Mixed fortunes for Gorey
Ashbourne 27 Gorey 18
With all other clubs in Division 1A on a rest week, Gorey welcomed Ashbourne to Clonattin for their re-arranged Leinster League match from week one.
After the previous week's disappointing result at home to Wicklow, Gorey needed to get their campaign back on track and nothing other than a win was required.
Ashbourne, who were unbeaten after their first two games, arrived full of confidence and historically always proved a tough opponent to crack.
The opening quarter was evenly contested as both teams' defences were in control, and after ten minutes Ashbourne opened the scoring with a penalty.
Gorey's response was swift as they pinned the visitors in their '22. The Ashbourne defence were standing up well but, when Gorey moved the ball wide, Eoin Walsh touched down after some excellent handling. Gorey were now showing some intent with Garrett Bater and David Shannon running the hard lines.
After Ashbourne conceded a number of penalties, Gorey arrived on the five-metre line. From the line-out and subsequent maul, James Mulligan crashed over to extend Gorey's lead to 10-3.
Gorey were now looking good but it was to be shortlived. They were really the architects of their own downfall when they failed to exit their '22 efficiently. Ashbourne seized on the opportunity and a try and a conversion had the teams level.
Gorey restored their lead to 13-10 with a Steven Duke penalty. Ashbourne were to finish the half stronger and a breakaway try saw them lead 15-13 at the break.
The second-half saw Gorey turn with the breeze at their back but it was Ashbourne who started the better as they kept the ball tight. On the 55th minute they extended their lead to 20-13.
The game was now starting to open up as Gorey moved the ball at every opportunity. They were rewarded for this when David Shannon ran through to score and leave two between the teams.
Gorey were now back in the game and when Steven Duke latched on to a poor clearance and ran for the Ashbourne line, it looked odds on he would score, but a last-ditch tackle allowed the cover to get across and snuff out the threat.
From almost scoring, Gorey received a knockout blow when Ashbourne picked and carried their way deep into the Gorey half to score a simple try which they converted to leave the final score at 27-18.
While this was a marked improvement on the previous week, Gorey will be disappointed with their execution, both in attack and defence.
The chances were definitely there and with a bit more composure could have yielded a more positive result. Garret Bater and Eoin Walsh performed well, with Jordan Ahearne the man of the match for Gorey.
Gorey: W. Rothwell, B. O'Connor, J. Mulligan, D. O'Leary, S. Gardiner, J. Ahearne, M. Whelan, E. Horan, S. Horan, S. Duke, G. Bater, E. Walsh, A. Walshe, T. New, D. Shannon, T. Jameson, D. Gregan, S. Horan, J. Willoughby, F. Bolger, P. Horan, C. Butler.
Gorey 18, Monkstown 10: Gorey travelled to Monkstown on Saturday for a very important game for both teams in the Leinster League.
Monkstown had lost their opening three games, with Gorey winning their away fixture to Boyne and losing their next two home games.
On a cracking day for rugby, the game started at a fast pace with the visitors shading the opening exchanges. Gorey could have opened the scoring on one or two occasions but in the 13th minute they were finally rewarded when the referee awarded a penalty try after Monkstown infringed as Gorey went for a pushover try.
For the next 15 minutes the visitors kept up the pressure, with Conor Butler and Steven Duke directing the game, but on the 28-minute mark Monkstown worked their way up the pitch to score under the posts and bring the sides level.
Both sides had a yellow card each in the closing minutes of the half, but Monkstown went into the lead with a penalty to leave the score at 10-7 at half-time.
The second-half saw Gorey, as they did in the opening half, putting pressure on Monkstown. A David Shannon penalty drew the sides level.
Gorey were now beginning to put some good phases together, and when Steven Gardiner went on a rampaging run that saw him stopped just short it looked as if they were finally starting to play the rugby they are capable of.
They spurned two chances to extend their lead, with two adjudged forward passes denying them a score. A red card for Gorey's Steven Gardiner looked ominous but somehow the visitors kept the pressure up and extended their lead with 20 minutes to go with a Steven Duke penalty.
Monkstown rallied as they saw the game slipping away and put some good phases together. But when things are not going your way, the harder you try it just wouldn't happen for them as the Gorey defence stood firm.
Gorey just about weathered the storm and as the game moved into the final ten minutes they put two scores between the sides after David Shannon ran from the halfway line to put Garett Bater in for a try to take the score to 18-10.
The last few minutes were hectic as Monkstown threw caution to the wind, but Gorey held out to secure a crucial win.
Eoin Walsh, Steven Duke and David Shannon were the pick of the backs, but it was the pack that laid the foundation for this victory, with Steven Gardiner, Eddie Horan and man of the match Killian Breen in great form.
Next week Gorey are at home to league leaders De La Salle Palmerston who have got off to a great start. Kick-off is at 3 p.m.
Gorey: D. Gregan, P. Horan, J. Mulligan, D. O'Leary, S. Gardiner, E. Horan, K. Breen, J. Ahearne, C. Butler, S. Duke, G. Bater, O. Walsh, A. Walshe, T. New, D. Shannon, T. Jameson, W. Rothwell, P. Horan, P. O'Connor, B. O'Connor.