Longford 2nd XV notch up impressive bonus point win on the road
Leinster Second League Division 2A Portarlington 11 Longford 31
Longford 2nd XV notched up an impressive bonus point win on the road in Portarlington in their first match of the season. The Longford squad proved to be a good mix of experience in the form of gnarly veterans like Ronan Keith, Tommy Butler (out of a retirement after considerable coercion by Head Coach; Niall Moran!) and Eamon Kinehan, experienced players such as the Connolly brothers; Darragh/Lorcan and younger players many of whom were making their first Senior league appearance such as Daniel McHugh, Ruadhan McDonnell, Paul Donnelly, JJ Cox, Donal Flynn and James Farrell. Longford did most of their scoring in the first half and went ahead in their first five minutes with a score by out-half Jonny Beirne. These scores were also added to by Paul Donnelly, Lorcan Connolly and Eamon Kinehan in the first half securing a bonus, with Portarlington held to just one penalty.
Longford’s play was very impressive in parts, with the ball being moved from wing to wing along with some direct running. Longford also had an excellent scrummaging platform where Liam Brady, Ronan Keith and Peter Kirk put in a hard shift ably assisted by the hard working engine room of Captain John Geelan and Shane McVeigh. The back row had a good balance with hard carrying by Niall Flynn, running by Ruadhan McDonnell and dog work by Tommy Butler.
The back play was excellent and was marshalled well at scrum half by Daniel McHugh and Jonny Beirne who ran the ball at every opportunity. The scoring centre partnership of Eamon Kinehan and Paul Donnelly were a handful throughout the match, with the back three of Darragh/Lorcan Connolly and James Farrell proving a constant threat. Indeed, a highlight of the match was Lorcan Connolly’s try, where the ball was flashed from right to left creating an overlap in the left corner which was well finished. Finbarr McGowan and Alan Armstrong both contributed well off the bench.
Portarlington came back into the match in the second half, with Longford making some changes and some players playing out of position and tacked on a further try and penalty. Longford were to have the last word though, where prop Liam Brady bust through a number of tackles to leave the final score at 11-31 in favour of Longford. Portarlington is always a very hard place to get a win and great credit goes to the squad on the day, it augers very well for the season.
2nd XV Coach; Rob Lee was happy with many of aspects of Longford’s play but saw many areas with considerable room for improvement and asks as many players as possible to make training on Tuesday and Friday to work on these. Longford 2nd XV now turn their attentions to their first home match of the year v Railway Union on Sunday with a 1.30 PM kick off.