Shannon notch bonus point win over Bohs
Ulster Bank League Division 1A: SHANNON 31 UL BOHEMIANS 13
Marcus Horan returned to action for Shannon with an impressive 70-minute performance as he helped Shannon record a much-needed bonus point win over UL Bohemians.
It was out-half Tadhg Bennett who emerged as the man-of-the-match, scoring two tries and a conversion in what turned out to be a one-sided Ulster Bank League derby at Thomond Park.
Gary McNamara replaced Munster prop Horan for the last ten minutes as Shannon enjoyed the biggest of their two wins in the Division 1 campaign to date. Their previous success was also against UL Bohs a few weeks ago.
Shannon missed a couple of early penalty chances and it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a Ben Martin penalty. He was on place-kicking duty in the absence of the injured JJ Hanrahan.
When Bohs flanker Ian Condell was sin-binned, Shannon took advantage to grab their first try in the 19th minute. Luke O'Dea was the scorer, the full-back joining the back-line at just the right time to take the final pass. The conversion followed from scrum half Rob Guerin.
UL out-half Martin landed another penalty to leave it 7-6 in favour of Shannon. By half-time the division's bottom side had added seven more points - Bennett going over and Guerin adding extras.
But these local derbies invariably end up as closely-fought affairs and when UL full-back David Johnson nabbed a try four minutes into the second half, which Martin again converted, it left only a point between the sides again.
Shannon's Horan-inspired forwards were ruling at this stage and they created the platform for the last pair of tries.
Winger James Loxton rounded off a fine move for the third try which Guerin converted. He then added a penalty for a 24-13 scoreline.
Bennett rounded off a great night for the nine-time champions with the bonus point score when he spotted the gap after an initial break by Guerin.
Bennett converted his own try to spark off renewed hope for Shannon that they will avoid the drop. They are now two points behind ninth-placed Bohs at the foot of the table, with St. Mary's a further four points ahead of them.
Shannon: Tries: Tadhg Bennett 2, Luke O’Dea, James Loxton; Cons: Rob Guerin 3, Tadhg Bennett; Pen: Rob Guerin
UL Bohemians: Try: David Johnson; Con: Ben Martin; Pens: Ben Martin 2