O'Connell returns to hero's welcome
Published 27/11/2010 | 05:00
A crowd of 4,000 gave the biggest cheer of the night at Thomond Park to greet the return to action after 250 days of Paul O'Connell.
The Munster captain entered the fray for the second half at a time when his side Young Munster trailed 12-9 after a rousing first period. However, despite his efforts, Shannon picked up the points after Alan Kingsley failed with the last kick of the game, a 35-yard penalty.
Earlier, a drive by O'Connell led to a Young Munster penalty, which Kingsley converted to atone for three previous misses. O'Connell was then penalised for not releasing the ball in a tackle and Tadhg Bennett pushed Shannon six points clear, 18-12.
A lay-off by O'Connell sent the Young Munster backs in motion and full-back Ray Moloney got in for a try in the corner three minutes from the end, but it proved to be too late.
Shannon got off to a great start when Bennett landed a penalty and he kicked another when Young Munster were penalised for going in at the side of the ruck. Shannon were then penalised for offside and Kingsley made no mistake from in front of the posts.
After 15 minutes Young Munster were penalised and Bennett again did the needful to make it 9-3. Kingsley levelled with two further penalties, before Bennett edged Shannon 12-9 ahead at the break.
Shannon -- D O'Donovan; R Mullane, M Lawler, M O'Driscoll, L O'Dea; T Bennett, P Rowley ( R Guerin ,48); G McNamara (L Hogan, 43), D Casey, K Griffin; S Duggan, F Walsh; D Heffernan (C McMahon, 48) P Butler, D Quinlan.
Young Munster -- R Moloney; A Carroll, M Costelloe, G Jones, M Doyle; A Kingsley, S Upton; G Flaherty, G Slattery, A Cotter; J Moroney (P O'Connell, ht), S O'Neill; L Og Murphy, J O'Neill (S Hassett, 55), B Guilfoyle.