Last Sunday saw Longford Senior XV sail through to the second round of the Provincial Towns Cup when they scored a comfortable win over Athy at the Demesne grounds.
Longford started strongly and they immediately had Athy on the back foot. The pack was impressive in the scrums and managed to force numerous errors by Athy which resulted in Longford retaining possession and Longford’s first score of the afternoon after 11 minutes. Following a penalty which Longford kicked to touch, second row Andy Hall won the lineout ball and with the rest of the forwards they drove towards the Athy try line and it was flanker Hubie Connolly who touched the ball down over the line. Colm Glynn successfully kicked the conversion to put Longford ahead 7-0. Despite their lead Longford were put under immense pressure for the remainder of the first half and gave away a huge number of penalties to Athy in kickable field positions. Due to the high wind and blustery conditions Athy only managed to successfully kick 2 penalties and the score at half time was 7-6. Longford began the second half with the same vigour as the first and in the 42nd minute they were awarded a penalty which Glynn slotted over the bar to put score at 10-6. A couple of minutes later Longford were awarded another penalty on the half way line and full back Riaan Van Der Vyver stepped up and successfully kicked the ball straight through the posts to extend Longford’s lead to 13-6 after 45 minutes. Despite being reduced to 14 men in the 50th minute when Gareth Johnson was sin binned for allegedly coming into a ruck from the side, Longford’s defence held strong. Athy came attacking and looked to take advantage of the extra man, but Longford were impressive in their disciplined defence and held the visitors at bay. The hard work paid off when Andy Hall managed to win the ball from a ruck and made a fantastic clearance kick away to relieve the pressure. In the 60th minute Stephen Coy Jr replaced Johnson in the backline. Minutes later Longford were awarded a penalty and Glynn once again successfully kicked it between the posts to put Longford 16-6 up after 63 minutes. Minutes later the home side scored their second try with Van Der Vyver running straight through the Athy defence to score a magnificent try which Glynn successfully converted to put the score at 23-6 after 65 minutes. The remainder of the game saw Longford reduced to 13 men when in quick succession they were penalised yet again for infringements in the ruck and breakdown area and both Derek Bannon and Stephen Coy Jr were shown yellow cards. Once again Longford showed great resilience in their defence to consolidate their firm grip on the game.
Longford: Kevin Coffey, Ronan Keith, Fran Deffew, Andy Hall, Tom Cullen, Hubie Connolly, Derek Farrell, Paul Gallogly (c), Neal Farrell, Colm Glynn, Ciaran Kennedy, Derek Bannon, Gareth Johnson, Gary Greene, Riaan Van Der Vyver.
Subs: Michael Murphy, Micheal Egan, John Geelhan, Sean Smyth, Stephen Coy Jr.