This was a great start to Bruff’s AIL 2009-10 campaign.
A Bonus point win is the ideal beginning for any club but Saturday’s performance boded well for the rest of the season if momentum can be maintained and we can stay injury free.
Bruff looked stronger, fitter and despite Highfield’s seeming size and weight advantage, Bruff just seemed to dominate them throughout the game.
Patrick Thompson was into the action early in his first AIL appearance for Bruff, playing a key role in Bruff’s first try just six minutes into the game with a very strong break before releasing full back Brendan Deady who flicked a beautiful pass to winger John Moore to touch down in the corner. Bruff captain Brian Cahill narrowly missed with the conversion from the touchline but found the target when trading penalties with Colin O’ Mahony from Highfield mid way through the half. Cahill quickly added a second penalty for Bruff to go ahead 11 points to 3.
Just before half time a binning for Highfield led to a 5 meter scrum but the Touch judge noted an infringement and all of a sudden the game was opened up as the ref. awarded a penalty try. Half time score 18-3.
This minor mountain became an everest shortly after the break when a massive drive by the full bruff pack ended with John Stephen Shine getting try number three. then almost straight after coming on the pitch, newcomer Nigel Riordan produced what was arguably the score of the match. Latching on to the ball from 40 metres out, he broke several tackles to touch down for his debut AIL try. Cahill added the extras and with the bonus point in the bag, it was now just a matter of what would be the final margin between the sides. Garry Leonard was next to touch down on 62 minutes and nine minutes later Graham Bolger touched down with try No. 6.
By this stage, Bruff had used all available replacements and when Alan Bourke and Brian Cahill left the field injured without replacement, Highfield with a double numerical advantage, scored a consolation try as the game entered injury time. Frenchman Mike Bayssat got his side’s consolation touchdown.
This coming weekend of course sees Lansdowne coming to Bruff after a similar first outing (They put forty two points on Old Wesley on Saturday to pip us to the top of the table by virtue of a two point higher score difference).
BRUFF: Brendan Deady, Patrick Thompson, Gary Leonard, Brian Cahill (Capt), John Moore, Tony Cahill, Eoghan Maher, Stephen Foster, Cathal O’Regan, Gearoid Ryan, Maurice O’Connell, Richard Wall, Alan Bourke, John Stephen Shine and Michael Carroll.
Replacements: Andrew Cashman for Deady, Nigel Riordan for T. Cahill, Andrew White for Shine, David Horan for Ryan and Graham Bolger for O’Connell.