Longford RFC Club News 04/03/2019   05/03/2019

Late XV Snowed Off, Early XV Record Great Win, North Kildare Take 2 this Saturday, U16&U14 Match Reports, Bit Mini Blitz in Longford this weekend, Steak Night...

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO tommylbutler@gmail.com 

Senior Men

Longford Senior Men travelled to Kilcock on Sunday to face North Kildare.  The Early XV kicked off at 1.30 in rain and sleet and managed to finish their match in very poor conditions.  They played some of their best rugby despite the freezing temperatures running in seven tries to run out comprehensive victors in their last league match of the season 39-10.  Among the try scorers were Robbie Shaw, Finbarr McGowan, Daire O’Brien & James Mimnagh   Well done to all involved in the panel with over 40 players being part of the match day squad.  The team was boosted by many of last year’s very successful U18 team and improved a lot over the season and were very unlucky to be on the wrong side of many close matches.  No doubt after having a season of rugby under their belts the Early XV will be a lot stronger next year. 

The Late XV went into their match with North Kildare knowing that if they equalled the result of Monkstown versus Coolmine they would go into a Promotion/Relegation Playoff against the team that finishes second from bottom in Division 1A, which with one match to go in 1A, will be either Dundalk or Bective.  However, as previously alluded to, although the Early XV match was played, the weather continued to deteriorate in Kilcock with heavy snow falling.  The conditions got progressively worse and in the interest of the player safety the match was abandoned with about 15 minutes left to play in the second half with Longford leading 17-05.

The first half was a low scoring affair with North Kildare on top and leading into the break 05-03.  Longford eventually made the pressure tell in the second half with two tries from Paul Gallogly and Podge O’Farrell. This result would have been enough to clinch second place, however, according to Leinster League rules a match has to go for the full 80 for the result to stand.  So, the two sides have to go back at it, next Saturday at 2 PM.  One positive thing is that the mathematics are now more simple for Longford.  Monkstown did not pick up a four try bonus point against Coolmine, so a win of any kind will be enough for Longford to clinch second place and secure a place in the Promotion relegation play off match at a neutral venue on Saturday March 30th.  As we saw in the first half North Kildare will be no pushovers and are a tough side, so Longford will have to bring their ‘A’ game to pick up the win.  Longford have never gained promotion to Division 1A and it is a massive achievement for what is a young squad to be in the mix to do so.

Post Match Reaction from Longford RFC Head Coach Glenn Baskett

 “That was a rough day to play footy in. For the 2nds team to play in those conditions and get a well deserved win was great, and a good way to finish off the league for the group. But as the afternoon ticked on it was obvious conditions were gonna get worse. With the snow and wind both teams really were playing in conditions that weren’t safe for us to be out there in. And while we played 65 minutes and were 17-5 up when the game was abandoned we really needed to think about the players safety out there as it was obvious guys were really struggling. There’s a point where it’s not about the result but it’s about the players well being. So with Monkstown not getting a winning bonus point today it looks like we have to replay our game next Saturday knowing a win will be enough to guarantee us 2nd place and the playoff place. But as North Kildare showed us by leading 5-3 at half time, we will have to be better than we were today to get that win. They turned us and put pitch pressure on us which we didn’t react that well to. They also put set piece pressure on us, and that made us have to play where we didn’t need to. So we need to look at how we can fix those things. But we still have this opportunity to play again and that is what we must shift our focus to now. Playing Saturday will mean we need to look at how we can plan training this week to prep right. But the guys were really cold after the game and visibly suffering in that cold, so it’s important they get themselves right and bodies right.”

Upcoming Fixtures

Saturday March 9th Leinster League North Kildare (Away) 2 PM Kick off.

Sunday March 17th Provincial Towns Cup ¼ Final Kilkenny (Home).

Saturday March 30th Division 1A/1B Promotion Relegation Playoff v TBC at neutral venue.

Late XV KO at 3.

Longford Women (Warriors)

Longford Women had last weekend off.  The team has really improved as the season has progressed and are well worth your support. Longford Women await the cup draw to see who they place next up.  Nuala McGoey is also trying to arrange some friendlies.

Longford Mini/Youths

It was another busy weekend of underage action in Longford RFC.  Longford Minis host a big Blitz this Saturday and ask all parents and coaches to make themselves available to help out. It is not too late to start playing Mini/Youth rugby.  Longford RFC welcome new players at all levels both boys/girls with no previous experience necessary.  Training times and Fixtures can be found on www.longfordrugby.com or at https://goo.gl/qAVBPv

Fixtures:

Saturday March 9th      

U18 v Skerries (Away).

U14 Girls v New Ross (Away).

U13 Longford v Naas B (Home).

U12 Blitz v Ballina, Ballinrobe & West Offaly Lions (Home) 10 am.

U12 Girls v Ballinrobe (Home) 10.30 am sharp.

U11 v Ballinrobe (Home) 10.30 am sharp.

U9 v Ballinrobe (Home) 10.30 am sharp.

U7&U8 Midland Blitz v Edenderry, Tullmaore and Mullingar (Home) 10.30 am sharp.

Sunday March 10th       

U14 v Newbridge (Home).

U11 Training (10.30 am)

Match Reports

U17

The match was conceded by Enniscorthy.

U16

Longford U16s took on Carrick on Shannon in a friendly in CPL Park on Saturday.  They are working hard to prepare for the Plate Final at home on St. Patricks day and showed a fine rate of improvement emerging as 61-05 victors.  Kevin McDonagh opened the scoring and kicked seven conversions.  Other try scorers were Kola Adejinmi, Cormac McDonagh, Lolo Adejinmi & Ryan Dockery.  Great tackling and attacking skills were also shown by Ronan Kavanagh, Rory Maguire, Sam Bergess, Aaron Gilna, Conor McGovern, Daniel Daly and Daniel Hayden.  A big thank you to Bergess Properties for sponsoring training tops for the team for the Plate Final.