Bruff pulled off a big win over Ballynahinch in the Division 3 semi final yesterday and will meet table toppers Wanderers in the final at Templeville Road.
Ballynahing have been promoted to Division 2 but denied a place in the playoff final by a three try treat from Bruff scrum-half Tony Cahill. Bruff will travel to Templeville Road to face Wanderers as the only non Leinster club in the Division 2 and 3 Finals.
Ballynahinch 3 Bruff 29
Scrum-half Tony Cahill emerged as Bruff’s hat-trick hero at Ballymacarn Park as he bagged three tries in the Limerick side’s surprise 29-3 play-off defeat of Ballynahinch.
‘Hinch’s first ever appearance in an AIB League play-off turned into a nightmare as player-coach Daniel Soper registered his side’s only points with a first half penalty.
The County Down men were the form team in Division Three for much of the season and had won seven of their eight home games in the league before today’s encounter.
But Bruff, coached by Eugene Murnane and Eoin Cahill, came with a storming finish to the league’s regulation phase, winning three games on the trot to grab third spot in the table.
Cahill was at his elusive best, behind a workhorse pack, and he dotted down after ten, 24 and 66 minutes to help Bruff to a memorable victory in what was only the club’s second ever appearance in the play-offs – they lost in last year’s semis to Clonakilty.
Winger Finbarr Hogan took his try tally for the league campaign to 11 with a 54th-minute effort and the remainder of Bruff’s points came from the boot of out-half Brian Cahill, a brother of Tony and Eoin.
Bruff is a well-known ‘family’ club. As well as the Cahills, there are four Carroll brothers – Michael, Brian, John and Tommy – in their current senior squad.
Ballynahinch: Pen: Daniel Soper
Bruff: Tries: Tony Cahill 3, Finbarr Hogan; Cons: Brian Cahill 3; Pen: Brian Cahill
Wanderers 47 Instonians 29
Wanderers had a degree of comfort in their 47-29 victory over Instonians in this Division Three semi-final at Merrion Road.
The Dublin four side chalked up their ninth win in nine home games in AIB League competition this season to win through to a final clash with Bruff at Templeville Road next Saturday.
Wanderers out-half Billy Tracey had an afternoon to remember as he crossed for two tries and also kicked five conversions and four penalties for a personal haul of 32 points.
Garrett Fitzgerald, Hugh Davies and Pom Simone were the other try scorers for Andrew Spraggon’s home side, who led 30-3 at half-time.
Jamie Chapman (2) and Greg Mitchell both notched tries for ‘Inst, who also added a penalty try in a strong second half display.
Owen McMurray converted three of the Belfast outfit’s tries, adding to his single penalty.
Wanderers: Tries: Billy Tracey 2, Garrett Fitzgerald, Hugh Davies, Pom Simone; Cons: Billy Tracey 5; Pens: Billy Tracey 4
Instonians: Tries: Jamie Chapman 2, Greg Mitchell, Penalty try; Cons: Owen McMurray 3; Pen: Owen McMurray