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AIB League: Shannon And UL Bohs Claim Opening Day Wins

AIB League: Shannon And UL Bohs Claim Opening Day Wins

Andrew Thompson’s right boot was as reliable as ever as he kicked five penalties in Shannon’s 15-13 away victory over Old Belvedere on the opening day of the 2007/08 AIB League. Meanwhile, at the UL Bowl, a try from newcomer Lupeni Siale helped UL Bohemians to a 16-8 success against UCD.

AIB LEAGUE – DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 27

OLD BELVEDERE 13 SHANNON 15, Anglesea Road

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Scorers: Old Belvedere: Try: Brad Kose; Con: Richie Murphy; Pen: Richie Murphy; Drop: Richie Murphy
Shannon: Pens: Andrew Thompson 5

Old Belvedere v Shannon Match Pics

AIB League veteran Andrew Thompson kicked Shannon to a slender win at Anglesea Road against a battling Old Belvedere side.

Having conceded 139 points in their three previous Division One clashes with Shannon, Belvedere kept things tight and they held a deserved 10-6 lead at half-time.

Prop Brad Kose’s try in the left corner was converted by Richie Murphy, who was adding to his eighth-minute penalty.

However, Thompson kicked three penalties after the break to complete a 15-point haul for himself and secure an encouraging victory for the Limerick men.

In what was Shannon’s first league visit to Anglesea Road since February 1998, both sides missed early place kicks before Murphy, Leinster’s Elite Player manager and current “A” team coach, found his range in the eighth-minute.

Thompson matched him at the other end, three minutes later, and Shannon moved 6-3 ahead in the 28th-minute before a sustained spell of pressure resulted in Kose being fed for a try in the corner which Murphy converted.

Shannon found an extra gear for the early part of the second half with Thompson bisecting the posts after 42 and 46 minutes for a 12-10 buffer.

On the hour mark, Murphy kicked a lovely drop goal for Belvedere to retake the lead. Then Shannon scrum half Fiach O’Loughlin, who was playing in his first league game since returning from Clontarf in the summer, and Belvedere winger Kevin Barden were both banished to the sin bin for fighting.

Shannon seemed to cope better with the loss and a well-hit 68th-minute penalty from Thompson proved to be the match-winning score as Shannon won for the 150th time in the AIB League, despite never hitting top gear. The result also marked the Limerick club’s 30th win in 40 league games in Leinster.

Belvedere can be pleased with their showing though, the Dublin 4 outfit proved they could be a force to reckon with in the top flight. If they can get something out of next Sunday’s trip to Dolphin, Belvo will have bedded in nicely into the division.

UL BOHEMIANS 16 UCD 8, UL Bowl

Scorers: UL Bohemians: Try: Lupeni Siale; Con: Fergal Lawlor; Pens: Fergal Lawlor 2; Drop: Fergal Lawlor
UCD: Try: Andy Cummiskey; Pen: Killian Lett

A try from new winger Lupeni Siale helped UL Bohemians to victory in the first ever rugby match to be played at the UL Bowl.

Siale, who previously played for Manly in Australia, touched down in the second half after Bohs had turned around with the advantage of the wind.

Bohs and UCD were level at 3-3 at the break with Fergal Lawlor and Killian Lett swapping penalties. Siale’s try was added to by Lawlor with a conversion, another penalty and a drop goal.

39-3 winners at the Belfield Bowl last season, Bohs never looked like they were get close to that score in what were difficult conditions.

Their set piece advantage marked them out as likely winners early on, although UCD were very much in the game at the break, even if they had failed to make the most of a strong wind in the opening 40 minutes.

They might have been 6-3 in front at the interval but Lett struck the post with an effort from 35 metres out and Bohs did well to scramble the ball to safety when they almost leaked a try in the ensuing phase.

But coming up to the hour, Bohs had a good grip on the game as they led 13-3. Siale, who is of New Zealand-Tongan heritage, scored a beautiful try which showcased the best of the Bohs backs.

Lawlor was having a good day with the boot and he kicked the hosts 16-3 clear before Andy Cummiskey nipped over for a consolation score in deepest injury-time. The match had been held up for a lengthy injury stoppage for UCD’s former Ireland Under-20 back rower Sean O’Brien.

The result marked Bohs’ sixth win in ten league meetings with the Dublin students and has them sitting fourth in the table. A solid start for new Bohs coach Ian Costello.