5 Dec, 12:08
Munster Women Head Coach Gary Walsh has named an unchanged starting XV to face Ulster this Sunday, 8th December (kick-off 1pm) at Clonmel RFC.
Shannon collected maximum points from their second encounter with local rivals U.L. Bohemian but they still remain in relegation trouble six points off safety with eight games to play.
U.L. Bohemian dropped back into the relegation zone after this defeat.
This was Shannon’s best performance of the campaign and if they can continue in this vain than they still have an outside chance of avoiding the drop for the first time since the league began. However it is worrying times for UL. Bohemian as they try and consolidate their position in the top flight after last season’s promotion.
Ben Martin opened the scoring with a penalty for Bohes after Rob Guerin was off target with two efforts for Shannon.
The loss of Ian Condell for Bohes to the sin bin saw Shannon take advantage with a well worked try with Luke O’Dea touching down and Guerin converted.
Martin kept the visitors in touch with his second penalty but a break by Emmet McLoughlin set Tadhg Bennett in for a try which Guerin converted for a 14-6 half time lead.
An injury to Bohes scrum half Cathal Sheridan did not help their cause but they hit back early in the second half with a try from David Johnson in the corner which Martin converted to leave a point between the sides.
However Shannon finished the stronger and James Loxton scored his side’s third try on fifty seven minutes and Guerin converted and then added a penalty to leave it 24-13.
Three minutes from time Bennett found his way over the line to secure a bonus point for Shannon which he also converted.
Shannon: Luke O’Dea; James Loxton, Eric Moloney, Richard Mullane, Dave Donovan; Tadgh Bennett, Rob Guerin; Marcus Horan, Duncan Casey, Kevin Griffin; Fergal Walsh, Emmett McLoughlin; James Murphy, John Shine, Daniel Heffernan. Replacements: James Cronin, Gary McNamara, Mike Essex, Mike Culhane, Mike D’Arcy.
U.L. Bohemian: David Johnson; Alan Rossiter, Mossie Lawlor, Niall Kenneally, Rory White; Ben Martin, Cathal Sheridan;Tom Burke, Sean Henry, Gary Walsh; David Foley, Ed Kelly; Conor Kindregan, Ian Condell, Jack O’Donoghue. Replacements: Eddie Rossiter, Alex Simpson, Darragh Frawley, Tim Rafferty, Sean Rennison.
Ulster Bank League Division 1A: Clontarf 17, St. Mary's College 19;
Shannon 31, U.L. Bohemian 13;
Division 1B: Belfast Harlequins 3, Ballynahinch 36;
Malone 26, Ballymena 5;
Full Match Report by Stephen Collins
Bennett Brace Sinks Bohs
Shannon have secured their second win of the season tonight against close rivals UL Bohs and man of the match Tadgh Bennett added the extras scoring Shannon’s fourth and his second try of the night after 72 minutes.
Shannon started the better of the 2 teams but had little to show after a lively first quarter, Bohs led 3-0 after 10 minutes with flyhalf Ben Martin splitting the posts, Shannon scrumhalf Rob Guerin was wide of the mark from the tee and with Dave Foley and Conor Kindregan making hard yards into Shannon territory the match was looking one sided early on.
Shannon finally settled after 15 minutes and Bennett supported by Richie Mullane and David O’Donovan were counter attacking with purpose.
Bohs struggled to deal with Shannon’s kicking game and found themselves down to 14 after Ian Condell saw yellow for blocking in an offside position, the breakthrough for Shannon came after 20 minutes with Fergal Walsh and Luke O’Dea connecting the dots after prolonged pressure in the opposition 22, the full back scoring just left of the posts with Guerin converting.
Bohs were straight back into the game with scrumhalf Cathal Sheridan providing the spark, breaking from the base and moving the ball at pace left and right against a committed defence the attack eventually forcing the penalty, Martin obliged making it 7-6. Shannon restarted stronger with James Murphy stealing a scrappy lineout on halfway, Shannon probed into Bohs territory led by Bennett forcing another penalty, Guerin was again unable to extend the lead pushing it just to the left.
Bohs suffered a major blow as Sheridan was forced from the game holding his shoulder, Shannon capitalised immediately going back to basics pummelling the Bohs defensive line with Bennett showing his class drawing and stepping past the covering defence for his first score of the night, Guerin added the extras making it 14-6 to Shannon at half time.
The intensity was raised from the very start of the second half, Bohs began to find their form and after just 3 minutes David Johnson crashed over in the corner, Martin converted leaving just a single point separating the sides.
That was to be the final score for Bohs as Shannon kicked into gear, a strong defensive effort kept the Annacotty side at bay as they went looking for the lead, eventually a wayward pass was hacked down field by Bennett, the loose ball was pounced on but Shannon’s chasing pack piled in turning over possession. Kevin Griffin made the vital line break splitting the Bohs defence, the ball was spread wide and right giving the winger James Loxton the easiest of runs in to score Shannon’s third, Guerin converted and added another 3 just 2 minutes later extending the lead to 24-13.
It took 15 minutes nervous minutes for Shannon to secure the added bonus point as Bohs threw everything at getting back in touch, Bohs loosehead Alex Simpson found space popping back inside to Alan Rossiter but O’Dea read the danger from full back rattling the winger with a solid tackle cutting out the scoring chance and forcing a turn over.
Mullane cleared into Bohs half and Shannon again proved the better in counter attacking rugby, pushing for a try Guerin was caught in possession just 5 metres out, the ball spilled loose and Shannon captain Bennett picked from the floor, stepped left and right and dived for the line under the posts securing the bonus point, Guerin converted giving Shannon a deserved 31-13 win.