Longford unlucky to come away from league leaders pointless 2015-11-07 13:29:00

1st XV Match Report
01/11/2015 Leinster League 1B Coolmine 22 Longford 14

It is unusual that an eight point defeat would be seen as the best Leinster League Division 1B outing this year, but the teething difficulties Longford have been experiencing were packed away when they played Coolmine in Ashbrook yesterday.

Longford took on the league leaders on their home patch and were unlucky not to have been able to convert their chances into scores. On another day the pressure that the away side applied to the visitors defence would have yielded the full complement of points available, but a couple of errors stymied the efforts to cross the home try line.

All of Longford’s scores came from the boot of full back Joe McGowan. Longford dominated at scrum time, had a solid lineout and the work rate of the pack was the dominant feature of the game and dominated for long periods of the match especially in the first half.

The final score of 22-14 should be viewed through a lens that includes a heroic defensive shift when a thirteen man Longford conceded eight points with two men on the line. Although they may have suffered a loss the fact that they pushed Coolmine so close will be seen as the platform that they will build for the rest of the season on.

Longford were first to score in the third minute when a Joe McGowan penalty set things in motion. In the next 25 minutes the teams traded misses, but approaching the half hour mark Coolmine broke a couple of tackles and crossed close to the posts. The conversion left it 07-03.

McGowan shortened that gap then pushed the visitors into the lead with two successive penalties. With the score at 07-09 Longford pressure began to tell. On the 40 minute mark repeated infringements by the Dublin outfit saw their flanker take a walk to the sin bin. Longford were unlucky not score twice in the lead up to half time when their dominate scrum nearly pushing over from 10 metres out and then from a promising back line move that was held up on the line too.
Upon resumption the balance shifted. Coolmine stepped up their attack and two successive yellow cards saw scrum half Joe McGowan and out-half Kurt Beeney make their way to the bold boys step. The home side’s outhalf clipped over the penalty for the second yellow and the team then reaped a second try with the return of their flanker against a stretched 13 man Longford defence.
With 12 minutes to play the Dublin team crossed the whitewash again. Ten minutes after that Longford finally converted an opportunity by grounding out wide. With the score 22-14 the visitors struggled to get within bonus point range, but the best efforts just fell short.
This was a tremendous leap forward from the last three Longford outings and the efforts of Clifford Richardson, Alistair McCormack, Derek Farrell and the entire pack all contributed to Longford's best performance of the season. Head Coach Niall Moran would have been impressed by the Longford teams work rate with over 90 tackles made. However, it was a few lapses in concentration that ultimately let Coolmine in for the win. Longford will be eager to eradicate these lapses and will be looking to get off the mark this Sunday with the visit of Tullow to the CPL Park, KO 2.30 PM.
Dylan Quinn, Ronan Keith, Justin Forde, Benny McManus, Aaron Beirne, Alistair McCormack, Derek Farrell, Clifford Richardson, Finbarr McGowan, Kurt Beeney, George McDermott, Hubie Connolly, James Connolly, James O'Connell & Joe McGowan.

Liam Brady, Peter Kirk, Daniel Sweeney, Eoin McGowan & Lorcan Connolly.

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