Longford lose out away to Tullow 2016-01-25 17:27:00

Leinster League Division 1B Tullow 34 Longford 17

Tullow took all the spoils on offer at the Black Gates to put a six points between them at Longford in Division 1B of the Leinster League following Sunday’s clash.  Travelling to Carlow Longford would have been hoping to contain their closest league rivals and take at least a bonus point.

With just one point between the teams before the kick off and a relegation playoff the reward for the losers this was a vital game for both sides.  Unfortunately Longford were unable to claw back the lead that the Carlow men racked up in the first half with advantage of a strong breeze.

The home side capitalised on conditions as the Tullow outhalf utilised the up and under and diagonal kicks to control territory.  The Carlow men got their opening score in the fifth minutes from a penalty.  Five minutes later they went in behind the posts.  The conversion brought the scoreline to 10-00.

Longford tried to retain possession and worked well with ball in hand, but the home team out rucked them at the breakdown.  There was a period of sustained pressure from Longford on the back of a couple of good breaks by Hubie Connolly and Derek Farrell.

When Longford were awarded a penalty outhalf Colm Glynn took the points.  They continued to make headway with their attacks, but some poor handling scuppered any development.

It was Tullow who crossed the line next.  They followed up a lineout with a solid drive.  The conversion left it 17-03.  Longford’s woes increased with second row stalwart Benny McManus yellow card.  A follow up try by the home team left it 22-03 at the break.

The gap was not insurmountable given the strong breeze that Longford were to benefit from.  Longford started well, however Tullow were the first to score in the second half, benefiting from the opposition’s poor ball retention.

Hubie Connelly responded with a good try and Glynn’s conversion left it 27-10.  Longford’s efforts to rally were admirable, but a block down chase put the Carlow side further ahead 34-10.

Longford started pulling out all the stops.  This resulted in a 19 phase play that concluded with Lorcan Connelly grounding.   Glynn’s conversion left it 34-17, where it stayed to the final whistle.

A disappointing day for Longford who will now be looking to get maximum points from the final two games of the season.

Longford’s next outing will see them take on Wicklow in the Towns cup next Sunday at 2:30.  The stats for this game are interesting with the teams taking points off each other in their opponents ground.  Hopefully the advantage of playing in CPL Park will be in Longford’s favour this time out, but a good show of support will make all the difference.

In their next league outing Longford face a Mullingar side that are two for two this year.  Loosing out by three points in the first league encounter and heavy defeat in the Midlands Plate should be enough incentive to motivate the side to take some points of the neighbours.

Dylan Quinn, Hubie Connolly, Justin Forde, Benny McManus, Aaron Beirne, Clifford Richardson, Fergal McGlade, Derek Farrell, Neal Farrell, Colm Glynn, Jonathan Beirne, Ciaran Kennedy, James Connolly, Joe McGowan, George McDermott.

Liam Brady, Ronan Keith, Alistair McCormack, Finbarr McGowan & Lorcan Connolly.

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