Longford travelled to Navan last Saturday in what was a Leinster league final for Longford, as it would have put them in an unreachable place on the league table if they won. Longford had a very strong pack and centred their game plan on this.
The game started fairly slowly and Navan were in possession and with a backline move around the half way line. Thomas Maguire made a strong tackle and turned over possession. He then broke two tackles and sprinted to the line to score under the posts. Keelan Berine converted with ease. Longford pack continued to dominate but was very unlucky when Navan intercepted and broke the Longford line to score under the post. This was converted. The game was now level but 5 minutes later a carbon copy interception by Navan put them 14- 7 ahead. It was Navan’s turn to dominate and aggressive play allowed them to force the play to the Longford line and secure a touchdown in the corner. They failed to convert and Longford were 12 points behind.
Some poor defence by Longford allowed Navan to score another try before half time and this was converted. The score at half time was 26 Navan 7 Longford. It looked like the game was over.
Longford started the second half well and the pack dominated up front. Some strong rucking play gave them possession just 5 yards from Navan’s line. Thomas Maguire picked a ball from the back of a ruck and drove through the Navan defence to score his second try. Keelan Berine kicked a very important conversion from 10 yards from the touchline.
Longford continued to show good determination and some excellent rucking ended when Andrew Moorehead drove through the defence to touch down under the post. The ref strangely did not see the touchdown but Eoin Bartley put it beyond doubt when he recovered the ball and touched down just outside the post. Again Keelan converted with ease.
We were just five points behind and Longford were unstoppable. They formed a maul just inside the Navan half and drove the maul to the Navan line. The Navan defence were in pieces and they only stopped a certain try by pulling down the maul. The referee awarded a penalty but a penalty try would have been a more realistic outcome.
Longford continued to press the Navan line and Eoin Corcoran had the line at his mercy but was pulled up by the Referee to attend to an isolated Navan player who was lying on the ground. The ball was eventually cleared by Navan.
Navan ran in another try when the ball bounced badly for Andrew Moorehead and a Navan player was on hand to pick it and score. We were now 12pts behind. Navan were awarded a mysterious penalty in the Longford 22 which resulted in a 3 man line out was called. A fourth Navan player rushed to the front of the line out from 10 yards out. He caught the ball and scored a try. Longford finished the game 17 points behind but played on of their best games this season and only very questionable referee decisions allowed Navan to win.
The entire team played well but particular mention should be made of Thomas Maguire, Keelan Beirne, Eoin Corcoran, Joe Noone, Joseph Griffith, Andrew Moorehead, Darragh Mc Dowell and Rueben Murray who stood out on the day.
We have training Wednesday night at 7.30 please be on the dressing rooms for 7.15 as we have an important home game against Boyne next weekend.