Longford battle back to stay top of 1B 2018-12-04 20:05:00

02/12/2018 Leinster League Division 1B Longford 23 Coolmine 20

Narrow margins make all the difference and Longford's home win against Coolmines very much bears that out. On a difficult day Longford did enough to claim the points and stay top of the Leinster League Division 1B table.

The soft going is not the environment this Longford team thrive in, but two Derek Farrell tries in the opening and closing quarters were decisive. Ryan McHugh's consistency at the tee is another vital cog in this machine. 

Suttonian’s got their bonus point win against De La Salle on the Saturday so Longford were conscious that a win was necessary to hold on to the top berth. Suttonian’s eight bonus points means they are neck in neck with Longford, even though Longford have one more win.

This had the hallmarks of a game Longford may look back on later in the season as vitally important to have scraped a win. For their part a valiant Coolmine will be disappointed they didn’t win after taking a lead with 15 minutes to play.

Coach Glenn Basket said of the victory: “We are disappointed as coaches that after making a good start we didn’t keep the momentum going to keep the scoreboard moving. Indeed, we allowed ourselves to get caught into not playing our game plan. That is something we need to address.”

The conditions dictated the game but Longford needed to be smarter in how they managed the pitch, a lesson to learn in order to continue the positive progress of their game. Despite being behind the tempo set by scrumhalf Neal Farrell at crucial times eventually led to Derek Farrell getting the important score at the end.

Basket was circumspect about the win: “We need to be smart with how we play and where we play. That said we still achieved a win while not playing to our structure, so we now shift our focus to Carlow away who will be another difficult challenge and we will have to be smarter in our decision making to compete there.”

After three consecutive weeks of slow starts Longford will be happy with the way this game commenced: “We did improve this week was our start to the game, having given up scores early on consistently we started well  with Derek Farrell getting the opening score and Ryan McHugh kicking the extras and a penalty to keep the board moving but then we allowed ourselves to drift out of the game. To play for the first 15 minutes and the last 10 and still dig out the result showed a bit of character from the boys,” Basket said.

Oakpark calls next week. The Longford contingent will travel to Carlow next Sunday where the mid table side will be looking for revenge for the 10 point win their opponents got on them last September.

Longford Squad: L Brady, H Connolly, P O’Farrell, A Hughes, B McManus, D Farrell, K O’Gorman, P Gallogly, N Farrell, L Harte, J McGowan, R McHugh, S Rodgers, S Murphy, S Flynn, D Quinn, P Dardis, D O’Brien, I McCormack & C Seery.

Leinster Seconds League Division 1B Longford 30 Coolmine 10

The Longford Early XV maintained their recent run of good form with a comprehensive win over the early season League pace setters at CPL Park on Sunday last.

Buoyed by four consecutive wins, Longford took an early lead, when Peter Mimnagh bulldozed over the line after a period of sustained pressure. Finbar McGowan swapped penalties with the visitors to leave the score at 8-3.

Karl Murray extended the lead to 13-3 heading into half time, before Coolmine tagged on a converted try to close the gap to three after the interval.

With the game in the balance, the men in black kicked on, with key tries from Philly Dardis and Darragh Connolly, before Daire O’Brien sealed the victory with a spectacular effort, to score under the posts. McGowan added the extras.

This win moves Longford up to third in the League. Next week they head to Carlow who are tied with Longford in third place.

Longford Early XV: Shane Farrell, Willie McDermott, Karl Murray, Sean McGuinness, Jimmy Mimnagh, Jack Magan, Finbar McGowan, Justin Forde, Brian Hanley, Peter Mimnagh, David Geelan, Dean Corrigan, Philly Dardis, Robbie Shaw, Daire O’Brien, Peter Kirk, Mick Cullen, Michael Casey, Lorcan Connolly, JJ Cox, Travis Graetz, Darragh Connolly.

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