What a game, What a game, what a game.
When UCC entered the cauldron of Kilballyowen for the first time at senior level, you knew this second place tie was going to be a cracker, but this turned out to be one of the best games of the league to date. It had a mix of everything really, good tight forward play from Bruff who dominated in the pack in the first half “Down the hill” on the front pitch in Kilballyowen, flashing passes and a willingness to run from everywhere from the students. With Second Row Alfie Laffan coming ashore almost immediately after a bang received attempting to grab on to the kickoff, Maurice O’ Connell joined proceedings almost right from the off and the youngster had a game and a half. Bruff basically camped within the college twenty two for much of the half but the students were extremely aggressive in defence. UCC broke out for their only foray of the first half on twenty four minutes or so to run in for a try, courtesy of their inspirational out-half Gavin Dunne. Bruff went in at the interval 6 points to 5 up courtesy of two Brian Cahill penalties, the second just minutes before the break.
Second half began a little differently with the college pack coming back into the game. Bruff although still extremely dominant in the scrum began to falter a little and one by one players were being injured, changes having to be made almost every few minutes and the physical nature of the defence from both sides starting to tell. With the scores very close _8-6 to college) after a Gavin Dunne penalty 6 minutes into the half, you felt that whichever defence cracked first would lose the game. Bruff as usual defended their line to the very last but with bodies pushed to the limit and all of the Bruff bench on the field, The UCC Scrum half and captain Sam Cronin really took charge of proceedings and College started to squeeze. After ten minutes inside the Bruff twenty two failing to cross the line, Dunne struck again with a drop goal to push them into an 11 points to 6 lead. Itwas still a reachable target for Bruff to attempt to climb back but now college were really coming into their own. Again they finished out the game camped inside the Bruff 22 and on the last kick of the game almost 6 minutes into injury time Dunne struck again with another drop goal thus denying the home side the losing bonus point. well deserving their four points for all of their work on the day.
We’re now fourth in the Division league table after yesterday but with Old Crescent nipping at our heels just two points behind and having the advantage of a game in hand against Eugene Murnane’s Clonakilty it looks like being a very tight last few games in the run in to try to get into the playoffs.