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Healy Bags Brace As Lansdowne Thump Shannon

Healy Bags Brace As Lansdowne Thump Shannon

Matt Healy was the star of the show on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch as Lansdowne comfortably secured a bonus point victory over an overwhelmed Shannon side.

Mike Ruddock's outfit started the contest in devastating fashion. It took them just five minutes to open there account with a try courtesy of Matt Healy.

The fleet-footed winger got through in the left corner at the end of a sweeping move across the Shannon line. Craig Ronaldson converted and a second five-pointer followed eight minutes in.

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This time, flanker Charlie Butterworth drove brilliantly through the Shannon rearguard to touch down to the right of the posts.

Things were looking ominous for the Limerick men at this point, but they showed some fight when flanker John Shine crossed the whitewash after 16 minutes. Out-half Rob Guerin stepped up to add the extras and suddenly the Lansdowne advantage was down to five.

This was only temporary relief for Shannon, however, as a Ronaldson penalty got the hosts up and running again on 22 minutes, and they found room to register a third try two minutes later.

The touchdown came courtesy of the industrious Sean Carey, who had initiated the move that led to his fine individual effort.

A neatly-struck conversion and a successful 36th minute penalty followed from Ronaldson before Healy safely secured Lansdowne's bonus point with his second try a minute before the interval.

This gave Lansdowne an insurmountable 32-7 lead heading into the second period, and it was now a case of damage limitation for Shannon.

Lansdowne, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity to utilise their resources. They introduced all their replacements by the 46th minute, including former US Eagles international Richard Liddington.

The disruption did lead to a scrappier performance from the Dublin 4 side, but they still held a 31-point cushion over Shannon as the game moved into the final 15 minutes of action, with the deadly accurate Ronaldson slotting over his third and fourth penalties.

Shannon did their utmost to try and conjure up some meaningful opportunities that might produce a consolation score.

The first half introduction of Munster starlet Luke O'Dea did give them a more incisive outlet in their backs division, although the Lansdowne rearguard proved to be extremely stern throughout the contest.

Lansdowne had dropped off their intensity for much of the second half, but they finished the game in fine spirits.

Final tries from full-back and captain Ross McCarron and replacement John Coleman mean that they have moved top of the Ulster Bank League Division 1A table, ahead of Young Munster due to their superior scoring rate.

Referee: Olly Hodges (IRFU)