Corinthians return to winning ways

There were similarities between Corinthians and Connacht Rugby at the weekend with both recovering from dismal results the previous week to post significant wins.

Corinthians, having been trounced by Terenure last week, travelled to Belfast to face Harlequins and came away with a valuable 21-19 victory in the Ulster Bank League division 1b.

After their first defeat to league leaders Terenure, Corinthians were more nervous heading north against a side poised to grab a top four spot, and it proved a finely balanced game througout.

The visitors started brightly with an early penalty opportunity for foul play by the Quins’ backrow and Corinthians’ captain Fionn Gormley made no mistake from out wide.

The home side went attack mode after this setback and referee David Connolly awarded two penalties to the Belfast outfit, which outhalf Liam Cambridge converted. Midway through the half, he was back on the scoreboard when Josh Fullerton broke from the base of the scrum before linking up with Cambridge who broke through the Corinthian cover to score under the posts. He added the extras to give his side a 13 - 3 lead.

However the Cloonacauneen outfit regained the initiative foothold into the home after great play by centre Cian Begley and winger Bryan Dixon, and when Quins were penalised for killing the ball, Gormley reduced the arrears to seven points.

Sloppy play by the visitors allowed the hosts to extend the lead back to 10 points at the break, but Corinthians upped their game at the start of the second half.

Gormley was wide with an early penalty, but made amends minutes later to leave just seven between the sides again before Quins retook a 10-point lead.

The visitors, however, knuckled down and with the pack asserting itself, they drove forward with veteran lock Gary Warde scrambling over the try line to touch down out wide. Although Gormley missed the conversion, Corinthians had the last say in the contest. Halfbacks Davey Keogh and Philip Noone set up Gormley who skipped through the Harlequins’ back line to claim the try, and in adding the extras he put his side into a two-point lead which they held - the perfect response to last weekend’s loss heading into the Christmas break. They now sit in third place, behind leaders Terenure and Buccaneers, who have three try-bonus points.

Corinthians: C Murphy, D Classin, C Begley, F Gormley (capt ), B Dixon, P Noone, D Keogh, M Byrne, J Burns, T Toolan, G Warde, B Murphy, C Raaftery, P O' Toole, D Phelan. Subs: A Glynn, I Venter, C Hogan, L Brennan, A Walsh, G Flaherty.

Connacht domestic results: Ulster Bank League div 2A, Galwegians 34 Old Crescent 0; Ulster Bank League div 2B, Armagh 29 Sligo 13; J1A, Ballinasloe 18,Ballina 10; Corinthians 3 Connemara 10; J1B, Ballyhaunis 17 Loughrea 15; Galwegians 56 Creggs 11; J1C, Ballinrobe 10 Sligo 2nds 9; Junior 2, Castlebar 19 Tuam 25; U17 division 1, Ballina 7 Galwegians 25; Ballinasloe 16 Creggs 26; Buccaneers 12 Castlebar 25; U14A League, Ballinasloe 19, Galwegians 19.

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