Longford emphatically secure the Midland Shield
17/12/2016 Midland Shield Final Mullingar 10 Longford 43
Longford Performance XV scored a nice pre Christmas win in the Midlands Shield Trophy comprehensively dispatching Mullingar in Edenderry. The midlands shield trophy is now in its second year and Longford not have the honour of displaying it for the coming year.
Coolavacoose, Carbury, Kildare was the venue and Longford administered a trouncing to the side that comprehensively beat them twice last year. Longford were on top in all aspect of the game and gave a demonstration of solid defence and thrilling attack.
The scoreline projects an image of a one-sided encounter, but Mullingar contested well for the most part. It was only when the effort dropped momentarily that Longford brutally punished them.
The men in black delivered good forward play, particularly considering that Longford lost the experienced heads of Benny McMahon and Ronan Keith to injury early on.
The first score came 10 minutes in when clever phase play tightened the Westmeath side's defence before going wide. Karl Murray finished off the move securing the winger his first score for the Performance XV. Flanker Paul Gallogly and out half Daniel McHugh got their name on the honour roll with two fine tries before the break came.
In the second half solid ruck work set the foundation for a platform that saw scores grabbed by Aaron Beirne, Finbarr McGowan, Derek Farrell and Lorcan Connolly. Longford dominance was typified by the endeavour of Dylan Quinn, Barry Stewart, Paul Gallogly and Hubie Connolly.
Daniel McHugh was exemplary at the first five-eight slot and distributed to a back line that fired well on the day. His performance was ably abetted by Neal Farrell who has been in sizzling form this season.
Mullingar have been struggling this season having lost a number of players since last year. Before Longford get too excited about beating a team a division above they will dwell on the fact that in the run up to Christmas Mullingar may not have been fielding their strongest side.
Nevertheles,s it is always good to get one over on the neighbours, particularly when it is done in such a convincing fashion. The next outing is on the 29th of December; the chance to run off the turkey will be on a Thursday night at 8:00 in Ballinasloe.
Longford Captain Ciaran Kennedy being presented with the Midland Shield Trophy