In a must-win game for both sides, Corinthians prevailed over visitors Belfast Harlequins by 26-15 to grab their third Ulster Bank League win and move up the table into sixth.
Harlequins, now bottom of division 1B, belied their lowly status at Cloonacauneen in the early stages, taking a lead when right winger Ewan Strang skated for an unconverted touchline try from a quick tap penalty.
It was the wake-up call Corinthians needed, and when centre Dave Panter found a mighty touch in the Quins’ 22 after great work by the pack, the home side made their first attack count. Flanker Marc Kelly secured the line-out, and outhalf Conor Murphy sidesteped his counterpart to touch down, adding the conversion.
Corinthians continued to up their game and with youngsters Dwayne Corcoran and winger David McDermott making inroads out wide, captain Joey Merrigan crossed for a well-executed try, which Murphy converted.
Before the break Corinthians had bagged their third touch down when fullback Darren Classen fielded a high ball and jinked in for a mighty touch down. Murphy’s conversion gave them a 21-5 lead.
Harlequins dominated the second half and were rewarded with a try from flanker Frank Taggert after scrumhalf Micky Murphy was yellow carded, and a penalty brought them within bonus point territory. But Corinthians finished well, with Eoghan Masterson breaking through the cover for the fourth try and and bonus point, their first of the season.
It was the perfect fillip as Corinthians head to Dublin to play Dublin University on Saturday (2pm ) - the students having the same points with three wins.
Corinthians: D Claasen, D McDermott, D Corcoran, D Panter, D Griffen, C Murphy, M Murphy, M Byrne, J Merrigan (cpt ), C Hansbury, C Raftery, G Warde, M Kelly, R Stanley, E Masterson. Replacements, A Walsh, A Glynn, D Joyce, P Maher, C Ryan