Corinthians edged out in Connacht derby

Corinthians and Buccaneers produced a great battle in Cloonacauneen Park on Friday night, but the Midlanders claimed the spoils by 17-14.

It leaves Corinthians in a vulnerable position at the bottom of the league table, but with four games remaining, Pat Cunningham’s squad has the opportunity to close the gap on their nearest rivals and secure division 1B status for another season.

Last Saturday both sides played in a defensive mode for the first half hour until the home side conceded a penalty which centre Alan Gaughan posted in the 31st minute.

Just before the break Corinthian scored a super try to give them a 7-3 lead after the pack secured an excellent turnover in the visitors’ 22. Locks Gary Warde and Ultan Dillane drove on before slipping the ball to flanker James Connolly who dived over for the touchdown, with fullback Conor Murphy adding the extras.

However after the break Corinthians’ hooker Joey Merrigan was yellow-carded for obstruction, and the midlanders capitalised with a penalty try, which Gaughan converted. Corinthians responded in the 58th minute when outhalf Miah Nikora caught the opposition backline flat footed and skated in for a fine touch down. Again Murphy added the extras to retake the lead by four points. However struck in the 70th minute with a try from substitute prop Martin Staunton, which Gaughan again converted to complete the scoring.

Corinthians: C Murphy, D Griffin, J Buckley (cpt ), D Panter, C Ryan, M Nikora, M Murphy, M Byrne, J Merrigan, C Hansbury, G Warde, U Dillane, P O'Toole, J Connolly, M Kelly. Replacements, A Bane, D Phelan, M O'Connell, C Begley, D Classen.

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