Corinthians have moved into the top four of the Ulster Bank League division 2A after a fine win over Old Crescent on Saturday afternoon. Now they have the chance to continue their ascent with another home fixture against a struggling Thomond on Saturday when they will start as clear favourites against a side in 14th place.
In claiming a 26-7 victory over Old Crescent on Saturday, the Galway side also regained the Ken Dolan Memorial Cup which is contested annually between these two clubs.
Played in perfect conditions, the home side enjoyed the best start, taking a lead which they never surrendered. Flanker Joey Merrigan blocked down a clearance by the visitors' scrumhalf Conor O’Driscoll on their five metre line and, from the resulting lineout, the Corinthian forwards drove forward with flanker Luke Bertini getting the touch down out wide.
Great work by Gary Warde, Pat Cunningham, and Aurelien Casanova produced a penalty after Crescent's No 8 James O'Neill was pinged for killing the ball, and outhalf Conor Murphy slotted the kick, having missed the earlier conversion.
Behind by 8 - 0 after 15 minutes, Crescent gradually worked their way back into the game and were rewarded five minutes from the break when outhalf Paul Loughran found a gap before linking with centre Will Hanly who skipped through the defence to touch down under the posts. Loughran added the extras to reduce the arrears to a single point.
The second half began brightly for the home side with fullback Darin Classens fielding a high ball in his own half and racing up the touch line before releasing winger Wayne Williams who scored out wide. Murphy extended the lead to 16-7 with a penalty.
There was no way back for Old Crescent when replacements, scrumhalf Mick O'Flynn and outhalf Eric Flynn, linked with Cunningham who supplied Williams for his second try, and Corinthians completed their scoring in the final minutes when hooker Kevin O Byrne grabbed the fourth try and bonus point.
Corinthians: D Classen, B Dixon, J Buckley, F Gormally, W Williams, C Murphy, M Murphy, D Small, K O'Byrne, T Toolan, G Warde, P Cunningham, J Merrigan, L Bertini, A Casanova. Subs: J Burton, M Byrne, S Gerrity, E Flynn, M O Flynn.