Longford 2nds can take alot from 2nd Round Cup Defeat
26/02/2017 Provincial Towns Cup Second Round Dundalk 34 Longford 03
The score line may say otherwise, but Longford Development XV put in a solid 65 minutes in their second round Towns Cup clash with Dundalk before finally capitulating. The Louth side were kept in check for most of the game, but in the final 15 minutes they ran in three tries to secure a comprehensive win.
Torrential rain about an hour prior to the clash meant that the ground was particularly soft. The surface water did not fit in with the fast running game that had brought so much dividends for the Longford Development side this season.
The visitors stamped themselves on the game from the out, bringing the determination and ambition that has been a hallmark of their campaign so far. The absence of Alan Campbell, out through injury, was a disruption to the Longford plan, but the side worked well as a group.
All of the initial exchanges took place in the Dundalk half. The slick conditions meant that the pack was taking on the lions share of the work. A lot of passes were not sticking and the packs had plenty of opportunities to rub shoulders.
At lineout time securing possession proved difficult as the wind played havoc on the throw ins. In the early plays Longford were getting good go forward ball, with Eamon Kinahan and Kevin Rodgers consistently breaking the line. Aaron Beirn eand John Geelan also looked sharp in attack.
Neal Farrell was introduced as a replacement for the injured Sean Flynn, which saw Sean Smith shifting out to the wing.
As Longford upped the tempo they won a number of penalties, but the underfoot conditions meant that kicking was difficult. Despite Longford dominance the first change to the scoreboard was a Dundalk penalty that left it 03-00 at the break.
Even in the early part of the second half it was Longford who dominated, however whenever Dundalk got possession they did trouble the visitors. When the ball was moved out the backline the Louth men hassled their opponents. Longford were up to the challenge and but another penalty saw the home side go ahead 06-00. A Longford penalty shortened the gap to 06-03.
Right up to the 65 minute the game was in then balance, but a slick little move by the home team saw them run in a try and the conversion left it 13-03. Longford then lost the run of themselves in an effort to get back in the game.
The scramble to claw back the deficit left them open and Dundalk brutally punished with three consecutive converted tries in the final ten minutes. This made a game that had been a very real contest look like a whitewash.
This was a learning experience for a team that has been on a sharp learning curve. The experience of the Louth side was one of the determining factors in the outcome. Plaudits must go to Kinehan, Liam Brady and the three Geelans, John David and James who all made immense contributions.
The seconds will get another outing this Sunday when league action resumes. Cill Dara will be the visitors. The Performance team have an opportunity to win the league a little early if they secure victory over Cill Dara in their game. A good turnout from the fans to cheer them along will make all the difference.
Longford Squad; J Forde, P Dardis, K Rodgers, M Cullen, N Flynn, D Geelan, J Geelan (C) A Beirne, S Smyth, D Flynn, D Casey, E Kinihan, E Bartley, L Connolly, S Flynn, L Brady, N Farrell, J Geelan, JJ Cox, S McVeigh, D Gaelsford.