Longford RFC Club News 20/01/2020   20/01/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO

Senior Men

Leinster League

For the second week in a row Longford Senior Men’s matches were postponed, this time due to frozen pitches in CPL Park.  The two matches versus Monkstown will now be refixed. Longford now move onto playing the refixed match versus Carlow on Sunday in Oak Park Carlow.  The situation for Longford has not changed since the start of the year, although they are now two games behind some of the other teams in the league.  Longford are still in the hunt for second place and the big prize of a play off for promotion to Division 1A.  However, Longford are in an almighty scrap for second place with Carlow and Tullow.  All of Longford’s last five matches now take on knock out rugby status starting this Sunday with a tough trip to Carlow, one of the sides in the promotion shake up with Longford.  It will take Longford’s best performance of the season so far to come way from Oak Park with a win and the Senior Men will be training hard until then with that match in mind.

As regards the J2 XV, they have had a great season and have won every match to date.  They sit on top, with a game in hand over all the other sides.  Carlow are also one of the J2 Men’s main rivals but in this case for the honour of being League winners.  So overall the trip to Oak Park is a big one for both sides.

Carlow Preview from Longford RFC Senior Men’s Head Coach Glenn Baskett

“So we continued this week to prep for Sunday on the road. There’s no running from the reward in this one, both teams have their own motivations. We were schooled here last season, and we know they are well coached, well drilled and extremely difficult to break down, you earn every point you get. Personally, there’s a lot of motivation in this one, but you’ve gotta park that emotion from our last visit here and focus on getting our game right. We have been good in patches this season, but only in patches so we are looking at the why there. But we sat down as a group and have been pretty honest and the boys are looking forward to the week, us coaches are up for it and are enjoying hitting reset and going again after Xmas. The good thing for me is no one is looking past Sunday, it is Sunday on the road and nothing more.”

Upcoming Fixtures

260120 Leinster League Carlow v Longford KO 1/2.30 J1&J2

020220 Leinster League Cill Dara v Longford KO 1/3 J1&J2

090220 Leinster League Longford v Boyne KO 1/3 J1&J2

160220 Leinster League Clondalkin v Longford KO 1/3 J1&J2

230220 Provincial 2nds Cup Longford v TBC KO 3 J2

010320 Provincial Towns Cup Navan v Longford KO 3 J1

Longford Women (Warriors)

Longford Women have enjoyed a good season so far in Leinster Division 4 recording six wins from nine starts.  The league has now split into an A and B section. Longford will be competing in the A section for promotion against Wanderers, Blackrock, New Ross and Suttonians.  While it is a tough ask for the young squad, they will go into the matches all guns blazing after nearly turning over a previously unbeaten Blackrock side last time out.  Longford also have the cup to look forward with the draw taking place soon.

Longford Women’s match v Suttonians on Sunday was cancelled and awarded to Longford.

Longford Women welcome new players throughout the season with all fitness levels, shapes and sizes are welcome.  The Warriors really are on an upward curve and are making an assault on the Division 4 Title and want you to be a part.  Training is on Tuesdays and Fridays and 7.30.  Drop in to training for a chat or alternatively give Head Coach Nuala McGoey a ring on 0862482005.

Upcoming Fixtures

160220 Leinster League Wanderers v Longford KO 1

010320 Leinster League New Ross v Longford KO 1

150320 Leinster League Longford v Blackrock KO 1

Longford Mini/Youths

The Longford Mini/Youth Season is now in full swing.  All teams are now back training and playing.  


Remember new players are welcome at all levels with no prior experience required.  It could be you lining out for Ireland in a coming World Cup!

Minis U6-U12 

Training on Sundays at 10.30 am in CPL Park for both girls and boys.  A full season planner can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/2NxGL1j 

U13 Male

U13s training every Thursday at 6.30 PM.

U14 Male

U14s training every Thursday 7-8.30 PM.

U15 Male

U15s train every Wednesday at 7.30 PM.

U16 Male

U16s train every Wednesday at 7.30 PM.

U17s&18s Male

U17/U18s train every Thursday at 7.30 PM.

U14 Female

U14s train every Sunday morning with an extra day per week TBC.

U16&U18 Female

U16s&U18s train every Tuesday and Friday at 7.30 PM.


U18M v Mullingar (Home)

U18FM v Carlow (Home)

U16M v Arklow (Away)

U16FM v Gorey (Away)

U14M v Clane (Away)

U14FM v Tallaght (Away)

U13M v Carlow (Away)

U11/U12M Blitz Mullingar (Away)

U7-U8 Blitz Edenderry (Away)

Please check our website for fixtures; http://www.longfordrugby.com/clubFixtures/14013/f_i_x_t_u_r_e_s

Match Reports

The Senior Games, U13, U15 & U16 matches all fell foul of the freezing weather.  Our U18 Girls travelled to Athy and lost 22-57 after giving as good as they got for long periods.  The U14 Girls travelled to Tallaght were they recorded a great 25-31 win. 


Our brilliant U9s; Dylan, Kaelan, Sean, Joey, Sean Og, Rionn, Julian, Luke, Ethan D, Adam and Ethan Mc, travelled to Mullingar on Saturday.  They played Mullingar, Birr and Edenderry.  It was an enjoyable morning with lots of tries.  Well done to all and thanks for traveling.


For the second match in this phase of the Leinster League, Longford under 14’s made the trip yet again to Tullow.  This would be the third time in 10 months that this crew of young men have made the trip, with the first game being a comprehensive victory for the home team and the last game being a brave fight back by Longford to secure a losing bonus point. So, the game at the weekend was always going to be tight one.

We left Longford with a heavy frost on the ground, thinking that the game might be unable to go ahead, but the conditions in Tullow were perfect.  Longford’s aim was to focus on structure after having a video and technical indoor training session with Gerry Carthy and Trevor McHugh.  This was beneficial and the lads stuck to the task for the first 7 minutes when Tullow, having sucked the Longford defence over the far side of the field, passed the ball quickly out to the wing and despite huge efforts by Alex Forde and Diarmuid Glennon to get the Tullow player into touch, he went in for the first try in the corner.  A few minutes later one Tullow player took an injury to the knee and the game had to move to another pitch to allow treatment. The player is now recovering at home.

Longford kept up a relentless defense and in the 23rd minute, despite being inside their own 22, regained possession and flashed the ball out the wing to Matthew Farrell who took off.  Having rounded one Tullow player and then side stepping a second, he raced for the line and touched it down under the posts.  The conversion was kicked by Rian Browne.  It was a good time to score right on the stroke of half time to leave the half time score with Longford leading 7-5.

As usual our replacements came on for the second half and Longford went on the attack again, rucking up the field and were awarded a penalty just outside the 22.  After discussion, the decision was made to kick for the sticks and James Gilheany slotted over the ball to put Longford a further 3 points ahead.  Tullow were rattled a bit and unfortunately the game drifted into a period of ill temperance.  Despite the defensive efforts, Tullow broke through a rare gap in the Longford midfield to bring play up to the Longford 5 metre line.  Longford infringed offside in the ruck and Tullow drove for the line from the resulting penalty and scored on the 35th minute.  The conversion to put them back in the lead 12 -10.

This brave Longford side still kept running at the Tullow defence but were reduced to 14 men when Diarmuid Glennon received a yellow card.  The 14 man defense could not keep Tullow at bay and they eventually got in to score their third try in the corner.  Tullow themselves were reduced to 14 men for the last 5 minutes of the game when their scrum half came in from an offside position to tackle scrum half Conor Mulligan high.  However, Longford’s now tired legs were not able to reap the reward and in the end had to settle again for a losing bonus point.

There are huge positives to take from this game; the scrum performed very well against a larger pack and Longford actually pushed Tullow off their ball on a few occasions. The structure in both defence and attack is improving and there were some quick passing of the ball out the line that Tullow were finding it hard to deal with.  We can feel very proud of all the Longford men who took to the pitch on Saturday, played their heart out in what was a tough atmosphere.  Thanks to the lads who came to support and to John Sheridan, who’s birthday is coming up soon and will then get his time to shine.

We are on tour again next weekend in the Cup to face Clane.  Training on Thursday as usual for 7-8:30pm.

Longford panel: Rian Browne, Cathal Byrne, Jamie Dorr, Mathew Farrell, Alex Forde, Daniel Galvin, James Gilheany, Diarmuid Glennon, James Gilheany, James Grehan, Ciaran Heffernan, Oran Lyons, Jack Mc Weeney, Sean Molihan, Conor Mulligan, Patrick Murphy, Jack Reilly, Ryan Sheridan, John Sheridan, Christopher Trautt & Dylan Vance

Well done to Longford GAA

Well done to Paraic Davis and his team on lifting the O’Beirne Cup in Tullamore on Saturday from all at Longford RFC.

U18 Girls Midlands Squad

Well done to Paige Mc Loughlin, Bronagh Kirk. Hannah Glennon & Aine Cox who have been called up to the Midlands U18 Squad.  The Midlands side will play in blitz’s versus other Leinster area teams e.g. North Midlands and Metro on February 20th and April 15th, both taking place in Energia Park in Donnybrook. These blitzes shall significantly contribute to squad selection for the Leinster U18 girls 7’s and XV Interprovincial programme’s for this season.

European Champions Cup

It was great to see Leinster secure top seed from the group stage for the knock out phase of the Champions Cup.  Leinster ground out a hard fought 0-18 win in Italy against a Benetton Treviso side that have improved a lot over the last few seasons.  Finishing top means that they will have a home quarter final and probably a home semi-final.  However, it seems somewhat ironic that their quarter-final opponents are none other than their foes from last years final; Saracens.  The English side lifted the trophy in Newcastle last year and have since become embroiled in serious problems as regards the English Premiership.  To put it succinctly all the English Premiership clubs have signed up to operate within a certain maximum salary cap to try and ensure a level playing field and financial sustainability for all clubs.  After an investigation Saracens were deemed to have seriously breached the salary cap over a number of preceding seasons and have been deducted 35 points in this seasons Premiership and handed a £5.4 million fine.  However, it was looking like due to their squad, which is stuffed with England and other internationals, that they would still stay up.  In spite of this, in another twist rather than open up their books to scrutiny to ensure that they are operating below the salary cap this season, they have now instead accepted relegation for this season, which will mean even if they go on to win this seasons Champions Cup, that they will be playing in the second tier of English rugby and therefore will not be allowed to participate in the Champions Cup next season regardless.  The books surely must be in quite a bit of disarray to merit accepting relegation without appeal.

So, what way they are going to pitch up in Dublin on the weekend of April 3-5th is hard to know?  A lot of their players will have been in Six Nations action and a number of their players may have already moved on due to their looming relegation and need to trim their wage bill.  Conversely the only way they can salvage something from this season is to win the Champions Cup.  Overall, they are a very dangerous opponents and one which Leinster will not lack motivation in playing after leaving last seasons final behind.  Most neutral rugby supporters are likely to have little sympathy for a Saracens side that knowingly violated competition rules and used it to propel them to the top of the English and European game.  Looking at it from the outside, it would seem likely that this year’s champions will come from Leinster’s side of the draw which comprises, Leinster, Saracens, Clermont and Racing-92.

A shout out to Ulster who beat Bath in Belfast to secure one of the best runners up spots and a quarter final away to Toulouse.  Munster had unfortunately nothing to play for on Sunday versus the Ospreys but secured a morale boosting bonus point win.  They will be hoping for a whole lot more next season especially with the rumoured injection of South African World Cup winners Damian de Allende and RG Snyman into the squad.  Unfortunately, Connacht battled hard but went down 35-29 away to the South African reinforced Montpellier.  At the moment the Western Provinces focus seems to be on redeveloping the Sports Ground in Galway in which they recently secured €20 million of government grants for.

As regards a potential World Cup hang over for Ireland players, this seems to have been forgotten, especially by the Leinster and Ulster contingent and it will be interesting to see if new Head Coach Andy Farrell rings the changes and moves to a more expansive style akin to Leinster.  Chances are that there will be a gradual change in personnel and hopefully a more radical change in playing style.  Ireland open their campaign versus Scotland in Dublin on Saturday February 1st.  

Great Food/Events at Longford RFC

The Sin Bin at Longford RFC serves great quality and value food on Friday from 12-3 and 12-7 on Saturday and Sunday.  Booking for events such as birthdays, christening, confirmations, communions, weddings and funerals are also available.  For bookings and information phone Kris on 0872872357.

4G All Weather Pitch Rental

Our state of the art floodlight Mel Diffley 4G pitch is available for rental.  It contains shock absorption so that players can play contact sports/fall over without hurting themselves.  It is also perfect for 5 a side soccer.  If you would like to book it phone Damian on 0862757103.

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