U13’s suffer defeat despite great start

U13 Leinster League

U13 Leinster League

Longford U13’s 24 Dundalk 40

The Longford U13 lads got off to a flying start at CPL Park on Saturday. Longford won the ball from the kick-off and tore straight into Dundalk’s defence. 
Luke Reilly made a surging run, bursting through tackles and offloading to the supporting Ronan Moffett. Dundalk couldn’t manage Ronan’s sleaky run and he just managed to touch down over the line for Longford’s first try. Luke Reilly duly slotted over the conversion. Longford were really up for it now and couldn’t get restarted quickly enough. The forwards worked hard for the ball and Ryan Corcoran was quick to spread the ball out to the backline which attacked Dundalk’s defence with venom. After a number of phases Luke Reilly received the ball and broke through the Dundalk line to score Longford’s second try.

This was Longford’s best start all season but unfortunately Dundalk endeavoured to find a way back into the game scoring a few tries before the break. This left it very tight at half time but Longford were definitely still in this game. However despite great covering tackles from Conor Craig and Fred Davis throughout the second half ,Dundalk still managed to break the Longford defence with two soft tries. Longford’s great start was beginning to look a distant memory but more hard work from the team and typical pressing runs from Ronan Bleakley saw Luke Reilly dive over with two more tries. This brought a glimmer of hope but unfortunately Longford were not able to keep up the tempo and Dundalk were able to close out the game with more tries.

Despite the loss this was Longford’s best performance of the season. The team were a strong unit working hard for each other but in the end they just ran out of steam against a strong Dundalk squad. With a full team this could have finished up better for Longford and the lads can take pride from this performance with a weakened team that is already short in numbers. This proves how vital it is to improve the numbers for this team and the full commitment of each and every player is a credit to them. This Longford team is improving every time they take to the pitch which gives great hope for the future.

LONGFORD: Fred Davis, Cian Mallon, Sean Lannigan, Christy Sullivan, Brian Hanley, Luke Reilly, James Kennedy, Ronan Moffett, Darragh O’Brien, Conor Craig, Oran McGuinness, Ronan Bleakley.

U9 / U 10 Blitz

Our Under 9’s and 10’s travelled to Midland Warriors in Moate on Saturday to compete in an Under 10’s Competition. Despite the cold weather and bad pitch conditions our team had a great outing.

We won our first game against a strong Mullingar side. We were narrowly defeated against a bigger U10’s Tullamore side and we drew our last game against another strong Tullamore side.

Seamus Hanley played his best rugby ever tackling, rucking and driving on his side and was first to go over for a Longford try, Michael Mulcahy, Ronan Collum Smith, Sam Davis,Luke O’Boyle, Mark Bracken,Dan O’Shea, Oisin O’Toole, Ryan Fitzpatrick,Malcolm O’Boyle and Brendan Naughton all ran in tries on the day. Coach Ray McCormack was delighted with the great performance of his team.

U14 Leinster League

Longford U14s 21 Naas 10

Longford welcomed Naas to CPL park on Saturday for their return fixture in the Leinster League. The away match was a hard fought affair with Longford scoring late to seal a 22 -10 victory. It was great to be back on home turf following three matches “on the road”.

Conditions were dry and the pitch had incredibly withstood the monsoon rains of the previous 24 hours with only a couple of “mucky” patches. Longford elected to play with the light breeze and were quickly into their stride with Sean McManus and man of the match Jamie McManus providing real go forward ball for the backs to use. This provided Shane Farrell with some space out wide and he burned the defence to score wide on the left. Jack Gilheany struck a sweet conversion to add the extra two points.

Longford were dominant at this stage with Declan Pervov, Robbie Shaw and Dylan Smith clearing out the opposition impressively to provide Liam Harte with quick ruck ball . The home team moved the ball wide and were nearly over in the corner before Terence Hegarty drove for the line to score. Gilheany was unerring with the boot to leave the score at 14-0 and the home team seemingly coasting.

The home team extended their lead following good work from Oisin Pierson. He gathered a clearance kick and jinked his way toward the line. Naas gave away a penalty which saw Paddy Duggan show pace and power to drive over. Our kickers were on form with Pierson adding the extras to leave the half time score at 21-0.

That was as good as it got though as a mixture of Naas determination and skill and Longford inaccuracy saw a number of chances spurned. At one stage it was harder not to score than get over the line but the home team managed to do the former. A disappointing passing display was our undoing and is something that needs to be rectified before our next outing. A lack of intensity at the breakdown allowed our visitors boss the second half and they were rewarded with two unconverted tries to leave the final score 21-10.

This was a good victory over decent opposition but highlighted a number of areas that need work. Other positives include the development of the squad with new players such as Ronan Moffett, Daragh O’Brien and Mark Reynolds all improving with game time.

Thank you to those parents for making sandwiches and teas and for looking after our guests. Thanks also to Trevor for reffing the game in such an impartial manner.

Training as usual at 7.30 Wednesday. New players always welcome.

Longford - Robbie Shaw, Brian Hanley, Luke Reilly, Paddy Duggan, Liam Harte, Aaron Griffin, Jack Gilheany, Jack Sorohan, Cian O’Hara, Dylan Smith, Declan Pervov, Jaimie McManus, Sean McManus, Mark Reynolds, Ronan Moffett, Shane Farrell, Oisin Pierson, Terence Hegarty, Daragh O’Brien, Aidan Sheridan.

Results - U13 Leinster League - Longford 24, Dundalk 40; U14 Leinster League - Longford 21, Naas 10

Fixtures Sat 2nd Feb

U8’s vs. Mullingar - Away

U13’s vs. North Kildare - Home

U14’s vs. Mullingar - Home

Fixtures Sun 3rd Feb

U12’s vs. West Offaly - Away

Training

Youth training continues this Wednesday night at 7.15pm – New players always welcome – all players U13 – U19 welcome to attend. Mini training (U6 – U11) – training continues this Sunday 3rd February at 10.15am. (U12’s in West Offaly – Ferbane).