Shannon survived the second half sin-binnings of number eight Stephen Keogh and captain Eddie Halvey to beat Garryowen 16-14 in Friday night's ODM Munster Senior Cup semi-final at Thomond Park.
ODM MUNSTER SENIOR CUP: SEMI-FINAL: Friday, December 30
SHANNON 16 GARRYOWEN 14, Thomond Park
Scorers: Shannon: Try: Padraic O'Brien; Con: Dave Delaney; Pens: Delaney 3
Garryowen: Try: Ciaran O'Boyle; Con: Conor Kilroy; Pens: Kilroy 3
Fly-half Dave Delaney struck the defining blow for the holders, kicking an 80th-minute penalty to keep their hopes alive of a record seventh straight title.
Delaney replied to a second minute penalty from Conor Kilroy on 21 minutes, but Shannon spilled possession from the restart and Garryowen centre Ciaran O'Boyle was allowed in for an unconverted try in the corner.
Shannon replied on 27 minutes when young lock Padraic O'Brien lurched over in the corner for Delaney to convert brilliantly from the touchline. However, A Kilroy penalty saw Garryowen lead 11-10 into half-time.
Delaney cancelled that effort out with his second penalty shortly after the restart, but Shannon's chances looked to take a nosedive when Keogh was carded for his over exuberance at a ruck and Halvey followed suit on 62 minutes.
Shannon's defence held out as Garryowen pressed. They did concede a penalty on 77 minutes which Kilroy planted between the uprights for 14-13. But back to their full compliment, Mick Galwey's side eeked out a penalty chance which Delaney gleefully slotted home.
Shannon: Mossy Lawlor; Pat O'Connor, Brian Tuohy, Ian Dowling, David O'Donovan; Dave Delaney, Cormac O'Loughlin (Frank McNamara 56); Les Hogan, Frankie Roche, Tony Buckley, David Keane (Antoin Meany 75), Padraic O'Brien, Donnacha Ryan, Eddie Halvey (capt), Stephen Keogh.
Garryowen: Andrew Finn; Adam O'Loughlin, Ciaran O'Boyle, Kevin Hartigan, Cillian O'Boyle; Conor Kilroy, Gerry Hurley; Ross O'Callaghan, Pat Humphries (Damien Varley 63), Fosi Paleumo (Rory Brosnan 76), Frank McKenna (Ed Mackey 56), Donal Sheehan (Peter Malone 76), Paul Neville, Anthony Kavanagh, Mark Melbourne.
Referee: Ger English (MAR)