12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
However, Shannon dominated for long periods but were never quite able to breach the Clontarf defence although James Blaney knocked on with the line at his mercy in the opening half and Mossie lawlor was bundled into touch at the corner flag in the second. John Hayes and Marcus Horan had a big influence on the game as did Mick Galwey when he came on as a second half replacement for Tom Hayes. Brian Buckley had a good day out of touch but Shannon will have to be much more clinical in the final against Cork Con.
Cregan gave Shannon the lead with a penalty in the early minutes after Jimmy Dempsey had been wide of the mark. Cregan missed with his second attempt but made amends in the minute with a successful kick for a 6-0 lead. Dempsey found the range in the 21st minute to reduce the deficit. Full back David O'Brien struck a sweet drop in the 30th minute but Cregan responded immediately with a penalty to restore Shannon's advantage (9-6) at the interval.
Shortly after the restart Dempsey tied the match with his third penalty but Mossie Lawlor's drop goal edged Shannon back in front and then a crucial decision gave Shannon the vital score. Referee Dave McHugh awarded an indirect free to Shannon just inside their own half and then turned the award into a full penalty which Cregan kicked for a 15-9 lead. Dempsey was on hand again to keep Shannon honest and leave just three points between the sides at the final whistle.