Garryowen just about got back on the winning trail in Division One B of the Ulster Bank League at Thomond Park last night when they withstood a fierce late UL/Bohemian onslaught to scrape home by 11-6 in a Limerick derby of very poor quality.
Garryowen probably deserved the win but they made very hard work of it, and on this form won’t be returning to the division any time soon.
A torrential rain shower just before the kick-off made conditions particularly difficult early on and the only scores in the opening half hour were a couple of penalties for Garryowen by Jamie Gavin and for Bohemians by Shane Airey.
However, Gavin also missed another from a favourable position and failed to add the points to a try in the 35th minute by hooker Ed Rossiter who charged down an attempted clearance and controlled the slippery ball well with his feet, to win the race for the touchdown.
Garryowen turned over 11-6 in front and as they gained total superiority in the set scrums, they camped in Bohs territory for long stretches without looking capable of producing a cohesive move that might have breached the overstretched Bohs defence.
Bohemian replacement Joe Moloney was yellow carded by referee Ken Imbush for persistent infringement but even then, Garryowen couldn’t capitalise.
While only five points separated the sides, Bohs were in with a chance. Restored to a full complement, they did well to raise the siege until, with added time being played, they brought play to within a few metres of the Garryowen line.
They were awarded three close-range penalties, Rossiter was shown a yellow card but after some frenetic action under the Garryowen posts, Bohs lost possession and their chance was gone.
UL/BOHEMIAN: D Moroney; R Bourke, R White, M Lawler, J McNamara; S Airey, T Rafferty; P Phillot, T Doyle, V O’Regan, E Kelly capt, E Sweeney, C Kindregan, I Condell, E Cross.
Rolling replacements: C Flanagan, J Moloney, S O’Boyle, J Murray, A Enright.
GARRYOWEN: S McMahon; J Frawley, A O’Byrne, J McInerney, A Wootton; J Gavin, N Cronin; P O’Shea, E Rossiter, B Rowley, P McCarroll, A McCluskey, J Hrstrich, D Mulcair, D Sherry capt.
Rolling replacements: J Griffin, R Brosnan, M Hanrahan, J Glynn, C Doyle.
Referee: K Imbush (MAR).