Wins on the double for Bruff RFC over Limerick rivals Shannon on Saturday.
Bruff managed to get over their injury time defeat of two weeks ago at Coonagh in the Limerick Charity Cup by reversing the outcome in the first round of the Munster Senior Cup in Kilballyowen on Saturday last with a typical all round tough performance.
In a game that was always going to be tight, Shannon opened accounts after 11 minutes courtesy of an easy enough run in for try debutante Dan Heffernan, the Tipp man with his first ever senior score for the Black and Blues. David O’ Donovan added the extras to give Shannon a seven point lead. Bruff seemed to get to grips with things after this, and in a normal role reversal the Bruff pack took charge. This led to a strong attacking five minute period in the Shannon five yard line and after being held up over the line twice, a fabulous break by Brendan Deady on the twenty two broke the defensive deadlock. Skipping past a brace of despairing Shannon backs he touched down over on the right hand corner after twenty one minutes. Former Captain Brian Cahill added the conversion and it was level pegging again.
The tie was broken seven minutes later when Shannon second row Fergal Walsh crashed over with a well taken try, Donovan again adding the extra points to put Shannon clear by seven points for the second time.
Within three minutes this strong Bruff side had eaten into the lead with a Brian Cahill Penalty from thirty meters, the Shannon pack deemed to have come in from the side by international man in the middle Peter Fitzgibbon. 14-10 to Shannon and 32 minutes on the clock.
Two minutes later O’ Donovan missed an opportunity to bring it back to a seven point lead when he pushed a penalty effort wide of the mark. Right from the return, Bruff resumed attack mode and being awarded a penalty from thirty five meters, Captain Cathal O’ Regan opted for a kick towards the corner. John Shine gathered in the resultant lineout and from eleven meters out Bruff mauled Shannon back over their own line, Shine popping up from the resulting melee with ball in hand. Cahill pushed the conversion wide of the mark and Bruff went into the halftime break with the slenderest of leads. 15-14 Half time Score.
The Second half began with both defences coming out on top. Despite some strong attacking from Bruff the Shannon defence came together but Brian Cahill put a little more daylight between the sides with penalty number one on 52 minutes. Rolling substitutions from both sides helped greatly in the defensive efforts. Bruff time and again ground their way into the Shannon twenty two only to come away empty handed, and with lactic acid building up in the muscles some mistakes gave Shannon relief at vital times. Shannon of course came into the game with a reputation for grinding out wins in the final minutes but on this occasion the Bruff defence was as strong as ever in fortress Kilballyowen and when Cahill slotted another three pointer on 78 minutes it was mostly a matter of grinding down the clock until the final whistle. Job well done for Bruff and they can look forward to the next round Home game match up against Cork Constitution. As stated before they are no respecters of big reputations and we can look forward to another tough encounter for this progressing team in their first season in Division 1.
Before this November fixture of course they have the minor matter of the first few rounds of the AIL and next weekend sees them travel to Clontarf for the first round. I’m really looking forward to it.
Bruff : Brendan Deady, Andy Cashman, Brian Cahill, Eoin Cahill, Nigel Riordan, Tony Cahill, Dave Horan, Cathal O’ Regan (C), Stephen foster, Alfie Laffan, Maurice O’ Connell, John Shine, Mike Carroll, Peter Malone
Subs: John Cleary, Gearóid Ryan, Andrew White, Garry Leonard, Paul O’ Brien, Brian Morrissey, John Moore.
Scorers: Tries: Brendan Deady & John Shine, Brian Cahill 1 conversion and three penalties.
Shannon: Mossy Lawlor, Luke O’ Dea, Richie Mullane, John Clogan, David O’ Donovan, Gareth Quinn McDonagh, Killian O’ Neill, Duncan Casey, Kevin Griffin, Sean Duggan, Fergal Walsh, Dan Heffernan, Leonard Mullane, David Quinlan.
Subs: Batt Duggan, Gary McNamara, Jason Cronin, Niall O’ Brien, Rob Guerin, Ben Sergeant, Brian Walsh.
Scorers: Tries: Dan Heffernan, Fergal Walsh, David O’ Donovan 2 conversions.