Gorey firsts kept up the pressure on the top two in Division 2A with a win over fourth-placed Roscrea at home on Sunday last. Gorey started the better and a good maul by the pack saw Ken O'Rourke go over for the opening score.
Gorey could have and probably should have scored again but some mishandling saw them turned over deep in the Roscrea '22. The visitors moved the ball up field to score the next try which was really against the run of play, which they converted.
It took Gorey until almost the break to cross the line again as J.P. Redmond finished off a flowing move in the corner as the half-time whistle sounded. It was probably no more than Gorey deserved as they shaded the first period.
The second-half saw the home team up the pressure and again good work by the pack saw Phil Horan barge over for the third try. The bonus point was on but somehow Gorey could not manage that all-important score. They came close on two occasions.
Bryan Dennehy, making his first appearance for the club, sliced through the Roscrea defence to be stopped just short of the line. On the 70th minute, Roscrea managed another try after great work by their pack saw them awarded a penalty try to leave the narrowest of margins between the teams.
This set up a tense final ten minutes as both sides had a chance to score, but defences stood strong for the home side to record their third win on the trot. Gorey had some good performers in the pack, with Ben Horan and J.P. Redmond the pick. Killian Breen, Tomás Sheehy and Garret Bater ran well in a determined back line.
Sunday next sees the Provincial Towns Cup take centre stage. This a competition that Gorey have never won, but have always embraced. Sunday sees Gorey welcome a side which has managed to win it on a number of occasions. Dundalk ply their trade in Division 1A , but Gorey on their day can rattle the best of teams and a real cup battle is assured in Clonattin, with as always a big vocal home support to cheer on the local lads. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.
Team: C. Smith, B. O'Connor, T. Tomkins, S.A. Copeland, S. Gardiner, J.P. Redmond (capt.), P. Horan, B. Horan, G. Bater, A. O'Brien, P.J. Clince, T. Sheehy, C. Peavoy, K. Breen, J. Mannion, K. O'Rourke, M. Woods, J. Ahearne, B. Dennehy, C. Allen.
After last week's disappointing result away to Portlaoise, Gorey seconds moved back into second place in the league with an emphatic win over a weakened Roscrea. Roscrea, who travelled with the bare 15, suffered a major blow when their tight head slipped as he took the field and twisted his ankle to leave them a man down.
Gorey started well and quick hands saw the ball moved wide to Darragh O'Leary who cantered in for the first try. Gorey were not long until they returned again to the visitors' '22 and Tommy Martin scored the first of his three tries.
Roscrea scored next after great work by their pack to drive over from a lineout. Roscrea lost another player and this was to leave them with a mountain to climb.
Gorey increased the pressure and further tries from the outstanding Michael Woods, Tommy O'Reilly, Gregorz Mroczkowski, Derek Leeson, Wayne Peavoy (two) and Tommy Martin (three) saw them run out convincing winners.
But to be fair, Roscrea never gave up despite their numerical disadvantage and made a game of it to the final whistle. Gorey have moved into second place in their league and set up a mouth-watering game against league leaders Malahide when they visit Gorey in a few weeks' time where a bonus point win could see Gorey win the league.
Gorey seconds are away in the Provincial Towns Cup on Sunday week to Midland Warriors. Gorey J3s continue their league with a home match against C.Y.M. on Saturday next at 2.30 p.m.
Team: W. Carney, R. Byrne, C. Owley, J. Fanning, P. Swaine, D. Redmond, M. Woods, D. O'Leary, P. Swaine, T. Martin, T. O'Reilly, W. Peavoy, C. Furney, S. O'Leary, J. Reynolds, G. Leeson, A. Kelly, R. Donoghue.
NEW ROSS RUGBY
The New Ross Under-17s faced Clondalkin in Southknock on Saturday last. Both teams have had an unbeaten run in the Leinster League and were even on points at the top of the group.
The teams started off fairly even but Clondalkin had the upper hand and New Ross found themselves in their own '22. A quick turnover and penalty led New Ross up to the halfway line.
After a couple of phases, Niall Coughlan put up a high ball which was fumbled and ended up in Aaron Fenlon's arms, and he sped past the full-back and over the line. New Ross regained their confidence and drove Clondalkin back into their own half.
Clondalkin were awarded a scrum near their own '22 which was won against the head by Martin O'Connor. Tim Coughlan picked off the back of the scrum and sprinted for the try line. Coughlan showed his agility as he stepped the full-back and touched down the ball to the left of the posts.
The New Ross forwards took control and drove Clondalkin back into their own '22. Eventually Michael Tench barreled his way over the line. Unfortunately, the kick barely scraped wide.
At the end of the half, New Ross lost their concentration and were driven back into their '22. The Clondalkin scrum-half tried a crossfield kick which paid off. At half-time the score was 19-5 to New Ross.
After half-time New Ross increased the intensity and were soon awarded another try scored by Michael Tench who burst through the Clondalkin defence into the right-hand corner. Unfortunately, the kick for the extra two points didn't have the distance.
New Ross didn't show any mercy as another seven points were scored. Adam Swan popped off the ball to Rory Browne who burst through the Clondalkin defence and scrambled over the line.
With ten minutes to go New Ross worked from side to side until the ball found Michael Tench who scored the final try which was converted by Adam Swan who was then substituted.
A penalty was awarded in front of the posts and Garrett Browne slotted the ball over to secure the points. The match ended 41-5 in favour of the New Ross boys and the coaches expressed their satisfaction on a good day's work.
Team: Mark Nolan, Martin O'Connor, John Roche, Michael Tench, Eugene Buckley, Sam Prendergast, Rory Browne, Tim Coughlan, Niall Coughlan, Adam Swan, Eanna Kennedy, James Kinsella, Garrett Browne, Aaron Fenlon, Aaron Kehoe.
S. B. R. A. C.
Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. were out in force in Co. Laois on Sunday last, as club athletes competed on two fronts: in the Leinster Senior cross-country championships in Ballyroan, near Abbeyleix, and in the Great Heath 10 km. road race near Stradbally.
Tom Hogan had a super run in the Leinster Senior, finishing in second place behind Simon Ryan (Raheny Shamrocks A.C.), having been in the leading group from the start and seeing off some of the strongest cross-country runners in the country, never mind the province.
Tom led home the Wexford team, with Tommy McElwaine (S.B.R.), Jason O'Connor (Slaney Olympic) and Ger Moloney (St. Paul's) the other scorers. David Barron (S.O.), Denis Moynihan, Myles Gibbons and Paul Gibbons (all S.B.R.) were the other Wexford competitors.
Five S.B.R. ladies competed in the Great Heath 10 km. road race, and Dena Hogan led home the team, as she in fact won the race outright, having a strong run to clock a time of 41.20. Lillian Lawless, Mary Doyle, Claire Gibbons and Ann Bolger also had good runs in Sunday morning's race too.
Best of luck to all the club's athletes who will be competing in this coming Sunday's Dungarvan ten miles road race in Co. Waterford.
Gorey II 1, Portlaoise 1: In cold conditions in Wicklow on Sunday, Gorey II put in an outstanding performance against table-toppers Portlaoise to earn a draw in this South East Division 2 tie, but they will feel hard done by not leaving Wicklow with the full complement of points.
Two weeks earlier the strong Portlaoise team had held the Gorey first eleven to a high-scoring draw. The game was very exciting from the outset and hockey was the winner. Both teams played an open style of attacking hockey and great entertainment was delivered to those lucky enough to be in attendance.
Portlaoise took the lead early in the match from a deflected second shot on a short corner and really pressed the Gorey outfit. They maybe should have doubled their lead during the early exchanges and would have except for some fantastic stops from Roz McDade in goal. Gorey fought their way into the match in the first-half and Christine Condren, working tirelessly up front, was unlucky not to equalise.
The second-half started at a frantic pace with Gorey going into wave after wave of attack. They created chance after chance and it seemed inevitable that Gorey would eventually get on the scoresheet.
After a number of attacks and some quality defending from Portlaoise, it took an expertly-taken reverse flick from Ciara Tomkins to bring the game all square. After this the game went up and down the pitch with both teams attacking and both creating a number of goalscoring chances. It was exciting stuff and even at the death Gorey could have snatched it with the last short corner, but alas they were denied and both teams will have to be happy with the draw.
For Gorey it was an all-round performance from the team with all players working very hard and playing some attractive hockey. For sure the team performance will have Gorey I team players looking over their shoulders, especially with the Irish quarter-final next week.
A number of players on this performance will feel hard done by if not called up to the firsts over the coming weeks. I'm sure this is a selection problem any club would love to have. Goalkeeper Roz McDade and sweeper Bridget Frih were quality throughout.
Sarah Merrigan was hard-working all day and was well assisted by both Maria Rowlis and young Róisín Pierce in midfield. Up front Christine Condren was a constant thorn in the Portlaoise defence and adapted very comfortably to her new position in the forwards.
On Saturday next, January 26, Gorey I will take on Dungarvan in the Irish Hockey Challenge quarter-final in Friary College, Dungarvan, at 12 noon. All support will be greatly appreciated. Training continues on Wednesday at 8.15 p.m. in Courtown Hibs and new members are always welcome. Thanks to our team sponsor, Jim Byrne's Bar, Carnew, for their support.