Longford RFC Club News 25/03/2019   26/03/2019

Senior Men in Promotion Playoff, Woman in Cup 1st Round, U15 win in Plate, U13 Match report, Champions Cup…

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO tommylbutler@gmail.com 

Senior Men

The Senior Men had last weekend off but were hard at work during the week preparing for their Promotion Playoff versus Bective Rangers, which takes place this Saturday at 1 PM in North Kildare RFC just outside Kilcock.  The prize for the victors is a place in Division 1A of the Leinster League, which is the top division of Leinster Rugby!  The Promotion Play-Off is a handy stop off for anyone travelling to Leinster v Ulster in the Champions Cup Quarter Final in Lansdowne Road later in the day.  A separate preview is available.  The following Sunday the excitement continues with the Provincial Towns Cup Semi-Final versus Wicklow which will take place in Naas RFC.  A very exciting few weeks are ahead.

Upcoming Fixtures

Saturday March 30th Division 1A/1B Promotion Relegation Playoff v Bective at North Kildare RFC. Kick Off 1 PM.

Sunday April 7th Provincial Towns Cup Semi-Final Wicklow v Longford as Naas RFC.  Kick off 3 PM.

Longford Women (Warriors)

Longford Women had last weekend off.  The team has really improved as the season has progressed and are well worth your support.  Longford Women were drawn at home against Port Dara Falcons this Sunday March 31st in the First Round of the Paul Cusack Cup.  The team will be training hard to try and convert their great end of season form into a cup run!  Please come out and support our Women in CPL Park on Sunday.

Upcoming Fixtures

Sunday March 31st Paul Cusack Cup Longford v Port Dara Falcons.  Kick off 2 PM.

Longford Mini/Youths

Longford Minis hosted Ballina in a Blitz in CPL Park on Saturday.  A Great day’s rugby was had by all.  A lot of our youth sides were out in Cup action, unfortunately only our U15s advanced to the next round.  This Saturday see over 300 of our Minis/Youths Players and Parents heading to the Aviva Stadium to support the ‘Boys in Blue’ versus Ulster in the Champions Cup Quarter Final. It is not too late to start playing Mini/Youth rugby.  Longford RFC welcome new players at all levels both boys/girls with no previous experience necessary.  Training times and Fixtures can be found on www.longfordrugby.com or at https://goo.gl/qAVBPv

Fixtures:

Saturday March 30th       

U16 v R&B Rebels Shield Final (Home).

U15 v New Ross Shield Final (Away).

U14 Girls v Ardee (Home).

U7-U12 Trip to Leinster v Ulster (Aviva Stadium)

Sunday March 31st       

U7-U12 Training

U14 v Ashbourne (Away).

Club News

U18

Longford U18s lost out to Skerries in the Plate.  Well done on a great season lads.  We hope to see all of you back next year for another season of U18s are playing for our Senior Teams.

U16

Longford U16s played Portlaoise in the League and unfortunately did not get a result.  However, the play R&B Rebels in Shield Final in CPL Park next Sunday.  All support would be appreciated.

U15

Longford U15’s hosted Carlow RFC in the Leinster Division 1 Shield semi-final on Saturday. Longford took the lead early in the 1st half with a well taken penalty by Brendan Naughton. Carlow struggled to deal with Longford’s strong ball carrying and rucking, which created a chance for Conor Smith to finish off a superb try after 15 minutes. Longford continued to control procession and a second try came when Padraig Boyle burst through to give Longford a 2nd try and a deserved 15 to nil lead at the break. Longford started the 2nd half as they had finished the 1st, when Eoin Murtagh and Gavin Courage scored 2 more tries to put the game beyond doubt. Carlow rallied to put some points on the board but Conor Smith and Gavin Courage but the game to bed with 2 more superbly taken tries.   The final score was Longford 39, Carlow 17.

Longford U15’s can be delighted with their performance and can now look forward to their final against New Ross on Saturday 30th March.

Team & Scorers; 1 Lolu Adejimni, 2 Ronan Smyth, 3 Seamus Hanley, 4 Dean Rogan, 5 Sean Conboy, 6 Gavin Courage (2 tries), 7 Jamie Brady, 8 Keith Neary, 9 Brendan Naughton (1 pen, 3 con), 10 Padraig Boyle (1 try), 11 Conor Smith (2 tries), 12 Eoin Murtagh (1 try), 13 Kevin Byrne, 14 Cormac Casey, 15 Ryan Cunningham. Subs Used; 16 Francis Dunne, 17 Jacob Crossan & 18 Kieran Mulligan.

U13

Tullow 32 Longford 7

Longford Under 13’s were on the road again when they travelled to Tullow to play in their Leinster Plate quarter final match. The playing conditions were perfect, blue skies, no breeze and dry under foot, for a free flowing and quick passing game of rugby. Our Achilles heel returned, as, right from the kick off, we let the ball bounce favourably for the Tullow forwards to run on to it and go into score in the corner to have the home side ahead by 5 points in the first minute.

The Tulllow team gained in confidence and started to spread the ball with some slick passing out to their pacey wingers and despite the efforts of the Longford defence, with some great tackling by Jack Mc Weeney, Diarmuid Glennon and Alex Forde, they ran in tries at will and ran in a further 5 tries and one conversion to leave the score at 32-0 at half time. We tried to relieve our defence with some skillful kicking by Rian Macken & Darragh Kelly. Despite the score line there were some passages of play in the first half that showed our true capabilities and gave us some inspiration at the start of the second half.

Tullow made some changes at half time that may have cause them to lose a bit of their structure and the Longford side played with renewed confidence. They started rucking the ball and creating turnovers, started to drive forward with some great ball carrying by the forwards with Jack O’Hara, James Grehan, Olan Bracken, Rian Browne and Daniel Gavin excelling. This hard work paid off when the ball was passed by scum half, Dylan Vance, to Killian Mc Givney who spotted a rare gap in the Tullow defence in midfield and dove forward towards the line. Despite be tacked just short of the line, he had the presence of mind to just reach out with is arm and put the ball down on the line. Conor Mulligan took the conversion even without his kicking tee. For Killian’s efforts unfortunately he was injured and was replaced by Cathal Byrne.

Tullow, the home of Ireland’s Sean O’Brien, (the Tullow Tank) were the superior team on the day but Longford can take much from this encounter. Their scum again was strong and out front row specialist of Ciaran Heffernan, Sean Monohan and Killian Mc Givney. However, with the dry and calm conditions the number of forward passes were very few in this fast game. We would like to thank Tullow for their hospitality and wish them the best of luck in the Semi Final against Wexford. I would also like to thank Colin Gilna and Ruairi Mimnagh who were our replacements who did not get an opportunity to shine today.

This is the under 13’s last competitive match of this season but we will still try to training will continue until Easter and all new players are welcome. We hope to have a guest coach in next week.

The squad was Sean Molihan, Ciaran Heffernan, Killian Mc Givney, Jack O’Hara, Daniel Galvin, Rian Browne, Olan Bracken, James Grehan, Dylan Vance, Conor Mulligan, Alex Forde, Jack Mc Weeney, Diarmuid Glennon, Darragh Kelly, Rian Macken, Cathal Byrne, Colin Gilna and Ruairi Minmagh

Condolences to our team mate, Cathal O’Hara, and his family, on the sudden passing of his 1st cousin and fellow athlete, Niall O’Hara. May he rest in peace.

Minis

We had a fantastic match day at CPL Park in Saturday as we welcomed Ballina RFC minis to town. The sun shone brightly for our last home game day for most of the teams.

Ballina arrived with excellent numbers at each age group and were eager from the off. The games were very competitive for all our teams but they were well up to the task. Rugby on all pitches was played in great spirit and the weary troops were glad of the final whistle. The after match spread was excellent as always. Many thanks to our brilliant parents for their dedication and help throughout the season. It is very much appreciated.

Next week sees a break from games as we head en mass to support Leinster in the Heineken Cup quarter final at the Aviva. Some of the traveling party will head off early and stop off to support Longford in the playoff match vs Bective at Kilcock on the way.

Training resumes Sunday morning for all teams.