Longford 1st XV scored a nice pre-Christmas win in the Midland League Shield Trophy in mauling Mullingar in the final at Edenderry RFC on Sunday last.
Midland League Shield Final
Longford 1st XV . . . . 43 Mullingar . . . . 13
Longford administered a trouncing to the side that comprehensively beat them twice last year. Longford were on top in all aspects of the game and gave a demonstration of solid defence and thrilling attack.
The scoreline projects an image of a one sided encounter, but Mullingar contested well for the most part. It was only when the effort dropped momentarily that Longford brutally punished them.
The men in black delivered good forward play, particularly considering that Longford lost the experienced heads of Benny McMahon and Ronan Keith to injury early on.
The first score came 10 minutes in when clever phase play tightened the Mullingar defence before going wide. Karl Murray finished off the move, securing the winger his first score for the Performance XV. Flanker Paul Gallogly and outhalf Daniel McHugh got their name on the scoresheet with two fine tries before the break.
In the second half solid ruck work set the foundation for a platform that saw scores grabbed by Aaron Beirne, Finbar McGowan, Derek Farrell and Lorcan Connolly. Longford dominance was typified by the endeavour of Dylan Quinn, Barry Stewart, Paul Gallogly and Hubie Connolly.
Daniel McHugh was exemplary at the first five-eight slot and distributed to a back line that fired well on the day. His performance was ably abetted by Neal Farrell who has been in sizzling form this season.
Mullingar have been struggling this season having lost a number of players since last year.
Before Longford get too excited about beating a team a division above them they will dwell on the fact that in the run up to Christmas Mullingar may not have been fielding their strongest side.
Nevertheless it is always good to get one over on the neighbours, particularly when it is done in such a convincing fashion.
Longford's next outing is on Thursday 29th December at Ballinasloe, 8pm.