Reality check for Gorey
After the excitement of their South East final victory over Enniscorthy the previous week, Gorey J1s got back to the serious business of the Leinster League on Sunday.
With a number of important league games scheduled in the coming weeks, first up was an away trip to near neighbours Wicklow. Wicklow have been on a serious run of form of late, with big wins over Carlow and Newbridge.
With this in mind, Gorey knew they would have to be at their best to get a result out of this game as Wicklow on their day are a match for any team. The game was played in ideal conditions with a slight breeze across the pitch, and Wicklow were the first out of the blocks when they were awarded a penalty which they scored.
From the kick-off Gorey upped their game and put the home team under pressure but could not break down the Wicklow defence. During this phase Gorey turned down a number of penalty kicks and went for the corner instead, but try as they might they just could not get over the Wicklow line.
Wicklow weathered the storm and worked their way up the field and, following a few phases of play, scored in the corner, which they did not convert.
Soon after Gorey got on the scoresheet with a Brendon Spears penalty. With half-time approaching a long clearance down the field saw the Wicklow winger failing to clear. Gorey pressed hard and after a number of phases of play finally got over when Jeff Dunne ran in for a well-taken try. Brendon Spears converted to put Gorey 10-8 up at half-time.
The second-half became a dogged affair as both defences proved hard to break down. Neither team really looked like scoring a try so it was down to who could keep the penalty count down.
Wicklow were first to score after a Gorey infringement at a ruck to regain the lead (11-10). The score remained like this deep into the half as Gorey pressed hard for an opening but, unlike the week before, it just was not happening.
Eventually they worked their way into the Wicklow half and were awarded a penalty which restored their lead by the narrowest of margins. It was shortlived however since, as so often happens from the kick-off, Gorey gave away a penalty for Wicklow to quickly regain their lead. Gorey huffed and puffed but could not break down a determined Wicklow defence who hung on to win 14-13.
Gorey really can have no complaints as the home team shaded an entertaining game between two very committed sides. Even in defeat Gorey had some good performances from Ben Horan, Barry O'Connor and Jordan Ahearne in the pack, with Brendon Spears, Killian Breen and Aidan O'Brien the pick of the backs.
Next weekend sees Gorey welcome Longford to Clonattin with a 2.30 p.m. kick-off.
Gorey: J. Mulligan, B. O'Connor, C. Allen, J.P. Redmond, A. Copeland, J. Ahearne (capt.), M. Woods, J. Dunne, A. O'Brien, S. Luby, K. Breen, M. Bater, P.J. Clince, B. Spears, G. Bater, R. Deering, B. Horan, R. Harrington, F. Bolger, S. Byrne.