Longford U17s claim Leinster Division 2 Title   17/04/2018

It was a perfect day in Longford when the under 17’s  left for St Mary’s college in  Templeogue for the Leinster league final playoff between Longford and Newbridge RFC.  We arrived, however to a cold miserable wet morning.  The pitches were in dreadful condition (in stark contrast to Longford’s 2 all weather pitches) and the Leinster referee had a difficult decision as to whether the match could proceed.  He eventually decided to proceed.

Longford kicked off and the forwards quickly dominated the breakdown.  Their intensity paid off with frequent turnovers and they hammered the Newbridge pack with multiple phase plays with strong carries from Craig Gorman, Gareth O’Hara, Finn Brady and Ciaran McGlynn.  They were rewarded when Gareth picked from a ruck in the Newbridge half, broke several tackles and rounded the Newbridge defence to touchdown in the corner.  The conversion was narrowly missed by Simon Morehead.

Longford continued dominance secured a penalty 10 meters from The Newbridge line.  Daniel Reilly quickly tapped the ball and powered through 3 defenders to touchdown 5 meters from the corner flag.  Simon’s conversion split the posts in one of his best kicks this season.

Try no 3 came from the agile feet of Dario Castiglianni when he dodged through the Newbridge defensive line and brushed off tackles as he secured the touchdown. Simon again made the difficult conversion to bring the score to 19-0

It was Ciaran McGlynn who next stole the limelight when he was rewarded for his hard tackles and many carries when he touched down 5 minutes before half time.  Simon again converted to bring the score to 26:0 to Longford.

In the second half, Longford’s talisman Gareth O’Hara added to the tally when he broke from the Longford, broke clear of the Newbridge pack and sprinted  half the pitch to touchdown in the corner.  Simon narrowly missed the kick.  The score was 31-0.

Fair play to Newbridge, they did not loose heart and they came back hard at Longford.  They scored 3 tries in the second half and only for heroic tackling from Ciaran McGlynn, Gareth O’ Hara, Dean Norton and Dave Connolly the result could have been closer.  The coaches asked for each player to give his best and they got it.  Special mention must be made for Man of the Match Gareth O’Hara for his tackling and his carries throughout the match

Longford: 1. Finn Brady, 2. John Corcoran, 3. Daniel Reilly, 4. Craig Gorman, 5. Ryan Burgess, 6. Dean Norton , 7. Ciaran McGlynn, 8. Gareth O’Hara, 9. Michael Dunne, 10. Simon Morehead, 11. Kevin Greggs, 12. David Connolly, 13 Dario Castiglianni, 14. Ben Victory, 15 Jack Finnegan, 16. James Reilly, 17. Brian Farrell, 18. Colin Cousins, 19. Evan Hogan,  20 Oisin McDonnell

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