Longford RFC Notes 06/03/2023   06/03/2023

Senior Men send league survival to last game, Ladies finish league strongly, Minis/Youths....

By Padraig Murphy Longford RFC PRO Ph: 087 6063587 Email:  lrfconnects@gmail.com

Longford win thriller to send League comeback into final fixture of the season

By Mark Quinn at Longford Rugby Club

Leinster League Division 1B Longford RFC 20 Athy RFC 16

Longford hosted in-form Athy RFC on Sunday last in a “do or die” fixture in terms of the scramble to stay in Leinster League Division 1B. A win was simply non-negotiable and again like recent fixtures the squad depth was tested to its limit with numerous 1st squad players unavailable due to injury. The odds were stacked against the home side, but this team has an admirable “never say die” attitude and as they took the pitch a laser like focus was noticeable.

The clouds began to gather over Longford Rugby Club as the kick-off approached and on que the heavens opened as the game got underway. An immediate contest for the ball between both packs was in full swing when the sound of the referee’s whistle sounded to Athy’s benefit. A penalty was awarded just inside the Longford half which was slotted over by the Athy Outhalf. Longford were down 3-0 with 1 minute on the clock. Longford responded on 5 minutes with a well fielded ball by the excellent Ryan McHugh at fullback who ran hard back at Athy before launching a sweet spiral down into the Athy 22. Tom Gilheany led the chase and caught the defending Athy player over his own line to force an attacking 5-meter scrum to Longford. Unfortunately, the ball was knocked on in the phases that followed but the line was drawn and Athy were put on notice early in terms of Longford’s intent in the game. Indeed, from a driving Lineout maul immediately afterwards, Longford appeared to be over only for the Referee to judge Seamus McKeown to be held up.

Ali McCormack rises highest to secure a crucial attacking lineout for Longford against Athy – Picture – Mark Quinn

However, on 15 minutes Longford were finally awarded for their excellent early pressure when Tom Gilheany blocked down an attempted clearance by the Athy Outhalf. As the ball spun on the turf behind the Athy try line, it was the in-form David Geelan who pounced first to secure the opening try of the game. Ryan McHugh converted to deservedly swing the scoreboard 7-3 in Longford’s favour. Athy closed the gap to 7-6 on 19 minutes after Longford were harshly penalised at a ruck. Indeed, Athy were very fortunate that the referee missed an obvious act of foul play in the same incident that really should have resulted in a penalty to Longford. However, Longford again displayed composure to secure a penalty immediately from the restart of play which Ryan McHugh landed from distance. The scoreboard moved to 10-6 to Longford.

Danny McHugh put in an aggressive tackle against the Athy winger with Colm Glynn, Podge Farrell and Tom Gilheany in close support. Picture – Niall Gannon

The next eight minutes were frantic as both teams upped the tempo and landed blow after blow without breaking either line. On reflection it was perhaps the home team who were guilty of lacking the cutting edge after several visits to the Athy 22 were frustrated by either poor execution or the determination of Athy’s defence. An incident took place on 28 minutes when a Longford player was pinned to the ground after play moved on. Several Athy players took part in a scuffle with the single Longford player which really should have resulted in a penalty to Longford – however it was bizarrely Longford who were penalised when Packie Molloy was shown a very harsh yellow for simply breaking up the incident. Longford now had to weather the storm created by the 1-man disadvantage to Half Time and did so superbly. To their huge credit it was Longford who emphatically closed the first half with a statement of intent when Ali McCormack secured possession from the lineout and the excellent Mark McHugh crashed over the Athy try line off a driving maul. Ryan McHugh again converted – 17-9 to the home side at the break.

The battle didn’t lose any intensity in the second half as both sides continued to run the ball hard at each other. In the forwards Seamus McKeown, David Geelan, Kieran O’Gorman and Packie Molloy in particular were putting in huge shifts. However, it was perhaps Mark McHugh and ultimate Player of the Match Tom Gilheany who in tandem caused most havoc with ferocious intensity in their line speed and dynamic defence. The backs showed similar intensity with both Colm Glynn & George McDermott forming a very well-balanced centre partnership that was well serviced all day by a resurgent Danny McHugh at Outhalf. Ryan McHugh was imperious all game at Full Back and the ever improving Rioch Farrell has a very solid outing on the wing. It is hugely encouraging that collectively the team are playing with a far improved shape and application of the new systems introduced by coach Henry Bryce this season.

Scrum time with Podge Farrell, Mark McHugh & Packie Molloy focused on the task at hand Picture – Niall Gannon

Longford were awarded another penalty on 56 minutes which Ryan McHugh sent straight between the posts to give the home side an extended, and deserved lead of 20-9. Athy did strike back however on 78 minutes with a converted try after several waves of pressure. The scoreboard moved to a dangerous 20-16 score line with what those in attendance thought was the final play of the game. The referee however indicated a restart and Athy went for broke, launching several waves of attack before thankfully they knocked the ball on. With that the final whistle sounded much to the relief of players and spectators alike – Longford had done it!

Eyes however immediately moved to events elsewhere as the result of the Mullingar v Wicklow game was eagerly awaited. Unknown to most however, that fixture bizarrely kicked off a full 30 minutes after their scheduled 3pm start time which meant that for 30 minutes nobody knew if Longford heroics on the day were going to be enough to push their fate into the final day. Longford needed Mullingar to lose in order to keep them in our sights going into the final round of fixtures on March 25th. Indeed, Mullingar took the lead in their fixture after the match had ended in Longford and the most anxious of waits began to see if Wicklow could do us a massive favour. Remarkably they did just that, taking the win in the final phase of play in that game which meant that Longford are still alive in terms of the great escape.

The Longford squad stand together after a pulsating game over rugby versus Athy Picture – Mark Quinn

Longford’s final game is away to Dundalk in an absolutely must win fixture where only a bonus point win will do coupled with a Mullingar defeat in their away trip to Athy on the same day. The aim is to exchange paces with Mullingar with the potential reward a play off against the runner up of Division 2a which currently looks like being either Clondalkin or Coolmine RFC. If ever a season went down to the wire this is it. This team knows what now has to be done and are determined to do it. Never say never…

1 – P Farrell 2–  M McHugh 3 – S McKeown 4 D Geelan 5 P Prunty 6 K O’Gorman 7 T Gilheany 8 P Molloy  9 R Shaw 10 D McHugh 11 D Masteron 12 C Glynn 13 G McDermott 14 R Farrell 15 R McHugh 16 B Hanley 17 E O’Hara 18 A McCormack 19 F McGowan 20 B Harte

Leinster League Division 1B 


25/09/22 Cill Dara 18-12 Longford

02/10/22 Longford 14-20 Wicklow

16/10/22 Mullingar 27-25 Longford

23/10/22 Longford 09-22 Carlow

06/11/22 Tullow 28-10  Longford

13/11/22 Athy 28-12 Longford

27/11/22 Longford 18-14 Dundalk

04/12/22 Longford 10-07 Cill Dara

15/01/23 Wicklow 14-13 Longford

22/01/23 Longford 29-20 Mullingar

29/01/23 Carlow 19-12 Longford

19/02/23 Longford 08-24 Tullow

05/03/23 Longford 20-16 Athy

Upcoming Fixtures

26/03/23 Dundalk v Longford

Men’s Senior training continues Tuesday and Friday evenings at 7.30pm.

Ladies’ 2022/23 Season. 

Longford Ladies rounded off the season with a big win away to Arklow at the Oval.  The win cemented the fourth position on the league table, 10 points clear of the fifth-place team.


09/10/22 Longford 22-05 Arklow

16/10/22 Longford 40-00 Greystones

23/10/22 New Ross 37-07 Longford

6/11/22 Longford 15-19 Wicklow J1

13/11/22 Clontarf 10-00 Longford

20/11/22 Longford 55-07 Gorey

4/12/22 Athy 31-27 Longford

11/12/22 Arklow v Longford Postponed

8/01/23 Greystones 14-23 Longford

15/01/23 Longford 12-17 New Ross

29/01/23 Wicklow 34-05 Longford

5/02/23 Longford 05-22  Clontarf

12/02/23 Gorey 05-54 Longford

25/02/23 Longford 38-24 Athy

05/03/23 Arklow 15-47 Longford


New members should register with the IRFU on the following link.


When prompted, select Leinster as the Provence, and then select Longford Rugby Club as your club. Once complete, note the player number.  You are then directed to https://sportsmanager.ie/sportlomo/users/login to complete the process.

Payment is online and must be made as part of the process.  Players are only approved and available for match selection when full payment and forms are completed. 

Longford Rugby Charity Sleep out

Join local personalities and take part in this year's Midlands Simon Community SLEEP OUT in Longford Rugby Club on 7th April 2023.

Midlands Simon Community provides three services in Longford.

Regional Support Service (Homelessness) supports people to move out of homelessness and source a home of their own and once a person moves into their new home to settle successfully there. This service works with over 30 people in Longford at any one time.

Housing with Support Service provides 10 homes to people in Longford that have experienced homelessness. The service has attained outcomes above the national average, and this is evidence that with support people can progress out of homelessness.

Out of Hours Service is available every night of the year to respond to people who become homeless and are in crisis. In 2022 the Out of Hours service had 42 separate contacts with people that needed its support in Longford.

Longford RFC has been involved with various charities over the years and looks forward to joining up with Midlands Simon Community.

You can support this year's sleep out via the go fund page on this link:


Youth Rugby, sponsored by MLC, Midlands Language Centre. 

Weekend Results 

U16 Girls Longford 19-31 Dundalk LL Div4 Semi Final

U14 Girls Longford 36-33 Wolves

U14 Arklow 47-17 Longford LL Div2

U13 Enniscorthy 36-10 Longford LL QF

U16 Girls Leinster League Division 4 Semi Final Longford 19-31 Dundalk 

Leinster League Div 4 u16 Girls Semi Final was played at CPL Park Sunday 5th March.

Longford Girls hosted Dundalk for a blistering encounter.  From the Kick Off the pace of play was high tempo. The toss saw Longford kicking into the visitors and it was game on.

Dundalk travelled with impressive numbers on their squad.  Longford welcomed new players, Diana Izekor and Charlize Haugh to an ever-increasing U16 panel, showing the growth of women's rugby in both Longford and Leinster.

The game was even at 12 points each going into the second half.  After the break, it was a bit more stop-start, and with a few injuries, the Longford side were forced into some reshuffling of players and positions.  Longford were impressive in the scrum with Shauna Hannon causing upset at No.2 and also scrum-half, Niamh Brady, keeping her counterpart under pressure.  Captain Isabella Larkin caused trouble for the visitors all across the pitch both in attack and defence.  The tackling and counter rucking of the homeside was impressive, however a few small mistakes saw the Longford girls lose out 19-31 in the end

Longford put up an impressive display of rugby on their home turf, much to the delight of plenty home supporters.

This Longford team are on the rise, welcoming new players almost weekly to the squad.

Tries: Captain Isabella Larkin x2, Diana Izekor x1

Longford: Charlize Haugh,  Maria Ricon, Ava Horkan, Amber McGrath, Aoife McVeigh, Diana Izekor, Niamh Brady, Rachel O Loghlin, Migle Frolovaite  Coach Morag Rowan

Front Row: Coach Eugene Larkin, Shauna Hannon, Anna O Connor,  Andrea Nolan,  Lucy O Connor,  Jasmine Duignan,  Mia Rowan,  Ava O Loughlin,  Olivia Hadzislawus

The girls continue their campaign in the Midlands League within the coming weeks.

As always, we welcome new players with open arms. Training Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm.

U14 Girls

Longford 36-33 Wolves

The U14 girls welcomed wolves on Saturday for what turned out to be a fantastic  game between both teams.

Wolves were quick to start but Longford were quickly able to turn over the ball.  Emma and Sydni took some big tackles and Longford slowly edged forward.  Wolves had the 1st scrum of the game and were quick to outpace the Longford side scoring the try but missed conversion.  It wasn't long before Wolves had their second try, and this time it was converted.

The Longford girls did not give up,  and in fact were just about to start playing themselves, with Abbey chasing what was going to be Wolves 3rd try, preventing it and putting the pressure back on the visitors.  Both teams were well matched, Longford from deep and with quick hands moving the ball out the back, scored.  

As half time approached the Longford  girls were not done and Lara McWeeney charged through the Wolves’ defence, Holly McKenna took it up and was stopped just short, but Avril Murtagh was there to drive over for the try.

Sydni Sheridan carrie's for Longford U14's 

Second half the Longford girls hit the ground running with a good score & conversion.  The Wolves girls were not giving up, and they soon ran in another try of their own.  Both teams fought hard.  Nicole Charters powered her way past the defence passing the ball to Lillie Dowd crossing the line before Wolves hit back yet again.  This match was so close, Longford were behind but in the last moments Longford fought hard and were over the line and converted to claim a fantastic win.

Final score: Longford 36-33 Wolves.

Longford: Suzanne Moolick, Sydni Sheridan, Alanna Dooner, Erin Murray, Lara McWeeney, Avril Murtagh, Emma Darby, Nicole Charters, Abbey McGlynn, Lillie Dowd, Holly McKenna, Rowan Hall.

Next game away to St. Marys on Saturday 11th March.

Upcoming fixtures

U17 Midlands Warriors v Longford Midlands Plate QF

U16 Longford v Tullamore Midlands League Semifinal

U15 Enniscorthy v Longford LL Div 2 Semifinal

U14G St. Mary’s v Longford LL Div. 4

U13 Longford v Wicklow Leinster Plate QF

Link to Leinster league and Midlands’s area competition fixtures and results can be found on the following link.


Youth’s training 

Age group, coach contact details and training schedule as follows:

Girls’ teams

U14 girls - Mags McKenna  087 6309653

Wednesday 7:00-8:15pm

U16 girls – Eugene Larkin 086 6015325

Wednesday 7:00-8:15pm

U18 girls – Declan Smyth 085 1375973

Wednesday & and Fridays 7.30pm

Boy’s teams

U13 – Lisa Brady 087 6119960

Monday 7.00-8.45pm

Saturday 10.30-11.30am

U14 – Declan Elliott 086 8125363

Wednesday 7.00-8.15pm

U15 – Aoghan Clarke 087 6727002

Monday and Wednesdays 7.00-8.30pm

U16 – Padraig Murphy 087 6063587

Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm

U17 – Freddie Forde 086 1727145

Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.00-8.30pm

U18.5’s – Jimmy Murphy 086 2555621

Thursday 7.30-9.00pm

New players welcome at all age groups.  Just turn up with a gumshield.

Please follow club social media for updates on our Instagram & Facebook profiles - Longford RFC

Mini Rugby 

For further information on all mini’s rugby, please contact your coach or our Mini’s Co-ordinator, Pauline Marlowe on Mob - 087 632 3373.

For all teams not involved in blitz games, Longford Mini Rugby continues on Sunday mornings, 10.30am at the club.

Players should wear football boots, appropriate clothing, and a gum shield. Blade type boots are not permitted.

At Longford Rugby Club, we cater for all age grades from U6 up to U12 for both boys and girls with a girls’ team at U12. This group is for girls born 2010 & 2011.

Please note the following if your child was born in/Age Grade/Team contact:

2011 - Age Grade U12's - Pauline Marlowe 087 6323373

2012 - Age Grade U11's – Mark Quinn 085 8642266

2013 - Age Grade U10's – Colm Glynn 087 1520428

2014 - Age Grade U9's – John Healy 0879884240

2015 - Age Grade U8's - TBC

2016 - Age Grade U7's - TBC

2017 - Age Grade U6's* - TBC

2011 & 2012 Age Grade U12 Girls – Gerry Carthy 086 8046857

New players can be registered via this link


For further information please contact Pauline Marlowe, Mini Co-ordinator, Longford RFC. Mob - 087 632 3373

New coaches are needed at the younger age groups. If you are interested in helping, please contact Pauline Marlowe or Gerry Carthy. 

Please follow club social media for updates on our Instagram & Facebook profiles- Longford RFC.

Boot room

Parents - Why not check out the hugely popular Boot room here at Longford rugby club where we have a self replenishing stock of replacement boots.  You drop in a pair you no longer need and replace it with a pair that fits your child. That way your pair of boots doesn’t go to waste and someone else gets to benefit also, thus also helping someone else save a few Euros. 

If you have any boots that you wish to donate or exchange, please bring them into minis training and drop off the office for the attention of Gerry Carty or Pauline Marlowe who will assist with selecting the replacement pair.  Boots should be clean, laces intact and no missing studs.  No blades will be taken in. 

Please note it is not possible to guarantee there will be a suitable replacement available however we have rarely not had some to choose across a wide range of sizes.

For all Longford RFC club correspondence please contact 

Ph: 087 6063587

Email:  lrfconnects@gmail.com

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