(Photo – Irish Rugby)
It’s derby night in the Ulster Bank League Division 2A as city rivals Corinthians and Galwegians go head-to-head in a relegation battle at Corinthian Park (Friday, 5th January, 7.45pm).
This season hasn’t been kind to either side with both having achieved just two wins and one draw from 10 outings and are propping up the table.
Indeed, that draw was against each other back in November when a blustery Crowley Park witnessed a low scoring 7-7 draw with both teams benefitting from penalty points.
Corinthians are three points ahead of their opponents due to picking up more bonus points and trail Blackrock and Greystones by just two points. A win in this encounter could see them leapfrog towards mid table.
They haven’t been successful since beating Cashel 19-8 at the beginning of November and have lost their three outings including a home 17-31 defeat to Malone just before Christmas.
Corinthians were missing Kieran Joyce, Dylan Tierney, Pat O’Toole and Sean Masterson that day and they will also depend on half backs Stephen Kerins and Mark McDermott along with full back Colm de Buitlear.
— Galwegians RFC (@Galwegians_RFC) January 5, 2018
Victory for Galwegians will see them overtake Corinthians should they avoid conceding a bonus point but defeat will leave them in serious trouble of dropping to Irish Rugby’s fourth-tier next year.
They have gone seven games without a win and have to go back to September when they picked up a 26-22 victory over Blackrock College.
Hugh Lane and Morgan Codyre are their influential half backs in their bid to break down the opposition while the back three of Rory Dempsey, Bryan Dixon and Danny Carr will be vital.
It promises to be a special night under the lights which has become a fixture of these derby matches since 2012. And expect the contest to be as close as their league positions suggest.
Three players were sinbinned in their last outing and the stakes are just as high. But home advantage might just nick this in favour of Corinthians.
|4||City of Armagh||10||5||0||5||270||236||34||3||3||26|
|8||Blackrock College RFC||10||3||0||7||190||268||-78||1||2||15|
|9||Galway Corinthians RFC||10||2||1||7||186||271||-85||1||3||14|