Sat 28th January 2017



All eyes in Leinster focused on cups as the various knock-out competitions kicked off across the province today.

Gorey RFC’s U17s had a tough away draw to Navan and hit the road early for the long trip to the Royal County.

This was always going to be one of the key fixtures of this first round of the cup, as these two talented teams ply their trade in the Premier League. Gorey came into the game topping Section B of the league with Navan in contrast propping up the table in Section A. However, as all rugby fans know, league form can go out the window when it comes to the cut and thrust of knockout cup competition and Navan were sure to be looking to take full advantage of a home fixture.

Gorey started the stronger forcing Navan to defend in their own half for the opening phases of the game. Some great carries by Gorey hooker, Toby Falconer, as well as some characteristically fierce tackling by Mark Kehoe made things difficult for the home team and it was all they could to do relieve the pressure by kicking the ball away, only for Gorey to come steaming back at them once again.

Kicking for touch didn’t serve the home team well, as Gorey’s lineouts were operating superbly and it was from one these that Tadhg O’Neill fed the ball to Cillian Tomkins whose attempted clearance kick was cleanly caught by a Navan forward and it looked like the home team may get through on the half hour mark to have the opening score against the run of play. But quick thinking and hands by Gorey winger Flynn Donnelly meant that he intercepted the final pass and ran for the Navan tryline. Donnelly’s incredible speed allowed him to evade the chasing defenders and open the score for Gorey in the corner. (Navan 0 – Gorey 5)

Gorey continued to pile on the pressure from the kick-off and their scrum was also proving very strong, with the front row combination of Jack Ryan, Toby Falconer and Niall Kenny as solid as a rock.

Navan were reduced to 14 men when they had a player sin-binned for consistent infringement in the ruck and it was from one such penalty that Gorey were able to extend their lead with just a minute remaining in the first half. (Navan 0 – Gorey 8)


Gorey started the second half strongly and in the first few minutes seemed to be through once again as centre Mark Boyle kicked ahead and ran to catch his own kick but was illegally blocked resulting in a second yellow card for a Navan player.

From the penalty, the ball was fed out to Boyle’s centre partner Seán Wafer who, despite the attention of several defenders, burst over the line for a well-deserved Gorey try. (Navan 0 – Gorey 17)

Minutes later Gorey once again broke the Navan defensive line when Cian Kenny went over the line, but the ball was held up.

Gorey flanker Adam Byrne was having a good game and their strong scrum on the 5-metre line was as solid as ever and allowed the ball to be passed to Gorey’s strong centre Mark Boyle who made sure of his try. (Navan 0 – Gorey 22)

To be fair to this game Navan team, they never gave up and the made Gorey defend, which they done well to a man.  Gorey winger Henry Kennedy looked sure to be in for a try as he sprinted down his wing, only to be bundled into touch metres from the line with a superb covering tackle by his Navan opposite number.

Gorey’s Number 8 Frank Kavanagh proved very strong and he turned over quite a few balls for the visitors.

Twenty minutes into the second half saw Gorey once again threatening the Navan tryline and when the ball came out to Gorey second rower, Tadhg O’Neill, he feinted to avoid attendant defenders and used his long reach to place the ball under the posts. which was converted by the reliable boot of Oisín Fortune. (Navan 0 – Gorey 29)

Gorey continued to defend well with some super tackling by Robert Murphy and their set pieces were operating well. Scrum half Cillian Tomkins made several good breaks and proved very difficult to stop when he did.

As the game approached the final stages, Tomkins made one such break and the ball was taken up by flanker Robert Murphy who broke several tackles to get his own try to top a great performance by him.

Gorey will meet Tullow in Round 2, but first their attention switches back to the league next week with another long trip to Boyne, which will be a tough game for them.

This was a solid team performance with every man stepping up to the plate and give 100% from the very start to the final whistle.


Jack Ryan

Toby Falconer

Niall Kenny

Tadhg O’Neill

Cian Kenny

Adam Byrne

Robert Murphy

Frank Kavanagh

Cillian Tomkins

Mark Kehoe

Henry Kennedy

Mark Boyle

Seán Wafer

Flynn Donnelly

Oisín Fortune


Kyle Donnelly

Dylan Sawyer

Joe Butler

Alex Rothwell

Ryan Kinsella

Mark Doyle


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