For the second game in succession, Old Belvedere thumped a Limerick side when they mastered Shannon 38-16 in Saturday evening’s All-Ireland League Division 1A encounter at Anglesea Road.
Under the Anglesea Road floodlights, Shannon welcomed back veteran flanker Colm McMahon for his first All-Ireland League start in over two years.
But there was little he could do to halt a rampant Old Belvedere who thoroughly deserved their win, even if the final score was a little bit flattering as Shannon fared much better in the second half which they started 18-7 behind.
Shannon got off to the perfect start with a try after only six minutes. A Tadhg Bennett penalty came back off the post and from the resulting scrum, Shannon moved the ball wide and number 8 David Quinlan got the touchdown. Bennett added the conversion.
Old Belvedere, who came into this clash on the back of two wins, hit back in the 12th minute when powerful number 8 Leo Auva'a popped up on the wing to dive over after some patient build-up play.
Bennett mised a couple of penalties and after 23 minutes, the hosts grabbed their second try when Leinster's Australian centre Shaun Berne sent winger Eddie Devitt in.
Bennett missed another penalty, before winger David Mongan raced over for the Dubliners' third try in the 28th minute. On the stroke of half-time, player-coach Andy Dunne added a penalty to give 'Belvo an 18-7 buffer.
Bennett found his range in the second half and slotted two penalties to leave only five points between the sides.
But the outstanding Auva'a started a fine move and was then on hand to take the final pass for his side's bonus point try.
'Belvo's Richie Leyden was yellow carded and Bennett kept Shannon in touch with another penalty.
However, Phil Werahiko's charges closed out the game in fine style with two more tries. Full-back Daniel Riordan broke through for a try which was followed by a 74th minute penalty from Conal Keane, who had replaced Dunne at out-half.
Riordan collected a second try, which Keane converted, in the dying minutes as 'Belvo leapfrogged defending champions Cork Constitution into first place in the standings.
The defeat was Shannon's fourth of the league campaign and leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Speaking afterwards, 'Belvo director of rugby Werahiko said: “To score tries like that is very rewarding.
“We've put together two top class performances now against Young Munster and Shannon, but it's going to get much more difficult. Dolphin upset Cork Constitution, and they will be looking to do the same to us in two weeks' time.”
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)