A Tough bruiser to start the season off, that’s about the best description of Saturday’s encounter against Clonakilty in the AIB Cup.
Within six minutes of the off, Bruff were down by three points but after that quickly took a stranglehold on the game. With Bruff playing all of the rugby, there was wave after wave of attack on the Clonakilty line, ring rustiness rather than the Clon defence and the referees whistle the only things keeping Bruff away from the Clon line. Scores were levelled by the first of the successful Bruff Penalites on 13 minutes courtesy of Brian Cahill, and they took the lead within 8 minutes with a second. Clon then, against the run of play, touched down for their one and only try of the game, with a block down of a Brian Cahill clearance, the blocker chasing to catch and touch down, then it was duly converted to give them a 4 point lead. Bruff returned to camping within the Clonakilty Twenty Two , two line crossings disallowed before finally they returned the favour with former captain Cathal breaking through the ruck to touch down on 29 minutes, Brian Cahill converting again to give them a three point lead for the second time. They would hold the lead from there to the finish. Play continued with Bruff attacking the Clon line right until the break, Scrum after scrum given to Bruff for constant infringements at the ruck byt he home side who were left trailing 13 points to 10 at the interval despite a one man advantage due to a yellow card for John Shine for slapping the ball from the Scrum-half’s hands five minutes before the whistle.
The Second half began in much the same mode, Bruff doing most of the attacking but the occasional handling error providing relief from the onslaught for Clon. The Bruff Scrum was on top enough to nullify the extra man in the scrums but on his return they had a fifteen minute golden period. 6 minutes in Bruff outhalf Brian Cahill crossed beside the posts to extend the Bruff lead to ten points when he converted a minute later.
Despite their dominance however they failed time and again to put away their opposition and despite their dominance Clon managed to come within seven points with another penalty. Clonakilty then seemed to knuckle down and the Bruff defence was tested by waves of Clon attacks before Bruff closed the game out with a final Brian Cahill penalty.
Final score Clonakilty 16, Bruff 26.
Bruff: Backs: P. O’ Brien, P. Thompson, G. Leonard, B.Deady, J. Moore, B.Cahill, T. Cahill, Forwards: S.Foster, C.O’ Regan, G.Ryan, M. O’ Connell, R.Wall, A.Bourke, J.Shine, M.Carroll.
Subs:A. Whyte (For R. Wall), D. Horan (P) (For Foster), G. Bolger (H), (For M.Carroll), N. Riordan (For J. Moore), E.Maher (For P. O’ Brien).
Scores: C. O’ Regan (T), B. Cahill, (T), (2xConv), 4 x Pens.
Opposition in the next round comes in the form of our very first ever game against St. Mary’s in Templeville Rd., where we won the Division Three Final three years ago.