04/05/02Shannon continued their superb record in the AIB League when they captured the trophy with a pulsating 21-17 victory over Cork Constitution in Lansdowne Road.
And so for the second year in a row Cork Constitution, having topped the League table, suffer the disappointment of seeing the trophy again snatched from their grasp. They will probably accept that they didn’t do enough against a Shannon side who looked that bit hungrier and who made the most of their opportunities.
Shannon took the fight to the Cork men right from the word go and two Tommy Cregan penalties settled them before Colm McMahon blocked Conor Mahony’s kick on half way and then raced to the line for the opening try of the game and a 13 point lead.
Con responded with a well worked try from John Kelly in the 25th minute and should have had a second when Kelly lost the ball in the action of touching down.
Then in inury time, a delightful chip ahead from Shannon scrum-half Derek Hegarty was skillfully gathered by John Lacey and the full back scored for an 18-7 interval lead.
Con came out in the second half full of intent and a Brian O’Meara penalty followed by his conversion of Joey Sheahan’s try had it a one point game (18-17).
But Shannon refused to panic, they had Mick Galwey on as a replacement for the injured Brian Buckley, and a neat Niall McNamara drop goal edged them a vital four points clear.
Cregan had an opportunity to stretch the lead but this late penalty drifted wide and although Con made a late desperate effort, they were denied by a fired up Limeick side.