Niall Flynn, 2nd row for Longford RFC against Cill Dara in the opening round of the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup at CPL Park on Sunday last.
Longford crushed Cill Dara in fine style at CPL Park in the first round of the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup on Sunday last.
Rugby - Provincial Towns Seconds Cup - First Round
Longford 2nd XV . . . . . . 25 Cill Dara 2nd XV . . . . . . . 0
The five try victory, while holding the visitors scoreless, was a fine mark of the progress this team has been making all year. Although they may have dropped points in the course of the league campaign season they have always showed they were a quality outfit and this game compounded that assumption.
Although a bit tacky underfoot, the heavy going did little to stifle the home team’s desire to run the ball whenever the opportunity presented itself, and present itself it did thanks to fine line breaks by Kevin Rodgers, Niall Flynn, Justin Forde and Eamon Keenan.
Early carries from Aaron Beirne and John Geelan set the visitors straight about what sort of a test this was going to be. Longford's early go forward ball saw them pass the gain line time and again but the Kildare side had a solid defence and the odd handling error halted some of the progress.
It was a break by Beirne that finally established the platform for the first Longford's first score. With 27 minutes elapsed Geelan crossed in the corner to start the ball rolling, 5-0. Looking to build on this outhalf Eoin Bartley put in a sweet chip chase shortly after the restart, but Cill Dara managed to muster a response just in time.
Prop Kevin Rodgers was given a bit of a break from his contribution as the referee handed him a yellow card having previously issued a warning for Longford indiscipline. The resultant penalty was missed by the Cill Dara kicker and five minutes later the referee blew the half-time whistle.
Right from the start of the second half Longford started to inflict damage on the opponents. Fullback Danny Casey added another five points by finishing off a move that started the other side of the pitch, which saw some wonderful passing like Beirne’s final deft flick to his teammate for the try.
A gain line break by Justin Forde unsettled the defenders, Bartley put in a chip through and Casey got his second try, his side’s third and left the tally at 15-0. Outfield work by Alan Campbell, Niall Flynn and David Geelan stifled any attempts from the visitors to clay their way back into the game.
The advantage was further pressed with a maul that saw Kevin Rodgers cap his awesome outfield contribution with a try. The 20-0 deficit got worse for the Kildare team when the visiting 8 got the yellow card for a high tackle.
Another wonderful back line move got the final try. Built on the work of substitute Liam Brady, who was playing like a man possessed, Longford pressed into the Cill Dara half. The axis of Bartley, Casey and Lorcan Connolly saw the winger ground for the try to leave it 25-0.
Though keeping the opposition scoreless may suggest otherwise,Longford's win came as a result of a lot of hard work. Philip Dardis and Sean Smyth at two and nine respectively made sure that the tempo was high and backs Domhnall Flynn and JJ Cox also made a big impact on the game.
LONGFORD: Kevin Rodgers, Philip Dardis, Justin Forde, Niall Flynn, David Geelan, Aaron Beirne, John Geelan, Alan Campbell, Sean Smyth, Eoin Bartley, Lorcan Connolly, Eamon Kinahan, Domhnall Flynn, JJ Cox, Daniel Casey.
Replacements: Liam Brady, Shane McVeigh, James Geelan, Karl Murray, Mick Cullen.