Corinthians’ festive fare

A feast of festive rugby takes place in Cloonacauneen on Saturday when Corinthians host Dublin’s Bective Rangers in their Ulster Bank League division 2A clash under lights (6.30pm ).

This is the final All Ireland League fixture before the Christmas break, and all Connacht season and matchday ticket holders are entitled to free entry.

Hot mulled wine will be served at halftime, and the Corinthians card draw for a new 2012 Opel Astra will take place following the game. Tickets are still available at €20.

Corinthians will have targeted this pre-Christmas home fixture as an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the top four. Currently in seventh place, and just two behind fifth placed Greystones, Corinthians are five points ahead of Saturday’s opponents.

Last weekend Corinthians travelled to Kirwan Park to take on the league leaders De La Salle Palmerston, but had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Having enjoyed the first-half wind advantage, the Galway outfit led 13 - 10 at the break, but ultimately lost by 17 - 15.

The visitors enjoyed a fine start with outhalf Conor Murphy converting a penalty after the home side were penalised for foul play. They then added a try in the 15th minute. Good work from their pack, led by Joey Merrigan and Gary Ward, paved the way for Ireland u-19 fullback Dave Panter to cross in the corner.

The home side, however, won a great ball against the head to set set up a quick ball for lock Clive Ross to pick and scramble over for a touchdown, with outhalf Phil Debarra adding the extras to reduce the arrears to 8 - 7.

With Corinthians’ pack also making headway, they once again created another opportunity which saw Panter claim his second try, but the hosts replied with a penalty before the break to keep in contention going into the second half.

The second half remained a close affair with both packs testing each other, but crucially DLSP got the break, kicking the ball up the pitch for scrumhalf Ian Burke to scramble over for a try. Debarra again added the extras.

Corinthians: D Plater, D Classen, F Gormley (capt ), W Williams, B Dixon, C Murphy, K Marmion, F Bealham, K O’Byrne, T Toolan, G Warde, P Cunningham, J Merrigan, S Gerrity, A Cassanova.

Connacht results

Junior League div 1A, Tuam 23 Castlebar 0; Ballina 7 OLBC 3; Monivea 45 Corinthians 8; Galwegians 33 Westport 0. Junior League div 1B, UCG 15 Ballinrobe 14; Gort 10 Buccaneers 55. Junior League div 2, Galwegians 18 Westport 3; Tuam 12 Ballina 10.

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