Monday 14 October 2019

Gorey defeated at home

Leinster League 1A: Gorey 12 Wicklow 17

Aidan O’Brien setting a Gorey attack in motion against Wicklow on Saturday
Aidan O’Brien setting a Gorey attack in motion against Wicklow on Saturday

After the heroics of the previous week in the Towns Cup, Gorey returned to Leinster League Division 1A duty with their final home game against Wicklow.

The horrendous weather suggested a game of two halves, and so it proved with both teams dominating playing into the gale-force wind.

Neither team could capitalise on it, other than Wicklow's crucial winning score early in the second-half.

Gorey started with the strong gale-force wind at their backs as they tried to pin the visitors deep into their half, but Wicklow dealt well with the threat as Gorey struggled to get any rhythm to their play, with the visitors defending strongly. 

As the game progressed the visitors started putting some good phases together, and they were rewarded in the 20th minute when Mark Nicholson ran in for the opening try.

Gorey were to fall further behind as Wicklow grew in confidence, and a further try by George Naoupu had the home team at sixes and sevens as their rivals stretched their lead.

The last ten minutes of the half saw Gorey put some good phases together to put pressure on the visitors. Phase after phase saw Gorey batter the Wicklow line, but strong defensive work kept them at bay.

The second-half saw Gorey get off to the worst possible start as they failed to clear their lines, with a series of errors seeing George Naoupu reaching out to touch down to extend Wicklow's lead to 17-0, with Niall Earls adding the conversion.

It was now looking like a hard hill for Gorey to climb with such a deficit and into the gale-force wind.

But, as Wicklow had done in the first-half, Gorey started to get a foothold in the game and protected the ball better as they slowly grew in confidence.

It was their captain, Stephen Gardiner, who led the charge, with Daragh Bellanova, Ciarán Allen and Co. also making some hard yards.

Some good phases saw them deep in the Wicklow half, and when Stephen Gardiner touched down it was just reward for a lot of hard work. James Nolan added the conversion.

Gorey were not long before they were back again, and a similar play took them back to the Wicklow line. Again patience was the key, and again Gardiner touched down, with Nolan just wide with the conversion.

At 17-12 it was anyone's game as Gorey piled on the pressure, but Wicklow settled and held on for the win.

Gorey had some good performances, with Joe Naughton, Andrew Walsh and James Nolan the pick of the backs. Darragh O'Leary, Killian Breen and man of the match Stephen Gardiner were the best of the forwards.

Next week Gorey travel to Enniscorthy for the last league game. With nothing only pride at stake as Enniscorthy have already secured the league, the main focus will be to avoid any unnecessary injuries.

Both sides are still in the Towns Cup, with Enniscorthy also in contention for a place in the A.I.L. Kick-off is at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Gorey: C. Allen, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, S. Gardiner, D. O'Leary, B. Mason, K. Breen, E. Walsh, A. O'Brien, M. Duke, J. Nolan, J. Rothwell, R. Harrington, A. Walsh, J. Naughton, L. Molloy, K. Browne, L. Stephens, S. Hadden, H. Kennedy.

Gorey Guardian