Corinthians head to Thomond Park on Saturday to take on mid-table Shannon in the Ulster Bank League’s division 1b.
Having done just enough to maintain their promotion push when they came up against a tricky Dublin University in Saturday’s division 1B clash last weekend, Corinthians will not be taking Shannon for granted.
The Limerick outfit had hoped to make a swift return to division 1A this season, but is currently 14 points adrift of Corinthians in sixth place. They were defeated by Corinthians 30-16 in the Galway side’s first home fixture this season, but they should prove trickier at home.
Corinthians were given a wake-up call last weekend when they edged a gallant Dublin University side at Cloonacauneen.
The 23-22 victory ensures the Galway outfit remain in contention for the vital second-place promotion play-off, with UL Bohs and Buccaneers behind by six and seven points respectively.
The Dublin 2 visitors had opted to play against the elements in the first half and within six minutes had worked their way into the home side’s 22 and were unlucky not to get in for a touchdown. However their efforts were rewarded when centre Paddy Lavelle kicked a penalty after Corinthians outhalf Sean O’Hagan was pulled for a high tackle in front of posts and was yellow carded for his indiscretion.
However Corinthians, with wind assistance, immediately went on the offensive, and winger David Panter’s well-judged kick provided the home side with their first points when Trinity’s number eight Jack Dilger was pinged by referee Leo Colgan. Corinthians’ captain Finn Gormley levelled with the penalty. He added a second minutes later after a superb tackle by Gary Warde produced the turnover, before flanker Aaron Coneelly became the second Corinthian player to be yellowcarded.
That provided the platform for Trinity to attack and with scrumhalf Augus Loyd prominent, left winger Niyi Adeolukan sidestepped the cover to claim the opening tray, which Lavelle converted.
Corinthians, back to a full complement, started to assert themselves with hooker Joey Merrigan doing great work in the loose, ably assisted by second row Donnchadh Phelan and flanker John Burns. From a turnover, scrum Marcus Walsh provided lock Eoghan Masterson who scrambled over for a well-deserved try. Gormley added the extras to give his side a 13-10 lead at the break.
With the pack starting to dictate, Corinthians were on the front foot, and within 10 minutes they had grabbed a second try. Good work from Phelan and Warde made the hard yards, before No 8 Masterson found flanker Burns who scrambled over to extend the lead to 18-10.
However Trinity immediately replied when Lavelle broke through the Corinthian defence to touchdown for an opportunist try, and outhalf Sam Windsor added the extras leaving one point adrift.
Once again Corinthians’ pack did the job with a big turn over in the scrum, and this allowed Murphy to slip the ball to Warde who powered over for the touchdown, but the students never relented. Strong mauling provided an opening for lock Jack Kelly and he dived over for an unconverted third try, and just before the final whistle it took a big tackle from Conneely to keep them out again and secure a narrow victory.
Corinthians: C Murphy, D Panter, J Buckley, F Gormley (cpt ), M Murphy, S O’Hagan, M Walsh, F Bealham, J Merrigan, T Toolan, G Warde, D Phelan, A Conneely, J Burns, E Masterson, Subs, P O Toole, M Byrne, C Raftery, B Dixon, P Noone.
Connacht domestic results: Ulster Bank League div 2B, DLSP 12 Sligo 10; J1A, Westport 5 OLBC 9; Corinthians 12 Monivea 6; J1B, Ballyhaunis 23 Dunmore 3; J1C, Ballinrobe 17 NUIG 15.
Elverys Connacht Schools: Senior Cup Pool A, Summerhill 10 Colaiste Iognaid 13; Rice College 6 Garbally College 43; Pool B, Marist College 54, Bish 7; Junior Cup Pool A, Summerhill 7 Sligo Grammar 9; St Gerald’s Castlebar 61 Gort CS 0; Pool B, St Josephs College 0 CBS Roscommon 13; Pool C, Garbally College 40 Rice College 12; Marist College 0 Colaiste Iognaid 6; Senior Development Cup Pool A, CBS Roscommon 3 HRC Mountbellew 30; Pool B, Athlone CC 7 Pres Athenry 27; St Endas Galway 7 An Cheathru Rua 15; Junior Development Cup Pool A, Roscommon 13 Pres Headford 7; Pool B, Davitt College 24 Athlone CC 5; Pool C, St Marys Ballygar 3 Calasanctius Oranmore 43; Pool D, St Endas Galway 7,St Attractas 5. U-17 D2 play-off, Ballinrobe 26 Ballina 12.