Longford RFC Club Notes February 5

Longford RFC club notes Wednesday February 5

Senior Men

Longford Senior Men pulled off the proverbial Great Escape in emerging 22-29 bonus point victors away to Cill Dara.

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Longford have reset their focus to finishing second in Division 1B with Monkstown only needing a win next week versus DLSP to secure the title.

Finishing second will secure Longford a promotion play off against the second from bottom team in Division 1A.

Step one in the race was beating third placed Carlow last week, with Step two being beating Cill Dara on Sunday, both were achieved.

However, the comeback against Cill Dara was even more vital as Longford’s main competitors for second place, Tullow, lost to Boyne today meaning Longford draw level with Tullow on 35 points.

The men from Carlow retain second place due to a better head to head record with Longford this year.

However, Longford have a game in hand owing to their game against Monkstown being postponed, so all is to play for.

However, Stage three will not be easy as Longford welcome fourth placed Boyne to CPL Park next Sunday but such was the heart shown by the side in coming back from the dead against Cill Dara, I would not be betting against the side.

Allied to the J1s great comeback was another win for Longford’s J2s, who have won every match in the league so far and after their convincing 15-36 win in Cill Dara, need only one win from their last three matches to win the title, which would be a remarkable achievement.

So, all roads lead to CPL Park next Sunday February 9th where we ask all members and friends to support the Senior Men in their penultimate home league game of the season and will hopefully see the J2 Men win the title!

Fixtures

9/2/20 – Leinster League – Longford v Boyne KO 1/3 J1&J2

16/2/20 -Leinster League – Longford v Monkstown KO 1/3 J1&J2

22/23/2/20 – Leinster League – Clondalkin v Longford KO 1/3 J1&J2

1/3/20 – Provincial Towns Cup – Navan v Longford KO 3 J1

8/3/20 – Provincial 2nds Cup 1st Round- Longford v TBC KO 3 J2

League Table Leinster League – Division 1B

PosTeamPldWDLPFPADiffBPBP 4TBP LDedPts
1Monkstown111100340161179660050
2Tullow1271431422589844038
3Longford1171325116685853038
4Boyne126062702655743031
5Co Carlow12606208245-37633030
6Clondalkin12507247298-51743027
7Cill Dara12309218278-60624018
8De La Salle Palmerston121011165375-21021106

 

League Table Seconds League (J2) – Division 1B

PosTeamPldWDLPFPADiffBPBP LDedPts
1Longford9900134617300036
2Monkstown10703145757011029
3Co Carlow10604152161-911025
4Tullow10406130177-4733019
5Clondalkin1040678104-2633-217
6Cill Dara940583128-4522-216
7000000000000
8Boyne1000101531-1600-8-8

Longford Women (Warriors)

Longford Women had the weekend off with their next match against away on Wanderers on February 16th.

Longford Women welcome new players throughout the season with all fitness levels, shapes and sizes are welcome.

The Warriors really are on an upward curve and are making an assault on the Division 4 Title and want you to be a part. Training is on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm.

Drop in to training for a chat or alternatively give Head Coach Nuala McGoey a ring on 0862482005.

Upcoming Fixtures

16/2/20 – Leinster League – Wanderers v Longford KO 1

1/3/20 – Leinster League – New Ross v Longford KO 1

15/3/20 – Leinster League – Longford v Blackrock KO 1

League Table Womens Division 4A

PosTeamPldWDLPFPADiffBPBP LBP MDedPts
1New Ross220000000008
2Blackrock College RFC J121012271500004
3Longford110000000004
4Suttonians J1200200000000
5Wanderers1001722-1500000

Longford Mini/Youths

The Longford Mini/Youth Season is now in full swing.  All teams are now back training and playing.

Training

Remember new players are welcome at all levels with no prior experience required.  It could be you lining out for Ireland in a coming World Cup!

Minis U6-U12

Training on Sundays at 10.30 am in CPL Park for both girls and boys.  A full season planner can be downloaded here

U13 Male -training every Thursday at 6:30PM.

U14 Male – training every Thursday 7-8:30PM.

U15 Male – train every Wednesday at 7:30PM.

U16 Male – train every Wednesday at 7:30PM.

U17s&18s Male – train every Thursday at 7:30PM.

U14 Female – train every Sunday morning with an extra day per week TBC.

U16&U18 Female -train every Tuesday and Friday at 7.30 PM.

Saturday

U18FM v Birr (Home)

U16FM v Birr (Home)

U14FM v Birr (Home)

Sunday

U18M v Carlow (Away)

U16M v Arklow (Home)

U15M v Cill Dara (Home)

U13 v Carlow (Home)

Please check our website for fixtures; http://www.longfordrugby.com/clubFixtures/14013/f_i_x_t_u_r_e_s

Match Reports

It was another busy weekend for Longford’s Mini/Youth Section with lots of matches both home and away.

Round-Up

The U16 Girls scored a resounding 75-15 win versus North Meath. The U14 girls did likewise scoring a 50-12 win versus Suttonians. The U15 Boys secured a brilliant 34-20 win versus Boyne even though they played the game with only 14 players.

U16 Boys

Longford U16s returned to League action against a physically imposing Enniscorthy 15. It’s not often you see 15 year olds having to duck coming into the dressing rooms.

The Longford lads didn’t let this intimidate them and got stuck into the Wexford team rattling in a number of tries in the the first half to establish a commanding lead.

A couple of further tries in the second half completed the scoring with captain Eoin Murtagh, Jamie Brady, John and Padraig Boyle, Gavin Courage and David Keenan all getting on the score sheet.

Next up is a tough encounter against Arklow with the prize of a Leinster semi-final on offer.

U14 Boys

Longford under 14’s made the long trip to Gorey for their last away League match of this exciting season.

This was always going to be a hard day at the office as Gorey are heading this section of the league having been regraded down from the premier section after the pre-Christmas qualifier games.

Thus, Longford travelled more in hope than expectation.  Over the Christmas there was an old John Wayne western film called The Alamo.

For those of you who do not know about this film it is about a bunch of 200 brave men protecting the Alamo mission in Texas US against the invading Mexican army and held out for 12 days and night as the mission was laid siege by this much larger (2,000 men), well equipped and professional Mexican army.

Last Saturday’s game in Gorey was Longford U-14’s Alamo. The game started with Longford playing with aid of the strong wind, however, Gorey adapted to the conditions better and despite the torrid defence by the Longford men, the huge Gorey No. 18 who was playing in the second row, saw a gap and ran through the middle of the pitch to score the first try.

Into the strong wing the conversion attempt went wide of the posts. Gorey continued from the restart and there was no stopping their prop going over for their second try a few minutes later.

With some element of pride the Longford lads started to get their act together, got procession, started go through phases, gained confidence and the ball got to Mathew Farrell, who rounded the Gorey defence and ran in to score in the stand-side corner.

This rare incursion into the Gorey half must have hurt the Gorey team and they got the bit in their mouths and pressed immediately back and they scored another three tries and two conversions.

The defensive work came at a cost to the Longford side with courageous Conor Mulligan having to retire from the game due to a wrist injury and a minute later caption Ciaran Heffernan had to be called ashore after taking an accidental shoulder to the neck.

Dylan Vance and Christopher Trautt came into the respective positions, and after another few minutes the whistle was blown for half time to leave the score 29 -5 to the half time.

We had a discussion with the referee and Gorey coach during the half time period and we decided in the interests of safety to concede the game to allow Gorey to rest some of their stronger players for the second-half.

I thought that our “lion hearted” replacement player, Patrick Murphy, would be hugely disappointed to be told that he would not be coming into the game for the second half, but it was a smile of relief that came on his face, because he was seeing the tough work his team mates were taking in this bruising encounter.

I did not tell the team we had conceded and asked them to start to play to their strengths and to use their speed when we had procession.

The second-half started with Gorey, now being aided by the wind, going on the offensive. Once again their No.18 was paying havoc but some double tackling by Alex Forde and Jack McWeeney kept him out on 3-4 occasions.

The continuous peppering of the Longford defence kept taking its toll and Jimmy was kept busy with his magic spray.

After taking his 3rd hard knock, out half Rian Browne was on the ground with a tear in his eye. I asked him did he want to come off, and he wiped away the tear and said “no”, got up and ran back to his team mates.

Longford regrouped and started passing the ball with a bit more confidence and Mathew Farrell got the ball out on the far wing, took off like a rocket and ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts and Rian Browne duly converted.

This renewed believe started to give the lads some optimism and after Jamie Dorr did some great fielding, ran straight up the middle into contact to form another ruck in the middle of the field back on the Longford 22, Longford retained the ball.

Then there was a moment of sheer magic. Mathew Farrell came across from the far wing, the ball was passed to him from the base of the ruck, he straightened up and took off up along the touch line.

As five huge Gorey defenders ran over to try to shepherd him into touch, he showed the first three defenders a clear pair of heals and then, with a move you might see on Sunday’s DWTS or Dancing on Ice, he pirouetted around the second last defender and left the last one for dead.

He once again went in to score his third try under the posts and once again Rian converted. The game was drawing to the close and the fresh legs were starting to show for Gorey.

When the referee asked would he blew it up with seven minutes to go, after a Longford player lay injured on the ground, I said I would ask the acting Longford captain, Olan Bracken, (who was the injured player on the ground) what he wanted to do.

But like Davie Crocket and in true John Wayne style he looked at his cohort of men and said “we will play on”.

We are starting to run out of superlatives as to how to describe the performance of this team, but on Saturday the true grit that was shown by the whole team, all 18 players, showed the passion & pride that these young men have for being able to dawn the MSL black jersey for Longford Rugby Club.

Against a much heavier pack, the forwards of Olan Lyons, Ciaran Heffernan (later Olan Bracken), Cathal Byrne, “birthday boy” John Sheridan, Daniel Galvin, Jack O’Hara, Alex Forde (and later Christopher Trautt) and No.8 Olan Bracken (later Alex Forde for his first time in this position), held their own and at one point took one against the head.

Despite having to defend for the bulk of the game, the backs, Mathew Farrell, Jack McWeeney, Diarmuid Glennon, Jack Reilly and Jamie Dorr kept tackling and tackling until they were dead on their feet at the end of the game.

The half-backs Conor Mulligan (later Dylan Vance) and Rian Browne kept trying to be a nuisance to the Gorey ruck trying to snipe around the sides. Thanks also to Kurtis Bennett for travelling with us and giving support to the lads. His day in the sun will hopefully come within the next few weeks.

Back to training next Thursday and we have a special coach coming into us next Saturday for a 3 hour session.

Longford U13 0 Tullow 48

After a solid Midlands league outing in Tullamore last week where we came away with a draw, our fixture this week was a home Leinster league game against a strong Tullow team.

Longford kicked with a good breeze on their backs for this penultimate league game. Good speed off the mark had the visitors under pressure straight away and the home side could sense the nervousness.

Our line speed caused havoc in the visitors half and quiet a few knock on’s giving us a few scrum penalties.

The Longford scrum with Conor Gallagher moving to the front row performed very well. On the Tullow scrums we won a couple against the head and fast ball out by Mel at scrum half got the team moving forward.

As we continued to camp around the Tullow ‘22, we lacked the ability to make the territorial advantage count on the score board.

Tullow would turn possession over to counter, opting to kick for touch mostly. Our line out worked very well too, where Daniel Corrs throwing has been excellent all season. Longford had some amazing tackles by Niall Connaughton on the wing, Mel Mulligan infield and probably the hardest efforts of all from William McEntire at full back.

It was remarkable that the boys kept up the pressure such that it was 20 mins before the opening score. Unfortunately, that went to the visitors in their first visit into the Longford half!

Despite the efforts by the brave Longford boys, Tullow proved too strong on the day and ran out convincing winners. As the heads dropped the scores came easier for the visitors.

Our best forwards on the day were solid performances from Ryan Spollen and the ever reliable Danny Kelly with Daniel Corr continuing to shine at No 8.

Harry Byrne played well at his first run out at 10, while Conor O’Grady and Darragh Walsh both continued to put in good performances in their first season for the club.

Best for Longford however was William McEntire at fullback.

He plays with the heart and courage of a lion and defies the laws of Physics in stopping some opponents who have met his wrath!!

This season is so tough for the lads. The games come tougher and tougher but, to see them bring out such a strong game as they did in the first half and last week is good indication of their improvement throughout the season. What we lack in size and power we make up for in spirit.

We have one more away fixture to Carlow next Sunday and then a home tie in the Cup competition the following week before the playoffs at the end of the month.

Training Thursday 6.30-8-30pm. New players welcome. Phone Padraig on 086 2526741 for details.

Longford: Ryan Spollen, Shane McGuigan, Conor Gallagher, Danny Kelly, Conor O’Grady, Derek Belton, Jamie O’Donohue, Daniel Corr, Mel Mulligan, Harry Byrne, Darragh Walsh, Tom Murray, Donnacha Golden, Niall Connaughton, William McEntire, Sean Ginty, Tadgh McCauley, Tomás O’Brien, Daniel Fahey, Ryan Kiernan, James Cosgrove.

Ellen Murphy

Congratulations to Longford’s Ellen Murphy who starred for the Ireland Women’s team in their 18-14 win versus Scotland in their Six Nations opener in Energia Park on Sunday. Ellen started at out-half.  We wish Ellen and the Ireland team all the best versus Wales next week.

EGM of Longford RFC 13/02/2020 at 8:30.

All fully paid up members of Longford RFC are invited to attend an EGM of Longford RFC on the 13/2/2020 at 8.30 PM (Sharp) in the Sin Bin Event Centre, Longford RFC.

Leinster v Saracens

Longford Minis/Youths are organising another trip to watch the boys in blue this time in the blockbuster Champions Cup Quarters Final v Saracens at the Aviva stadium on Saturday April 4th at 17:45.

300 have already booked with the fourth bus almost full.  Contact Padraig Murphy asap to secure your place or talk to your coaches.

4G All Weather Pitch Rental

Our state of the art floodlight Mel Diffley 4G pitch is available for rental. It contains shock absorption so that players can play contact sports/fall over without hurting themselves. It is also perfect for 5-a-side soccer. If you would like to book it phone Damian on 0862757103.