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Six-Try Garryowen Sweep Corinthians Aside

Six-Try Garryowen Sweep Corinthians Aside

Garryowen made it nine victories in 12 league outings with a comprehensive 39-10 triumph over Corinthians, claiming what had seemed an unlikely bonus point in very wet, windy and cold conditions in Galway.

This latest win lifts Conan Doyle's men up to second in the Division 1B table and gives them a timely boost ahead of the upcoming Munster Senior Cup final against Cork Constitution on January 24.

Corinthians won the toss and decided to play into a very strong wind blowing from the city end of the pitch. They started strongly, retaining possession and carrying well and had the first scoring opportunity when a penalty from out-half Conor Murphy in the fourth minute went wide.

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Garryowen gradually got more into the game but struggled with Scottish referee Graeme Wells' interpretation of the breakdown, leading to limited continuity.

A better share of possession for the Light Blues saw Jamie Gavin kick the visitors in front from a close-in penalty. Into the second quarter, they established field position and after a bout of pressure, centre Joey Purcell – returning from a long-term injury – ran in a converted try from a good offload by Munster's Shane Buckley.

Corinthians came back strongly, but lost control of the ball at a ruck near the Garryowen 22 and good footwork from Neil Cronin and David Sherry allowed Andrew O'Byrne the opportunity to win the race to the touchdown. Gavin's conversion hit the post as did a subsequent long range penalty, as the visitors took a 15-0 lead into the second half.

Play resumed with Garryowen doing well to retain possession, however Corinthians, who included Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun on the right wing, responded with a good lineout drive inside the visitors' 22. Following a series of pick and goes, they moved the ball crisply across the back-line for centre Dwayne Corcoran to dot down.

Conor Murphy slotted the conversion for 15-7 and with a strong scrum and the wind to their advantage, Pat Cunningham's side increased the pressure. Too many infringements led to Garryowen flanker Buckley being sin-binned and Murphy fired over the resulting penalty to put just five points between the teams.

However, the yellow card seemed to galvanise Garryowen, with the likes of Josh Hrstich, captain Sherry, Ed Rossiter, Alex Wootton and James McInerney all carrying well to retain possession and keep Corinthians out of the Garryowen 22.

Jamie Glynn and James Frawley replaced Purcell and Lorcan Bourke respectively, and before the end of the sin-binning Glynn blocked an attempted clearance and showed great pace to win the race to the line for the touchdown. The difficult conversion was missed, but the pendulum had swung irreversibly in Garryowen's favour at 20-10.

John Mark Griffin, who had replaced a limping Sherry, added the bonus point score on 74 minutes, driving over from close range after a series of close-in surges. Gavin added the extras.

It was all Garryowen at this point and Buckley brilliantly broke the Corinthian defensive line and ran a full 75 metres to grab try number five which Gavin converted.

With the game well into injury-time, a delicate chip through from Gavin was collected by hooker Ed Rossiter for a deserved try that capped off a runaway triumph for Doyle's charges.

Referee: Graeme Wells (SRU)