Longford score bonus point win on return to Division 1B 2017-09-25 16:24:00

24/09/2017 Leinster League Division 1B Longford 32 North Kildare 19

@CPL Park, Longford.

Longford Performance XV got their Leinster League campaign off to a good start with a bonus point win over North Kildare at CPL Park. That said there was a shaky end to the 80 minutes for the home side as they finish the contest with just 13 players on the pitch.

Although Longford only conceding points in the latter stage of the clash the scoreline gives a good reflection of a game as North Kildare really put it up to the men in black, contesting aggressively at the breakdown and displaying good line speed.

A warm sunny day with soft ground conditions the early stages of the encounter indicated a little nervous energy for both sides. In the “getting to know you” period there were a few chest plumping moments.

First score went to the home side 11 minutes in. Longford were enjoying their first foray into the visitors 22. An offside penalty, showed the eagerness of the opposition in defensive line speed, was slotted over by centre Colm Glynn.

Points on the board the home team settled into a more confident pattern. This was able demonstrated when Daniel McHugh dummied and slipped past the cover support by Kieran O'Gorman. This drive into the 22 fully tested the Kildare men's cover, but they stood up to the challenge.

There was a setback for Longford as Glynn sustained an injury and limped off as replacement Hubie Connolly took up the first centre spot.

All the while set pieces were working well. Michael Bannon had the measure of his opposite number at scrum. There were a series of pick and gos and the pack work of Anthony Hughes, Aaron Beirne, Derek Farrell and Paul Gallogly constantly challenged the resolve of the NK line.

The next opportunity came as a result of a side entry penalty, but Joe McGowan's effort sneaked just wide of the mark. Longford were in command, but the visitors put up an impressive defensive front.

That faltered in the 37 minute. A lineout maul pushed to the line, dragged down Longford had the advantage. Dylan Quinn's dive was held up just short, but as the visitors continued an increasingly desperate effort to keep Longford out the ref eventually made his way under the posts with his arm raised and the seven was awarded along with a yellow card bring it to 10-00.

Another penalty just before the break for a 'not rolling' infringement allowed McGowan to leave it 13-00.

Longford returned after the break with the same verve. One minute into the second half a slashing attack by the men in black saw Hubei Connolly ground under the posts and McGowan's conversion left it 20-00.

Next came a superb opportunist try. A lineout 30 metres out hit Hughes at the front who flicked it back to his hooker. Ronan Keith did the 30 metre dash down the tramlines, complete with an an elegant dive to the line, allowing the veteran to add a further five to the Longford haul.

The 25-00 scoreline reflected poorly on a North Kildare side who were economic in possession and aggressive at ruck time, but penalties were killing them. The introduction of Benny McManus added another dimension to the homes side attack.

The NK duck got broken in the 57th minute when centre Joe Carr breached the line, got his hands around his tackler and stretched over to start the fight back. The conversion left it 25-07.

Another great run by O'Gorans with an off load to Gallogly looked to get the all important fourth try, but a series of infringements allows the visitors to get a foothold that they had been unable to establish before.

That was snuffed out by a resurgent Longford. A swift attack, featuring a sweet loop pass by Justin Ford, was cut short by a high tackle and again the Kildare men went down to 14 men for 10 minutes.

Despite the reduction in numbers NK pick up their game. However, the effort proved costly as a Longford counter, displaying lovely flowing hand movements by the back line, pressed them back. The attack was wide with the McGowans at then end of it before Joe kicked through. Shane Rodgers gave chase, hacked, then used his pace to ground for the bonus point. McGowan added the afters.

The score was at 32-07 and the timer ticked down. A series of infringement saw yellows handed to Derek Farrell and Barry Stewart. In the last eight minutes, the visitors ran in two trys, and would have left CPL Park with two points if the clock had not beaten them.

The final score 32-19 reflects the contest, but Longford's indiscipline as the game wound down is something that they will have to put a lot of thought into.


Michael Bannon, Ronan Keith , Dylan Quinn, Aaron Beirne, Anthony Hughes, Derek Farrell, Ciaran O'Gorman, Paul Gallogly, 

Finbarr McGown, Joseph McGowan, Shane Rodgers, Colm Glynn, Sean McGuinness, Daniel McHugh, Neal Farrell.


Brendan McManus, Hubie Connolly, Barry Stewart, Justin Ford, Lorcan Connolly

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