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AIB League: Shannon Back On Track

AIB League: Shannon Back On Track

Champions Shannon got their tilt at a seventh AIB League Division One title back on track on Saturday, as they ran in five second half tries in a 42-13 thumping of leaders UCD at Thomond Park.

Champions Shannon got their tilt at a seventh AIB League Division One title back on track on Saturday, as they ran in five second half tries in a 42-13 thumping of leaders UCD at Thomond Park.

Mick Galwey’s side ran in six tries in all, after the students – unbeatened in their opening five games – had nipped into a 13-0 lead thanks to an 18th-minute Brian O’Riordan try and a conversion and two penalties from fly-half Eoghan Hickey.

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Free-scoring Hickey, with 81 points in the campaign so far, was rendered helpless by Shannon’s superb fightback though. Fullback David O’Donovan was put over in the fifth minute of first half injury time to start their revival, after ex-Ireland flanker Eddie Halvey had muscled through two tackles.

Number 10 David Delaney converted and he and Andrew Thompson added the extras to Tony Buckley, Brian Tuohy (2), Colm McMahon and scrum-half Fiach O’Loughlin efforts on the restart as the Limerick men moved up to second with their fourth win.

Tuohy’s 55th-minute score was the pick of the bunch, with O’Donovan and Munster’s Frankie Roche combining well to send the centre over.

Down the road at Dooradoyle, Garryowen kept up the top-four pace as second half tries from Paul Neville, Brendan O’Brien and Paul Devlin saw them run out 32-23 winners over Ballymena.

Paul Cunningham’s side climbed to third as they ended a two-game losing streak. The Braidmen, with coach Steph Nel at the helm since October, slumped to a disappointing loss as both Peter Budina – one of their try scorers, along with Ulster centre Shane Stewart – and Namibian Dirkie Strydom – the kicker of 13 points – both saw their clearance kicks charged down for two of Garryowen’s touchdowns.

Clontarf are now three points clear at the top of the table after their comeback win over an unfortunate Dublin University at College Park.

An injury-time penalty from former Springbok Dan van Zyl helped the north Dubliners to a 14-11 success.

The second half sin-binning of lock Marc Warburton failed to shake Trinity as they looked on course for their third draw of the season, following fullback Simon Mitchell’s haul of a first-half try and two penalties.

Two Dave McAllister kicks before the break and winger Donovan Rossi’s second half try kept Phil Werahiko’s men in the hunt and they duly obliged with their fifth win, ahead of next Saturday’s Castle Avenue clash with strugglers Blackrock College.

Saturday, January 15:
AIB League Results:


Dublin University 11 Clontarf 14, College Park

Scorers: DU: Try: Simon Mitchell; Pens: Mitchell 2

Clontarf: Try: Donovan Rossi; Pens: Dave McAllister 2, Dan van Zyl

Garryowen 32 Ballymena 23, Dooradoyle

Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Eoin Nihill, Paul Neville, Brendan O’Brien, Paul Devlin; Cons: Gerry Hurley 3; Pens: Hurley 2

Ballymena: Tries: Shane Stewart, Peter Bedina; Cons: Dirkie Strydom 2; Pens: Strydom 3

Shannon 42 UCD 13, Thomond Park

Scorers: Shannon: Tries: David O’Donovan, Tony Buckley, Brian Tuohy 2, Colm McMahon, Fiach O’Loughlin; Cons: David Delaney 4, Andrew Thompson 2

UCD: Try: Brian O’Riordan; Con: Eoghan Hickey; Pens: Hickey 2


Barnhall 15 Old Belvedere 17, Parsonstown
Highfield v Old Crescent, Woodleigh Park (Postponed)
Malone 3 Young Munster 13, Gibson Park
St Mary’s College 13 Terenure College 14, Templeville Road
Thomond 0 Dolphin 13, Fitzgerald Park
UCC 21 Ballynahinch 12, The Mardyke
UL Bohemian v Midleton, Thomond Park (Postponed)
Waterpark 14 De La Salle Palmerston 13, Ballinakill


Ards 20 City of Derry 14, Hamilton Park
Ballina v Banbridge, Heffernan Park (Postponed)
Connemara 11 Bruff 6, Monastery Field
Greystones 27 Corinthians 5, Dr Hickey Park
Queen’s University 10 Wanderers 18, Dub Lane
Skerries 26 Clonakilty 26, Holmpatrick
Sundays Well 20 Instonians 14, Musgrave Park
Suttonians 16 Portadown 6, JJ MacDowell Park