J1S MOVE INTO 4TH PLACE   15/01/2017

Gorey J1's had a crunch game at home to Kilkenny on Saturday last. Both teams were in search of crucial points as we near the business end of the season. On an ideal day for rugby, and despite their good win away to Dundalk last weekend, Gorey knew from the word go that Kilkenny would be hard nut to crack as a win would get them out of the relegation zone.

Both teams started at a high tempo with neither side making any great ground. But Gorey were the first to raise the flag with a James Nolan penalty. Kilkenny were working hard and trying to move the ball wide at every opportunity, but this was generally from their own territory. Eventually they did kick down field, the ball was caught by fullback Dave Shanahan, he took off back towards the Kilkenny line weaving in and out of would be tacklers to somehow find his way under the posts for a fine individual try, which James Nolan converted, to extend Gorey's lead to 10 - 0. On 35 minutes Kilkenny applied consistent good pressure and, after a Gorey infringement, were awarded a penalty to reduce the lead to 10 - 3. Halftime arrived with Gorey just about deserving their lead.

The restart saw Gorey immediately on the attack and within two minutes another James Nolan penalty extended their lead to 13 - 3. Gorey were starting to edge the exchanges as the pack to a man took the game to the visitors. But the Kilkenny defence was proving hard to break down. Tremendous work by the pack saw Gorey move the ball through the hands for Mark Whelan to cross for what look like a certain try, only for the ref to adjudge the ball was held up. Shortly after that Phil De Barra again crossed the line for a certain try only for the ref to call back for a Gorey scrum which to all should have been allowed. But if you keep knocking at the door eventually someone will open it and in the final minutes Stephen Duke finally put the game to bed, after good interchanging between backs and forwards, saw him run in for James Nolan to convert. 20 - 3 was how it ended but this game was a lot tighter than the score might suggest as Kilkenny never gave up. Gorey had some big performers in the backs with James Nolan, Stephen Duke and David Shannon the pick, the front row to a man were immense along with Ben Horan, Darragh O Leary got the nod for the man of the match.

Next weekend sees Gorey make the short journey to near neighbours Enniscorthy for what is always a ding dong battle between these two sides. Kick off is 2.30 at Ross road.

1. R Deering 2. B O Connor 3. D Bellanova 4. D O'Leary 5. A Bond 6. M Whelan 7. B. Horan 8. J P Redmond 9. S Horan 10. S Dukes 11. A Walsh 12. J Nolan 13. G Rynhart 14. J Butterworth 15. D Shannon 16. E Walsh 17. S Triggs 18. J Mulligan 19.S Hadden 20. P De Barra


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