Superb comeback sends Longford RFC to the top of the league 2018-11-05 13:56:00

04/11/208 Leinster League 1B Longford 35 Tullow 23

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO

Longford Late XV continued their superb start to their Leinster League 1B Campaign by yet again coming back from behind to score a great win and go top of 1B with five wins from five starts.  This Longford team like doing things the hard way and 35 minutes into the first half it looked a long way back for a home side who were 07-20 down with only a minute to play in the first half.  However, one thing this Longford side have is belief and even though everything seemed to be going against them, they worked their way back into the game and ultimately ran out deserved victors. A big turning point in the match was the Tullow No. 13 receiving a yellow card after hitting Longford Full Back Sammy Murphy in the air just before half time.  Longford then went down the pitch and scored a well worked try by Joe McGowan in the corner to peg the score back to 14-20 at half time.

The start of the match was very different with Tullow coming out of the traps very quickly and largely confined Longford to their half and even 22 for most of the first 40 minutes.  Tullow applied a lot of pressure to a Longford side, who like previous matches, took time to settle and seemed and force a lot of passes/plays.

Tullow struck first after seven minutes with a penalty to go 0-3 into the lead.  They added another penalty on thirteen minutes to nudge them 0-6 to the better.  The away side were throwing the veritable kitchen sink at Longford in the first half and will be disappointed not to have got more from a dominant spell in the first 25 minutes.  Nevertheless, this Longford side have been ruthless this season in converting any chances they have been given.  They struck for a try through centre Shane Rodgers after 27 minutes after some great inside passes and interplay in their first incision into the Tullow 22 of the match to put them 7-6 into the lead.

In spite of this, Tullow came right back at Longford and went over for two tries in the space of five minutes to make it look a very long way back for a Longford side that were operating on the back foot due to the level of Tullow’s intensity.  However, the try by McGowan at half time closed the gap and made it all to play for in the second half.

In a carbon copy of Tullow’s first half, Longford came out of the traps with serious intensity at the start of the second half and showed the combination of powerful forward play and enterprising back movement that had propelled them to a winning start to the season.  The Tullow yellow card cost them dearly as Captain Neal Farrell went over five minutes into the second half for Longford’s third try to inch them ahead for the second time in the match 21-20.  Longford took a firm grip on the game and a four try bonus point not long after as Shane Rodgers bagged his second try of the match along with a great touchline conversion from out-half, Ryan McHugh to push Longford into a 28-20 lead.

To their credit Tullow came right back at Longford and looked to have shifted the momentum back in their favour when Longford second row, Anthony Hughes made a 10 minute trip to the Sin Bin after a period of sustained Tullow pressure.  They knocked over a penalty with 10 minutes to go to move them back within a one score range of Longford, which decidedly gave a ‘game on feeling’ to the closing period.  Nonetheless, Longford were not be denied with a great solo effort by the evergreen Colm Glynn sealing a fantastic bonus point win and sending Longford to the top of the league for the first time of season.

Like previous matches it was a team effort that hauled Longford back into contention, however the great contribution in attack and defence by the centre pairing of Glynn and Rodgers must be specially highlighted.

Longford head into next week’s top of the table clash with Suttonians in Dublin 13 with a pep in their step after their brilliant start to the season.  Without a doubt everyone involved will know that a very tough task faces Longford, as Suttonians were the only side to secure two wins last season against a Longford side that finished in third, one place behind them in last year’s Division 1B.

As always, your travelling support would be much appreciated.

L Brady, H Connolly, J Forde, B McManus, D Gilmore, B Stewart, K O’Gorman, P Gallogly, N Farrell (C), R McHugh, J McGowan, C Glynn, S Rodgers, S McGuinness, S McGuinness, S Murphy, P O’Farrell, P Dardis, A Hughes, J Geelan & R Shaw. 

Longford Late XV v Coolmine

Great win for Longford Early XV.

04/11/2018 Leinster Seconds League 1B Longford 27 Tullow 08

Longford Early XV set the tone for the day by recording a great 27-08 victory versus a Tullow side who are the reigning Leinster J2 Cup holders and have been consistent contenders at the top of the Leinster Seconds League 1B. 

Longford started with serious intent and pegged Tullow back resulting in a penalty which was knocked over by Finbarr McGowan after five minutes.  Tullow replied on the 10 minutes mark with a penalty of their own.  However, it was Longford who were first to cross the whitewash through prop Peter Mimnagh after Tullow had been reduced to thirteen men with two players binned for high tackles.  They then further capitalised on the Sin Bin period with Fred Davis crossing on the stroke of half time to put Longford 13-3 to the better.

Although Tullow did threaten on a number of occasions throughout the match, it was Longford who took their chances and scored a deserved win against a previously unbeaten opposition with further second half tries from wing Willie McDermott and second centre Jack Magan.  Tullow managed to cross for a try of their own, however it was a richly deserved win for a side that are continually improving week on week with the large contingent of Longford’s U18 side combined with regular starters for the last number of seasons proving a potent cocktail.

Again, it was a win for the team and squad, however it was great to see Liam Harte making his first senior start in what was a very accomplished performance at centre.

P Mimnagh, P Dardis, P O’Farrell, F Davis, M Cullen, D Corrigan, D Geelan, J Geelan, F McGowan, R Shaw, J Mimnagh, L Harte, J Magan, W McDermott, A Armstrong, P Kirk, JJ Cox, B Hanley, C Masterson & P Antonik. 

Thoughts from Head Coach, Glenn Baskett

Another hard fought couple of wins today against a strong Tullow group.

For our Early Team to win against a previously unbeaten Tullow is a step in the right direction. The young guys are impressing in with the experienced boys.

For the Late Team to go 20-7 behind and then go on and win the rest of the match 28-3 was another effort from the boys in digging deep.

We are making a habit though of giving the opposition starts and we need to be better in our decision making at times.

But we have to look now to a very strong Suttononians team next weekend with work to do to compete, but we are in a position to compete.