Corinthians dig deep to maintain promotion push

Corinthians take a break from All Ireland League action for two weeks after securing a valuable win against Malone in division 1B on Saturday.

Still maintaining their push for promotion, Corinthians had to dig deep to secure a win against Malone, who had travelled west with only one win to their credit.

The home side, playing against the wind, started strongly, but were denied any points despite good work from scrumhalf Marcus Walsh and right wing Darrin Classen, who came closest to scoring after a super break before being bundled into touch a few metres from the try line.

Malone eventually got on the scoreboard after the home side were pulled for killing the ball and outhalf James MacKenny converted from the 22 for a 3-0 lead.

Corinthians’ pack, strong in the maul, found the Malone side up to the task, but when the referee penalised the home side again for over enthusiasm in the maul, another opportunity was lost.

The second half continued in similar fashion with little between the two packs. Malone's No 8 Conor Joyce, the Irish u-20 player, was very much to the fore in the loose, as was Arron Conneely for the home side, but eventually the break came for the home side when David Panter kicked a penalty to touch after 60 minutes. From the resulting line-out the Corinthian forwards drove for the line with assistance from some backs, lock Colin Raftery claimed the touchdown out wide. Captain Fionn Gormley added the extras to put the home side 7-3 in front.

This was a huge blow to the visitors who had lost prop Lee McClure to the sinbin for foul play. However they had created another scoring opportunity with a huge touchfinder from McKenney, but Corinthians’ hooker found his man and replacement outhalf Philip Noone was able to clear and relieve the pressure.

Corinthians had the final say in the contest as they broke down field with man of the match Fionn Gormley converting a penalty after the visitors were pulled for infringing. The sides will meet again in Belfast in the final match of the league, which could still be a defining fixture for Corinthians.

Corinthians: D Panter, D Classen, J Buckley, F Gormley (capt ), B Dixon, C Murphy, M Walsh, F Bealham, J Merrigan, R Loughney, G Warde, C Raftery, D Phelan, J Burns, A Coneelly. Replacements, P O'Toole, M Byrne, A Broderick, D Keogh, P Noone.


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