CORINTHIANS emerged as victors over local rivals Galwegians in the city derby return leg in Division 2A of the Ulster Bank League on a calm winter’s evening under lights at Coonacauneen last Friday.
The teams came into this game lying in the bottom two places of the League table, with only two wins out of ten each thus far. And although there was little to choose between the sides for long periods of this game, the hosts were worthy winners on account of their clinical finishing and an ability to take the scoring chances which came their way.
In an evenly contested first half, it was the visitors who were edging the early exchanges in terms of both territory and possession. However Wegians were unable to turn early dominance into scores on the board, spurning one great chance in particular when they were three metres from the opposition try line, only to be penalised by referee Cillian Hogan.
For their part, Corinthians defended comfortably, and served notice of their intent when scoring with their first real incursion into the Wegians half at the end of the first quarter. It may not have been the cleanest strike, but out-half Mark McDermott slotted his penalty between the sticks from the left.
Wegians responded instantly when they won a penalty from the restart, which gave Morgan Codyre the opportunity to level matters from in front of the posts. The Blues then held the upper hand for the next period with their dominant scrum providing a platform, but for all that they never really threatened to make a breakthrough. Codyre tried his luck with a long-range penalty attempt on the half-hour mark from near halfway, and although he had the distance,. it went just wide.
A turning point came shortly afterwards when Wegians flanker Matt Towey was sin-binned for a high tackle near the Corinthians 22. The hosts took advantage by working their way upfield, and just when the 14-man Wegians looked like holding them out, on the stroke of half-time scrum-half Sean Hogan spotted a gap, leapfrogged a ruck and scampered home under the posts for an opportunist opening try. McDermott converted to give his side a 10-3 lead at the break.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.