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.
Mick Galwey's Shannon are back on top after their seven-try 52-8 romp over a hapless Dungannon.
Fionn McLoughlin, Dave O'Donovan, Andrew Thompson, Colm McMahon, Tom Hayes, John O'Connor and Tom Cregan were all on target for the champions, who had fly-half Dave Delaney in fine kicking form. The ex-Galwegians man converted seven times and hit a 47th-minute drop goal.
Clontarf, who face a daunting trip to Thomond Park when the league recommences on March 26, slipped to second despite their fifth win in six outings.
They had former Ireland Under-19 Donovan Rossi to thank as he grabbed a try hat-trick in their 19-13 defeat of former leaders UCD.
With just three weekends left before the divisional play-off places are decided, fourth-ranked Belfast Harlequins, who bid farewell to long-term coach Andre Bester earlier this week, recorded a stunning 56-14 rout of Buccaneers.
The Connacht men are still without a win in 2005, and just seven points off the bottom after stand-in 'Quins boss DC Gillespie celebrated with an eight-try bounty.
Also at Deramore Park was Ulster flanker Andy Ward, who takes over Bester's post as director of rugby on June 1, and he would have been mightly pleased with their fourth bonus point victory in ten games.
Flanker Chris McCarey scored three of their tries, with fly-half Ian Humphreys notching a 26-point haul. Buccs' points coming from a late Pat O'Sullivan effort and three first half penalties from Justin Meagher.
Connacht veteran Eric Elwood matched Delaney's efforts with seven conversions and a penalty of his own for Galwegians.
The 35-year-old - making his first club start of the season - marshalled a full-strength 'Wegians side superbly, as they ran out 52-10 victors over bottom side County Carlow.
Tom Allen and Scott Donald bagged two tries apiece, with Richie Murphy accounting for all of the midlaners' points.
At Stradbrook, first half tries from Andy O'Neill and Cork youngster Peter O'Brien failed to split Blackrock and their southern visitors as they drew 8-8.
Meanwhile, Ulster's Paddy Wallace offered up a 20-point cameo in Ballymena's 45-5 defeat of Lansdowne on the main pitch at headquarters. He pocketed two tries and five conversions in their seven-try success.
At College Park, Dublin University's luck continued to desert them as lock Marc Warburton was sent-off at a crucial stage in their 6-5 defeat at the hands of Garryowen. The visitors triumphed thanks to Gerry Hurley's first-half penalty brace, which keeps them third in the pecking order. Hugh Hogan touched down on 76 minutes for Trinity.
AIB League Results: Saturday, February 19:
Belfast Harlequins 56 Buccaneers 14, Deramore Park Blackrock College 8 Cork Constitution 8, Stradbrook Clontarf 19 UCD 13, Castle Avenue Dublin University 5 Garryowen 6, College Park Galwegians 52 County Carlow 10, Crowley Park Lansdowne 5 Ballymena 45, Lansdowne Road Shannon 52 Dungannon 8, Thomond Park
Barnhall 11 De La Salle Palmerston 28, Parsonstown Malone 18 UCC 5, Gibson Park Old Crescent 20 Ballynahinch 3, Rosbrien St Mary's College 27 Midleton 17, Templeville Road Terenure College 27 Thomond 13, Lakelands Park Young Munster 29 Old Belvedere 13, Tom Clifford Park
Ards 16 Banbridge 14, Hamilton Park Greystones 23 Connemara 14, Dr Hickey Park Old Wesley 11 City of Derry 12, Donnybrook Queen's University 8 Instonians 31, Dub Lane Skerries 33 Corinthians 29, Holmpatrick Sunday's Well 62 Ballina 3, Musgrave Park Suttonians 12 Bruff 15, John J MacDowell Park Wanderers 13 Portadown 11, Lansdowne Road back pitch
Sunday, February 20:
Bective Rangers 18 Highfield 17, Donnybrook Dolphin 13 UL Bohemian 8, Musgrave Park