The first XV managed to keep their playoff hopes very much alive with this win over Clon as Old Crescent lost their game at home to Highfield over the weekend. The return of Eugene Murnane to Bruff for the first time in the AIL would add a little edge as they needed some points to be 100% guaranteed safe for the season.
Clon were fist on the board after the 9th. minute courtesy of break by centre Dave Lombard who passed to his Winger O’ Sullivan to run in from 20 meters. Garry Cribb adding the extras. 7 minutes later Bruff full back Paul O’Brien replied after a sweet chip over the Clonakilty defence, collecting an even sweeter bounce to get in under the posts. Brian Cahill added the points and then put Bruff ahead for the first time on the 28th. minute with a penalty. 10-7. Just on half time Clonakilty scored another try courtesy of a Derek Dillon break, skipping past a couple of tackles before releasing flanker Len Harte to score beside the posts. Dave Lombard added the points to give the visitors a 14-10 half time lead.
The second half began ominously with Clonakilty scoring first, with a second Lombard kick going in off the post after just four minutes. 17-10. Now trailing by seven points, the home side sensed that any hopes of reaching the play offs were rapidly fading and upped the tempo noticeably. A back movement saw outhalf Brian Cahill make very good progress and he released Andrew Cashman with some work to do but managing to round some despairing Clonakilty defenders to score his first League try for the club. Cahill’s conversion attempt clipped the post but went wide. 17-15.
Dave Lombard added his second penalty on the 63rd. minute to push his side back into a five point lead and leaving the home side with a lot of work to do in the final quarter. 20-15. Bruff were now forced to chase the game but they upped another gear and were rewarded ten minutes later when after going through a large number of phases, Cathal O’ Regan eventually got in near the corner for his side’s third try, fulfilling his Captains duties. Brian Cahill missed a difficult conversion but two minutes later put over what turned out to be the winning penalty.
Both sides can consider the day as a good day out, Bruff keeping their playoff hopes alive, everything going down to the last day as usual and clonakilty coupled with other results ont he day are well safe for the season after their losing bonus point.
BRUFF; Paul O’Brien, Finbarr Hogan, Andrew Cashman, John Malone, John Moore, Brian Cahill, Eoghan Maher, David Horan, Cathal O’Regan (Capt.), Stephen Foster, Maurice O’Connell, Alfie Laffan, Paddy Cleary, Ger. Luby and Peter Malone.
Replacements: Mossie O’Donnell for Luby (13), Dermot Murnane for Cleary (HT), John Carroll for Hogan (61) Gearoid Ryan for Horan (66) and David Horan for Foster (80).Garry Leonard.