Shannon lost their grip on top spot in AIB League Division 1A as Blackrock College caused the upset of the weekend with a deserved win at Coonagh.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, February 20
SHANNON 3 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 25, Coonagh
Scorers: Shannon: Pen: Mossie Lawlor
Blackrock College: Tries: Mick Carroll, Jonathan Barretto, David Rowan; Cons: Darragh Fitzpatrick 2; Pens: Darragh Fitzpatrick 2
Having lost three of their last four games and been turned over 21-15 by Shannon at Stradbrook in November, Blackrock were the hungrier side and it showed as they pushed into a 13-0 half-time lead.
Shannon were lethargic and simply never got going, and were not helped by the withdrawal of out-half Tadhg Bennett due to a shoulder injury.
The Dubliners dominated in most areas and once they swept ahead, the hosts never looked like getting back into what was a one-sided contest.
Despite the big winning margin, the Emmet Farrell and Barry Gibney-coached Blackrock could not muster a bonus point, but they will be delighted to have denied the defending champions a bonus point.
Two of the Blackrock tries were scored by forwards which is an indication of how influential the visitors were up front.
Back rower Mick Carroll got in for the only try of a lifeless first half, which full-back Darragh Fitzpatrick converted and he also was successful with two penalty attempts.
Blackrock upped the tempo in the second period and were rewarded with two more tries. Prop Jonathan Barretto barged in for the first which Fitzpatrick again converted and to round off a splendid performance for ‘Rock, left winger David Rowan notched the third try.
Shannon’s only consolation was a penalty kicked by team captain Mossie Lawlor.
Des Dillon and Paul Huntly were superb in the lineouts for Blackrock and won a number of possessions on Shannon’s throws. Barretto and Arthur Lyons also did well at scrum time.
With their pack so much on top, David Moore and Ian Madigan looked the part at half-back for ‘Rock and the boot of Fitzpatrick punished Shannon for their indiscipline with the two first half penalties.
Shannon will go back to the drawing board and will, no doubt, ponder how they managed to play so poorly.
SHANNON: David O’Donovan; Richie Mullane, Fionn McLoughlin, Mossie Lawlor (capt), Stephen Kelly; Tadhg Bennett, Frankie McNamara; Kevin Griffin, Mike Essex, Gary McNamara, Padraic O’Brien, Fergal Walsh, Paul Loughnane, Niall O’Brien, David Quinlan.
Replacements: Jason Cronin, Batt Duggan, Sean Duggan, Rob Guerin, John Clogan.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Darragh Fitzpatrick; Shane Monahan, Kyle Tonetti, James Power, David Rowan; Ian Madigan, David Moore; Jonathan Barretto, Cian Culleton, Arthur Lyons, Des Dillon (capt), Paul Huntly, Paul Ryan, Zach Farivarz, Mick Carroll.
Replacements: Tony O’Kane, James Mannion, Alex Dunlop, Paul Graham, Brian Kingston.
Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)