Young Munster grabbed two tries in each half to hand Shannon a heavy 32-3 beating in Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A on Saturday evening.
Impressive hooker Dan Walsh started the try-scoring for the in-form Cookies, crashing over from a 12th-minute lineout platform, as Shannon struggled to get going under the Thomond Park floodlights.
Out-half Mike Cooke kicked the hosts’ only points from a seventh-minute penalty, but they were 17-3 behind at half-time after Munster’s Conor Phillips used his pace to finish smartly from a classy cross-field by Evan Cusack.
Shannon, who had been held up before the break, left another opportunity behind them with a crooked lineout throw. Conor Hayes effectively sealed the result with a penalty for Gearoid Prendergast’s men in the 67th minute.
Munsters finished with a flourish to bag a late bonus point, Walsh registering his fifth try of the campaign from a maul before Hayes went over in the left corner, profiting from Donnchadh O’Callaghan’s sniping run and pass off the ground.
Clontarf’s mastery of the lineout maul was the difference in their late 29-22 win over Cork Constitution at Temple Hill.
Cork Con had to play the final 25 minutes without red-carded flanker Jack Kelleher, who picked up his second yellow for a deliberate knock-on.
Despite that, the teams looked to be heading for a share of the spoils until a Michael Courtney try drove Clontarf back to winning ways after recent defeats to Terenure College and Munsters.
Conor Kelly and George Coomber exchanged early penalties, ‘Tarf’s powerful maul drawing an infringement from Con captain Aidan Moynihan who was promptly dispatched to the sin bin.
Kelleher’s collapsing of a drive from the visitors’ pack also saw him binned, yet ‘Tarf’s penalty try was cancelled out by a 32nd-minute effort from James Murphy. Indeed, Con led 15-10 at the break thanks to a Billy Crowley score.
The sides were level twice more during the second half, ‘Tarf hitting back in the 53rd minute when influential number 8 Tony Ryan rumbled over to turn pressure into points.
‘Tarf hooker Dylan Donnellan beat a familiar path to the try-line, registering his seventh try of the season off another maul, but Con replacement Alessandro Heaney showed quick reactions to nab his fourth and square things up at 22-all.
Con missed out on retaking the lead in the 71st minute, a penalty attempt from Moynihan missing the target. The title holders made them pay, as they chipped away before Courtney made his way in under the posts.
In-form centre George Pringle touched down in each half as Ballynahinch handed bottom side Garryowen a 28-10 defeat at Dooradoyle.
‘Hinch also forced a penalty try, and Ulster’s Ben Moxham crossed in the eighth minute, as Adam Craig’s charges won for the first time in three league matches.
While Pringle took his season’s haul to seven tries, prop Michael Veale put his name to Garryowen’s only score. Jamie Heuston was back to captain the struggling Light Blues from full-back.
Caolan Dooley kicked 13 points, including the conversions of tries from Luke Clohessy and Alan Bennie, as leaders Terenure College edged out Dublin University 23-21 in a tense battle at Lakelands Park.
Trinity became the first team to prevent Terenure from bagging a try bonus point this season, but a late Dooley penalty consigned them to defeat. He repeated the trick from last season when he was ‘Nure’s goal-kicking hero at College Park.
Ronan Quinn’s expertly-finished try from an Aran Egan kick through had the students on the cusp of victory, only for Dooley to rifle over a right-footed penalty and make it eight wins out of eight for Sean Skehan’s men.
UCD were presented with the Sutherland Cup, which is in memory of Peter Sutherland’s father, the great Billy Sutherland, after overcoming Lansdowne 27-26 in a thrilling finish at the UCD Bowl.
Kevin Croke’s youngsters picked up their second victory in three rounds, with full-back Niall Carroll and in-form winger Alex O’Grady crossing for two tries each.
– Photos from Liam Coughlan (Shannon v Young Munster) and Philip Duke (Terenure College v Dublin University)