Corinthians RFC takes centre stage on the rugby calendar this weekend when they host their first All Ireland League division 1B fixture at Cloonacauneen.
And, after a superb opening day victory over Dublin University, Corinthians will be in confident form when they host illustrious Munster outfit Shannon at 2.30pm.
Shannon lost their opening game at home to visitors Blackrock College by 16 - 23 and they will travel to Corinthians for the first time eager for a victory.
However Corinthians, coached by Phil Pretorious, will be hoping to continue their winning form in front of an expected large home following.
Last weekend they enjoyed the perfect start to life in division 1b with a comfortable 25 - 7 win over Dublin University (Trinity ).
Played at Sidney Parade, the visitors gained the upper hand with a Sean O’Hagan penalty, but it was not long before the students utilised their forward strength with second row and captain Jack Kelly breaking through the Corinthian defence for the opening try, which outhalf Conor Kearns converted.
Corinthians narrowed the gap before the break with another well-taken penalty by O’Hagan, and went on to dominate the second half with three tries. The first came in the 48th minute after outhalf O’Hagan broke through the home side cover before sending a long pass to left winger Ivan Venter, a new signing from Pretoria, who scored his first try in the AIL competition.
With the pressure on the Dublin outfit, O’Hagan side-stepped the defence to touchdown for Corinthians’ second try, and added the extras for a18 -7 lead with 20 minutes left. And when Trinity prop Martin Kelly saw yellow, it was all Corinthians at the end. Eventually the students wilted as Connacht flanker Aaron Conneely smashed over for the side’s third try which was converted by O’Hagan. With 10 minutes remaining, Corinthians kept up the intensity, but to the students’ credit, they kept the visitors from gaining an extra bonus point.
Corinthians squad; D Panter, D Classens, J Buckley, F Gormley (capt ), I Venter, S O’Hagan, M Murphy, F Bealham, J Merrigan, T Toolan, C Raftery, D Phelan, A Conneely, J Connolly, E Masterson, A Walsh, M Byrne, S Gerrity, D Keogh, C Murphy.
Connacht domestic results
J1A, OLBC 16 Corinthians 10; J1B,: Corrib 13 Loughrea 8; Dunmore 16 Buccaneers 16; Creggs 32 Monivea 2 25; J1C, Carrick 11 Galwegians 3rds 32; Schools - Connacht Senior Premier League: Marist College 10 Colaiste Iognaid 19; Sligo Grammar 20 Garbally College 5; Schools Connacht U18 Regional League: An Cheathru Rua 7 St Joseph’s College 60; Schools Connacht Junior Premier League North: St Gerald’s Castlebar 34 Sligo Grammar 8; Schools Connacht Junior Premier League South: St Joseph’s College 48 Colaiste Iognaid 3; Schools Connacht U16 SW Regional League: St Paul’s Galway 17 St Enda’s Galway 15.