Longford suffer first loss of season   15/11/2017

05/11/2017 Leinster League Division 1B Longford 18 Suttonians 25

What a difference a day makes. With one loss Longford tumble four places from the top spot in Division 1B to fourth. Wins for Tullow, Suttonians and Kilkenny all re-jigged the complexion of the table.
Longford will be very disappointed having dominated a visiting Suttonians for most of the game, but were unable to make a number of opportunities count. The Dubliners secured maximum points from there visit to CPL Park, thanks to two soft tries that came in quick success on in the second half.
There were some fine individual performance from Longford players in this game, but an infuriating inability to punish the visitors when inside their 22 saw the contest run away from them.
Suttonians must look aback on this game and wonder how they weathered repeated attacks. However to focus on errors is to do a disservice to Longford, but the single loosing bonus point is scant consolation for a game that they let slipped away.
Longford went with an unusual formation with Kieran O'Gorman occupying a post in the centre of the backline. The flanker was employed to contain the threat of Suttonian's second centre Henry Brice.
The visitors were on the offence right from the start. The blazing attack launched by Brice in the opening minutes showed the threat Longofrd had anticipated. Nonetheless it was kicker Peter Synnott, playing at eight and throws in at lineout time, who kicked the first penalty and get the Dubliners off the mark 00-03.
Longford's reply was immediate. Momentum was established on the restart and they progressed to the visitors half. A penalty awarded saw Colm Gynn point at the posts and even matter out 03-03.
The tempo of the game was pretty high, but a number of knock-ons resulted in a stop-start feeling to the encounter. The restart set pieces were even enough, even if it did look as if the Dubliners kept popping up at scrum time.
A rapid 22 minute had passed when Longford went ahead. Again this was thanks to Glynn's boot, a scrum penalty in the Suttonians half saw him bring it to 06-03.
Glynn's next a move further asserted his side's control on proceedings. A kick chase picked up by Finbar McGowan was continued by Derek Farrell who was brought to ground. Glynn took the ball at first receiver and went through the gap like a torpedo to ground under the posts making his kicking duties a piece of pie. Longford lead 13-03.
Suttonians upped the ante and took the fight into the Longford half. A kickable penalty was ignored for territory and from there they commenced building phases. It was Brice who drew two tacklers before slipping a pass out the back door to fullback Connor Whitten. Whitten crossed the line, but Synott missed the conversion leaving it 13-08.
As the first half wound down the northsiders ran in another try. This time it was winger Baguzis Domantas the recipient of a spicy off load by Brice to leave the score at 13-13 at the conclusion of the first 40.
In the early exchanges of the first half Longford laboured, but they could not make their efforts count. The Suttonians for their part got the benefit of another kick through. This time it was Eoin Fitzpatrick who grounded to bring his 13-18.
In reply Longford cam up with an end to end play. A knock on advantage was apitalised on by Derek Farrell, his pass to Barry Stewart saw the captain cover a good 80 yards. The flanker could not hold off the covering winger who brough him ot ground seven metres from the line.
In a complete turnaround with Suttonian scrum-half, Sean Cribbing, ran the length of the pitch somehow manoeuvring thought a poor Longford defence. Grounding out wide the conversion was completed by by Synott to leave it 13-25.
Longford looked to gouge their way back into the game. The difficulty of the endevour was compounded with an unfortunate yellow for Ronan Keith. The hooker was clearly frustrated by the ruck management and a Dubliner slowing down ruck ball felt his wrath. The ref took exception to the action and consigned Keith to the bin.
Longford were not disheartened by the loss of their hooker and came by a losers bonus pints in the last minutes of the game. Starting with some lovely link play, it was the persistence and pace of chasing full back Liam O'Hallahan that secured the five points to leave it 18-25.
The deflation of having lost out on so many opportunities was mitigated somewhat by that last score. The next outing is on Sunday when Portlaoise pay a visit to CPL park.

Liam O'Hallahan, Finbar McGowan, Cormac Hughes, Kieran O'Gorman, Daniel McHugh, Colm Glynn, Neal Farrell, Michael Bannon, Ronan Keith, Dylan Quinn, Benny McManus, Anthony Hughes, Barry Stewart ( Capt), Derek Farrell, Paul Gallogly

Justin Forde, Hughbie Connolly, Aaron Beirne, Paul Treacy

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