Shannon 20 Dublin University 5
Shannon’s youngsters remain 15 points behind table toppers Terenure College in Ulster Bank All-Ireland League 1B and are unlikely to return to the top echelons of the competition at the first time of asking.
However, after a slow start in the lower division, they have registered five wins, the latest by 15 points over Dublin University in atrocious conditions at Coonagh on Saturday.
And in this kind of form the Limerick men will prove difficult opposition for all comers.
“This is the first time we have won three matches in a row since April 2012 and it is all down to a great group of spirited young players,” said manager Morgan Mulcahy. “We have a number of U20s standing up and performing like guys several years older. At one stage against Trinity, our front-row was made up of Conor Glynn, Liam Cronin and Aaron O’Brien whose combined age amounts to only 58.
“Then we had another U20, Patrick Kearns, playing well beyond his years in the second-row and while it was a brutal day and not one for the backs to show their paces, we were also thrilled with the performances of two other U20s, Gearóid Lyons and Greg O’Shea. So in many ways we are like a college team but they are all measuring up outstandingly well and nowhere more than in defence which was once again outstanding.”
Out-half and captain Tadhg Bennett is invariably a key figure in the Shannon set-up for both his general play and excellent goal kicking and he got them on the right road against Trinity with an early three pointer.
The students hit back immediately with a try by Brian Du Toit but to their credit, Shannon reacted in style with a fine try of their own by Gearóid Lyons which Bennett converted. A second Bennett penalty stretched the home side’s advantage to 13-5 by the interval but as the weather worsened, the second half was a dour affair lightened before the finish by a Shannon try for David O’Donovan, Bennett again adding the points.
Scorers for Shannon : Tries: G. Lyons, D. O’Donovan ; Pen: T. Bennett (2) : Con: T. Bennett (2).
Scorers for Dublin University: Tries: B. Du Toit.
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