Performance XV bow of the Provincial Towns Cup 2018-02-14 10:29:00

11/02/2018 Provincial Towns Cup 2nd Round Enniscorthy 34 Longford 20

Longford Performance XV's Towns Cup adventure was short lived this year, but running Leinster League Division 1A contenders, Enniscorthy, right to the end shows that this is a team that can contest with the best junior rugby has to offer.
The home side's centre, Ivan Poole, was the instrument of Longford's undoing as the 12 was responsible for 18 of his side's total haul.  This was always going to be a big ask for Longford coming up against a side who are in the hunt for an AIL slot next year.
Enniscorthy are riding in second place in Division 1A just three points shy of Ashbourne as we count down the Sundays to the end of the season.  The size of this task was compounded when injury struck second row Anthony Hughes on Friday, however replacement Aaron Beirne slotted in well to the role.
Longford were undaunted by the task in the early stages of the game.  They set about controlling possession and building phases. One slip was all the Wexford men needed and when it came the dynamic back line sprang to action with Poole scoring his side's first try, then converting the afters. This was shortly followed by a second when Dave Dwyer crossed with 17 minutes gone.
It was back to basics for Longford and a steady build saw them controlling territory. While in the Slaney siders half Longford were awarded two consecutive penalty that Joe McGowan converted to leave it 12-06 as the game passed the half hour mark.
Although it looked like the visitors were in control of the game a kick from deep over the Longford defence saw Ivan Jacobs out pace all others to score against the run of play. This set the home side up with a comfortable 17-06 lead.
Longford's pack were playing out of their skins. With loose forward Ciaran O'Gorman and lock Benny McManus being particularly abrasive in attack and defence. At all times the Midlanders established good footing and set pieces were firing well.
The hard graft was rewarded when winger Sean Flynn scored his side's opening try and McGowan tacked on the extra two to leave it 17-13 putting Longford back in the game. The introductions of substitutions Liam Brady, David Geelan and Finbarr McGowan all made a big impact from the minute they entered the fray.
Just as it looked like the visitor could shorten the gap an Enniscorthy penalty try, which also saw Ciaran O'Gorman received a yellow card, brought the scores to 24-13. Shortly after Pool converted a penalty to nudged his side further ahead 27-13 with 65 minutes gone.
The home team's centre got another five pointer, this time out wide and though he gave himself a tough angel he knocked it over to leave it 34-13. Unbowed Longford fought back and a superb try from Paul Gallogly clawed it back to 34-20.
All further labours were in vain and Enniscorthy ran out winners after a particularly tough afternoon. There were many players who have every right to be proud of their efforts despite the loss. None more so than captain Neal Farrell who had very influential run at scrum half.
Longford will now have to put dreams of cup glory behind them as the travel to John J McDowell Memorial Grounds where the league leaders Suttionians. This is a top of the table clash and one that will set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Longford have been drawing away to North Kildare on Sunday March 16th in the Provincial Towns Plate.

Powered By: Sportlomo - Online Sports Software
Website Designed By: Sports Manager

powered by