Impressive Gorey delight home crowd
Gorey blew open the race for the Leinster League Division 1A title on Saturday night when before a crowd in excess of 2,000 at their Clonattin home they comprehensively beat league leaders Enniscorthy 26-6.
The upshot of the shock scoreline is that Gorey now trail Enniscorthy by five points but with a crucial game in hand against struggling Monkstown in a fortnight's time before the final two rounds of games commence two weeks later.
Gorey got the better of a cagey chess-like start to the contest on Saturday night and they were duly rewarded when the referee awarded a penalty try before the end of the first quarter for a collapsed scrum.
The hosts scored a second try five minutes before half-time when winger Andrew Walsh latched on to out-half Stephen Duke's deft kick ahead that sent them to the break leading 12-3.
Despite playing against the wind in the second half the home side's intensity proved to be too much for the league leaders and further tries from No 8 JP Redmond and scrum-half Garret Bater not only ensured the victory but also the precious four-try bonus point that tightens up considerably the race for the crown.
De La Salle Palmerston remain third after their 61-3 demolition of bottom club Suttonians at home in Kirwan Park but with only two games remaining and trailing Enniscorthy by seven points it's seems as if the title is out of range and the Kilternan club will have to be satisfied with a place in next season's All-Ireland Junior Cup.
De La Salle Palmerston kept the pedal to the metal as they ran in 11 tries with six touchdowns coming after the break at which stage they led 26-3 while basement side Suttonians are all but relegated; the northsiders trail Monkstown by 15 points with only three games to play.
The battle at the bottom is equally as enthralling as that at the top with three teams, Monkstown, Clondalkin and Kilkenny battling to avoid seventh place, the dreaded relegation play-off spot.
Monkstown picked up a crucial losing bonus point in their 14-8 defeat away to Ashbourne while the battle at Gordon Park Kingswood went the way of the visitors as Kilkenny took a huge step in vaulting clear of the relegation play-off position with a 23-19 win over Clondalkin.
Winger Evan Dixon scored an early try for Kilkenny but Clondalkin managed to edge 10-8 ahead at half-time and in a fraught second half tries from No 8 Wes Carter and winger Philly Walsh proved decisive in getting the Noresiders over the line.
In the battle to avoid seventh place Kilkenny are fifth on 21 points, Clondalkin a point back and Monkstown, who have a game in hand, are two back with the next big clash tomorrow week when Monkstown welcome Clondalkin to Sydney Parade.
In Division 1B, Malahide are all but assured of winning the title and gaining automatic promotion following their 22-5 away win at the Maws Kilcock against second-placed North Kildare on Sunday.
Railway Union won the Division 2A top-of-the-table clash as they beat leaders Portlaoise to close the gap at the summit to a mere point, Roscrea's lead in Division 2B is extended to eight points after 33-12 win in Moate over Midland Warriors while Clane and Arklow share the top slot in Division 3.