Corinthians held on for a fine win against table-toppers Queen’s at Cloonacauneen Park on Saturday in their Ulster Bank division 2A fixture.
Playing with the galeforce wind in the first half, Corinthians led by 12 - 0 thanks to the boot of outhalf Conor Murphy who slotted four penalties. It had taken the home side 15 minutes to get on the scoreboard, but with Aaron Conneely and Aurelien Cassanova prevalent in a dominant pack, Corinthians had the visitors on the backfoot.
A collapsed scrum gave Murphy his first chance, and before the break he added another three.
The students started to assert themselves in the second half and they were rewarded when their outhalf James McKinney slotted a fine penalty. From the kick off Queens were on the attack again with McKinney going for a drop goal, which was just wide.
With the visitors now starting to dominate, Corinthian coach Sean Duignan made some quick changes. Joey Merrigan moved from the backrow to hooker, while Tom Toolan came in at loose head, and this provided the home side with momentum to utilise their driving strength in the difficult conditions. After mauling there way into the Queen’s 22, quick ball resulted in centre and captain Finn Gormley driving over the line, aided by winger Darin Classen.
The Belfast outfit upped their game and, gaining a foothold in the Corinthian half, secured a penalty to close the gap to 17 - 6. From the restart the students gained possession again and, worked their way to five metre line where Queen’s number eight Tom Patton scrambled over to touch down in the corner.
With 10 minutes still on the clock, the home side stood firm in defence to claim a valuable home scalp.
Corinthians now face DSLP. on Saturday in Dublin.
Corinthians: D Panter, D Claasen, F Gormally, W Williams, B Dixon, C Murphy, M Murphy (K Marmion ), F Bealham, K O’Byrne, D Small (T Toolan ), G Warde, P Cunningham (S Gerrity ), J Merrigan, A Conneely, A Casanova.
Junior League div 1B, UCG 9 Corrib 31; Loughrea 33 Gort 0; Junior League div 1C, Ballyhaunis 46 Portumna 19; Dunmore 60 Carrick 0.