Champions Shannon easily won the battle of the Thomond Park-based Limerick clubs on Saturday, hitting UL Bohemians for five tries in a 33-3 romp.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, November 5
Shannon 33 UL Bohemians 3, Thomond Park
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: David O'Donovan 2, Andrew Thompson 2, Mossy Lawlor; Cons: Thompson 4
UL Bohs: Pen: Mark Butler
Mick Galwey's side chalk up win number four win to push a point clear of their other Limerick rivals, Garryowen, at the top of the Division One table.
Galwey, who scored two tries in the sides' last league meeting in February 2003, watched on as David O'Donovan (2), Andrew Thompson (2) and Mossy Lawlor all crossed the students' whitewash.
Bohs went in front through an early Mark Butler penalty but it was all Shannon for the rest of the first half. A yellow card for Bohs scrum half Aidan Rees turned the game.
From the resultant penalty, Shannon fly-half Thompson floated a superb cross-field kick out for left wing O'Donovan to score.
O'Donovan scored his second - his third of the season - soon after and Galwey's men went 19-3 up before the break as Thompson collected an overthrown lineout from Bohs hooker Gordon Ryan to race through for a try.
A break from scrum-half Frankie McNamara set up full-back Lawlor's try past the hour and in injury-time, Thompson dummied and sailed over by the posts to dot down, convert and complete the rout.
Shannon: M Lawlor; I Dowling, B Tuohy, E Cahill, D O'Donovan; A Thompson, F McNamara (C O'Loughlin); L Hogan, S Cronin (TJ Cronin), T Buckley (G McNamara), D Ryan, P O'Brien, A Meaney (D Keane), E Halvey, J O'Connor.
UL Bohs: C Garvey (A O'Boyle); M Butler (F Lawlor), M McPhail, B Murphy, I Hanley; B Martin, A Rees; M Harty, G Ryan (F Leonard), M Storey (R Feeney), B Madigan (K Barry), A Hartigan, R Hartigan, J O'Neill, J O'Connor.
Referee: Alan Lewis (IRFU)
Belfast Harlequins 13 Lansdowne 3, Deramore Park
Scorers: Harlequins: Try: Reece Spee; Con: Michael Glancy; Pens: Glancy 2
Lansdowne: Pen: Corey Burt
Belfast Harlequins chalked up their third league win over Lansdowne in as many seasons as a Reece Spee try propelled 'Quins to a 13-3 success at Deramore Park.
Fly-half Corey Burt nudged Lansdowne in front on 29 minutes from a penalty, but four minutes later 'Quins scrum-half Reece Spee broke off the back of a scrum to touch down.
His half-back partner Michael Glancy converted and kicked two penalties in the second half to help last season's runners-up up to sixth in the standings before the international break.
It was a fiery encounter with referee Alan Lewis sin-binning three players - 'Quins Kiwi prop Chris Tipene and lock Gareth Rourke and Lansdowne's 6ft 10in lock Devin Toner.
Rourke was yellow carded in injury-time for a stamping incident which preceded a disallowed try for 'Quins player-coach Andy Ward.
Former Ireland flanker Ward was still impressed by his side's display, despite missing out on that try.
"We are a young side very much in transition, so a win like this is very important for us and it gives us something to build on. We really got it together in the second half and played with much greater continuity," said the former Ulster captain.
"On another day we might have put 30 points on Lansdowne, but that is something for the future and something we can work upon.
We've a break now away from the All-Ireland League and when it resumes next month I would hope to be working on a full squad, concentrating on the players I have at the club without having to fall back on the contracted players."
Belfast Harlequins: M Kettyle; J Lowe, D Cave, J McClaughlin, P McKenzie; M Glancy, M Finlay; C Tipene, S Philpott, J Andress, G Rourke, L Stevenson, A Gillespie, A Ward, C Atkinson.
Lansdowne: J Meagher; N Walsh, G Stafford, A Kennedy, F Baynes; C Burt, S Whelan; J Lyne, G O'Meara, E Bohan, S O'Connor, D Toner, D Lavin, R Boucher, L Toland.
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)
UCD 19 St Mary's College 22, Belfield
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Morgan Hickey-Crowe, Brian Hall; Pens: Killian Lett 3
St Mary's: Tries: Mark Donnellan 2, Robert Gannon; Cons: Jonathan Sexton 2; Pen: Sexton
St Mary's College moved up to tenth in the Division One standings on foot of their second successive win - a 22-19 success against Dublin rivals UCD.
UCD squandered a late penalty chance for a draw at Belfield as fly-half Killian Lett, filling in for the Leinster-tied Eoghan Hickey, unfortunately booted the 40-metre place kick wide, with the visitors clinging onto their three-point lead.
Two tries in the first half from number eight Mark Donnellan pushed Mary's into a 15-14 lead at half-time. The first was created by captain John McWeeney and the second stemmed from a break from fly-half Jonathan Sexton, who was named in the Ireland U-21 training squad this week.
Sexton converted the first of them on 35 minutes to add to an early penalty.
Lett showed his kicking accuracy in the first half, slotting three penalties - his first two handed the home side a 6-0 lead - to add to winger Morgan Hickey-Crowe's 38th-minute try.
A try for Mary's centre Robert Gannon, which was converted by Sexton, gave the home side a 22-15 lead up to the hour, but UCD, with their pack on top, hit back with an unconverted try of their own from substitute prop Brian Hall.
Trailing 22-19, UCD's forwards carved out an opportunity close to the Mary's line in the closing stages but it fell apart and Lett's penalty attempt was the closest they came to adding to their losing bonus point.
Sexton also missed a late drop goal attempt.
UCD: R McCarron; M Hickey-Crowe, K Kennedy, N Kearns, D McKenna; K Lett, J Moroney; J A Lee, C Geoghegan, K Doyle, P Callanan (B Hall 17), R Mandeno, K Croke, L Bourke, T Shanley (E Fitzgerald 57).
St Mary's: P Brophy; J Norton, J McWeeney (R Gannon 38), C Fifield, R Smyth; J Sexton, J Kilbride; C O'Byrne, M Duggan, B Moran (D Claire 50), E Keane, G Logan (H Gervais 62), J Ellis, M Donnellan.
Referee: Alain Rolland (IRFU)