Draw leaves Gorey sec­ond

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT -

ROUND NINE of the Le­in­ster League Di­vi­sion 1A saw Gorey travel to Ash­bourne on Satur­day.

A pul­sat­ing game that had ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing two yel­low cards for the vis­i­tors saw them re­duced to 13 in the space of two min­utes. Gorey can be both dis­ap­pointed and re­lieved to have come away with a share of the points.

Gorey started the brighter and could have scored with two min­utes on the clock if a pass had stuck.

But it was not long un­til they did score when Michael Duke crossed for what look like a per­fect try, only for the lines­man to overule the ref­eree, who had awarded the try, for a foot in touch.

Gorey kept up the pres­sure and dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings but could not un­lock the Ash­bourne de­fence.

Ash­bourne even­tu­ally lifted the siege and worked their way into the Gorey ‘22 for the first time. Af­ter some good phases they were awarded a penalty, and from the line-out they mauled over to even­tu­ally score (5-0).

Gorey were not long in re­ply­ing and were fi­nally re­warded when Stephen Duke split the Ash­bourne de­fence with a beau­ti­ful break to run in un­der the posts. James Nolan con­verted to put Gorey in front.

Gorey con­tin­ued to press and should have ex­tended their lead on at least two oc­ca­sions. In­deed, they could have been out of sight at the break.

The sec­ond-half saw Gorey ex­tend their lead early as Ash­bourne strug­gled to sup­press some strong run­ning by Gar­diner and his pack, and when Gorey moved the ball wide, Ed­die Ho­ran went over in the cor­ner for a well­worked team try. Nolan was just wide with the con­ver­sion at­tempt, leav­ing it 12-5 to Gorey.

Ash­bourne re­sponded and re­ally for the re­main­der of the half were in con­trol. When Gorey were re­duced to 13 men within the space of two min­utes, the signs looked omi­nous.

The de­fence re­mained in­tact, with Ash­bourne un­able to find a way through for that pe­riod.

Ash­bourne did get over but Gorey some­how held them up. Even­tu­ally the Ash­bourne pres­sure paid off and they crossed for a try in the cor­ner when phase af­ter phase fi­nally broke down the vis­i­tors’ de­fence.

A su­perb con­ver­sion drew the teams level to set up a fi­nal ner­vous ten min­utes for Gorey as Ash­bourne went for the win­ner.

Gorey held out to come away with a share of the spoils which keeps them in sec­ond place head­ing into the new year.

James Nolan, Michael Duke and Stephen Ho­ran were the pick of the backs, with Stephen Gar­diner, Dar­ragh O’Leary and man of the match Ed­die Ho­ran strong in the for­wards.

Gorey: D. Bel­lanova, B. O’Con­nor, K. Browne, S. Gar­diner (capt.), D. O’Leary, K. Breen, E. Ho­ran, S. Had­den, S. Ho­ran, S. Duke, J. Naughton, J. Nolan, J. Roth­well, A. Walsh, M. Duke, T. Jame­son, C. Allen, G. Bater, B. Ma­son, L. Mol­loy, R. Har­ring­ton.

David O’Dwyer is tack­led by Ro­nan Greene of Dun­dalk.

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