Longford Late XV make it 2 from 2 in Leinster League   02/10/2018

Leinster League Division 1B Longford 28 Carlow 19.

Longford’s Late XV continued their winning ways yesterday and followed on from last weeks away win at Coolmine with a bonus point win at home to a tough Carlow side who put it up to Longford for large periods of the game.

The difference between the two teams on the day was largely Longford’s ability to convert their chances into scores.  The first 20 minutes of the game was largely spent in between the two 22 metre lines.  Committed tackling and defence from both sides largely nullified any attacking threats, although Longford will be disappointed to have spilled the ball in contact on a number of occasions, just when they were beginning to build pressure.  Indeed, the only real scoring attempt in the first 20 minutes was a long range penalty attempt by Carlow, which never looked like getting there.

Longford continued to work through the phases and after conceding a string of penalties the Carlow number 4 was sent to the Sin Bin.  Like last week versus Coolmine, Longford made the most of this scoring two unanswered tries.  Firstly, after continuous pressure Dylan Quinn broke through and was stopped just short of the line but managed to off load to the onrushing Kieran O’Gorman to put Longford seven points to the better.  Then on 37 minutes Dylan Quinn bagged a try of this own to leave the score at 12-0 to Longford at half time.

Like the start of the first, the start of the second was a cagey affair.  Longford began to use the wind at their back to pin Carlow back and established near absolute dominance in the lineout, so much so that Carlow had to revert to tap and goes from penalties rather going to touch and gaining distance.  Although Carlow put Longford under pressure, Longford struck first on 12 minutes through the boot of Ryan McHugh to go 15-0 up.

Longford then received a yellow card of their own for persistent infringements, with winger Sean McGuinness judged the guilty party.  However, rather than concede points during this period, Longford decided to turn conventional logic on the head by scoring seven points of their own.  Captain Neal Farrell sold the defence a dummy and cut through the cover to go in under the posts in a fine solo effort to leave the score at 22-0. 

At this stage with 10 minutes to go a four try bonus point was on Longford’s mind.  However, Carlow had other ideas and replied with their first try of the match, with a well worked try in the corner to leave the score at 22-05.  Nevertheless, Longford would not be denied a bonus point with a Shane Rogers try which was made by a great break from Out Half Ryan McHugh.

Although there was now only a few minutes of normal time left, Carlow made the most of it along with a long period of injury time to tack on two consolation tries, with most of the Longford player’s minds already in the dressing room.

The final score in the match was 29-19 to Longford making it 9 points out of a possible 10 in their first two Leinster League matches.

Longford Seniors Men’s sides have next week off before heading in a tough block of tow away games in Dublin versus Monkstown and DLSP.

Longford Squad: L Brady, H Connolly, D Quinn, B Stewart, B McManus, D Farrell, K O’Gorman, P Gallogly, N Farrell, R McHugh, J McGowan, C Glynn, S Rodgers,  S McGuinness, S Murphy, J Forde, P O’Farrell, P Dardis, F McGowan & S Flynn.

Close but yet so far for Longford Early XV 

Leinster Seconds League Division 1B Longford 10 Carlow 14.

Longford Early XV again featuring a number of players from last years U18 team put in a good performance in going down by four points to a big Carlow side in CPL Park on Sunday past.

It was clear from the start that Longford would have to move this big Carlow team around and put in a big defensive shift and this is exactly what happened.

Carlow kicked nine points in the first half, however Longford scored two good tries in the first half via debutant Brian Harte and Scrum Half Finbarr McGowan.

However, despite a number of spells camped on the Carlow line in the second half it was the away side who scored the only points of the second half with a try in the corner.

Longford will be disappointed to only have secured a losing bonus point.  However, if the side continue to play and train together the only way is definitely up for the Early XV.

Longford Squad: P O’Farrell, P Dardis, J Forde, F Davis, M Cullen, P Molloy, D Geelan, J Geelan, F McGowan, R Shaw, J Mimnagh, B Harte, J Magan, M Casey, S Flynn, JJ Cox, P Kirk, B Hanley, J Magan, W McDermott & D O’Connor.

Longford Senior Men’s Coach Glenn Baskett had the following thoughts after the matches;

Heading into the first break of the season we have 9pts from a possible 10 from the Late team. So ultimately as a group we have all contributed to those results.  But the disappointing aspect is the Early Team letting the result today slip.  On paper we were more than good enough to compete, but ultimately weren't able to get the result.  As a group we need to look to how we can integrate the youth coming through with the experience to gain the competitive advantage. Each week we are bringing new guys in which brings an energy to training. "We have guys coming through from last year's successful U18s and also new guys not connected with the club, but buying into a positive environment.  Ultimately though, as coaches and a group we are judged on results, and driven players want to be involved with success so as coaches we need to make sure we are creating a positive environment for the boys to grow in. But for now we have progressed but the challenge of two away games in Dublin at the start of October looms large for us as a group and means we refocus on what we have to do to compete.

Barry Stewart secures the ball for Longford

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