Ashbourne put in big team effort to beat Gorey
ASHBOURNE have a top-of-thetable clash away to DLSP to look forward to next weekend after the south Meath side overcame Gorey in last Saturday’s back fixture.
The Wexford outfit are seen by many as one of the league favourites, but right from the start Ashbourne had the bit between their teeth and good early pressure resulted in a penalty which Gavin Kennedy slotted between the posts.
However, from the kick-off possession went to Gorey and after going through 15 phases they eventually created an overlap in the corner to go over for an unconverted try.
Not long after Ashbourne captain Kennedy was sinbinned and Gorey put the resulting penalty into touch in the 22 before winning lineout possession. From the set piece they put together the maul and eventually rolled over the line for their second try, which again was not converted. That left the visitors trailing 10-3 on the halfhour mark, but coming up to the half-time break they hauled themselves level.
Having won a penalty they kicked to the corner and won the resulting lineout. Now it was Ashbourne’s turn to bring the maul into play, but this one was pulled down in full flight and the offence resulted in a yellow card for Gorey.
Ashbourne turned down the resulting shot at goal and went for a scrum and this resulted in a penalty try was converted by Kennedy, tying up the score at 10-10.
After some good defence initially from the restart a silly penalty was given away in midfield and Gorey’s kicker made no mistake to give his team a 13-10 lead.
But there was still time for another play before half-time and Ashbourne went back on the attack and from good turnover ball in the middle of the field Jake Wall kicked the ball through to Gorey’s five-metre line. Simon Deevy and Wall put the Gorey defenders under pressure as they tried to rescue the situation and when the ball squirted out Kennedy pounced and touched down for an unconverted try which gave Ashbourne a 15-13 advantage at the interval.
The second half started with the respective defences ruling the game for the first 10 minutes - until great work in the lineout from Ashbourne’s pack resulted in the visitors mauling into the Gorey 22.
The ball was fed to Donal Crotty who found Joey Szpara hitting the line at a great angle to go in under the posts. Somehow the try wasn’t converted, but Ashbourne’s lead now looked a bit more comfortable at 20-13.
Five minutes later, though, the outcome was right back in the melting pot when a mistake from the visitors was pounced on and Gorey got over for their third try, which mercifully wasn’t converted.
Nevertheless, with Sean Kent being sin-binned in the aftermath of that score the momentum seemed to be with Gorey.
In the end it took a bit of class to secure victory for Ashbourne.
With the clock showing 75 minutes played, the speedy Adam Martin scored a sensational try with a solo run from his own half, beating multiple defenders and leaving them in his wake.
His effort effectively made sure of the win and also earned Ashbourne a four-try bonus, with Kennedy adding the extras to leave Gorey needing to score twice.
Overall, there is still work to be done, but this was a great team effort, with stand-out performances from Frank Keegan, Jake Wall, Deevy, Szpara and Martin together with the replacements. Ashbourne are now joint top of the table and meet fellow table-toppers De la Salle Palmerston this coming Saturday, away from home.
ASHBOURNE: Ben O’reilly, Scott Crowley, Jack O’brien, Adam Martin, Matt Crowley, Donal Crotty, Gavin Kennedy, Frank Keegan, Brendan Meehan, Ciaran Roche, Sean Kent, Josef Szpara, Simon Deevy, Sean Mckeon, Jake Wall Replacements: James Mccaghy, Alan Wall, Jeff Mahon, Shane Bass, Andrew Gibson.
DIV 1A TABLE