GOREY U18s WIN IN ASHBOURNE   06/01/2019


Leinster competition rugby recommenced after the Christmas break with phase 2 of

the Youth’s Premier League. Gorey's U18s travelled to Ashbourne after both teams

successfully progressed from their qualifying groups in December.

Gorey entered the game as slight favourites after their strong showing in the earlier

phase, but Ashbourne is always a difficult place to try come away with a win and

nobody knew how either team would cope after the long Christmas layoff.

It was Gorey who started the strongest, immediately putting the home team under

pressure and within minutes of the start they were threatening the Ashbourne line.

The home team found themselves with a lineout in their own 22, which Gorey

captain Tadhg O’Neill disrupted and an ever-alert Mark Boyle pounced on for the

opening try. Birthday-boy Oisín Fortune made sure of the conversion to leave the

visitors 7 points ahead with just three minutes on the clock. (Ashbourne 0 Gorey 7)

Gorey piled on the pressure immediately after the restart with Alex Rothwell, Joe

Butler and Oran Fitzpartick putting in big hits on their opposite numbers. However as

the half developed, Ashbourne fought back and began to find traction, as Gorey

seemed to lose their shape. There were a number of uncharacteristic missed tackles

from Gorey and players losing their positions, leaving big overlaps, which Ashbourne

failed to capitalise on a number of occasions. Ashbourne could have found

themselves ahead several times, but for unfortunate knock-ons, as well as a couple

of superb covering tackles by Gorey’s Seán Wafer.

However, it was only a matter of time before the home side avoided a number of

attempted tackles and got a well-deserved try. (Ashbourne 5 Gorey 7)

Gorey looked a bit shell-shocked and Ashbourne continued to pile on the pressure,

but with five minutes left in the half, Gorey’s scrum half Cillian Tomkins made a great

interception and ran a good 50 metres heading for the Ashbourne tryline. He was

eventually caught by a quick-footed Ashbourne defender, who floored him, but not

before Tomkins effected the most exquisite offload to the closely chasing Mark Boyle

who got over for his and Gorey’s second try of the game. Fortune added the extras

to leave it Ashbourne 5 Gorey 14.

Ashbourne continued to make life difficult for Gorey, but as the seconds counted

down to half time, Gorey were awarded a penalty in Ashbourne’s 22, which it looked

like outhalf Cathal Stokes would kick for touch, but at the last minute he tapped and

passed to Mark Boyle, who stormed over for his third try of the game. The

conversion was narrowly missed and was followed immediately by the referee’s

whistle for half time to see the visitors go in with a 5 – 19 advantage.

Gorey could probably count themselves lucky to going in a half time with such a

healthy lead, but if the first half was anything to go by, Ashbourne were not a team to

sit back and leave the spoils to Gorey.

The second half kicked-off with Gorey once again the stronger starters and it wasn’t

long before Gorey Hooker Cormac Walsh made one of his signature barnstorming

runs. He beat several defenders before passing to Seán Wafer, who made good

ground before finally passing to the in-form Boyle to score yet again. Fortune’s

conversion extended Gorey’s lead to 05 – 26.

Ashbourne wouldn’t lie down and continued to present problems for Gorey. Some

further last-minute tackles from Seán Wafer foiled what looked like certain try-scoring

opportunities for the home team.

But Ashbourne’s persistence paid off when their outside centre dodged and weaved

to avoid would-be tackles and went through for a well-worked try directly under the

posts. The easy conversion improved the scoreline for the home team to 12 – 26.

Gorey’s strong defence ensured there would be no further breaches by Ashbourne,

but there was to be one more try for Gorey, as Gorey Prop, Niall Kenny made great

yards, beating several Ashbourne defenders before passing to Joe Butler for the last

score of the game. Once again, Fortune made sure of the conversion to leave the

final score Ashbourne 12 Gorey 33.

This was a good win for Gorey, but the scoreline possibly flattered them a little. They

can be very happy with their workmanlike performance and they stuck to the task

right up until the final whistle. Some good performances all round, including from

replacements Cian Kenny and Martin O’Loughlin, but the Man of the Match for his

outstanding individual performance goes to Mark Boyle.

Ashbourne might have made this a much close affair, but for some handling errors at

crucial points in the game. One thing is certain, this game clearly demonstrates that

there will be no “easy” games in this Premier Division and every win will need to be

hard fought.

Next Saturday, 12 th January, Gorey welcome Naas to Clonattin, who are sitting just

one point below the wexford men, after their crushing 34 – 0 home win over

Enniscorthy today.


1.  Niall Kenny

2.  Cormac Walsh

3.  Jack Ryan

4.  Joe Butler

5.  Tadhg O'Neill (Capt)

6.  Frank Kavanagh

7.  Alex Rothwell

8.  Mark Boyle

9.  Cillian Tomkins

10  Cathal Stokes

11. Oran Fitzpatrick

12. Adam Byrne

13. Seán Wafer

14. Brian O’Leary

15. Oisín Fortune


16. Martin O’Loughlin

17. Rhys Slator

18. Cian Kenny

19. Robert Murphy


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