Longford 23, Carlow 20
After playing well and leading for most of the match, Carlow had only a losing bonus point as consolation following their long trip to Longford in the Leinster League on Sunday.
From the start Carlow tore into their midland opponents. With captain “Tubs” Ratahai, Wes Shirley and Larry McGrath leading the charge the Oakpark lads pressurised Longford into conceding two early penalties which were converted by Peter Hennessey. A Carlow try followed, again converted by Hennessey, to put the visitors into a 13 -0 lead at half time.
Within 2 minutes of the restart Longford kicked a penalty which was shortly followed by an unconverted Longford try. But Carlow came back up the field, exerted more pressure on the Longford line which culminated in their second try touched down by winger Seamus Curran. Again Hennessey converted to put Carlow into a 20 – 8 point lead.
Twenty minutes into the second half and outbreak of handbagging coupled with some fisticuffs, resulted Carlow losing a front rower to the sin bin. The visitors seemed to lose cohesion and Longford got in for a penalty plus a converted try during the sinbinning. This left the score at a precarious 20 – 18 lead for Carlow.
The game continued to swing from end to end but it was Longford who scored the crucial match winning try to leave the score Longford 23 Carlow 20 at the final whistle.
The Carlow seconds team also lost to Longford by 8 points to 3. This was this team’s first loss in the 2016-17 Leinster League and really arose from a number of their regular players not making the long journey to the midland venue.
Peter Hennessey, Seamus Curran, Simon Walshe, Caomhan Brennan, Sam Dunne, Fionnan Burke, Alex Crossley, Larry McGrath, Ross Byrne, Alan Byrne, John Lyons, Wes Shirley, Niall Bermingham, Thomas Ratahai, (capt) James Nolan .
Subs, Chris Challe, Thomas Whitney, Evan Gordon, Andrew Hanley, Gavin Murphy Adam Dowling.
Paul Byrne, Eoin Rea, Jack Hickey, Peter Cassidy, Kevin Hanley, Tom Bolger, (capt) Liam Nolan, Robin James, Liam Slater, Caolan Fitzhenry, Zac Fitzhenry, Anthony Mannion, Alan Egan, Aaron Forbes, Ed Keating,