Longford’s Winning Streak comes to a halt 2018-11-12 10:47:00

11/11/2018 Leinster League 1B Suttonian’s 33 Longford 11

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO

Longford travelled to Sutton yesterday expecting a tough game against a side that turned them over twice last season and that is exactly what they got.  Unfortunately, Longford were off key on the day and that was not going to be good enough against a big well drilled Suttonian’s side.

Longford’s habit of conceding early has been overcome in the first five matches, but up in Sutton that was definitely not the plan.  Longford gathered the kick off but were turned over by the home side.  Their scrum half spotted a gap at the side of Longford’s ruck and ghosted through the home defence to go in under the posts to give Suttonian’s a 7-0 head start.

The match started in squally wet weather and things went from bad to worse for the men in black when centre Colm Glynn had to go off with a leg injury.  Longford’s revamped back line now had a very youthful appearance.

Suttonian’s brought a lot of aggression to this game and Longford found it hard to match it at times.  It also stopped Longford getting up to the speed of their normal high tempo game.  Suttonian’s struck again for two more penalties before the half was out to put them 13 points to the better.  Longford will have been very disappointed at the end of the first half to not to have converted their only real period of pressure on the Suttonian’s line into seven points.  They battered the home sides line for nearly five minutes but did not cross the whitewash due to some bad handling resulting in the ball being knocked on.  To their credit they dusted themselves down and went back up the pitch to close the half out with their first score to leave it 13-3 at half time.

At half time the importance of bringing the game to Suttonian’s was emphasised, however reality turned out far differently then Longford wanted with them conceding a try under the posts straight from the kick off to leave them with a 20-3 mountain to climb.  Unfortunately, Longford could not climb that mountain and it was Suttonian’s who grew in confidence tacking on two more tries and a penalty to bring their final tally to 33 and secure a four try bonus point.

To their credit Longford never dropped their heads and kept on coming until the final whistle tacking on a penalty and a try to bring them into double figures.  The try was scored right at the death in the corner by Full Back Sean Flynn to leave the final score at 33-11.

So, it is a case of regrouping for the Late XV and focusing on the challenge of North Kildare and Coolmine in back to back matches in CPL Park.  Longford would have preferred to go straight into action next weekend but alas there is a weekend off before the League resumes on November 24th.  It is tougher to take a loss especially for a Longford side who won every match up to this point.  However, Longford are still in a great position, only three points off the leaders Suttonian’s, having recorded five wins from the first six matches.  A big plus yesterday was the strength of Longford’s lineout maul, which hopefully will yield better returns in upcoming matches and the very youthful Longford backline, which finished the match.  Best wishes to Colm Glynn for a swift recovery.

Longford Squad: L Brady, H Connolly, J Forde, A Hughes, B McManus, B Stewart, K O’Gorman, P Gallogly, N Farrell, R McHugh, J McGowan, C Glynn, L Harte, S McGuinness, S Flynn, P O’Farrell, S Murphy, D Gilmore, R Shaw & P Dardis.

Longford Early XV make it three wins on the trot

11/11/18 Leinster Seconds League 1B Suttonian’s 12 Longford 20

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO

The Early XV lifted some of the gloom from the day with a great away victory against a very physical Suttonian’s side.  As alluded to last week the blend of Youth from last seasons U18s and experience from the likes of the Geelan brothers and Philly Dardis is making for a potent mix.

The Early XV started well, like the week before and bagged an early converted try by prop Podge O’Farrell.  Throughout the game the very physical Suttonian’s side tried to batter Longford into submission but most of these attacks were repelled by committed defence from the men in black. 

It was a good hum dinger of a match in which both sides exchanged scores until Longford pulled away at the end for a deserved win.

Suttonian’s struck back for a try to peg Longford back.  However, Podge popped up for his second to stretch Longford’s lead to 5-14.  After a period of back and forth Suttonian’s scored a converted try to bring them within two points of Longford.  However, try as they might Suttonian’s would not breach the Longford line again and it was Longford who closed out the match with a great team try in the corner by winger Willie McDermott to leave the final 12-20 in the away sides favour.

Overall, it was a deserved win by a group with a lot of players putting their hands up for selection for the Late XV.

Longford Squad: P D Dardis, B Hanley, P O’Farrell, F Davis, D Gilmore, D Geelan, J Geelan, M Cullen, F McGowan, R Shaw, J Mimnagh, S Murphy, J Magan, A Armstrong, W McDermott, D O’Brien, J Connolly, D Corrigan, JJ Cox, P Antonik.

Longford Early XV pressing for their final try

Thoughts from Longford Senior Men Head Coach Glenn Baskett

"Taking positives out of a tough day in Sutton the Early Team have gone three on the bounce and are very much in the mix in the J2 comp. With the young guys putting their hands up in amongst our experienced boys it's creating selection questions across the group, which is great."

"The downside to the day was a poor performance in the Late Game. Suttonians played well, but what was disappointing was the way we went about our work. We went out with what was mainly the group that had won to date but didn't match our previous standards. But the other side of it is we have lost our first game. We perhaps showed a bit of a comfortable mindset and went into ourselves from that. To blame injuries and absences is an easy out, there was a performance that wasn't how we play. To keep a standard for 9 games in a row isn't easy and that showed yesterday and that is a challenge as a coach. That said we reassess and look to North Kildare at home in two weeks. One loss doesn't make us a bad team. But it's still one game at a time."

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