Corinthians gained a valuable 24-8 win over Connacht rivals Sligo to keep their promotion hopes alive in this year's AIB League division 2B.
Played in wet and windy conditions at Corinthian Park, both sides needed a win to stay in touch with the leaders, but a solid second half from the home side ensured they prevailed.
Sligo, with a wind, had dominated territory in the opening half, but Corinthians' pack provided a rock solid defence. Eventually, however, the visitors broke the deadlock when a quick recycle and excellent handling in the backline provided left wing Phillip Carter with enough space and speed to squeeze in at the corner flag for an excellent try, putting Sligo 5-0 up after 14 minutes.
The home side's continued strong defence limited Sligo’s try scoring opportunities before a penalty gave the visitors an eight-point lead.
Despite limited possession, Corinthians secured a try just before the break after outhalf Conor Dean kicked behind the Sligo cover. Centre Sean O'Brien collected on the run before touching down for a superb try. Deans added the conversion to close the gap to 7-8 at the break.
The second half was all about Corinthians with the aid of the elements exerting pressure that Sligo tried to contain. Corinthians pack provided the muscle, and the backs provided the finishing touch again on 52 minutes when Sligo wing Carter was caught in possession by the chasing Michael O'Reilly. From a quick turnover by Conor Dean, Corinthians attacked wide where Sean O'Brien found space to accelerate through the 22 to score his second try. Dean's conversion made it 14-8 to Corinthians.
Sligo continued to work hard and managed several half breaks, but the constant pressure from Corinthians forced errors from which the home side could capitalised. When Sligo conceded a penalty, Dean added the three points for a 17-8 lead before the pack secured a third try five minutes from time.
Corinthians now travel to Dublin to take on Wanderers on Saturday. Wanderers are sitting in second place with 48 points - nine ahead of Corinthians in fourth place.