Corinthians have leapt to the top of the Ulster Bank League division 2A table after overcoming tabletoppers Terenure College by 21-15 in Cloonacauneen on Saturday.
In third place going into the contest, the Galway city side leapfrogged both Terenure and UCC, who were forced to share the spoils with fifth-placed Galwegians.
Now on top with 39 points, they will need to remain focused when they head to Dublin to take on Bective Rangers on Saturday. And there is no reason why they should not take Bective’s scalp as well with the Dubliners in 12th place with just three wins to date.
Last Saturday’s fixture attracted the biggest crowd of the season to Corinthian Park where the home side edged the contest by 21-15.
Terenure attacked from the off, but lost an early opportunity to get over the try line when captain and centre Conor Gildea knocked on with the line at his mercy, while the home side opened the scoring with their first foray into Terenure’s half after 12 minutes when outhalf Mick O’Flynn converted a penalty. He added a second eight minutes later before the Lakelands outfit broke through for their first try. From a driving maul led by lock Kevin O’Dwyer, flanker James O’Neill touch down out wide.
Corinthians followed suit minutes later, mauling their way into the visitors’ five metre line. Prop Tom Toolan and hooker Kevin O’Byrne drove forward before substitute prop Finlay Bealham claim the touchdown with O’Flynn adding the extras.
Just before the break Terenure closed the gap with a Willie Staunton penalty, but O’Flynn increased the home side’s lead to 16 - 8 within minutes of the restart. Crucially Corinthians grabbed a second try when super handling by centres Begley and Buckley released scrumhalf Steven Bruce who found lock Aaron Conneely who scored in the corner.
Terenure, however, refused to give up and with the last play lock Brian Moroney claimed the touchdown which was converted by Gildea to give the Dubliners a bonus point.
Corinthians: C Murphy, D Classen, J Buckley, C Begley, F Gormley, M O’Flynn, S Bruce, M Byrne, T Tolan, G Warde, U Dillane, C Raftferty, S Gerrity, A Conneely. Subs; A Walsh, F Bealham, A Casanova, D Phelan, E Daly.
Connacht domestic results: J1A, Tuam 24 OLBC 26; J1B, Ballinasloe 22 Castlebar 12; Ballyhaunis 46, Buccaneers 15; J1C, Gort 14 UCG 15; Junior 2, OLBC 18 Ballina 10; Westport 10 Corinthians 21; Buccaneers 9 Tuam 0; Ulster Bank League div 1B, Dungannon 22 Buccaneers 24.