Longford Women lose out in high scoring encounter 2020-01-14 12:40:00

13012020 Leinster Women’s League Division 4 Blackrock 45 Longford 34

Longford Ladies faced table toppers Blackrock away in what would be their first match of the New Year. No team had come close to beating Blackrock all season as they have the advantage of being able to use AIL players. It was very disappointing to have to drop to 13 a side as Blackrock could not field 15. Longford had aspirations of getting back to their winning ways.  Unfortunately, Blackrock came out on top after putting in a strong performance combined with a number of decisions going against Longford especially in the first half. 

The first opening ten minutes was strongly dominated by Blackrock with Longford missing tackles leading to Blackrock getting a try and a convertion within seconds of the kick-off. Longford found it hard to get any momentum and unfortunately a small handling error enabled Blackrock to get another try under the posts, coupled with a conversion that left Longford trailing 12-0 after 22 minutes.

After the kick-off Longford regained possession with Jessica Stewart, Shauna Cahill and Emma Dardis supporting Leanne Keegan getting the ball over the line. However, the referee decided the ball was knocked on when it looked to have been properly grounded.  Longford were afforded an opportunity to score with a penalty, however the ball was kicked in field, the Blackrock forwards regained possession and scored another try and conversion.

Longford then started to fight back with Maria Kelleher making a huge break from the halfway line to score a try, which was then easily converted by Megan Banahan to put Longford on the score board. This gave Longford the much needed motivation to kick off with big hits, which created a gap for Megan Banahan who ran in an uncoverted try with the support of Leanne Keegan.

At half time the score was 19-17 to Blackrock.

After the restart, Longford received the kick-off with Emma McHugh, Natalie O’Reilly and Roisin Shaw working together to make some crucial carries up to the 22 metre line. Jess Stewart, Amanda Sheridan, Shauna Cahill and Michelle Farrell kept the ball moving relentlessly which was then passed out to Leanne Keegan who scored a try.  Unfortunately, it was not converted.

Blackrock then came back eagerly with a try to get them back on the score board straight away.  To compound this a second try and conversion came shortly after as the result of missed tackles by Longford leaving the score 38-29.

From the kick off Longford worked the ball down the field with Hannah Shea, Róisín Shaw and Dora Ledwith working hard at the breakdown, which lead to the backs having room to work a brilliant move to set Megan Banahan free, she was tackled just before the line but managed to offload out of the tackle to Rebecca O’Hara to score a try.  However, the referee disallowed what looked like a perfectly good try, adjudging the offload to be forward.

Blackrock were ready again after the kick off with some tactful running and clever kicks into Longford’s danger zone. The Longford defence was unable to recover which lead to a penalty try and Megan Banahan getting a yellow card for a tackle off the ball.

Longford then dug deep after losing their captain. Good interplay between Abby Purdy, Monica Bannon and Leona Hoare allowed them to maintain possession and Rebecca O’Hara got another score on the board in the final minutes of the game.   The final score was 45-34, which was a disappointing loss for the Longford.  They can be very proud of a brilliant performance being the only team to come close to beating Blackrock this season.  

Longford Squad: Hannah Shea, Shauna Cahill, Irene Murtagh, Rebecca Duffy, Michelle Farrell, Maria Kelleher, Róisín Shaw, Dora Ledwith, Emma Dardis, Megan Banahan, Monica Bannon, Leanne Keegan, Leona Hoare, Rebecca Ó’Hara, Emma McHugh, Eimear Kelleher, Jessica Stewart, Natalie O Reilly, Amanda Sheridan & Abby Purdy. 

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