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Shannon Begin New Year With First Win

Shannon Begin New Year With First Win

Shannon opened their win account at the eighth time of asking in this season’s Ulster Bank League, overcoming local rivals UL Bohemians at Thomond Park.

It was a vital result for the nine-time Division 1 champions who endured a disheartening run of results under departed head coach Stephen Keogh.

The new coaching tandem of Brian Tuohy and James Hickey helped Shannon pick up two losing bonus points in November, and they began 2013 with a much-needed first league victory.

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They remain bottom of the table but beating fellow strugglers Bohs is a terrific boost for their remaining ten matches, seven of which will be in Limerick.

UL opened the scoring in the Friday Night Lights clash with a try from former Shannon and Munster back Mossy Lawler. He won the race to touch down a neat grubber kick from JJ Hanrahan after 14 minutes.

Tadhg Bennett had Shannon’s first points on the board when he landed a 30-metre penalty after 23 minutes and he converted a second just before half-time.

The visitors nipped ahead thanks to Guerin’s strike, and the infringement saw referee Peter Fitzgibbon flash a yellow card to UL Bohs flanker Ian Condell for persistent offside.

Munster starlet Hanrahan missed a touchline penalty before the break, but he was back on target early in the second period to move UL 8-6 in front.

Shannon, who have been struggling to score tries, mustered a high quality move to cross the whitewash in the 48th minute.

Their forwards, led by Duncan Casey and impressive lock Sean McCarthy, provided a platform of possession and back rower James Murphy managed to round off a terrific handling move for a try that Bennett's half-back partner Rob Guerin converted.

Hanrahan, who missed three of his four kicks at goal, failed with a penalty opportunity and Guerin nicked another three-pointer for Shannon as they pushed eight points clear.

But for a malfunctioning lineout, Bohemians might have got over for a bonus point-clinching try and Hanrahan also went close during a concerted spell in the Shannon 22.

However, the visitors defended stoutly late on and deservedly took home four precious league points which is now the margin between these Limerick rivals at the foot of the table.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)