Longford took a notable scalp of Boyne RFC yesterday in Drogheda to take their place in the Quarter Finals of the Provincial Towns Cup.
Located on the Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda, the pitch is one of the most exposed that Longford have visited. Although there was little or no rain, a stiff cold breeze blew down the pitch towards the club house and had a strong effect on the match.
Longford took the brave decision to play into the wind in the first half,meaning they would find it hard to get distance into the wind, from the boot was not an option.
The match opened up with typical opening exchanges in a cup match with both teams trying to feel each other out, especially as both sides have not played each other before.
However, Boyne began to use the wind to their advantage and pinned Longford back in their half.
To their credit Longford’s defence held firm, the first big sign of danger was when Boyne were held up on the Longford line after 15 minutes.
However, Boyne were not to be denied and they went over for a converted try on seventeen minutes.
Boyne looked to kick on at this stage, nevertheless, Longford were giving as good as they got and despite the wind made a few good incisions into the Boyne 22 but unfortunately they couldn’t finish it off.
Boyne had a few more chances and indeed, missed a penalty on 30 minutes, which was their last real scoring opportunity of the match.
Longford then turned up the heat and in injury time Joe McGowan crossed for an unconverted try to put Longford into the half-time break with their tails up and the strong second-half wind at their backs.
Longford quickly brought the game to Boyne and such were their dominance Boyne barely got out of their own half for the entire forty minutes.
However, Longford had to be on their guard as Boyne had a good back line who looked capable of springing a surprise against the run of play.
Although, Longford had a number of try opportunities in the second half it was the boot of Ryan McHugh that secured their place in the quarter finals with three unanswered penalties.
Longford could have went over in the corner but for a final difficult pass and a fumble and then a quick tap penalty from Danny McHugh nearly saw Longford cross the line.
Boyne finished the match on the attack looking for seven points to try and bring the match to extra time but Longford were not to be denied.
The team left the pitch in the knowledge that they would be leaving Drogheda with a notable win, a place in the Towns Cup Quarter-finals and the knowledge that they could compete well with and furthermore, beat Division 1A opposition.
The reward for the win is a home fixture versus Kilkenny on St. Patricks Day. Kilkenny will be tough opposition as they also play their trade in 1A after getting promoted last season.
Longford: P O’Gorman, H Connolly, D Quinn, B Stewart, B McManus, D Farrell, K O’Gorman, P Gallogly, N Farrell, D McHugh, C Seery, R McHugh, S Rodgers, J McGowan, S Flynn, J Forde, P Dardis, S McGuinness, D O’Brien, I McCormack, F Davis.