longford go 3 points clear at the top of Division 2A
13/11/16 Leinster League Division 2A Cill Dara 18 Longford Performance XV 22
Longford RFC's Performance Team two opening half tries proved decisive in their bid to continue their winning ways and secure the top spot in Leinster League division 2A on the road last Sunday. The Midlander’s have been mining a fine vein of form in the last few of weeks and the display at Beechpark was exemplary, both in attack and defence.
The Kildare men rallied well in the final quarter, but this Longford team has been progressing in rugby intelligence this season and their ability to close out this game was the instrumental in securing the win and the table top spot.
Dunmurray was in perfect conditions for this contest and the elements were conducive to both teams to play open, attractive rugby. The early pressure was all applied by the away team. Anxious about being pressed back inside their own half the Kildare men endeavoured to put in an early clearance kick. Cormac Hughes saw his chance and effected a block down. The centre chased the ball, hacked and cross for his sides first.
Hughes added the conversion to leave the score 00-07. Longford pressed their advantage and carries from Benny McManus and Anthony Hughes pitched the home side back. A Daniel McHugh break opened play and his incisive pass to Ciaran Kennedy opened a path for the full back to go in under the posts for the second try. Hughes converted to leave it 00-14.
Longford continued to press the opponents back into their half. By spreading the ball wide they brought in Shane Rodgers, Eoin Bartley and Finbarr McGowan who all posed significant threat to the Cill Dara line.
The home side then flipped the script. Putting pressure on Longford yielded three penalties in succession and they steadily claw back the gap with the score going 03, 06, 09. A Hughes penalty arrested the Kildare resurgence and at the break it stood 09-17.
From the restart the men in black were back in control. A break by captain Kennedy was enough to open a gap for Bartley to get through, McGowan was with him for the break and he crossed the line to bring it to 09-22.
The Cill Dara pack brought the team back into the game and constantly asked questions of the Longford defence. A home team try brought it to 14-22. They then ratcheted things up to and a yellow was flashed for as the ref thought a trend was forming at ruck time. Neal Farrell got the sus beag for not rolling away. There was an astonishing defensive display by 14 man Longford with Ruadhain McDonnell amassing an impressive tackle count.
Colm Glynn stepped in at 10 and McHugh took up the 9 slot. Longford defending in the last 10 minutes was exemplary; try as they might the best the home side could come up with was another penalty.
The three points kicked brought it to 17-22, securing a losing bonus point, but it was Longford who got the well deserved win out of this contest.
Justin Ford, Hubie Connolly, Dylan Quinn, Benny McManus, Anthony Hughes, Derek Farrell, Barry Stewart, Ruadhain McDonnell, Neall Farrell, Daniel McHugh, Finbarr McGowan, Cormac Hughes, Shane Rodgers, Eoin Bartley & Ciaran Kennedy
Colm Glynn, Paul Gallogly, Kevin Rodgers, Aaron Beirne & Ronan Keith