BRUFF head coach Peter Malone believes victory in Friday night’s ODM Munster Senior Cup final showdown with Garryowen would mark a significant milestone in the club’s development.
Holders Bruff will bid to become the first club since Shannon in 2006 to retain the Cup when they tackle Garryowen in a repeat of last season’s decider.
Malone - who remains a regular srarter for Bruff in their back-row - won a Munster Senior Cup medal with Garryowen in 2007 when the Dooradoyle club also claimed AIL and All-Ireland Cup honours.
Peter Malone said: “This is a very difficult trophy to win. Shannon had a monopoly on it for a while, but no team has managed to retain the Cup in recent seasons. It would be a great achievement if we could manage to make it back-to-back wins. It would be a massive statement that the club is here to stay at the top.
“Last year’s Cup final win over Garryowen was a massive reward for the work the players had put in over the previous six or seven years. We had to beat the ‘big three’ in Munster club rugby, Shannon, Cork Constitution and Garryowne to win it.
“Retaining the Cup this season was one of our top priorities. We were very pleased with our performance against Shannon in the semi-final. Things really came together for us that day.
“We worked hard, got a bounce of the ball or two and the win was a real confidence booster. It gave us belief.
“Garryowen have a proud record in the Munster Senior Cup. They will not want to lose two finals in a row. I know Paul Cunningham and their backroom team will have their players fully tuned in.
“We were extremely disappointed with our performance at home to Ballymena in the AIL last weekend. They deserved their win. But we conceded 14 easy points. We were disapppointed with that. Friday night’s game with Garryowen gives us the chance to bounce back quickly.”
Bruff’s path to the final included early round wins over Clonakilty and Midleton before the Kilballyowen side saw off Cup specialists Shannon in Coonagh at the semi-final stage.