Old Wesley came up trumps against Corinthians in a bruising encounter at Donnybrook on Saturday.
Corinthians opted to play against the wind for the first half and immediately came under pressure, conceding a penalty in front of the posts for a rucking infringement whic Wesley outhalf David Smith converted from 35 metres.
With No 8 Colin Wallace and centre Alan Thompson prominent, Wesley continued to exert all the pressure, but they were unable to convert their penalty chances until midway through the half. When the Corinthian pack was again penalised for driving offside, Wesley changed their kicker and Alan Large struck from the 10 metre line to extend the lead to 6 - 0.
Corinthians began to find their rhythm with outhalf Tim Donnelly finding some good touchfinders, and second rows Pat Cunningham and Seamus Murphy performing in the line-outs. When Cunningham drove forward from a lineout, he found scrumhalf Michael Roche who took off from the half way line, sold the dummy, and ran over for a try after 35 minutes.
Corinthians missed the conversion before Alan Large also spurned a penalty for the home side, and it was Corinthians who finished the half attacking the Wesley line after some good work from Donnelly.
Wesley, however, introduced their South African coach Dan Van Zyl, and the scrumhalf made an immediate impact, putting the visitors’ backline under pressure which duly gave away a penalty which David Smith converted to extend the lead to 9 - 5. Crucially the home side scored again when Wesley winger Richie Thompson brought off a tackle on his opposite number on the half way line before Alan Thompson ripped the ball free and streaked over for a try which was converted by Dave Smith.
Corinthians did not give up and Tim Donnelly converted two penalties leaving the score 16- 11 with 10 minutes remaining. Corinthians continued to drive at the Wesley line, but to no avail, leaving the Galway side in fifth position as the league takes a break for the autumn internationals.
Corinthians: R Ferguson, J Buckley, R Forbes, W Williams, D Classens, T Donnelly, M Roche, D Lillis, J Merrigan, D Small, S Murphy, P Cunningham (Captain ), A Casanova, R Connelan, S Geraghty. Replacements: B McCann for D Lillis, C Begley for R Ferguson.
Old Wesley: A Large, R Thompson, A Thompson, B Hastings, R Johnson, D Smith, P Campbell, I Wallace, E Kelder, D Viljoen, P Hosie (Captain ), J Carroll, N Stanley, C Wallace, C McClean, Replacements: D Van Zyl for P Campbell.
Referee: G Greer.