Longford 1st XV score bonus point win on the road in Edenderry
Longford first XV put in a storming opening half against Edenderry on Sunday to seal a bonus point win. The visitors to Coolavacoose Carbury may have slacked off in the second period, but they had done enough to secure the maximum points in the first 40.
Just a matter of weeks ago the Longford’s lads fell short of the mark when the visiting Edenderry side showed a little more incisiveness to win out on a score line of 31-36 in a free flowing pre-season encounter.
On that occasion the Offaly men managed to capitalise on a few of the home team’s errors, and for a period toward the end of this game it looked as if they might repeat the feat. This time out Longford racked up 27 points in the first half to the home team’s 0. In the second half Edenderry notched up 17 point to Longford’s 0.
Longford started at full pace and it was the pack that bamboozled the opposition, before the backs cut them open. Four minutes in Daniel McHugh hinted at his significant potential with a string of dummies and side steps to slice through the Offaly defence, he then threw a 25 metre skip pass to Hubie Connolly who utilised his dancing shoes to tip toe past the remaining defenders and grounding under the posts.
Connolly had forgone a wide pass to joe McGowan to go under the posts, but the winger got his name on the score sheet by popping over the conversion to leave it 00-07. Carries by Benny McManus, Anthony Hughes, Paul Gallogly and Derek Farrell confounded the stability of the home team’s defence.
The pressure told in the 8th minute when Edenderry coughed up a penalty in front of the posts and McGowan pushed his side ahead 10-00. Still Longford pressed forward. Another stunning backline move stuck the defenders and captain Kieran Kennedy got his name on the team sheet. The fullback’s try was added to by McGowan, so with 14 minutes gone Longford lead 17-00.
The home side battled back and pressed the men in black back into their half. Barry Stewart, who put in a great shift, opened up a wide channel that was exploited by Cillian Bartley. Bartley passed to Gallogly who crossed wide to leave it 22-00 with 20 minutes gone.
Longford tacked another try on in the 39th minute and looked to be home and hosed at the break with a 27-00 advantage.
Even with the assistance of the breeze the comeback in the second half coach Neil Culliton’s charges was not anticipated. The visitors may have taken their foot off the gas somewhat, and a period of indiscipline that saw two of the Longford team keeping each other company on the bold boy’s step did not help matters, but the Edenderry fight back was hard to fathom.
Penalty, try, try and conversion all set a tone that this could slip away. Edenderry tested every facet of the Longford defence and the visitors held up well. The men in black should have held possession more and made their life a bit easier, but what would have been the point in that/
It may have been tough to watch, but it was very enjoyable rugby. Longford will be hoping that next week they will be more consistent and put in an 80 like the opening chapter of this game. Roscrea will be a good challenge and the home advantage should make a difference to a team that is still growing.
Justin Forde, Hubie Connolly, Justin Forde, Benny McManus, Anthony Hughes, Barry Stewart, Derek Farrell, Paul Gallogly, Neal Farrell, Daniel McHugh, Joe McGowan, Shane Rodgers, Conor Hughes, Cillian Bartley, Kieran Kennedy
Michael Bannon, Ruadhan McDonald, Colm Glynn, Eoin Bartley & Peter Kirk
16/10/16 Leinster 2nds Division 2A Edenderry 23 Longford 15
Longford’s second XV lost out narrowly when they came a cropper of a well drilled Edenderry side last Sunday.
The men from Coolavacoose Carbury had a bit more experience and they used all their wiles to win out over a visiting team that played with vigour and verve.
Most hurting about the loss was that the Offaly men piped the Longford side, that had fielded a set of players that consisted of old heads and young blood, out of the loosing bonus point.
Longford scores came from Ruadhan McDonald and Alan Armstrong who crossed the whitewash twice. Plenty to build on in this game and with Roscrea at home next week Longford will be hoping that they can return to the winning ways of early in the season.
P Kirk, R Keith, M Murphy, D Geelan, J Geelan (C), S McVeigh, N Flynn, R McDonnell, E Bartley, L Connolly, S Smyth, E Kinahan, P Donnelly, JJ Cox, A Armstrong, M Cullen, T Butler, C Masterson & R Lee.