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Young Duo Kick Shannon To Comeback Win

Young Duo Kick Shannon To Comeback Win

A dose of precise place-kicking steered Shannon to a superb comeback win over Dolphin in their opening Ulster Bank League clash at Coonagh.

Dolphin were on course for an away victory when they opened up a 15-3 lead inside the first 20 minutes, with centre Eric Moloney touching down twice.

Young out-half Gareth Quinn McDonogh slotted a 15th minute penalty for Shannon, but suddenly it was all Dolphin in the wet conditions.

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Barry Keeshan kicked the Corkmen level before Shannon failled to deal with a 22-metre drop out and Moloney scooted in by the posts for a converted try.

Some poor first-up tackling from Shannon was then exposed as Dolphin's new captain Moloney motored through for an unconverted second score, stretching the lead to 12 points.

But with their lineout providing a plentiful supply of ball, Shannon gradually improved. Quinn McDonogh knocked over his second penalty to cut the gap to 15-6 for half-time.

The Shannon scrum was on top but scoring opportunities were limited with the greasy ball leading to spilled passes and muddled attacks.

Into the second period, Shannon increased the pressure on leaders Dolphin with a penalty each from Quinn McDonogh and full-back Ben Sargent, who helped the club's Under-21s win a North Munster League and Cup double last season.

Dolphin were struggling for territory and in their first visit to the Shannon 22 after the break, Keeshan punished a tackle offence for an 18-12 scoreline.

Shannon centre Luke O'Dea needed to be alert to thwart a promising Dolphin move on the hour mark and the hosts, led by new player-coach Stephen Keogh in the back row, crucially had the better of the closing stages.

Sargent missed an optimistic 53-metre penalty, but Quinn McDonogh landed a brace from closer in after 66 and 70 minutes to suddenly draw Shannon level.

They kicked on for home thanks to a huge shove in a scrum from their impressive pack, and youngster Sargent rewarded his forwards by converting the match-winning penalty.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)