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Bruff’s Run Ended By Four-Try Lansdowne

Bruff’s Run Ended By Four-Try Lansdowne

Lansdowne cruised to a 30-18 victory over Bruff on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, despite falling behind to an early Eoghan Maher try.

Bruff, who won the Munster Senior Cup last weekend, dominated the opening exchanges and when Lansdowne were penalised for a third successive time, scrum half Eoghan Maher went over after Peter Malone flicked the ball to him from the back of the scrum metres from the Lansdowne line.

Place-kicking centre Brian Cahill added the conversion to give the visitors a 7-0 lead. But Lansdowne, boosted by the inclusion of Leinster's Stephen Keogh and David Kearney, bounced back three minutes later.

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Their number 8 Ron Boucher crossed for a try after a period of renewed pressure. Experienced out-half Eoghan Hickey added the conversion and a 20th minute penalty to move the headquarters side 10-7 in front.

Bruff had difficulties adjusting to the artificial surface, but with 25 minutes played, out-half Tony Cahill's well-judged kick from halfway found touch five metres from the Lansdowne line.

The hosts' lineout throw was not straight and after Bruff put immense pressure on the Lansdowne defence, prop Gearoid Ryan crashed over to put the Limerick side ahead again at 12-10.

Lansdowne's explosive back-line then became more involved in the game and when Hickey found winger Kearney, the younger brother of Ireland international Rob glided by several players before offloading to lock Eoin Sheriff who touched down.

Hickey added the conversion and another penalty to give Lansdowne a 20-12 lead they would not relinquish.

Bruff then suffered a killer blow before half-time when full-back David Hewitt gathered a Tony Cahill kick for the corner and counter attacked from just outside his own 22.

The move seem to end when a John Cooney pass failed to find Hickey's hands, but the out-half nudged the ball on with his knee and dotted down in the corner to give Lansdowne a 13-point margin at the break.

The second half was largely disappointing after the attacking nature of the first, and even an early Brian Cahill penalty could not bring Bruff back into the game.

A break from Stephen Keogh brought Lansdowne into Bruff's 22 and when the ball was spread wide, Hewitt broke through the covering tackle to get over the whitewash and seal the bonus point

Hickey failed with the conversion attempt but at 30-15, and with a bonus point in the bag, the game was Lansdowne's to lose.

Cahill kicked another penalty for Bruff with 15 minutes remaining but it was a case of too little, too late.

The win gives an injection of life into Lansdowne's promotion push, but they will need to learn to win away from home if they are to win that particular fight.

Referee: Mark Hermin (IRFU)