Horan still in search of game time with Kidney on red alert
The return to competitive action for Munster and Ireland prop Marcus Horan failed to materialise on Saturday.
Horan was to have played some part in Shannon's Munster Senior Cup semi-final against UCC but the pitch at Tom Clifford Park was deemed unplayable due to the severe frost.
Horan has not played since he retired during Munster's Heineken Cup tie against Benetton Treviso on October 17 and was subsequently found to be suffering from a minor heart ailment.
He is back in full training but lacks match practice and a choice will have to be made by Munster coach Tony McGahan whether he will afford Horan game time when Munster host the Scarlets in Cork next Sunday (5.0).
Alternatively, Horan could be chosen for Shannon in their vital match away to table-toppers St Mary's College in the AIL next Saturday.
Next weekend is the last opportunity for Horan to get game time as Munster travel to face Treviso in the Heineken Cup a week later.
Irish coach Declan Kidney will also be anxious for the 66-times capped Horan to see competitive action ahead of the defence of the Six Nations Championship which starts against Italy on February 6.
Meanwhile, in the Guinness Premiership, Northampton staged another rescue act at Franklin's Gardens as replacement Shane Geraghty converted Chris Ashton's last-minute try to deny London Irish on the scoreline of 24-22
A drop-goal from Chris Malone, who also kicked five from five at goal, put the Exiles 22-14 up with 11 minutes left.
But Geraghty scored a penalty before adding the extras to Ashton's score with the last kick of the game. Phil Dowson's try put Saints in command before Peter Hewat's intercept try, but Saints leapfrogged Irish into second.
They are now just one point behind leaders Saracens, who lost 15-22 at home to Leicester, while the Exiles -- who would have moved level on points at the top with victory -- are three points behind Sarries in a congested top four.