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Crucial Home Win Keeps Shannon Off Bottom Spot

Crucial Home Win Keeps Shannon Off Bottom Spot

Shannon grabbed only their fifth win of the season but this was surely the most important as they moved a step closer to avoiding relegation from Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

Fellow strugglers UL Bohemians laid down the gauntlet to Shannon by beating Young Munster away earlier on Good Friday, but Shannon responded in kind by overcoming great rivals Garryowen at Thomond Park.

This Friday Night Lights victory keeps Shannon second from bottom in the table, three points clear of bottom side Bohs with Old Belvedere just a point ahead of them in eighth.

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With Munster veteran Marcus Horan at loosehead prop, Shannon got off to a solid start with an early penalty by goal-kicking scrum half Rob Guerin settling the nerves.

After Connacht squad member Matt Jarvis missed a penalty effort for Garryowen, the visitors suffered again after 19 minutes.

This time Shannon's forwards paved the way for a try by wily winger David O'Donovan and the conversion was charged down.

It was all Shannon at this stage and out-half and captain Tadhg Bennett saw a drop goal attempt come back off a post.

But there was no stopping the rampant Shannon forwards and the pack drove over for a try with hooker Duncan Casey grounding the ball, much to the delight of the home support.

Garryowen, Limerick's top club of the four in the division, struck back and scrum half Niall Cronin, a brother of Ireland international hooker Sean, broke through for a a try that Jarvis converted.

It remained 13-7 at the interval but a penalty by Bennett increased Shannon's lead which they held until a few minutes from the end.

Persistent pressure, on the back of Shannon lock Fergal Walsh's sin-binning, was rewarded with a second Garryowen try, this time from centre Conan Doyle, and Jarvis his the post with his conversion attempt.

Shannon, 12-6 losers at Dooradoyle in November, deserved to take the spoils this time around with Garryowen meriting their bonus point in the closing stages.

Referee: Michael Black (IRFU)