Gorey defeated up north
Instonians 22 Gorey 16
The All-Ireland Junior Cup saw Gorey travel north to take on Instonians in the first round on Saturday. In a game played with a strong wind blowing down the pitch, Gorey lost out on a score of 22-16.
Gorey played into the wind in the first-half and after 30 minutes only trailed Instonians to two Frazer Wright penalties. If Gorey had been more clinical they could have been in front as twice during that period they threatened the home line.
But the strong wind meant any slip up resulted in big kicks downfield, forcing Gorey to run from deep. From such a clearance Instonians finally capitalised when the visitors coughed up a ball at a breakdown inside their own '22.
Instonians moved the ball wide for wing Michael Melville to score a fine try to extend their lead to 11-0.
Two yellow cards to Instonians in the space of a few minutes saw Gorey again deep in the home '22, and they finally scored when Jordan Ahearne crossed for Steven Horan to convert, leaving five between the sides.
Gorey were right back in the game, but from the re-start they failed to clear their lines and coughed up a simple penalty for Wright to extend the gap to 14-7 at half-time.
From the re-start Instonians worked their way into the visitors' '22 to force a penalty, and again Frazer Wright slotted the kick.
With the wind at their backs, Gorey would have fancied their chances to overhaul a one-score lead. But Instonians had other ideas and from the kick-off they retained good possession to work their way to the Gorey '22 and force a penalty. Wright obliged to leave ten between the sides.
Gorey huffed and puffed but found the Instonians defence difficult to break down, with Dave Shannon finally raising a flag when he dropped a goal from the halfway line.
Gorey were now coming more into the game but suffered a setback when Phil Horan was yellow-carded at a crucial stage. Steven Horan slotted another penalty to leave four between the sides.
A further dubious yellow to Garret Bater did not help matters. Gorey threw caution to the wind but Instonians, after some good work from the pack with former Ulster star Roger Wilson directing operations, were back deep in Gorey territory and restored their lead to eight to leave the visitors needing two scores for a win.
Gorey reduced the lead to six after some excellent play saw them in the home '22, and an infringement saw Steven Horan slot the resulting penalty to leave the score at 22-16.
That was how it stayed and Gorey bowed out as Instonians wound down the clock to advance to the quarter-finals.
Next Saturday sees Gorey return to the Leinster League when they host Enniscorthy in what is always a great game, with the match doubling as a South-East fixture too. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. in Clonattin.
Gorey: J. Mulligan, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, D. O'Leary, S. Gardiner, K. Breen, J. Ahern, P. Horan, C. Butler, M. Swarts, G. Bater, S. Horan, A. Walsh, T. New, D. Shannon (capt.), F. Bolger, D. Gregan, T. Jameson, E. Walsh, J. Willoughby, W. Rothwell.