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Horan returns as Shannon lose out

Munster and Ireland were given a big boost last night when Marcus Horan returned to action after a lengthy spell of injury.

The loose-head played for 51 minutes in the battle of Limerick arch-rivals Garryowen and Shannon, in this Ulster Bank AIL clash but his side went under to a revitalised Garryowen, who put their poor form behind them.

Declan Cusack had Garryowen in front with penalties after five and 17 minutes.

Shannon suffered a setback when top points kicker Tadhg Bennett had to retire injured after only 10 minutes and they suffered another blow when Kevin Griffin was sin-binned after 28 minutes.

Bennett's replacement Gareth Quinn-McDonagh landed a penalty after 39 minutes and just on half- time Stephen Kelley scored a try to have the visitors 8-6 in front.

However, Garryowen dominated the second half, with tries by Alan Gaughan which Cusack converted and Paul Nevile stormed over for another. Mick Sherry added a third on 62 minutes which Cusack again converted.

Shannon never gave up and a try two minutes from by Les Hogan two minutes from the end was fitting reward for the prop.

Garryowen -- L Bourke; A Gaughan, C Hircock, C Doyle, R O'Mahoney; D Cusack, C Murray; JP Cooney (B McNamara 67), M Sherry, D Lavery; F McKenna, A McCloskey; P Neville, A Kavanagh, D Sherry.

Shannon -- D O'Donovan, L O'Dea, M Lawler, M O'Driscoll, S Kelly; T Bennett (G Quinn-McDonagh 10), P Rowley; M Horan (L Hogan 51), D Casey, K Griffin; D Heffernan, F Walsh; C McMahon, P Butler, D Quinlan.

Ref -- A Lewis (IRFU).

Irish Independent