's only try came from John Foley, which was a late consolation, yet proved vital as the home side secured a losing bonus point.
Outscoring their opponents three tries to one, the Robins were full value for their win, even if Shannon had a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with just minutes left on the clock.
A Darragh O'Grady try off a rolling maul, alongside the convert and a penalty, gave Bohs a 10-9 lead at the half. Conor Fitzgerald was 100% of the tee for the 'Isle' side in the opening 40.
The second half took some time to get warmed up in a bitterly cold and wet Thomond Park. The former Ard Scoil Ris out halves, Bourke and Fitzgerald shared penalties to leave the tie at 13-12 with 65 on the clock. Bourke once more kicked his side into a lead with a touch line penalty to see the men in red go in to a 16-12 lead.
The Christy Neilan side were to go further in front when Bourke launched an up and under, only for Adrian Enright to collect a bouncing ball outside the Shannon 22 and run in an incredible individual try to see his side into a 21-12 lead.
Shannon replied with a penalty from Fitzgerald, leaving it 21-15 with six minutes to go. Shannon then fought their way back into an attacking position only for UL Bohs winger Matthew McDonald to read a pass perfectly, intercept the ball, juggle it for 4-5 meters are he nearly fell over, before regathering and sprinting over 50 metres to put his team 26-15 ahead (Bourke missed the convert)
Shannon did rally and John Foley was on hand to score an excellent maul try, securing a vital bonus point for Tom Hayes' side with just four games to go.
UL Bohemian move into seventh spot, a full 12 clear of the drop and six clear of the relegation play off place. Shannon, without a win in 2018, are now second, one point behind Ballynahinch and five ahead of Banbridge, who both have their game in hand tomorrow afternoon. Shannon are now 13 clear of fifth however, meaning a play off spot is now well within their grasp.
Shannon RFC: Fionn McGibney,Nathan Randles, Kieran Dunne, William Leonard, Jack O'Donnell, Conor Fitzgerald, Jack Stafford, Conor Glynn, Ty Chan, Tony Cusack, Ronan Coffey, Sean Mc Carthy, Lee Nicholas, Charlie Carmody, John Foley. Subs: Luke O'Halloran, Ciaran Parker, Colm Heffernan, Aran Hehir, Darren Gavin.
UL Bohemians: Colin Ryan, Matthew McDonald, Adrian Enright, Michael Mullaly, Jamie McNamara, Robbie Bourke, Joe Murray, Joe Conway, Joe Bennett, Mark Bromell, Daragh Frawley, Ed Kelly, James Ryan, Darragh O'Grady, Noel Kinnane. Subs: David O'Connor, Brian Walsh, David Neville, Keynan Knox, Shane Scannell.