No luck in Longford
WICKLOW 1ST XV travelled to Longford to take on one of the form sides in Leinster League division 1B on their home patch. Wicklow were missing a number of regulars due to suspension and injury but still fielded a strong side.
The game was played on a tight and mucky pitch with persistent rain throughout. Wicklow played with the wind in the first half .
Longford missed three penalties before the fourth was successful. Wicklow had two long range penalty attempts which were narrowly wide.
Wicklow turned around at the break facing into the wind,. They were disappointed with their first half performance but still well in the game.
An early mistake from a Garryowen gave Longford field position . A series of phases in the Wicklow 22 seemed to be well marshalled by the Wicklow defence but a powerful burst by the Longford out half Colm Glynn saw him burst through two attempted tackles to score beneath the posts. The simple conversion was added and Longford lead 10 - 0.
There was still plenty of time left for Wicklow to get back into the game. They put in a much better shift in the second half but the conditions and a resolute Longford defence made it difficult to get into a position to score.
Wicklow dominated proceedings for much of the second period but the scores would not come. They played some good rugby, but little errors saw them come undone at crucial times. A costly penalty was conceded with fifteen minutes on the clock that meant Longford stretched their lead to 13 - 0. It also meant Wicklow needed to score a converted try or two penalties to secure a losing bonus point.
With ten minutes to go Wicklow were camped on the Longford line for long periods but they just could not get the score despite being held up over the line on a number of occasions.
The ultimate goal of promotion to division 1A is still very attainable. There is no room for error and it is likely that Wicklow will have to win all five remaining games to finish second. Wicklow's main rivals Clondalkin come to Ashtown Lane next weekend for what is shaping up to be the biggest game of the season. A win against Clondalkin could move Wicklow back into second place and in pole position to win the coveted play off spot for promotion to division 1A. Kick off is at 1pm for the seconds and 2.30pm for the firsts.