Banbridge followed up their opening All-Ireland League win at Malone with another success, this time picking up the additional bonus point on offer thanks to their five tries scored against Corinthians.
The win leaves the Rifle Park side sitting in second place in Division 2A, with Queen’s’ superior points differential earning them the top spot.
Bann coach Daniel Soper was well pleased with his team’s performance.
“There was a big improvement defensively on the Malone game”, he said as the players celebrated their win. “We were patient and much better organised today.
“We did give away one try through sloppy defending but their second try was from a neat crossfield kick and those can be difficult to defend. I thought generally our defensive work was very good.
“Three of our tries were from long range after we had turned over ball. And what pleased me was the way all 20 players played their part in the win, with our five replacements all making a contribution when they came on.”
Bann dominated the early play and after Andrew Morrison almost put Clark McAllister in for a try, Lee Steenson earned his side’s first points with a penalty from 25 metres in the 7th minute.
A knock –on from the re-start allowed Corinthians to make their first visit to home territory but they made it count, putting winger Darren Griffin in at the corner from a midfield scrum.
Corinthians were attacking again when Morrison pounced on a dropped pass and out-sprinted the defence on a 60 metre dash to the try line.
Then a five metre lineout gave the Bann pack the chance to show their mauling prowess as they drove lock Chris Allen over for the second try.
After Stephen Irvine had tapped a penalty on halfway and made good ground, Peter Cromie took up the running before Morrison found McAllister with the pass that put the winger in for his side’s third unconverted try.
Corinthians out-half James Proctor showed his kicking skills with a tidy crossfield kick which was collected and touched down by David McDermott in the left hand corner, with Proctor’s failed conversion attempt giving an interval scoreline of 18-10.
James Buckley’s penalty two minutes after the break proved his side’s last contribution to the scoring, with the Bann defence proving the match of anything thrown at them for the remainder of the game.
After Irvine had collected a kick on his own “22”, John Porter weaved and shimmied his way well inside the Corinthians half.
Irvine did well to be up in support to take the winger’s offload and Adam Ervine added the finishing touch to an excellent move, with Steenson adding the extras off the tee before slotting over his second penalty for a 28-13 lead.
Corinthians were still trying to rescue something from the game in the closing minutes but when their attack broke down the loose ball was hacked through from halfway with Ervine and Porter leading the chase and the latter eventually effecting the touchdown.
“We have a tough assignment at Thomond up next,” said Soper.
“But I’m happy with the way things are going.
“The Seconds had a thumping win over Coleraine on Saturday after being on the cusp of a win for the past two weeks.
“So with 40 plus enthusiastic players out training that gives us plenty to work with and keeps the pressure on the Firsts players to perform.”