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Shannon Take Sixth AIB League Title
5 May 2004, 3:02 am
Shannon won their sixth AIB League final by beating Munster rivals Cork Con 22-16 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
Shannon won their sixth AIB League final by beating Munster rivals Cork Con 22-16 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Con were down 12-7 at the break but the arrival of Leinster scrum-half Brian O'Meara signalled a great comeback to take the lead on the hour mark. However a late try from replacement flanker Simon Keogh sealed the win for the Limerick men.

Shannon wing Tom Cregan gave his side an early lead with two penalties within the first fifteen minutes, before Con hit back with a try from left wing Cronan Healy. Outhalf Conrad O'Sullivan converted but that was to be his last contribution to the game as just before halftime he was substituted and O'Meara took to the field. Cregan had enough time to edge his side back in the lead with a well-struck drop goal.

After the break Con came all guns blazing at Shannon and had much of the possession to show for it. However, despite masterful control and superb kicking out of hand from O'Meara, they failed to penetrate the Shannon line again. Then, with the help of Con infringements, O'Meara edged his side back into the lead with three successive penalties, the first of which was a remarkable long range effort from just inside the half-way mark.

However, O'Meara missed his fourth shot at goal, and it proved costly for the Cork side.

In the final quarter, Shannon continued to pressurise the Con line, and in the 75th minute, despite being down to 14 men, Keogh bustled over for the match-winning try, which Cregan converted for the win.

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