Division One top scorer Tadhg Bennett took his season’s tally to 109 points as Shannon edged out St. Mary’s College at Coonagh on Sunday afternoon.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Sunday, December 14
SHANNON 26 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 20, Coonagh
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: Richie Mullane, Marcus O’Driscoll, Tadhg Bennett; Con: Tadhg Bennett; Pens: Tadhg Bennett 3
St. Mary’s College: Tries: Conor McPhillips, Conor Donohoe; Cons: Barry Lynn 2; Pens: Barry Lynn 2
Shannon bounced back from their defeat by table toppers Clontarf last week to fashion a thrilling win that has them third in the table ahead of the Christmas break.
Mary’s led 17-9 at half-time thanks to tries from winger Conor McPhillips and centre Conor Donohoe, with full-back Barry Lynn converting both and adding a penalty.
McPhillips breached the Shannon defence in the third minute, spearing through a gap after an initial break from powerful prop Rob Sweeney.
Shannon number 10 Tadhg Bennett landed two penalties, after 10 and 29 minutes, to cut the deficit to 7-6, before Lynn and Bennett swapped further penalties.
But coming up to the break, Mary’s sliced through for a second try when Donohoe rounded Richie Mullane to score and Lynn was on target with the conversion.
Mullane turned hero though when he nipped over for Shannon’s opening try, nine minutes after the restart.
David Quinlan broke from the back of a scrum before offloading for Mullane who had enough power and pace to make the whitewash.
Bennett added the conversion and Geoff Moylan’s side added a second touchdown just four minutes later when winger Marcus O’Driscoll, after linking with John Clogan, crossed in the corner.
Bennett missed the conversion and a Lynn penalty, in the 64th minute, brought Shannon’s sudden lead back to just the minimum at 21-20.
However, 13 minutes from the finish, Bennett blocked a clearance kick from his opposite number Shaun McCarthy and raced through to claim the clinching try.