The hitherto unbeaten Garryowen were made to play second fiddle for much of the 80 minutes against a hungrier and better organised UL Bohemian side who scored the game’s only try. Bohs held the edge everywhere except at line-out time, but, with Sean Rennison, Ian Condell and Conor Kindregan forming an outstanding back-row, the quick ball they constantly produced at breakdown time enabled Sheridan and Hanrahan to play a crucial role.
Hanrahan certainly picked up where he had left off in scoring two tries for Munster the previous week and surely Rob Penney will have to give the former Rockwell man even more serious claims to more regular appearances at the highest level.
The home side looked the part early on and were full value for a ten point lead after 20 minutes. Hanrahan knocked over an early penalty before a towering kick deep into Garryowen territory was plucked brilliantly out of the sky by right winger Rory White who did extremely well to reach the try line. Hanrahan added the points with a superb kick from the touch line.
Garryowen enjoyed the better of matters for the remainder of the half and three well struck penalties by Gavin narrowed the gap to a single point by the interval.
Bohs suffered a double blow immediately after the resumption when referee Peter Fitzgibbon yellow carded captain Ed Kelly and Gavin kicked the resulting penalty to put Garryowen ahead for the first time by two points. If anything, however, Bohs were the better side during Kelly’s absence and would have been back in the lead had Hanrahan not shaved the posts with a long range penalty attempt.
Kelly was back in the fray when Garryowen scrum-half Neil Cronin, who had looked a very polished operator up to that point, was sent to the bin for an infringement conceded within almost touching distance of the Bohemian line. Garryowen had to withstand sustained pressure to protect their line but it came as no surprise when eventually penalised close to their own posts and Hanrahan restored Bohs lead with the kick.
There was never any doubt after that and it was left to Hanrahan to finish the scoring with another penalty deep into stoppage time.
UL BOHEMIAN: B Martin; D Moroney, M Lawler, N Kenneally, R White; J J Hanrahan, C Sheridan; G Walsh, E Rossiter, A Simpson, E Kelly capt, D Frawley, C Kindregan, I Condell, S Rennison.
GARRYOWEN: M Jarvis; C O’Shea, C Hircock, C Doyle, R O’Mahony; J Gavin, N Cronin; R Brosnan, J Rael, J P Cooney, A Kennedy, D Sherry capt, S Buckley, B O’Mahony, A Kavanagh.
Replacements: J McInerney for Hircock, injured 10 mins.
Referee: P Fitzgibbon (IRFU).
nUlster Bank League Division 2A: Seapoint 15 Terenure 13; Division 2B: Naas 27 Navan 12.