Hurley spoils Shannon's play-off hopes
Title-holders Shannon failed to qualify for the top-four play-offs, and all because they failed to convert the only try of the game in front of a huge attendance at Coonagh.
Despite the glorious conditions, both sides opted to play mainly through their forwards. As with most games between these two arch-rivals, try scoring opportunities were rare and by half-time only three penalties had been landed.
Shannon went ahead through Mossy Lawler's boot on 11 minutes when visiting prop Rory Brosnan was yellow-carded, but Garryowen fought back with two penalties from Gerry Hurley.
A minute into the second half, Hurley landed his third kick. Like true champions Shannon struck back immediately when their outstanding flanker Paddy Butler got in for the only try of the game. Lawler missed the conversion 10 metres in from the touchline as the swirling wind took his effort wide.
Garryowen's Ed Mackey was yellow-carded after 49 minutes but the visitors held firm to earn the bragging rights.
Scorers -- Shannon: P Butler try, M Lawler pen. Garryowen: G Hurley 3 pens.
Shannon: M Lawler; R Mullane (L O'Neill 51), F McLoughlin, J Clogan (A Finn 51), S Kelly; G Quinn-McDonagh, F McNamara; L Hogan, M Essex, K Griffin; P O'Brien, F Walshe; P Butler, E Grace, D Quinlan.
Garryowen: R O'Mahony; I Hanley, (L Bourke 48), C Doyle, K Hartigan, A Gaughan; G Hurley, C Murray; R Brosnan, (JPCooney 58), M Sherry, D Lavery, (D Kavanagh 72); F McKenna, E Mackey; P Neville, A Kavanagh, D Sherry.
Referee: J Carville, IRFU
ST MARY'S 39
ST MARY'S secured a home semi-final with a five-try victory over relegated Dublin rivals Clontarf at Castle Avenue.
The sides looked to be going in at 3-3 at half-time, but a breakaway try from Damien Hall gave the visitors an 8-3 lead two minutes before the interval.
Scores from Stephen Grissing, Mark Sexton, David Kilbride and Gavin Dunn completed a comfortable victory for the southsiders after a second-half try-fest. Dunn added four conversions and two penalties
Scorers -- Clontarf: B Reilly 2 tries, M Garvey try, D O'Shea dg, M Dufficy 3 cons. St Mary's: G Dunn try, 4 cons, 2 pens, S Grissing, M Sexton, D Hall, D Kilbride 1 try each.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 36
UL BOHEMIANS 15
BLACKROCK signed off on a mid-table season with a strong performance to trounce already relegated UL Bohs.
Rising star Andrew Conway was among the try-scorers, and Kyle Tonetti bagged himself a brace.
Scorers -- Blackrock College: K Tonetti 2 tries, A Conway, S Monahan, S Byrne try each, D Fitzpatrick 1 pen, 4 cons.
UL Bohemians: D Moloney, M Doyle try each, F Lawlor 2 pens, 1 con.
Cork Constitution 23
Cork Constitution secured top spot with deserved victory over Dolphin -- who return to Temple Hill in the semi-finals next week, courtesy of Shannon's defeat by Garryowen.
The home side had this game sewn up by half-time as they led 20-3 with tries from Cronan Healy, Tom Gleeson and Duncan Williams; Scott Deasy kicked a penalty and a conversion.
Barry Keeshan kicked a penalty for the visitors and added his second penalty early in the second half. A try by Sam Cronin converted by Keeshan put Dolphin in with a chance of a bonus point, but Deasy's second penalty five minutes from time denied them.
Scorers -- Cork Constitution: C Healy, T Gleeson, D Williams try each, S Deasy 2 pens, 1 con. Dolphin: S Cronin try, B Keeshan 2 pens, 1 con.
YOUNG MUNSTER 8
Buccaneers racked up a fourth straight victory to secure their place in the division.
Adam Kennedy penalty gave the hosts an 8-5 half-time lead, following tries from Paul Harte of Buccaneers and Munster's Aaron Carroll.
Alan Kingsley levelled with a drop goal but a Kennedy penalty and a late Brian Touhy try which Kennedy converted kept Buccaneers up.
Scorers -- Buccaneers: Harte, Touhy try each; Kennedy 2 pens, 1 con. Young Munster: Carroll try, Kingsley 1 drop goal.
Buccaneers: Staunton, Halligan; Higgins, P Burke, Tormey, Rigney; S Burke (Watters 52), Kiripati; Kennedy, Hayman; Stapleton Touhy, Harte, Lavelle, O'Brien.
Young Munster: Flaherty; Slattery, D Murphy (Griffin 54), S O'Neill, Hanley (McGrath 54); Hassett, J O'Neill, Melbourne (L Murphy 50); Prendergast, Kingsley; Grace (Clohessy 67), Casey, Corcoran, Carroll, Moloney.
Old Belvedere 48
Old Belvedere cruised through to the semi-finals by crushing UCC. Belvo' will travel to St Mary's and can expect a tougher test than they got at the Mardyke.
Tries by Jason Risden, Jonathan Slattery and Leo Auva'a and two conversions and a penalty by Andy Dunne had the visitors 22-3 ahead at half-time.
It was all one way traffic in the second half as Belvo' had further tries from Chris Keane, Jason Risden, John Kennedy and Dave Monaghan. Dunne converted three of the tries.
Scorers -- UCC: R O'Sullivan pen.
Old Belvedere: J Risden 2 tries, J Slattery, L Auva'a, C Keane, J Kennedy, D Monaghan try each, A Dunne 5 cons, 1 pen.
Ballynahinch produced a great performance to defeat Ballymena but their bonus-point victory was not enough to stop them going down with their Ulster rivals.
A hard-fought encounter produced seven tries in ideal conditions, with Hinch winning the abundance of possession.
They only led 18-14 at the break but piled on the pressure towards the close although it was to no avail.
Scorers -- Ballynahinch: M Graham 3 tries, S Morrow, D Nicholson try, R Bambry 2 pens, 2 cons. Ballymena: T Seymour 2 tries, R Drysdale 2 pens, 2 cons.
Dungannon pulled off an extraordinary escape from relegation, coming from 15-12 down to win as other results worked in their favour
Scorers -- Dungannon: M Farquahar, M Telford, D Hall try each, J Shiels 1 pen, 3 cons. Galwegians: A Conboy 2 tries, R O'Beirne pen, B Murphy con.