Shannon were forced to come from behind to beat Galwegians on Saturday. Tries from David O'Donovan and Donnacha Ryan settled a 21-9 win for the champions.
AIB LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Saturday October 22
Shannon 21 Galwegians 9, Thomond Park
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: David O'Donovan, Donnacha Ryan; Con: Andrew Thompson; Pens: Thompson 3
Galwegians: Pens: John Cleary 2; Drop: Peter Durkin
Mick Galwey's side still sit top - but only on points difference - after the Galway men battled hard for a shock result at the home of Limerick rugby.
An early drop goal from 'Wegians young fly half Peter Durkin opened proceedings and the westerners led 9-6 at the break as Shannon, through fly half Andrew Thompson split two penalties apiece with the visitors' full back John Cleary.
'Wegians did end the half down to 14 men as Hugh Murphy was yellow-carded for holding on in the tackle.
Paul Young's visitors also lost captain and flanker Ambrose Conboy to the sin-bin early in the second half, but the scoreboard remained untouched until 69 minutes.
A break from returning Shannon flanker Eddie Halvey, back from a back injury, allowed Thompson offload for replacement winger O'Donovan to grab the game's first try.
Number 10 Thompson missed the conversion but added a penalty seconds later after 'Wegians back row Brian McClearn was sin-binned for offside.
Six minutes from the finish, impressive lock Ryan was on hand to score in the left corner for an unconverted effort that confirmed the champions' second win.
SHANNON: M Lawler; I Dowling (D O'Donovan 58), B Tuohy, E Cahill, F McLoughlin; A Thompson, F McNamara; L Hogan, F Roche, T Buckley, D Ryan, P O'Brien, A Meaney (D Keane 52), J O'Connor, E Halvey
GALWEGIANS: J Clancy; B Liddy, J Culkin, H Murphy, B Bartley; P Durkin, T Tierney; D O'Brien (R Loughley 47), C Robertson, R Davies, A Gallagher, B McClearn, D Boyd, I Muldoon, A Conboy, L Scahill 59).
Referee: Colin Stanley (IRFU); Sin-Bin: H Murphy, B McClearn, A Conboy (Galwegians)
Three well-taken tries from Damien Varley, Paul Neville and Kevin Hartigan saw Garryowen deservedly claim the Shay Deering Memorial trophy back from St Mary's College with a 15-3 home win.
Garryowen 15 St Mary's College 3, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Damien Varley, Paul Neville, Kevin Hartigan
St Mary's: Pen: Jonathan Sexton
The Limerick men ran in three unanswered tries to post up their second straight league win and reclaimed the trophy which immortalises Deering, a player with both Garryowen and Mary's during his lengthy career.
A try from hooker Varley on 35 minutes helped Paul Cunningham's home side come to life.
Leading 5-0 at the break, Garryowen contained Mary's throughout the second half and scored further tries through number 8 Neville (52) and the strong-running Hartigan (68).
Centre Hartigan, scoring his second try in two games, bagged the best of them.
From a ruck, Garryowen switched the play up the blindside, winger Ciaran O'Boyle found a gap and launched a cross-field kick which was tapped on and Hartigan won the race to touch the ball down.
A bonus point try looked within Garryowen's grasp but scrum half Cillian O'Boyle was bundled into touch at the corner flag when a fourth looked on the crads.
Jonathan Sexton could only kick a penalty in reply for Mary's, who sit rooted to the bottom of Division One.
GARRYOWEN: A Finn; A O'Loughlin, K Hartigan, R Henderson, Ciaran O'Boyle; C Doyle (P Burke 48), Cillian O'Boyle; R Callaghan, D Varley (P Humphreys 48), F Pala'amo, F McKenna, J O'Sullivan, P Neville, A Kavanagh (D Sheehan 62), P Malone (capt).
ST MARY'S COLLEGE: R Smyth (H Gervas 53); J Norton, P Brophy, C Fifield, J McWeeney (capt); J Sexton, J Kilbride; M Duggan (K O'Brien 68), P Smyth (O McCormack 14), C O'Byrne, J Ellis, G Logan, P Nash, M Donnellan, A Copeland (B McCormack 16).
Referee: Ken Henley-Willis (IRFU); Sin-Bin: F Pala'amo (Garryowen)
Cork Constitution kept pace with leaders Shannon in second as they ran in four tries in Saturday's 29-13 beating of Ulster Senior League leaders Dungannon.
Cork Constitution 29 Dungannon 13, Temple Hill
Scorers: Con: Tries: Cronan Healy 2, Andrew O'Brien, Conor Quaid; Cons: Quaid 3; Drop: Quaid
Dungannon: Try: Glen Telford; Con: Gareth Steenson; Pen: Steenson; Drop: Steenson
Having trailed 13-8 just before half-time, Cork Con scored a try in first half injury-time and bossed the second half to secure their second successive win.
Dungannon were forced to line out with talented number 8 Stephen Ferris (throat infection), who was replaced by Stuart Lamb, and the visitors were down 3-0 after just two minutes thanks to a smartly-hit drop goal from Con number 10 Conor Quaid.
Then in the 17th-minute, 'Gannon hit back as centre Glen Telford crossed for the opening try and fly half Gareth Steenson converted.
Although Con winger Cronan Healy touched down subsequently for the home side, a Steenson drop goal and penalty from 40 metres made it 13-8 to the Tyrone men on 34 minutes. Jeremy Davidson's side then lost their compsure in injury-time as with experienced Ulster winger Tyrone Howe off injured, former Highfield player Quaid nipped in for a vital try, which he converted for a 15-13 half-time lead.
Con, lucky winners over UL Bohs last week, never looked back and tagged on two converted tries for the win in the second half. Centre Andrew O'Brien and Healy, arching his run superbly from the right wing to go in behind the posts on 66 minutes, both scored. Quaid converted the latter's effort.
CORK: N Whitworth; R Lane, T Gleeson, A O'Brien, C Healy; C Quaid, F Murphy; T Ryan, D Fogarty, M Ross, S Cottrell, S O'Connor, M O'Connell, B Cuttriss, F Cogan.
DUNGANNON: S McDowell; R Mercer, J Bell, G Telford, T Howe (A Kirkpatrick 22); G Steenson, J Bates; G Maxwell (J Morton 53), K O'Kane (C Knipe 58), D Fitzpatrick, M Boyd (M Neilly 70), S McCarroll, A Hughes, O Hennessey, S Lamb.
Referee: Alan Rogan (IRFU)