A thundering and typically spirited display by the Shannon pack, with skipper Lee Nicholas and flanker Charlie Carmody in inspirational form saw them to a decisive 23-10 victory over Young Munster in a highly enjoyable and keenly contested All-Ireland League encounter at Thomond Park last night.
Young Munster would have fancied their prospects in a Limerick derby after the convincing manner of the previous week’s win over Terenure College.
From the outset, however, Shannon showed they were very much up for the battle and performed accordingly, especially in a second half that they dominated and held Munsters scorless.
From the 7th minute when Shannon wing Nathan Randles gathered a high kick in style and raced over for an unconverted try, the first half continued to produce some fine rugby and no little excitement for the vocal crowd. Munsters weren’t long in retaliating when New Zealander Clayton Stewart dashed over between the Shannon posts for a try he converted himself.
The Kiwi then landed a penalty to make it 10-5 only for Shannon centre Will Leonard display some delightful footwork in going in for a try converted by Jake Flannery whose penalty on the stroke of half time saw the home side turn over 15-10 in front.
Shannon continued to enjoy an advantage up front, it came as no surprise when full-back Jamie McGarry went over for a third try that gave them a double scores advantage, 20-10. A second Flannery penalty stretched the Shannon lead leaving Munsters to try and salvage something from the encounter but Shannon remained the dominant force. Constant late pressure failed to yield a bonus point try but afterwards coach Tom Hayes couldn’t hide his smile of satisfaction at a job very well done.
SHANNON: J McGarry; N Randles, R Deegan, W Leonard, E Moloney; J Flannery, A Hehir; C Glynn, T Chan, T Cusack, R Coffey, J Kriel, L Nicholas capt, C Carmody, L Clohessy.
Rolling replacements: E Clarke, R Karlson, L Moylan, K Kavanagh, G Finucane.
YOUNG MUNSTER: S Airey; E O’Keeffe, D Corcoran, E O’Gorman, D O’Neill; C Stewart, M Edwards; C Bartley, B Scannell, C Skehan, O Walsh, A Kennedy capt, D Dee, C Mitchell, J Foley.
Rolling replacements – M O’Meara, G Ryan, T Goggin, J Kiely, L Fitzgerald.