Longford come unstuck versus a determined Clondalkin 2019-11-26 16:41:00

26/11/2019 Leinster League Division 1B Longford 1st XV 17 Clondalkin 1st XV 22

by Niall Moran Longford RFC Director of Rugby

The 1st XV came a cropper on Sunday, when they lost to Clondalkin in decent conditions in CPL Park. The homesters had struggled the previous time out to close out the match versus Boyne. Leading 36-5 after 50 minutes in Drogheda, they conceded 4 tries in the final half an hour. For reasons only known to themselves, they took up where they left off this weekend. The visitors came to impose themselves on the men in black. In the normal course of the season, they would have been bread and jam to the Longford pack, but, somehow, this was no the case.

Key tackles were being missed, rucks not cleared with the usual aggression, and a general malaise ensued. The visitors went into an early lead, capitalising on the poor work ethic of the home side, to get over for a converted try.

In fairness to the Longford side, they worked their way into the opposition half, and created a attacking platform for Fred Davis to get over after some concerted pressure. Ryan McHugh added the extras to leave the sides tied at the interval. 

The half time chat wasn’t for the faint hearted, but it was to no avail, when the visitors capitalised on poor decision making to score a second converted try, which was complimented with an additional 3 points to open up a 10 point lead inside the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Ryan McHugh again converted a penalty to close the gap, but the game was over when Clondalkin went over once more with 15 minutes to go.

Trailing 22-10, Longford engineered a scoring platform deep in the opposition half, from where Graeme Bester showed his class to score a try, which McHugh converted.

5 points down, and chasing the game, the home side just couldn’t get a hold on the ball, and eventually the clock won out.

This was a disappointing result, but the fate of the side is still very much in their own hands. Win next week and the promotion push remains on target.

Longford 1st XV: Ian McCormack, Sam Murphy, Graeme Bester, Ryan McHugh, Joe McGowan, Daniel McHugh, Neal Farrell, Padraig O’Farrell, Hughbie Connolly, Liam Brady, Benny McManus (Capt), Fred Davis, Barry Stewart, Conor Craig, Kieran O’Gorman, Dylan Quinn, David Geelan, Kolo Kiripati, Colm Glynn, Finbarr McGowan.

Reaction of Coach, Glenn Baskett.

“I reckon we just lost the league today. From our own point of view we’ve lost 2 and drawn 1 in the first half of the season, compare that with Monkstown’s unbeaten start and I don’t see them slipping up from here, and unfortunately that’s the reality for us now. We lost the physical battle today against a team we should not have lost to, and publicly we can be say it’s a 50/50 contest on the day but as a group these are the games at home you expect to win. And if we are honest Clondalkin wanted that today more than us, they played to their strengths and we let them. We have built our season on our D and in the last 2 games it has been a weakness. As a coach I have to look at the process we use to try and win and as a group we gotta look at if what we are doing is good enough. Because right now, that soon after that defeat the answer is the process to win isn’t right. Now we have to redux our focus from winning a league to ensuring we nail the playoff spot, and with Tullow next weekend it takes on a whole new focus. And we have no room for error now. We’ve gotta look at ourselves, what we did well and what didn’t go well and pretty quickly too.”

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