For the first time in three months we saw a bit of Sunshine in Kilballyowen but thats about as good as it got for the first XV. Despite a good performance, events conspired again and again to deny Bruff the try that they needed to put away their First division opposition. On four separate occasions they were denied what would have been deserved tries by the staunch and strong Munsters Defence.
The first half was a tale of two kickers. Bruff’s Captain Brian Cahill putting over three tough ones and missing one more, the Young Munster Outhalf, Alan Kinsley missed three from in front of the posts, the only difference between the three being the distances. With the first half broken for water breaks, the play swapped end to end, both defences winning out and nullifying their oppositions attacks. Half time saw the players taking on loads of liquid but with Bruff with a nine point lead, you felt it should have been more. A brace of thwarted earlier efforts in front of the line for the Bruff back line would prove crucial in the finish. The first binning of the day of a Bruff forward with a minute to play in the half giving a one man advantage to Munsters, the only chink of light between the sides at this stage.
Munsters made full use of the extra man on the restart, before Binning number two took place, a try by Second Row Shane O’ Neill was converted by Kinsley, finally getting his kicking boots back. This brought the cookies back to within a score and a nearly blocked down drop on 48 minutes gave them the single point lead for the first time in the game.
Full back Ray Moloney took over the responsibilities with the boot and slotted another three pointer on 63 minutes and repeated this on 72 mins. The Second half closed out with Bruff doing all the attacking, getting within 5 yards on a number of occasions only to end with the ref blowing and Munsters the beneficiaries of the relief on most of the occasions. Bruff chose to take the scrum for one five meter penalty but Munsters Scrum was finally strong when they needed it most and they managed to turn the ball over. A last gasp break from John Moore from long range was finally broken up two meters short and referee Dermot Moloney blew the game up, Munsters scraping their way out from Alcatraz.
This closes the Munster competitions off for Bruff, the next competitive outing for the first team is away to Clonakilty on the 26th for the AIB Cup 1st Round.
BRUFF: Paul O’Brien, John Moore, Garry Leonard, Brian Cahill (Capt), Nigel Riordan, Philip Moloney, Tony Cahill, David Horan, Graham Bolger, Stephen Foster, Richard Wall, Maurice O’Connell, Padraig Clery, John Stephen Shine and Michael Carroll.
Replacements: Cathal O’Regan for Bolger and Gearoid Ryan for Foster (44) and Andrew White for Carroll (71).