Shannon 45 Cork Constitution 26
Shannon climbed out of the top flight relegation zone thanks to victory in Saturday’s enjoyable but error-ridden encounter in Coonagh.
The game produced ten tries, six for Shannon, who left Limerick with a bonus point their performance hardly merited.
The Cork outfit have conceded 109 points in their last three league matches and coach Brian Walsh expressed annoyance at his side falling 14 points behind within ten minutes of the kick-off .
Walsh fumed: “To give away that kind of lead, get it back, and have a kick to go ahead and then crumble again is very disappointing. I don’t know whether it’s mid-tableitis or what and maybe they had more to play for. These games used to be hugely physical but to score four tries and give away six, that’s a game of tip rugby!”
Shannon’s fourth win in six league outings has taken them to 21 points, leapfrogging Old Belvedere (20) and UL Bohemian (18).
It is an amazing turnaround for a club who were bottom of the pile for the previous 12 rounds, conceding an average of 40 points in each of their first four games.
So their recovery at this point is highly commendable and much to the delight of Munster flanker Niall Ronan, a long-term injury victim who contributed handsomely on Saturday.
“This was my fourth game in 12 months”, he said. “Between ACL, hip and groin, I’ve been injured almost all the time so it’s good to be back. I love Shannon. It’s a great club and I always enjoy coming back to play with them. I signed for them because historically they were the best club in the AIL with a good atmosphere and the people who come to support us are good people. That was a good win.”
While acknowledging the strength available to Rob Penney in the Munster back-row, Ronan remains hopeful of winning back his place in the near future.
“I hope to play an A match against Leinster on Tuesday of next week and see what happens after that”, added the 30 year-old. “It will take a few games to get up to standard but I feel fresh. I’ve been playing professional rugby for ten years. For the first nine, I rarely got injured, now I’ve had a year of injuries. I’ve trained hard without playing much rugby so hopefully that will prolong my career another year or so.”
Scorers for Shannon: E Moloney 2 tries, J Loxton, N Ronan, D O’Donovan, J Shine try each; R Guerin 6 cons, T Bennett pen.
Scorers for Cork Con: C Healy 2 tries; N O’Driscoll, James Ryan try each. G Hurley 2 cons, D Lyons con.
SHANNON: J Loxton; M Darcy, E Moloney, R Mullane, D O’Donovan; T Bennett, capt, R Guerin; G McNamara, D Casey, K Griffin, F Walsh, S McCarthy, J Murphy, N Ronan, J Shine.
Rolling replacements: J Cronin, M Essex, M Culhane, L O’Dea, B Smith.
CORK CONSTITUTION: C Healy; R Clune, N O’Driscoll, A Ryan, C Desmond; D Lyons, G Hurley, capt; John Ryan, A O’Driscoll, C Corkery, B Hayes, P Donnellan, G Lawlor, C O’Flaherty, James Ryan. Rolling replacements: A Cudmore, P Galvin, D O’Brien, B Vaughan, P Parfrey.
Referee: A Rolland (IRFU).
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