Longford left Sydney Parade wondering what could have been, if they had managed to convert one of four good chances, they would have left with four points writes Tommy Butler.
“That was a game we left behind today” explained Longford Head Coach Glenn Baskett, “We created enough try scoring chances in the first-half to be comfortable in that game.
“Again we didn’t execute them, and that’s something we have been doing a lot so far this season” added Baskett.
Monkstown flew off their defensive line and put the Longford attack under pressure. However, they did not stop Longford securing quite a few line breaks during the game and try scoring opportunities.
Monkstown had the first opportunity to score within the first five minutes, deciding to kick an early penalty to the corner rather going for the posts.
Their maul was well controlled by Longford and tenacious defence forced the mistake from Monkstown and allowed Longford to clear their lines.
Longford’s best period followed, the usual strong forward carries along with enterprising back play was putting the home side under pressure.
Graeme Bester made a good line break up the centre offloading to Hubie Connolly who passed to the onrushing Shane Rodgers who was brought down just short of the line.
He was then rather harshly pinged for holding on and Monkstown relieved the pressure, however, Longford were not to be denied and came right back at Monkstown full-back Ian McCormack crossed for an unconverted try after 16 minutes to put Longford into a five point lead.
The lead was short lived as Monkstown scored a converted try five minutes later to go into a two point lead, kicking to the corner and again trying to maul the ball over the line.
However, Longford stopped the momentum, Monkstown then went through multiple phases to work an overlap on the left wing where the try was scored.
Longford came back at Monkstown again and will be disappointed not to have gone over for their second try with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Pummelled the Monkstown line for multiple phases, but eventually a Longford handling error let Monkstown off the hook. Monkstown took advantage landing a great long range penalty just before half-time to stretch their lead out to five points.
Longford came out of the traps strongly in the second-half again pouring the pressure on but a handling error again allowed Monkstown to relieve the pressure.
Monkstown came into the match strongly for the next 20 minutes, putting Longford under a lot of pressure.
The Longford defence stood firm and despite being on their line a few timed dealt well with what Monkstown threw at them.
However, Monkstown managed to tack on another penalty with 15 minutes remaining, leaving Longford requiring two scores to win, the score now 13-5.
To their credit Longford never gave up and really ratched up the pressure for the last 10 minutes. They forced two kicks at goal, the second of which was successful to bring them back into losing bonus point range.
The Longford scrum was gradually gaining dominance and started to push Monkstown right off their own ball.
Longford were awarded a series of penalties and from one of these was worked out to the wing creating an overlap.
The last pass was given and it looked to all the many traveling Longford supporters that victory was about to be snatched from the jaws of defeat but the pass was spilled and the referee blew for full-time meaning Longford had to console themselves with a losing bonus point and regroup for the challenge of Cill Dara visiting CPL Park in two weeks’ time.
“We did think our defence was excellent though, we have the best defence in the comp and that is a real positive for us but it’s what we are doing with the ball that is a work on for us again going into Cill Dara in two weeks” explained Baskett.
“You try to take positives from a performance like that against a good team away but we travelled believing we would win and we didn’t achieve that.
So now we are seven points behind the leaders and need to start nailing these scoring chances and pick up some attacking wins.”
Longford Squad: P O’Farrell, H Connolly, D Quinn, B McManus, B Stewart, C Craig, K O’Gorman, K Kiripati, N Farrell, D McHugh, S Rodgers, R McHugh, G Bester, J McGowan, I McCormack, L Brady, C Glynn, A Griffin, A Berine, W Nyman.