Gareth Quinn McDonogh scored a full house of points as he helped Shannon secure a comeback win over their Limerick rivals Garryowen on Friday night.
Out-half Gareth Quinn McDonogh took his opportunity to shine under the Thomond Park floodlights, capping a fine performance with the clinching try in the closing minutes.
The All-Ireland League Division 1A derby marked Jerry Flannery's return from injury – he had been troubled by hamstring, calf and Achilles problems – and the hooker enjoyed a 40-minute run-out.
Flannery came through the first half unscathed, giving Munster a boost for their Heineken Cup campaign. But by the interval, Garryowen were 9-3 to the good.
The Light Blues opened well, with scrum half Conor Murray giving them a third minute lead after a Shannon ruck infringement. They had the backing of a very strong wind.
There was plenty of huff and puff from the visitors, who dominated possession without really threatening the try-line.
Shannon's defence stood firm, albeit with number 8 David Quinlan sent to the sin-bin, and Garryowen had to rely on penalties to advance the scoreboard, Murray doing the necessary with two more penalties after 27 and 36 minutes.
Murray's third successful penalty was the best of lot, the former Ireland Under-20 international doing well to tuck a 35-metre effort over from close to the touchline.
Shannon hit back in the final minutes of the half. After a Mossie Lawlor break which almost led to a try for Flannery, Quinn McDonogh picked off a penalty from his second attempt at the posts.
Garryowen's influential flanker Paul Neville yellow carded before that kick, and a second strike from Quinn McDonogh, five minutes into the second period, closed the gap to 9-6.
The teenager showed little sign of nerves as he floated a terrific drop goal over from inside his own half, bringing the home side level with just a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Garryowen had done little wrong but Shannon were in clinical form and in such a tight tussle, a try was always going to prove crucial.
It fell to Quinn McDonogh who took his close range chance well, adding the conversion to move Shannon into a lead that Garryowen could not trouble.
The only saving grace for Garryowen was that they held on to earn a losing bonus point, following a late missed penalty by Quinn McDonogh.
The victory marked Shannon's first of the new league campaign. It was Garryowen's second Limerick derby defeat in the space of seven days, after they succumbed to Young Munster at Dooradoyle in their Division 1A opener.
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)