Gorey hold on to sec­ond place with a nar­row win

Gar­diner in­spires nar­row win

Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT -


AN EX­CEL­LENT dis­play from cap­tain Stephen Gar­diner saw Gorey just about de­serve the points in an en­ter­tain­ing Leinster League Di­vi­sion 1A game at Clonat­tin on Satur­day.

Gorey got off to a good start but could not find a rhythm to cap­i­talise on their ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage as the Bec­tive de­fence stood up well.

It took a tremen­dous line break by cap­tain Stephen Gar­diner that fi­nally cracked the vis­i­tors’ de­fence and, hav­ing done all the hard work, he off-loaded to Ethan Bad­ham to go in un­der the posts. James Nolan added the con­ver­sion.

Gorey should have kicked on but Bec­tive started to find some mo­men­tum and be­lief.

It did not take them long to take ad­van­tage, and they drew level with a try and con­ver­sion which left the sides level at the break.

Af­ter the in­ter­val Bec­tive quickly added a penalty to take the lead.

Bec­tive shocked the home sup­port when they went over for a try to ex­tend their ad­van­tage to 15-7.

Star­ing de­feat in the face but with 25 min­utes still left on the clock, Gorey started to put some phases to­gether.

A con­tin­u­ous bar­rage into the Bec­tive ‘22 with some good car­ries by the pack fi­nally yielded re­sults. A James Nolan penalty re­duced the lead to one score.

From the re-start Gorey were again back on the at­tack. They looked to be go­ing over in the cor­ner, but a de­lib­er­ate knock-on saw Bec­tive re­duced to 14.

They did not have to wait long with the re­sult­ing line-out, and a num­ber of phases later winger An­drew Walsh fi­nally crossed af­ter the vis­i­tors’ de­fence ran out of num­bers.

Bec­tive did not lie down, and when Gorey had a penalty de­ci­sion re­versed they kicked deep into the op­po­si­tion half.

From the next phases of play a cru­cial try-saving tackle by Ed­die Ho­ran in the cor­ner saw Gorey win the sub­se­quent line-out.

Gorey worked their way out and quick hands through the backs saw An­drew Walsh race from deep in­side his ’22 to out­strip the Bec­tive de­fence and put Gorey 20-15 ahead with ten min­utes left.

It was still not over as Bec­tive tried to get back, but Gorey hung on for a cru­cial win to stay in sec­ond place.

Gorey had some good per­for­mances, with Michael Duke, James Nolan and An­drew Walsh the pick of the backs.

The for­wards were not found want­ing ei­ther, with Kevin Browne, Stan­ley Had­den and man of the match Stephen Gar­diner show­ing well.

Gorey are away to Kilkenny next week, with the first round of the Towns Cup on Sun­day, Jan­uary 20, when Port­laoise will pro­vide the op­po­si­tion in Clonat­tin.

Gorey: D. Bel­lanova, E. Bad­ham, K. Browne, S. Gar­diner (capt.), E. Ho­ran, K. Breen, B. Ma­son, S. Had­den, S. Ho­ran, S. Duke, R. Har­ring­ton, J. Nolan, J. Roth­well, A. Walsh, M. Duke, T. Jame­son, E. Walsh, J. Naughton, L. Stephens, D. Gre­gan.

Stephen Ho­ran puts his low cen­tre of grav­ity to good use as he spots a gap in the Bec­tive de­fen­sive lines.

Stephen Gar­diner pow­ers away from Bec­tive’s Phil McCarthy.

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