Longford unable to sustain 1st half momentum v Malahide 2015-12-14 14:03:00

League Leaders Malahide visited CPL Park at the Demesne on Sunday, flashed their credentials and headed back up the N4 with a 10-34 victory.  Longford, for their part, put in a solid performance for sixty minutes, but found it difficult to sustain momentum.

As the game wore on the sticky conditions sapped the energy from the home team, and the Estuary Road boys were ruthless in punishing errors. 

This disappointing pointless defeat sees Longford drop back down to eighth, but given their performance for most of this game they will know that they have the potential to turn around the season and claw their way out of the automatic relegation spot.

Malahide are top of the league for a reason, boasting a team packed with players who have competed at a high level.  Although the scoreline suggest that this was a comprehensive defeat, it is very different to the rout the Dublin side gave Longford at the start of October.  Back then the Midlanders were treading water for much of the game, whereas last Sunday they dominated for the first 40.

Although Malahide started well, their winger crossing the line five minutes in following a break from back of the scrum, it was the home team that dictated most of the play for the rest of the half.  Colm Glynn scored next with a penalty to shorten the gap to 03-05.

Against the run of play the visitors showed their nonce and slipped past the first soft shoulder to sore their second try leaving it 03-10.  For the remainder to the 40 it was all Longford.  Derek Farrell grounded for Longford as part of a pack comfortably bullying the visitors.  Glynn’s conversion left 10-10.

Two occasions Longford had the change to get ahead with breaks from Kurt Beaney and Jimmy Connolly, but bloody minded defending scuppered the chances.  The break time whistle left it all square.

As the game wore on the sluggish conditions drained some of the vigour out of Longford.  A couple of decisions that went against the home team and the resolve of the first period seemed to dissipate.

The Dubliners first pushed ahead with a penalty shortly after the restart.  In the 55th minute they scored their third try and would cross twice more without reply before the conclusion of the contest.

The final tally shows that gap between the two teams, but from the stand it was difficult to reconcile the 28 point league table difference.  Longford stood with the League Leaders for most of the game and even had the better of them for most of the first half.

It is not difficult to take positives from this defeat, and the home team will be looking to build on the good and eradicate the bad.  Elsewhere in the league Tullow used their home advantage to secure a loosing bonus point against Coolmine, Mullingar lost by one point to North Kildare but Cill Dara had to adjourn their encounter against Wicklow due to heavy rainfall.

After the Christmas break Longford will return to League action on the 10th of January with a very difficult away game against North Kildare.  In the mean time the men in black gear up for round two against Mullingar.

This clash is the PTS Sports Midlands League Plate Grand Final in Shay Murtagh Park on January 2nd.  With the number of strong performances Longford have put in so far this year they will be hoping to turnover the old enemy on their home soil.

Mullingar impressed on their clash v Longford at the start of November, but Longford will feel that they have the measure of the neighbours if the New Years celebrations are not weighing too heavily on the squad.

Dylan Quinn, Huby Connolly, Justin Ford, Aaron Beirne, Benny McManus, Clifford Richardson, Kevin Coffee, Derek Farrell, Shane Rodgers, Colm Glynn, Jonathan Beirne, Kurt Beeney, James Connolly, Joe McGowan, George McDermott

Lorcan Connolly, Fergal McGlade, Peter Kirk, Finbar McGowan, Craig Whorley

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