Longford 1st XV score comprehensive win v Roscrea in the league
Longford first XV completed the promise of the first half of last week’s Leinster League division 2 outing by treating a visiting Roscrea side to a 39 point drubbing. The home side’s performance was a thing of beauty for any Longford fans at CPL Park.
Line breaks from back and forwards were well supported and the Tipperary side looked frazzled even from an early stage. Every defensive weakness was exploited and the staunch efforts of the Roscrea team to eke out a try in the closing stages was met with the same solid defence as the home team had mounted in the opening of the game.
Early markers were set out with big hits being the order of the day from both sides. The men in maroon got the first blood. Longford’s only poor penalty was the initial one and even though it was on the 40 metre line outhalf Peter Quealy pointed straight at the posts. The 10 kicked straight over in the third minute and put Roscrea ahead 03-00, the only time they would lead in the contest.
Longford responded immediately with Joe McGowan punishing a ruck infringement with his boot. This was added to when a Ciaran Kennedy run sliced open the defence. The full back got a sweet kick through before he was double hit, late and high. Daniel McHugh chased a hack on and the outhalf showed impressive pace to ground for his teams first try. McGowan’s conversion left it 10-03.
The ref then addressed the foul play and the visiting 8 pitched up on the sideline for 10 minutes. Even though down to 14 Ros managed to claw three points back thanks to a long range effort from Quealy.
Kennedy was recovered enough to again bamboozle the defence, execute a soft hand pass to Hubie Connolly. Connoly stuck the defence, but Eoin Bartley still had work to do before he went wide and then grounded under the posts with less than ten minutes gone. Again McGowan converted to put it at 17-6.
Suddenly it was all Longford. The men in black found every chink in the visitors armour. Scrumhalf Neal Farrell was next on the honour roll, sniping from the back of a ruck the 9 eeled his way over to bring his sides score to 22-06. Quealy endeavoured to keep his side in the contest with another shot at distance, his accurate kick left it 22-09.
The bonus point beckoned as the first 40 drew to a conclusion, and Longford were playing with thrilling style, but the break came with just three crosses of the white line. Right from the restart cuts by Benny McMahon, Paul Galogly and Derek Farrell all pounded through defence with Daniel McHugh and Cormack Hughes executing more nuanced line breaks.
The troika of Ford, Connolly and Quinn demolished their opponents at scrum time and early in the second half this yielded another penalty that McGowan converted to a score. The 25 points changed to 32 when Kennedy got a well deserved score with a superb line and McGowan added the afters.
The next try was Gallogly’s who gave a piggy back to a couple of the Tipp men on his way to the line. Again McGown added the two. Fittingly enough the final score came from the base of the scrum. Derek Farrell the scorer this time. With the score 46-09 Ros started the hunt for a consolation.
Longford showed great character to contain the visitors and not let any sloppy defending creep in. The composure to keep discipline was exemplified throughout the line, with the cool heads like Ronan Keith ensuring that concentration levels were maintained.
This was a fine display by Longford and the next game is Newbridge at Rosetown on the 6th of November. Longford will be hoping to continue this fine vein of form in Kildare.
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, Ciaran Kennedy
Michael Bannon, Rua McDonald, Colm Glynn, Eoin Bartley, Peter Kirk, Ronan Keith
Despite a strong start Longford’s second XV lost out to a visiting Roscrea at the Desmens last Sunday. Longford put in some fine performances, but could not get the necessary points in the final moments to close the gap as the clock wound down.
The thrilling back line, coupled with a dynamic pack blending the experienced with the enthusiastic, gave good value to the spectators, but Roscrea managed to hold on and scupper any hopes of a late comeback.
Longford second row Aaron Beirne put in a tour de force from the kicking tee, clipping over for fun, even from distance. Beirne had secured two scores on the board before the visiting Tipperary side scored a try to pull it pack. A couple of traded penalties meant that Longford were still leading 09-08 toward the end of the half. Then Roscrea pushed ahead thanks to their kicker.
Longford’s try came from Alan Armstrong, who is developing a habit of crossing the whitewash, having done so twice last week. The fullback’s five pointer, coupled with Beirne’s conversion, brought it to 16-11. Longford’s attack from the likes of Kevin Rodgers and Philip Dardis was impressive and the defensive work of John Geelan and Sean Smith was also notable.
Pulling the strings at 10 Lorcan Connoly gave a master class performance. However struggle as they might the home team could not claw their way past the Roscrea and the game finished up 27-19. Plenty to build on here and Longford will be hoping the next outing can return them to winning ways.
Kevin Rodgers, Philip Dardis, Peter Kirk, Aaron Beirne, Ruadhan McDonald, Niall Flynn, Shane McVeigh, Finbarr McGowan, Lorcan Connolly, JJ Cox, Eamonn Kinnehan, Jonny Beirne, Sean Smith, Alan Armstrong,
Mick Murphy, Robert Lee, Conor Masterson