- Result: Galwegians Firsts 5 - Shannon 8
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sat Apr 5th 2008
- Competition: AIL Cup
Shannon qualified for the AIB Cup Final, but only after a hard-earned victory having been pushed all the way by an unlucky Galwegians at Crowley Park.
Despite an impressive start from the home side who had a strong wind advantage in the opening half, it was the visitors who took the lead on 17 minutes with their first meaningful attack. Following a clean line-out take by lock Fergal Walsh near the 22, the Shannon pack mauled their way forward until flanker Niall Ronan peeled and crossed the line for a try, with winger David O’Donovan narrowly failing to land the conversion.
Galwegians missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit minutes later when full-back Liam Bibo’s penalty effort hit the upright. And the home side were unable to capitalise on their territorial dominance in the second quarter, as the Shannon defence held firm to retain a 5-0 lead at the break.
Galwegians almost drew level 5 minutes after restart when flanker Ivan Muldoon was bundled into touch inches from the line following an excellent 40 metre break down the left-wing. On 53 minutes Bibo saw another penalty effort rebound off the upright, and having missed two earlier efforts, O’Donovan finally found his range with a penalty on 65 minutes to stretch the visitor’s lead to 8-0.
But a determined Galwegians refused to give up, and they deservedly got on the scoresheet on 79 minutes when winger John Cleary finished an excellent break by out-half Peter Durcan to cross on the right for an unconverted try. But it proved to be a case of too little, too late, as Shannon held on to secure their place in next Saturday’s Final where they will meet Blackrock College in Athlone.