Corinthians RFC have jumped into third place and are just two points behind leaders Terenure College after a 27-6 win over Banbridge in the Ulster Bank League division 2A on Saturday.
It was Banbridge’s first defeat of the season at Rifle Park, forcing them to drop into fourth place.
In heavy conditions Corinthians were first on the scoreboard after 18 minutes. Following good work from the pack, the ball went wide and right wing Darrin Classens broke through the cover to touch down in the corner.
Banbridge carved out opportunities - the best from centre Andy Morrison who was stopped with the try line at his mercy by Cian Begley.
Corinthian outhalf Mick O’Flynn stretched the lead with a penalty after Banbridge flanker Dale Carson was pulled for loitering in an offside position, and the northern side was punished again when Corinthians capitalised from turnover ball. Flanker Colin Parker and locks Gary Warde and Ultan Dillane did the donkey work before centre James Buckley pounced for the touch down, leaving the half-time score 13 - 0.
The Rifle Park outfit got on to the scoreboard five minutes into the second half after the Corinthian pack were penalised for pulling down the maul in front of their posts. Scrumhalf Ian Porter converted, as Banbridge upped their game. However Corinthians weathered the storm and increased their lead in the 65th minute. Flanker Sean Gerrity drove forward from a lineout and, from the ensuing ruck, the pack drove forward with substitute hooker Kevin O’Byrne claiming the touchdown. O’Flynn added the extras.
Porter added another penalty immediately afterwards, but Corinthians sealed the bonus-point win when left winger Finn Gormley scored out wide.
Corinthians have a week’s break from All Ireland League action before facing league leaders Terenure on Saturday February 16 at Cloonacauneen.
Corinthians: C Murphy, D Classin, J Buckley, C Begley, F Gormley (cpt ), M O’Flynn, S Bruce, A Conneely, S Gerrity, C Raftery, U Dillane, G Warde, T Toolan, K Byrne, M Byrne. Subs; M Lee, F Bealham, A Cassanova, E Flynn, O Daly.