In what was probably the best performance seen to date this season, Bruff managed to turn around a 9 point deficit at the start of the second half to come out 22-18 winners of this tight bottom of the table clash against the Corkonian students.
Bruff started very positively with a strong breeze at their back, their renowned pack taking charge of proceedings for the first few minutes and after settling in nicely, took first blood on five with a Brian Cahill penalty after UCC tighthead Paddy Ryan was penalised at scrum-time, giving them a 3-0 lead. The Students however looked dangerous at all times, all over the field and following a relative stroll in, Second row Mike Linehan crossed the white wash to touch down for their first try of the game, Out-half Brian Kingston adding the extras to put them four points clear. Eight minutes later, the UCC Captain broke to touch down after a turnover lineout in the UCC ten meter area and all of a sudden the natural order of things was reversed, the students had a 9 point lead and the Binning of David Horan for indiscretions at a ruck left the home crowd begging for the half-time whistle and relief from what looked dangerously like becoming a rout, the students seemingly able to create chances all over the park.
At the break with some strong words from backroom staff members, Bruff came into the face of the wind a much changed side. Led by open side flanker John Shine, they charged up the field to set up camp in the students 22. The Binning of UCC’s wing forward Willie Ryan for constant interference at the ruck saw the students reduced to seven in the pack and a five meter scrum led to a pushover try for the home side, Freshly blooded No. 8 Padraig Clery touching down for the five points but Cahill failed to convert the two pointer into the still stiff breeze. The fight back had begun, and five minutes later Bruff got full value for the yellow card when following sustained pressure from the pack, Scrum half Eoghan Maher spun a ball out to full-back Brendan Deady who somehow gathered it over his right shoulder to put through winger Mark Cosgrave on the left hand side, Cahill slotting the two points this time to bring Bruff ahead by three. With the reversal of the bin, the UCC squad gathered themselves to force a penalty inside the Bruff ten meter line and allow Kingston to slot the levelling three pointer, which was followed within five minutes by another for offside and it was full on game ball with UCC in charge again. However on small things games so often change and when Bruff charged back into the students 22, the scrum became the preferred option. Three scrums, one more taken instead of a penalty and it looked like there could be a penalty try on the cards. However quick as a flash, after the ref blew yet another UCC scrum, Flanker Shine took the quick tap to weave to the right of the UCC defensive pod and touch down. Brian Cahill followed with the vital conversion to make it a two score lead and Bruff were able to run out the last few minutes in spite of the dangerous UCC back line. Well done to the lads on a fantastic second half fight back and especially to the young bloods who stood up to the mark today, We look like we have turned a corner.
Full time score 22-18.
This puts Bruff two points behind Galwegians who we have up next away in two weeks time, again another vital game and the winners will be third from the bottom.
Scorers: Bruff, Tries: P. Cleary, M. Cosgrave and John S. Shine. 2 conversions & 1 Penalty, Brian Cahill.
UCC: tries: Mike Linehan, Brian O’ Callaghan, Conversion and 2 pens, Brian Kingston.