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McLoughlin Tries Make The Difference For Shannon

McLoughlin Tries Make The Difference For Shannon

Two superbly-taken tries by Fionn McLoughlin, son of former Ireland international Gerry McLoughlin, were the highlights of Saturday’s hard-fought but low key Limerick derby at Annacotty.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 11

UL BOHEMIANS 6 SHANNON 12, Annacotty

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Scorers: UL Bohemians: Pens: Mark Butler 2
Shannon: Tries: Fionn McLoughlin 2; Con: Tadhg Bennett

Shannon needed the win to keep their play-off prospects alive, while the losing bonus point had helped guarantee UL Bohemians’ place in next season’s Division One Section A.

Bohs had the benefit of a very strong breeze in the first half, but only led 6-0 at the interval.

Such was the strength of the breeze at their backs that Bohs out-half Mark Butler had a shot at goal, inside three minutes, from inside his own half.

That effort was not on target but he found the range with an easier opportunity after 21 minutes.

The home side suffered a blow when flanker James O’Neill was sin-binned and this sparked an intensive seven minutes of pressure from Shannon.

Their number 10 Tadhg Bennett found touch with the first penalty – he spurned a kick at the posts – and five times Shannon drove for the line but each time they were held.

Two more penalties followed, and two scrums taken instead, before finally the siege was lifted.

Just on half-time, Butler landed a second penalty from the 22-metre line when Shannon were penalised for not releasing the ball.

UL brought on Aidan McNulty, putting him in at out-half, for the second half and he shone despite the fact that Shannon’s forwards took control in a game that had the Essex brothers, the hosts’ Kieran and Shannon hooker Michael, in opposition.

Once McLoughlin got in for his first try, two minutes into the second half, it was clear that the home side faced a major battle to hold on.

They did so until the hour mark when McLoughlin sold a terrific dummy to go in untouched. Bennett added the conversion for 12-6.

Stephen Kelly, who will line out for the Limerick footballers against Offaly on Sunday, went very close to grabbing a third Shannon try – only to be called back by referee Dudley Phillips.

The losers created two good chances via McNulty and Paul Grennell but both sides can be reasonably happy with the outcome.