Preseason Friendly Longford 23 Monkstown 22
Longford 1st XV scored a good win on Saturday when a visiting Monkstown side, who ply their trade in Division 1A, were unable to sustain a second half fight back. Longford showed a little more incisiveness to win out on a score line of 23-22 in the free flowing early season encounter. A late Joe McGowan strike ensured that his side managed to capitalise on the visiting teams errors to take the spoils in a hugely entertaining game. The early exchanges in this contest left no doubt that the visiting
team had made the trip with victory in their sights. Longford fielded a set of players that consisted of old heads and young blood and the array of talent on offer will raise the hopes of the Longford following for the coming season. The visitors set the tone right from the off and phase after phase of Monkstown attack tested the resolve of the Longford defence. Some solid decisions and good communication in the early part of the game showed the preseason work that the men in black have been putting in. Longford players Shane Rodgers and Cormac Hughes showed that they were gelling as a formidable centre partnership. Joe McGowan at ten put in a man of the match performance in a starting back line whose most senior player was 27 year old Neil Farrell. Locks Alan Campbell and Benny McManus put in shifts that were notable from the side-lines. The youthful look of the home side’s back line did not stop them from engaging in attractive running rugby. From a Longford perspective the try of the game came when Cormac Hughes broke the Monkstown line before passing to Derek Farrell. Farrell beat two defenders on his trip to the line for a tone setting score. Although Longford lead at the break two second half tries by the Dubliners put them back in the contention. The closing ten minutes were a tense affair, but McGowan's penalty typified the composure that Longford displayed over the 80. Overall a good win for Longford and one that they will be hoping to emulate in the coming season. The ruler will be out in the next two weeks to determine where any shortcomings are and Longford will be hoping to have any details ironed out by the time the Leinster League proper commences on Sunday week away to Portarlington.