Match Report v Blackrock
First match at home!
Our firsts had their first home match in Coonagh this weekend taking on Blackrock who were fresh from their previous weeks win. Shannon were happy to welcome back Duncan Casey who was released by Munster for the weekend and pulled on the familiar number 2 jersey for the first time in awhile.
Shannon were the first to get points after 11 minutes with Ronan McKenna easily slotting over a penalty. This was answered by Blackrock only two minutes later with the Blackrock winger touching down to score an opportunistic try that was converted. The tempo was high and the tackles were punishing, Shannon had a much stronger start to this match then the week before. The next fifteen minutes passed with both teams being awarded penalties and opting to kick to touch from these, Sean McCarthy claimed a brilliant turnover to alleviate pressure on the Shannon line.
As time ticked by Blackrock were beginning to gain confidence but handling errors were getting the better of them. After a great clearing kick by Tadhg Bennett it only took Blackrock minutes to get themselves re-organised and Shannon missed some crucial tackles resulting in another Blackrock try this time from the Blackrock second centre. This was also converted leaving the score 14-03 at 33 minutes. After this Shannon’s forwards really started to dominate, we had Blackrock under pressure in the scrums. Time was ticking away and while most were pondering how long it would take for the half-time whistle to go, Frank Bradshaw-Ryan had other ideas. He made a great break and an even better offload to send Ronan McKenna straight over the Blackrock line. Unfortunately the conversion was missed leaving the half-time score 14-08 in Blackrock’s favour.
The start the second half there was a penalty each both of which were kicked to touch. The Shannon pack was dominating the mauls as well by this stage. There were a few replacements brought in on our side when the referee panelised this time for crossing. This was kicked to touch, and after gaining possession from a lineout Shannon were unfortunate to knock on the ball which Blackrock capitalised on by kicking to touch. Shannon took a quick one and this time it was Blackrock who missed tackles. After some tempers flared in a lineout Blackrock were awarded a penalty which resulted in a lineout on Shannon’s 5meter line. Again the referee deemed Shannon’s play illegal and rewarded Blackrock another penalty which they tipped into touch. Blackrock set the maul off the lineout and were rewarded with a try from their second row. This left the score 21-08 after the conversion.
In the final ten minutes of the match Shannon were rewarded with a penalty which was unfortunately missed. After this there were a few great breaks from Shannon and we were unfortunate not to gain more due to a forward pass. Shannon kept the pressure on and Blackrock had a player justifiably sent to the bin for a deliberate knock on. Shannon were now fiercely attacking with Ronan McKenna getting a great break and in a great display of teamwork Sean McCarthy eventually battled his way over the line making the score 21-13. The conversion was missed but in the dying minutes Shane Airey added a penalty to the tally leaving the final score 21-16 in Blackrock’s favour.