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AIB Cup: Well-Drilled Malone March On

AIB Cup: Well-Drilled Malone March On

An under-strength Bruff side were outclassed at Gibson Park on Saturday afternoon as six-try Malone qualified for the AIB Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

2007/08 AIB CUP THIRD ROUND: Saturday, February 2

MALONE 37 BRUFF 3, Gibson Park

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Scorers: Malone: Tries: David Bradford, Kieran Hallett, Michael Bradford, Sam McDonald, Peter Baird 2; Cons: Kieran Hallett 2; Pen: Kieran Hallett
Bruff: Pen: Alan Kilcoyne

The Belfast men will travel to Galwegians in the last-eight after brothers David and Michael Bradford, Kieran Hallett, Sam McDonald and Peter Baird (2) helped themselves to tries.

With next week’s crunch Division Three tie against Instonians in mind, Bruff travelled north without some of their top players and were 18-3 behind at half-time.

Second half tries from lock McDonald (48 minutes) and full-back Baird (58 and 78) completed Malone’s rout.

The hosts, who are currently fifth in AIB League Division Two, hit the front in the third-minute when Hallett, the former Ireland Under-21 international, sent over a well-struck penalty.

This tie, postponed last month due to snow, quickly became a one-sided affair as Malone moved 13-0 ahead inside the first quarter.

A patient maul led to blindside flanker David Bradford crossing the visitors’ whitewash in the 12th-minute and out-half Hallett, who boasts an Ulster development contract, broke free on the Bruff 22 five minutes later and had the pace to make the line.

Both conversions were missed and hooker Michael Bradford’s score in the 25th-minute, after another impressive maul drive, also went unconverted.

Try-scoring chances were limited for a largely second string Bruff line-up but out-half Alan Kilcoyne did open their account with a 21st-minute penalty.

Although their defence was committed throughout, Bruff were unable to live with the Malone forwards at close range and a surge off a lineout helped McDonald muscle over from five metres out for the home side’s fourth try.

Left winger Chris Rowan did the groundwork for Baird’s first try just before the hour mark. Rowan sliced through the Bruff rearguard and offloaded just in time for the supporting Baird to race through and dot down.

Hallett converted and Andy Dougan’s men notched their sixth try when Baird again showed a clean pair of heels to the visitors’ defence, two minutes from time.