Longford Performance & Development XVs score home wins v Carlow 2016-11-28 12:57:00

27/11/2016 Leinster League Division 2A Longford Performance XV 23 Carlow 20

Longford Performance XV retained the top spot in Leinster League division 2A with an astonishing 12 point comeback against Carlow at CPL Park on Sunday.  The visitors looked to have an unassailable lead when an intercept try ten minutes into the second half gifted them a 08-20 lead, but a measured response by Longford saw them inch their way into pole position.

Longford took the game to the opponents right from the off. In the opening ten they dominated in every aspect of the game. The confidence they gleaned from such supremacy encouraged them to kick for the corners when two early penalties could have got the scoreboard clicking. In both instances the home team failed to capitalise on the options, thanks in no small part to the defence of the visitors.

The men in black continued to look good as the game progressed, but Carlow’s 10 kicked his team back into Longford territory. With 20 minutes gone the home pack slacked off in their intensity and Carlow started to hit their straps.  In a 15 minute period they notched up two penalties and a try to knock Longford back to 00-13.

The home side got back on track with a Joe McGowan penalty, that shortened the gap to 03-13. When centre Shane Rodgers sustained an injury a little rearrangement was necessary. Colm Glynn was brought in to 10 berth and Daniel McHugh moved out to wing.

Again, Longford started to press the opposition.  Glynn's distribution started to make gaps in the defence and Captain Ciaran Kennedy sliced through one, however a scrambling Carlow defence halted the attack just short of the line.  Glynn himself made a break, only to have the threat snuffed out by the visitor’s defence. Longford closed out the half behind having missed a pile of opportunities.

Three minutes into the second forty Glynn saw some open ground and deftly kicked into the space. Daniel McHugh gathered and with a wonderful run that beat three Carlow defenders succeeded in crossing the whitewash out wide.  McGowan would have preferred him to get a bit closer to the posts as the conversion was just off target.

With the scoreboard at 08-13 Longford set about stamping their authority on the game.  Containing the Carlow threat in the visitor’s half was working well until an over exuberance saw them throw one pass too many. It bobbled off a head before the visiting winger grabbed it and hared off with Derek Farrell chasing. The seven could not catch the speedster and the winger went in under the posts, the easy conversion leaving it 20-08.

However, all the threats were coming from the men in black. Carries by Benny McManus, Dylan Quinn, Barry Stewart, Ruadhan McDonnell and Derek Farrell all stamped the authority of the home team on the contest.  Longford kept pushing forward, but a couple of unfortunate knock-on’s, quenched the threat.

Carlow tempers flared as their lead looked under threat. A fateful action in front of the ref by the prop saw him consigned to the bin. Longford then pressed the man advantage; a Neal Farrell snipe cracked the defence and a sweet offload to Hubie Connolly left the hooker with a good bit of work, but the two is not averse to labour and crossed to shorten the gap. McGowan's afters left it 15-20.

Carlow followed this with an unfortunate crossing just inside their half, but their remonstration saw the penalty moved forward 10 metres and McGowan said “thank you very much” and slotted over to leave it 18-20.

Another moment of brilliance by McHugh saw him chip his opposite number, gather and bolt for the line. Held up just short, as the cavalry arrived there was a knock on by Carlow that was adjudged to be accidental.  From the base of the scrum Paul Gallogly exploded to leave it 23-20. McGowan hit post with the resulting conversion.

The remaining minutes were played in the Longford half, with an anxious audience fretting over the possibility of conceding a penalty.  Glynn's cool head was instrumental in orchestrating the Longford exit.  The 10 barked out instructions that helped his side survive the closing moments and hold on to the top place at the table.

Longford will be delighted with the progression of many of the younger players.  The contribution of Ruadhan McDonnell and Daniel McHugh was impressive and the troika of Ford, Connolly and Quinn was vital in this win.

The next outing is another home fixture.  Portarlington pay a visit to CPL Park next Sunday with an earlier kick off time of 2:00.

Justin Forde, Hubie Connolly, Dylan Quinn, Benny McManus, Anthony Hughes, Barry Stewart, Derek Farrell, Ruadhan McDonnell, Neal Farrell, Daniel McHugh, Joe McGowan, Shane Rodgers, Cormac Hughes, Eoin Bartley & Ciaran Kennedy

Paul Gallogly, Aaron Beirne, Colm Glynn, Ronan Keith & Kevin Rodgers.

27/11/2016 Leinster Seconds League Division 2A Longford Development XV 08 Carlow 03

Longford Development XV finally got a break with a home win over a Carlow side that had not been beaten until last Sunday's trip to CPL Park.  Longford twos have been bubbling away this year, putting in many fine performance, but have come out on the wrong side of a number of results.

In this encounter the home side looked good right from the start.  The promise of the last few games was finally realised when the team started to click and though a low scoring encounter there was some good rugby played.

Aaron Beirne prowess as a kicker was added to with a fine try in the first half. The flanker cropped up on the wing to finish a great Longford try.

Beirne’s try and a later penalty put his side in front 08-00 at the break.  In the second half Carlow came back.  The penalty count started to rise against Longford as indiscipline as a result of youthful exuberance started to clock up.

All Carlow could do was add on a penalty 15 minutes in to shorten the gap to 08-03.  Longford regrouped and the input of John Geelan, Liam Brady, Eamon Kinehan, Daniel Flynn and the aforementioned Aaron Beirne all made sure that Longford ground out the valuable win.

Next Sunday there is an early start for the seconds with the kick off against Portarlington at 12:30.

Liam Brady, Philly Dardis, Michael Bannon, David Geelan, Daniel Gaelford, Niall Flynn, John Geelan, Aaron Beirne, Sean Smyth, Domhnall Flynn, Michael Cullen, Eamon Kinehan, Alan Armstrong, Darragh Connolly, Karl Murray, Conor Masterson, Shane McVeigh, Lorcan Connolly, JJ Cox, Peter Kirk. 

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