Gorey 6 Bective Rangers 26
THE FINAL game of the league saw the Gorey J2 team welcome Bective to Clonattin on Saturday. The home team were on top with one point separating them, so it was a winner-takes-all contest with no reprieve for the losers.
The conditions were not ideal as a lot of overnight rain left the surface very tacky.
Bective started at a tremendous pace as they moved the ball with width and purpose, but the Gorey defence dealt with the opening exchanges.
Gorey slowly began to get a foothold, with some excellent carries from Shay Guilfoyle, Harry Stacey and Cameron Reynolds taking them deep into the visitors’ ’22.
Phase after phase followed before the inevitable penalty arrived, and Finlay Nolan stepped up to open the scoring.
Five minutes later, Nolan added his second penalty after Gorey again moved the ball with some excellent exchanges between the backs and the forwards.
Deep in injury time, Bective got on the scoreboard when Gorey failed to clear their lines and the resulting play saw the visitors go over for a try and a conversion from the corner to lead at the break.
The restart saw Bective start at a high tempo, and it was not long until they added try number two to go 14-6 ahead.
Gorey rallied with Ewan Stephens and Adam Cleary punching some holes in the Bective defence. Another penalty was earned but this time Finlay was just wide.
Gorey kept the pressure up with some good play and hard work, but the visitors’ defence was proving difficult to breach and Bective were now growing in confidence.
And so it proved when a tiring Gorey saw the game slip away, with Bective scoring two tries in the final 15 minutes to stretch their lead to 26-6.
Bective were the more clinical when in attack, but for this young Gorey team to be in contention right up to the final day was a great achievement, considering they used nearly 30 players throughout the season.
Coaches Richard Jones and Philip Swaine have done a great job with this team, with many of them being called up on occasions when needed for the J1s. The next game will be away to Naas in the seconds’ Towns Cup.
Gorey: J. Ryan, D. Fitzpatrick, S. Guilfoyle, T. Jameson, C. Reynolds, H. Stacey, E. Stephens, A. Cleary, S. Tomkins, R. Gibney, C. Tomkins, L. Willoughby, F. Bolger, J. Kinsella, F. Nolan, J. Mulligan, A. Rothwell, D. Byrne, C. Browne, Dan Byrne, M. Donoghue, C. Sullivan, C. Power, R. Slator.