Dec 012008

1st XV: The first XV had one of the tightest games of the season to date against the youngsters from the oldest club in the country. While Dublin University may have a tradition going all the way back to 1854, the oldest player on the pitch on Saturday was 22. This was a fractious game at times, right from the get go. Trinity took the initial lead when their full back managed to hand off Bruff winger Paul O’ Brien before passing inside to centre Con Colclough who ran in for the score after fourteen minutes. Dave Maw opened the Bruff scoring with a penalty on twenty five minutes. Three minutes later the Students winger who was on kicking duties for the day, Colin Jebb missed a penalty opportunity to go further ahead but on 38 mins, Tristan Goodbody managed to break three tackles before getting over to put them ahead by 12 points to 3, Jebb missing the conversion attempt. The Students winger saw yellow a couple of minutes later for constant interference on the ground. Play was delayed for ten minutes to allow Alfie Laffan to be stretchered off the pitch, great care being taken after a mild upper back injury. Right on the stroke of half time Bruff Winger Paul O’ Brien managed to convert a five minute period of pressure on the university try line into points when he touched down after a skip pass from Brian Cahill after the students had been dragged into tackle after tackle leaving a four on two overlap for the winger to go over in the corner. Cahill missed the two pointer right on half time and Bruff went into the break four points down, 12-8.

The second half saw a bit of a change around when Bruff really upped the tempo and basically camped for most of the forty eight minutes played within the student 22. Time after time Bruff managed to gain the upper hand only to see it being given away by minor mishaps right in front of the line including crossing, accidental offsides and forward passes (The famed white line fever striking). The students prop saw yellow again after 13 minutes for more interference on the ground. The constant pressure from the Bruff pack finally saw Máirtín O Rourke crossing after a number of five meter scrums putting the home side one point ahead on fifty nine minutes facing into an interminable last twenty minutes. No further score in the game despite being more or less camped inside the University 22 apart from the occasional breakout, however with 8 minutes of injury time played by referee Jude Quinn, a lot of us were chewing our nails and the Live 95 FM commentator’s heart was broken making phone calls to me for the result. Ballynahinch’s last minute try against Old Crescent gave them a losing bonus to keep them one point ahead of us in the league table.


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