Longford round off winning league campaign with win in Carlow
190317 Leinster League Division 2A Carlow 13 Longford 15
Longford cemented their league champion status with a win over contenders Carlow to end the league on a high note. This was a game played in perfect rugby conditions and the newly crowned champions took advantage to beat their opponents at Oak Park Road on a score of 13-15.
This was a vital clash for Carlow. The games outcome determining their play off status. Although Longford had won the league they were determined to conclude the season with another win.
The visitors started with the grit and determination that has been the hallmark of this seasons campaign.
A sin binning in the opening minutes of the game was brushed aside and Longford launched into a frenetic 15 minutes period in which they repeatedly rocked Carlow back. This was typified by the interplay between out half Daniel McHugh and centre Colm Glynn.
The opening score of the game came in the at period with back link play catching the home team out. Cormac Hughes was the ultimate beneficiary of a play of baletic brilliance that nudged his side ahead. Glynn's conversion left it 00-07 with just ten minutes gone.
The Barrowsiders then started to assert the rights conferred on them by the home advantage. This was rewarded with a penalty to bring the tally to 03-07. The troika of Benny McManus, Barry Steward and Derek Farrell replied by proceeded to wreaked havoc on the opposition defence, time and again shattering the line.
Longford experienced a setback when dynamic back row forward Paul Gallogly was forced to leave the field of play due to injured. Carlow called all hands to the pump and their efforts were rewarded with a try around the half hour mark. Although it went unconverted they had their nose in front 08-07.
Things got a little sticky for Longford in the second half with a yellow card for Hubi Connelly and the forced retirement of Barry Steward due to injury. These woes were compounded with the home team scored another try bringing it to 13-07.
A penalty by Glynn shortened it to 13-10. Then a powerful pack move saw Benny McManus drive a maul over the Carlow line to ground to put Longford in a two point lead 13-15.
The conclusion was a frantic affair, but try as they might Carlow could not overturn the result.
Longford Captain Ciaran Kennedy with the Division 2A trophy.
190317 Leinster Seconds League Division 2A Carlow 10 Longford 10
Longford Development XV topped off a fine day at Oak Park Road by holding Carlow to a draw following a fascinating game of rugby. Carlow were coming into this game with only one loss all season and that one was in CPL Park.
The Development XV have been showing steadily improvement over the last season, with the combination of young talents and experienced heads producing some exceptional performances.
Carlow were off the mark first. An early penalty set the Barrowsiders stall out at 03-00. Longford replied quickly thanks to Eamon Kinehan. The centre smashing through the defensive line to score an impressive try. Aaron Beirne converted putting his side in commanding position 10-03.
As the first 40 played out Carlow ran in under the posts, with the conversion leaving it 10-10 a the break.
The second half was as sparky as the first. However try as either side might no scores were coming. This was a wonderful performance from Longford bodes well for the development of the club as the teams return to division 1B.