Match report from waterpark web site
A.I.L. DIVISION 3,
PARK SLIP TOWARDS RELEGATION ZONE,
WATERPARK 0 – 34 BRUFF
The message in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 24: 37:44) was to “Stay Awake and Be Ready.” It’s a pity that this match wasn’t played on Monday and the outcome may not have been as bad, as on Saturday in Ballinakill the home side were asleep from the start and conceded the softest of tries within two minutes when they turned their backs on penalty in front of the posts from which the Co.Limerick side decided to tap and go and a couple of passes had their winger, Paul O’Brien, over the line for the first of their six tries.
First A.I.L. Visit
This was Bruff’s first visit to Ballinakill in this competition and despite the atrocious weather conditions with the game being played throughout incessant rain, this was as clinical performance as you will see from any team. They are an extremely well drilled outfit. They carry out the game plan to the letter. They know what they want from a game and most importantly their minds are focussed on the task at hand from first whistle to last.
With the visitors ahead 0-5 through that early try, Park having soaked up continuous pressure gradually found their feet and a great break in midfield by out half Ben Young after ten minutes saw him race clear into the opposition twentytwo but his chip ahead was smothered by the scrambling Bruff defence. On fifteen minutes good driving and quick recycling of the ball from the rucks allowed O’Brien over for his second try and a twelve point lead for his team. Five minutes later this had been increased to 0-17 when fullback Brendan Deady came into the line at a lovely angle to go over under the posts. Outhalf Brian Cahill was successful with the conversion. In fairness to the home side after these setbacks they upped their game and started to pressurise the visiting defence and on the half hour during a five minute spell they literally squandered fourteen points after two great breaks, firstly through Rory Kavanagh and then Ben Young brought them within a few metres of the tryline but again due to the lack of support the moves were snuffed out.
Bonus Point Secured
Within four minutes of the restart the bonus point was in the bag for the visitors after a catch and drive from a five metre lineout took the pack over the Park line with hooker and captain Cathal O’Regan emerging with the ball to push the score out to 0-22. Ten minutes later again poor tackling by the home side allowed winger Finbar Hogan to stroll over under the posts for the fifth try which Cahill converted to increase the deficit to 0-29. The final try came from another catch and drive from a lineout on sixtyseven minutes with flanker, Mike Carroll getting the touchdown to leave the score at the final whistle 0-34 in favour of Bruff.
Lessons to be Learned
In my opinion there are several lessons to be learned from this comprehensive defeat, primarily that the concession of early scores will have to stop. Three tries and seventeen points conceded in the first twenty minutes. The same thing happened in Connemara when we were ten points down in as many minutes, a position from which we never recovered. Things to work on and improve – tackling- deteriorating by the game and can be non-existent at times, – going into contact with the ball – we turned over ten balls on Saturday compared to Bruff’s two, – lineouts – sometimes absolutely great – other times absolutely terrible,- fitness – Bruff looked yards ahead in this game, with their support play out of the top drawer. They reminded me of the great Welsh team of the seventies – always three or four players supporting the ball carrier. Something will have to be done as we are slowly but surely slipping down the table into relegation territory and a win before the Christmas break is vital. There are still ten games to go so all is not yet lost. Our next home game is on the 12th.January 2008 against Ards and hopefully we will be in a better frame of mind by then.