Longford finish third in the 17/18 Leinster League 1B 2018-03-26 14:08:00

25/03/2018 Leinster League Division 1B Portlaoise 15 Longford Performance XV 15

Longford's last outing of the season was a tied encounter with basement club Portlaoise that saw them finish a very respectable third place in Leinster League Division 1B. The final weekend of the league saw Kilkenny leapfrog over Suttonians to claim the top spot with a four try home win against the Dublin side.

Longford's final berth saw them finish five points clear of Tullow, indicating the consistency of performance, that they have displayed throughout the season.  Injuries and commitments saw a somewhat different side from previous starting XVs travel to Togher, but the solidity of performance hints at the squad's depth.

This was a must win for Portlaoise as the lifeblood drained out of their league campaign and faced the trapdoor to Division 2A.  For the visitors the need for a win was less pronounced with only the prospect of dropping a spot if Tullow had won out in their last game.

As would be expected the Laois men came out of the gate with all guns blazing. Twenty minutes of sustained pressure were met by a resolute Longford defence. It finally yielded a reward just after the 20 minute mark, when a penalty was converted to push the home side in front 03-00.

For most of the rest of the opening 40 it was Longford's turn to dominate, they also added three points from the boot of Joe McGowan when a 'Port infringement presented a scoring opportunity. The score line stayed at 03-03 to the break.

The gravity of the situation must have been made clear to the home side at the break as they settled quickly and ran in a try in the opening moments of the second half. The afters brought it to 10-03. Longford's reply was to engage the Port pack in a tough physical assault on the Portlaois line.

Paul Gallogly was the hand on the ball when it was grounded, and this shortened the gap to 10-08. The home side then took the reins in their bid to get the four try win. Their second try came as a result of a well worked move but went unconverted at 15-08.

Again it was the Longford pack that started to boss the tempo. With the clock just past 70 minutes that again paid dividends and Longford got the final score of the game. McGowan's conversion left it 15-15.

A solid performance from Longford given the importance of the win to Portlaoise. Longford had more to give and if it was not the season wind down game the score may have been a bit different.

The season is not over just yet at they play North Kildare in the Plate Quarter Final this Saturday, the KO is TBC.


Michael Bannon, Ronan Keith, Dylan Quinn, David Geelan, Benny McManus, Hubie Connolly, Derek Farrell, Paul Gallogly, Finbarr McGowan, Daniel McHugh, Mick Cullen, Shane Rodgers, Jimmy Connolly, James Mimnagh, Lorcan Connolly, Padraig Farrell, Philip Dardis, Aaron Beirne & Darragh Connolly.

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