Portarlington Ladies finished off this season league campaign with a home victory over Longford at Lea Road last Sunday.
Having already beaten Longford on the road, Portarlington were confident of a home victory and this confidence showed from the kick off.
Early in the first half the ball was spun wide to winger Sarah Johnson who used her pace to beat the Longford winger and full back. The conversion was accurate and Portarlington were off to a flying start.
Portarlington’s second try came when Catherine Bennett’s kick put the Longford fullback under pressure. A great chase by the Portarlington backline added to Londford’s woes. Bennett managed to grubber the ball through with Caoilfhionn Culliton chasing hard, as the ball crossed the line Culliton dived. The score was now 12-0.
However this early confidence resulted in complacency from Portarlington. A well worked backs move saw Longford reclaim a score of their own. Portarlington were finding it difficult to get out of their own half and Longford were capitalising on their mistakes.
A mauled over try brought the scores level and Portarlington began to react. Portarlington were fighting their way back into the game and were building steadily on the possession but the whistle signalled the end of the half.
With scores level, both teams had nothing to lose in the second half but again it was Portarlington who started with the early promise. The forwards were securing ball at set pieces, with Evelyn Browne testing the Longford hooker at scrum time.
Longford never looked threatening with ball in hand and the Portarlington defence read the game well. In contrast Portarlington’s backline were gaining yards at every attempt. Culliton was working hard in attack, looping around and supporting the wingers. This hard work paid off when she crossed in the corner for her second try.
More success was to come for the back line when Sarah Johnson again used her pace to round the defence and score. In the dying minutes of the game Portarlington never gave up. Another kick from Bennett was spilled by the Longford fullback. Bennett again put boot to ball and sent it towards the try line. She dived on the ball scoring her second try of the game.
Portarlington: Martina Russell, Martina Dunne, Caoilfhionn Culliton, Promise Chapwanya, Sarah Johnson, Catherine Bennett, Kate Tynan; Kim Tully, Evelyn Browne, Geraldine Dunne, Lindsay Graham, Andrea Broughan, Olive Guest. Subs: Laura Oakley for Andrea Broughan