Table toppers Lansdowne and second-placed Bruff overcame their respective opponents in Saturday’s AIB League Division 2 semi-finals, setting up a mouth-watering decider at Anglesea Road on Friday, May 7.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 2 SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, April 17
BRUFF 35 TERNURE COLLEGE 13, Kilballyowen Park
Scorers: Bruff: Tries: Patrick Thompson, Alan Bourke, Peter Malone, David Gardiner; Cons: Brian Cahill 3; Pens: Brian Cahill 3
Terenure College; Try: Mark O’Mahony; Con: David McAllister; Pens: David McAllister 2
Limerick side Bruff pulled clear of Terenure College in the second half of their semi-final encounter at Kilballyowen Park, with Eoin Cahill’s charges running out 35-13 winners.
The final scoreline was a touch flattering, especially after Terenure’s determined first half display left them just 6-3 down at half-time.
The Dubliners lost former Leinster hooker Brian Blaney to the sin-bin in first half injury-time, allowing Bruff out-half Brian Cahill kick his second penalty of the afternoon.
A try (Patrick Thompson) and penalty (Brian Cahill) gave Bruff some breathing space, early in the second half, but David McAllister soon landed his second penalty for ‘Nure.
The game opened up in the final quarter as lock Alan Bourke broke from inside his own half and raced clear for a brilliant individual try, which Cahill converted.
Terenure hit back with a well-taken try from scrum half Mark O’Mahony, but further efforts from player-coach Peter Malone and his back row colleague David Gardiner sparked off great scenes of jubilation for the Anglesea Road-bound Bruff supporters.
LANSDOWNE 40 DE LA SALLE PALMERSTON 8, the RDS
Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Matt Healy 2, Ron Boucher 2, Dominic Ryan, Willie Earls; Cons: Andrew Geraghty 5
De La Salle Palmerston: Try: Adam Philpott; Pen: Conor Hickey
Lansdowne seem determined to go up to Division 1B next season as the reigning Division 2 champions, judging by their efforts against De La Salle Palmerston on Saturday.
DLSP were very worthy opponents and even nosed in front courtesy of a 16th minute penalty from full-back Conor Hickey.
‘Salmo had hopes of pushing Lansdowne all the way, especially considering it took a last-gasp converted try for Lansdowne to win out when the sides met last month.
But, in what was their final game at the RDS, Willie Clancy’s table toppers cut loose in the second half as they took their try tally to six, before DLSP winger Adam Philpott went over for a late consolation score.
Out-half Andrew Geraghty converted all but one of the Lansdowne tries, with winger Matt Healy and number 8 Ron Boucher both scoring a brace of tries. Willie Earls and Ireland Under-20 flanker Dominic Ryan also touched down.
The win was effectively sealed coming up to the hour mark when Healy broke through on the left wing for two tries in the space of three devastating minutes.
The only downside for Lansdowne was their Leinster lock Devin Toner breaking an ankle during the course of the game.
Final: Friday, May 7 – Bruff v Lansdowne, Anglesea Road, 8pm