Victorious Corinthians seal promotion to Division Two!

November 7, 2018

As Ralph O’ Gorman wrote in this seasons yearbook “many qualities will be necessary to survive in the changing world of rugby, Irish rugby and courage is just one of them. Corinthians have it and each generation demonstrates it in their own way. It makes the future of this club worth watching, worth following, worth supporting, worth documenting, it’s about Corinthian courage” This was never more evident than it was on Saturday in Corinthians penultimate game of their AIL campaign, on a day where there was a fantastic turnout for what was to be an historic day for the club. Queens arrived with high expectations of gaining their own promotion but the home side started out playing into a stiff breeze and dictated the game early. Both sides gave away some early penalties with Queens out half Michael Pyper kicking into the corners but with great cover coming from Corinthians Darrin Classens and Dave Clarke which kept the home side defence intact. Corinthians back row excelled at this stage, Cunningham, Casanova and especially Geraghty were superb in defence against the visitors. The opening score for the home side came in the 30th minute with a great break by Casanova who fed out to Geraghty; he then got the ball out to Dave Clarke who played a slick dummy to Wayne Williams for a touchdown in the corner, leaving the score at 5-0 when Williams missed the conversion. Queens started to raise their game, with prop Michael Ferguson and 2nd row James Stanford taking the Corinthians pack on, but the home side held firm with scrum half Roche dictating the game at the base of the scrum and with young Clarkes line kicking they managed to keep the visitors at bay. The first half finished with Corinthians leading 5 – 0. In the second half the home side got the ball into the corners and were successful in getting a turnover when Queens full back David McIlwaine knocked on a high ball over the line. From the ensuing scrum Queens were penalised but Clarke was wide of the mark with his kick. Corinthians pack stayed on top of the game and gained possession with Roche kicking into the corners and along with Williams kept the pressure up. From a Corinthians put-in Roche set the ball up for Clarke to kick a peach right between the posts on the 50th minute leaving the score at 8 -0. Queens didn’t give up at this stage and with great endeavour by prop forward Michael Ferguson driving on, after the home side gave away a penalty, he connected up with Andy Linton to score under the posts which was converted by scrum half Ian Porter leaving score on 57 minutes at 8 – 7. At this stage the home crowd got nervous but again pressure was applied with great driving by the home side front row Paul McCreanor, Joey Merrigan and Dave Small. This kept Corinthians on the front foot combined with Merrigans precise throw ins in the line out and captain par excellence Pat Cunningham being outstanding in getting clean ball but Queens winger Dave Colvin and centre Jimmy Shiels held their line. Class act Roche once again slipped the ball to Casanova with Cunningham on his shoulder and fed to man of the match Geraghty who went over for the try with Clarke duly converting leaving the score at 15 – 8 at 65 minutes. Roche and Clarke still dictated the game with Dave Small taking the ball through the centre and at this stage Corinthians closed down the game with each and every one of the team including the subs giving it their all. Eventually IRFU referee Jude Quinn blew the final whistle leaving the final score at 15 – 7. This victory makes us think back to past reporters Jimmy Lydon and Jimmy McMahon R.I.P. who reported for The Tribune, Sentinel and Observer for whom this game was their defining game, to see Corinthians achieve a milestone in these depressing recession times. The win also guarantees division 2 promotion for Corinthians with them now at a table topping 53 points. With one more game left away to Naas next Saturday a win there will see Corinthians in pole position going into the playoffs!