GARRYOWEN 11 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 18, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Frank McKenna; Pens: Gerry Hurley 2
Blackrock College: Tries: Andrew Conway, Mick Carroll; Con: Ian Madigan; Pens: Darragh Fitzpatrick 2
The Light Blues suffered their second successive home defeat - they lost to lowly UL Bohemians last weekend - as third-from-bottom Blackrock College picked up a vital win.
The Dubliners desperately needed the points to pull away from second-from-bottom Clontarf in the battle to avoid relegation.
With five points now separating the sides in the table, it looks like Blackrock have done enough, as they host bottom side UL Bohs next Saturday and 'Tarf are at home to play-off hopefuls St. Mary's College.
A bonus point win for Garryowen would have seen them move above Shannon into fourth ahead of their derby meeting next weekend, but that sort of result never looked likely.
Paul Cunningham's men are now six points behind third-placed Dolphin and out of the race to reach the semi-finals, with only one round of matches remaining.
In Saturday afternoon's game, two penalties from centre Darragh Fitzpatrick and a try from Ireland Under-20 full-back Andrew Conway - his fourth of the league run - steered Blackrock to an 11-0 lead after a tightly-contested first half.
There were impressive performances from Richardt Strauss, team captain Des Dillon and Zack Farivarz as the Blackrock pack edged the battle up front, and it was no surprise when number 8 Mick Carroll broke free on a barnstorming run to score the visitors' second try.
Two penalties from out-half Gerry Hurley kept Garryowen in touch and despite an improved display in the closing stages, a losing bonus point was their only reward as lock Frank McKenna got over for a late try.
GARRYOWEN: Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Hanley, Conan Doyle (capt), Kevin Hartigan, Alan Gaughan; Gerry Hurley, Conor Murray; Rory Brosnan, Mike Sherry, Declan Lavery, Frank McKenna, Ed Mackey, Mark Melbourne, Anthony Kavanagh, Paul Neville.
Replacements: Darren Kavanagh, JP Cooney, Aaron McCloskey, Conor Hartigan, Lorcan Bourke.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Andrew Conway; Stanley McDowell, Kyle Tonetti, Darragh Fitzpatrick, Shane Monahan; Ian Madigan, David Moore; Shane Cahill, Richardt Strauss, Kyle Cahill, Des Dillon (capt), Alex Dunlop, Paul Ryan, Zack Farivarz, Mike Carroll.
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)