Bennett’s brace sinks Bohs
Shannon 31 UL Bohemian 13 AIL Division 1A
Shannon recorded a vital bonus-point win against relegation rivals UL Bohs at Thomond Park, closing the gap on the Red Robins to just two points at the foot of the table.
And a bad night for Bohs was made worse, as fellow strugglers St Mary's recorded an upset win against Clontarf at Castle Avenue.
Shannon started brightest, but it was Bohs who got the game's opening score, Ben Martin kicking a penalty.
Bohs were then reduced to 14 men on the quarter-hour, following Ian Condell's sin-binning for a high tackle, which was instantly punished as Munster's Luke O'Dea scored a try and Rob Guerin added the extras for a 7-3 lead.
Martin reduced the deficit with a penalty, but Shannon extended their lead when Tadhg Bennett crossed for a try, which Guerin again converted to leave his side 14-6 up at half-time.
Bohs closed the gap to one after 43 minutes with a converted David Johnson try, but a third converted Shannon try, this time by James Loxton restored the eight-point advantage, which Guerin extended to 11 with a penalty on the hour mark.
In the final 20 minutes Bohs exerted some pressure, but fell short of securing a crucial score, Shannon's exceptional try-line defence holding firm before they killed off the Bohs challenge when Bennett broke through for the bonus-point try.
Shannon – L O'Dea (M D'Arcy 30 (O'Dea48); J Loxton, E Maloney, R Mullane, D Donovan; T Bennett (c), R Guerin; M Horan (G McNamara 71), D Casey (J Cronin 48 and 65), K Griffin; F Walsh, E McLoughlin; J Murphy, J Shine (M Essex 79), D Heffernan.
UL Bohs – D Johnson; A Rossiter, M Lawlor, N Kenneally, R White; B Martin, C Sheridan (T Rafferty 27); T Burke (Alex Simpson 31), S Henry, G Walsh; E Kelly (c), D Foley; C Kindregan, I Condell (E Rossiter 50), J O'Donoghue (S Rennison 31).
REF – G Clancy