Monday 15 October 2018

It's home sweet home for Malahide

Malahide 21 Bruff 0

Paul Byrne

Malahide maintained their 100% home record thanks to a comfortable 21-0 victory over Bruff last Saturday.

The win helped Rick Evans' side move into the top half of the table as they leapfrogged Bruff up into fifth spot.

Malahide have now played eight games in their debut season in the AIL and have won all four at home, while losing four away fixtures. It's a decent return for Evans' side who have adjusted to life in Division 2C pretty well this season.

The game began with Malahide asserting their dominance as they immediately pushed Bruff back into their own half, with Hugo Nolan and Conal Keane looked to find gaps in the visitors' defence.

However, the Limerick side came into the game boasting the best defensive record in the league and they spent the opening 20 minutes frustrating the hosts as they resisted Malahide's continuous attacks.

Malahide continued to dominate possession and push forward and they finally got their rewards in the 25th minute as Simon Kinsella peeled off first phase ball after a scrum before barrelling his way over for the game's opening try. Up stepped Conal Keane to kick over the extras which left the score 7-0 to Malahide after 26 minutes.

Malahide continued to press forward in search of a second try and were almost in again five minutes later as Marcus McAllister found space on the right before surging for the line.

Once again, though, the Bruff defence were proving hard to breach and a fantastic last-ditch tackle ensured that Malahide did not add to their tally. That was the last real action of a good first half for Malahide who went in 7-0 ahead at the break.

Now that they were trailing the onus was on Bruff to come out of their shell a little bit in the second half, which meant that they were beginning to leave holes in their defence as the second half wore on.

A swift Bruff break brought them inside the Malahide '22, but some stout defending from Eoin Crowley helped the home side regain control of the ball as the game entered its final quarter.

With 20 minutes remaining Malahide made the crucial breakthrough as they scored their second try to give themselves some breathing space.

They were awarded a scrum just outside the Bruff '22 and once again they controlled it before Hugo Nolan popped the ball off to Rory Kavanagh who side-stepped his marker before going over for the easiest of scores. Conal Keane once again stepped up to send over the extras and Malahide were looking good, with the scoreboard now reading 14-0 in their favour.

Malahide capped a fine performance with a third try with just seven minutes remaining.

Marcus McAllister had been causing the Bruff defence problems all day and it was fitting that he was the man who dived in at the corner to make it 19-0 for the hosts.

Keane popped over the extras to secure a well-earned 21-0 victory, although Mals were one try short of gaining a bonus point.

This coming Saturday Malahide return to Omagh where they won 26-17 back in April during the round robin mini-tournament that eventually saw both teams promoted to the AIL.

A repeat win would keep Mals in the promotion shake-up, while defeat could see them dragged into a relegation dogfight.

Fingal Independent