Tense times for Corinthians. Having looked almost assured of achieving the promotion play-off spot in the Ulster Bank League division 1B, Corinthians have stuttered in their last two matches, recording two losses on the trot for the first time this season.
Last weekend’s 28-18 loss to Buccaneers in Dubarry Park has closed the gap between the two sides, and the Athlone outfit is now five points adrift of Corinthians.
And this weekend Phil Pretorious’ side faces a similar battle when UL Bohemians visit Corinthian Park on Saturday. Like Buccaneers, UL Bohs are also still in the hunt for promotion, and they will not make Corinthians’ task easy.
Home advantage should help and Corinthians will be hoping all supporters make Cloonacauneen a hostile environment for the visitors, while coach Pretorious will need to address a possible dip in confidence as the season’s end draws closer. Corinthians have already beaten UL Bohs in Limerick in a tight 13-10 affair, and they can do it again if they return to their confident attacking best.
Last weekend Buccaneers capitalised on Corinthian indiscipline in a match that featured two Connacht outhalves, Jack Carty for the hosts and Miah Nikora for Corinthians.
Both sides scored opening half tries - Mark Dolan for the hosts and Finn Gormley for Corinthians - but Buccaneers enjoyed the better of the second-half exchanges with Steve McCauley adding a try and Carty on song with the boot to open up a 10-point lead. Corinthians gained a foothold late in the game with a Nikora penalty and John Burns’ try to secure a valuable losing bonus point.