Longford RFC Mini/Youth Notes 18/04/2016   19/04/2016

U15s Divison 2 Champions, Youths AGM U13/U14/U17 Play in cup this weekend, U16/U17 Tour to France Report...

Lots of rugby still to play!
Just as the rugby season seemed to be over it was ignited into life the weekend before last when the U15's won the Leinster Division 2 title after beating Birr in Ashbourne. This was followed by the U17's beating Dundalk in the Plate semi-final in Barnhall the next day. The result of this is a mouth-watering final against local rivals Mullingar. Not to be outdone the
U14's went to Wicklow last Saturday coming away with a single point win 29-28 to set up a semi-final against Navan next weekend. Finally the U13's played a stormer in Mullingar on Sunday last to beat Edenderry 20-13 and line up a Plate Final against Navan in Tullow on Saturday 30th April. With 3 sides still in contention for honours and 2 pieces of silverware already back at CPL Park and the senior side contesting the Provincial Town's Plate Final it's going to be a frantic few weeks.

Fixtures & Dates for Diary

Wed 19th April

Mini/Youths AGM 20:45 in Longford RFC

Sat 23rd April

U17 Culliton Plate Final - Longford vs. Mullingar - Venue: Athy

U14 Plate Semi-Final - Longford vs. Navan - Venue: TBA

Sat 30th April

U13 McGowan Bowl - Longford vs. Navan - Venue: Tullow

Monday 2nd May

Youths Awards 4PM

Match/Tour Reports

Youth Tour of Brittany 2016

Longford RFC went on one of the most ambitious club tours to date when the U16 & u17 sides went to Brittany, France in early April. The 57 strong party flew from Dublin to the sunny location of La Rochelle. A quick 4 hour bus transfer to Rennes saw the party set up their team base in Cession-Sevigne on the outskirts of the city. The squad "acclimatised" with dinner that evening in the city centre before returning to the team hotel for an early
night in anticipation of the day's rugby ahead.

The next morning (having discovered that there are no rashers in a continental breakfast !) the team bus headed to our host Club, Aurore Rugby Club Vitre. The club put on a whole day competition for our 2 sides as well as feeding players and supporters. The U16's took the pitch first against the hosts, Vitre. After a shaky start and letting the home side in for a try
the Longford lads let loose and a text book backline loop finished up with Luca Noack-Hofmann scoring in the corner. This was followed by tries for Daire O'Brien and Conor Craig. A solid 19-7 win to start. Next up the U17's came up against the hosts. Physically much bigger the U17's gave Vitre's u18's a real game but even a Luke Reilly try could not stop them going down 10-5. The U16's were next up against Rennes. Longford were slow to get into the game and it cost them dearly losing out 10-5 despite a powerful performance from Granard's Eoin Reilly. The U17's next game was against Redon and the lads broke loose with some French flair of their own to win 41-10. The U16's next opposition was Redon and some slick backline moves saw Liam Sheridan score the opening try. Conor Craig followed this up with a brace to seal a 19-0 win. The U17's final game was against the might of local senior side Rennes - those of us on the touch line were in awe at the size and skill level and while win was never on the cards Longford put it up to them. The final game saw the U16's take on St. Pere and we finished with a flourish. A 22 - 0 victory with tries from Liam Sheridan, Luke Noak-Hofmann and Conor Craig was the icing on the cake and brought on the pancakes and sausages!. Presentations of tour tops and club crests were made to all the teams we played and to our special hosts Vitre Rugby.

The teams were special guests that evening at Noyal Chantillon sur Seiche - Longford's twin town. The twinning committee put on a meal in the town hall for all the players and coaches followed by music and dancing. The locals were "treated" to an impromptu rendition of "The Field's of Athenry" by the players. Thank you to all the locals in Noyal Chantillon for their
hospitality and making us so welcome.

Sunday was billed as "Culture Day" so a trip to see the magnificent island castle at Mont Saint Michel was an ideal wind down after the previous day.  Sunny weather and clear skies made for a picture perfect trip. The return trip involved a stop for some paintballing and the opportunity for some players to get their own back on the coaches !

An "end of tour" dinner at the hotel that evening was followed by an early night before the long trip back to Longford the next day.

A hugely successful trip by all accounts - the players all represented Longford and the club impeccably and it will be remembered for a long time to come. Thanks to the parents and adults who travelled and made the trip possible. Thank you also to Pierre Delannoy and Mary Carleton-Reynolds who made all the organisation possible through their links in Noyal Chantillon.

Finally a huge thank you to Longford Rugby Club's own Matt Hanley, whose brain-child the whole tour was. The varied itinerary and level of organisation made the trip such a seccess - the question now is where next ?

U15's Win Leinster League Division 2 Title Longford U15 22 Birr 05

A few days on from winning the semi-final against Ardee, the Longford team joined the Birr team in what turned out to be a spectacular Leinster League final in Ashbourne RFC.
In front of a huge audience, Dario Cigliano scored our first try within 6 minutes into the game.  Young Michael Dunne intercepted a ball and ran nearly the whole pitch before
being stopped by Birr. Great effort which demonstrated the determination of this Longford team.  But a couple of assured place-kicks from Jack Finnegan, with assistance from
captain David Connolly who won a ball from a scrum subsequently created an opening for Jonathan Borland to score the second try of the game. At this point Birr was feeling the pressure and after winning a lineout they found a gap in our defence line and scored their first try.  Half time Longford 10 - Birr 5
Longford took immediate advantage, pressing from a lineout drive which saw Daniel Reilly, Rory Lennon and Ciaran McGlynn gaining ground which enabled Gareth O'Hara to score the third try of the game. Birr tried to counter attack however this Longford team was gaining strength and confidence by the minute. Not satisfied with the 15 to 5 result and into the closing stages of this game, Longford came with wave after wave of attack. Inevitably, Birr felt the pressure and after a tap ball, Tom Gilheany scored the fourth try of the game which was easily converted by Simon Moorehead.

The referee blew the final whistle and our young players, coaches, parents/guardians and supporters exploded in what can be described as a collective pay-off for the hard work of the last number of years. This team is a real unit, we had a huge panel of players and each one of them has contributed to the success of this team. Thanks to Birr for being a worthy
opponent. Thanks to the referee for officiating this final.

Longford: Craig Gorman, James Murphy, Gareth O'Hara, Adam Penrose, James Briody, David Connolly, John Corcoran, Michael Dunne, Kevin Greggs, William Higgins, Simon Moorehead, Brian O'Farrell, James Reilly, Joshua Manning, Colin Cosins, Liam Donoghue, Cian Gray, Jacob Ireland, Brandon Maguire, Daniel Reilly, Rory Lennon, Jonathan Borland, Brian Farrell, Dario Cigliano, Jack Finnegan, Ciaran McGlynn & Tom Gilheany

Longford U15 Players with the U15 Leinster League Trophy after their
win over Birr (L-R Kevin Gregg, David Connolly, Simon Moorhead, John

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