Longford dig deep to record two wins v Carlow 2019-10-14 10:15:00

13/10/2019 Leinster League Division 1B Longford J1 Men 15 Carlow 10

by Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO

Longford maintained their unbeaten start to their Leinster League campaign with a hard fought victory against a well organised Carlow side in CPL Park on Sunday.  The men in black had to dig deep especially in the closing quarter as two yellow cards led to Longford playing with 14 men for a large part of the second half.

The match kicked off at a high pace.  Longford got into their stride early mixing carries by the forwards and enterprising play out the backs.  Colm Glynn operating at first centre was making some good ground with carries and it was off one of these straight up the middle that Longford scored their first try.  Glynn secured a line break and penetrated deep into the Carlow 22, after a few carries it was spun out to the wing where Joe McGowan was on hand to dot the ball down in the corner to give Longford a 5-0 lead after eight minutes.

Unfortunately, Longford failed to consolidate the lead.  Carlow won possession from the kick off and worked their way down the pitch, with Conal Slater eventually crashing over for a converted try, to put Carlow in the lead.  This was Carlow’s first incursion into the Longford 22 and the home side will probably have felt that they could have done more in defence. 

However, Longford did not drop the heads and kept coming at Carlow.  Longford put four or five very promising passages of play together.  There were a few great breaks from scrum half Neal Farrell along with some great forward carries.  Also, Longford were working the narrow side well but all the good work was undone by a number of handling errors.  Admittedly the wet pitch made the ball quite greasy.   Eventually, the good work was rewarded via a Ryan McHugh penalty to give Longford an 8-7 half time lead, which was deserved considering the amount of possession and attacking passages they had in the first 40.

Coach Glenn Baskett’s half time talk seemed to have galvinised the troops as Longford came out of the traps hard.  They were making excellent use of a shortened line out allowing No. 8 Kolo Kiripati to be released up the middle, where he made substantial yardage on a number of occasions.  It was from one of this carries that Longford eventually scored.  Kiripati made a great line break up the middle and nearly put following flanker Packie Molloy away.  However, the ball was taken into contact, was then worked out to the right and then back into the centre where Captain Benny McManus went over for a great converted team try to give Longford a 15-08 lead with thirty minutes remaining.

You got the feeling at this point that Longford might push on.  However, it was Carlow that came strongly back into the match.  Longford certainly put themselves under a lot of pressure by conceding two yellow cards, which meant they had to play 20 minutes of the last 30 with 14 men.  Carlow literally threw the kitchen sink at Longford, whether trying to power through Longford or kicking to the corner.  The Longford defence worked well throughout with a great hunger and scramble very evident.  Carlow knocked over a penalty mid-way through the second half to narrow Longford’s lead to five points.  The gathering cloud literally burst at this point and a period of very heavy rain made playing conditions difficult.  Longford really dug in for the last five minutes when down to 14 players and despite Carlow pummelling the Longford line, they eventually turned the ball over and cleared their lines to hold on for an important win.

Things are really hotting up in the league next week as Longford travel to Sydney Parade to face Monkstown in a top of the table clash.  Interestingly, it is also a top of the table clash for our J2 side too!

Longford Squad: L Brady, H Connolly, D Quinn, B McManus, A Beirne, B Stewart, K O’Gorman, K Kiripati, N Farrell, D McHugh, S Rogers, C Glynn, G Bester, J McGowan, R McHugh, P O’Farrell, C Craig, P Molloy, F Davis & W Nyman.

Post Match reaction from Longford Head Coach Glenn Baskett 

“That was a game that we should have won a little bit more comfortably considering the possession we seemed to have early on. But the longer Carlow stayed in the game the bigger they got, and their belief grew.

But I thought our white line defense was outstanding. We won a couple of crucial turnovers when we were really under the pump. But saying that I think if we had conceded at the end we would feel pretty dissapointed going by how we played early on. Looking ahead to the trip to Dublin this week we will need to be better against a team that have scored 3 bonus point wins. It’s a week that we look forward to and have had an eye on for a while.”

13/10/2019 Leinster Seconds League Division 1B Longford J2 Men 19 Carlow 15

Longford J2s scored a great win against a Carlow side who finished top of the 1B table last season to make it three wins from three and to move joint top of the table with Monkstown.  Carlow are a big side but one Longford met on the gain line.  Longford scored three tries by Westley Nyman, Daithi Connolly and Fred Davis to record a great 19-15 win and leave them in good spirits heading up to Sydney Parade on Sunday.

Longford Squad; P Kirk, P Dardis, R McCormack, D Corrigan, F Davis, A Beirne, D Geelan, J Geelan, F McGowan, W Nyman, W McDermott, S Murphy, D Connolly, O McGowan, J Finnegan, B Hanly, J Forde, P Kenny, A Griffin, B O’Farrell, S McGuiness & M Reynolds.

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