The South East Cup, once a major event on the rugby calendar saw Gorey take on Wicklow in an entertaining game last Sunday in Arklow.

While the Leinster league has now taken over in importance, and with the holiday season both sides had to dig into their respective panels with a lot of youth featuring throughout. This did not take from an entertaining game with Gorey on the day just about having that bit more experience to lift the Cup on a score of 21 - 12.

Gorey opted to play with the wind but it was Wicklow who shaded the early stages as they moved the ball with purpose and width. This took them deep into the Gorey 22 and a number of phases later Alex Porter crossed for the opening try.

Wicklow kept moving the ball at every opportunity but the Gorey defence was now coping and keeping Wicklow deep in their half. Twenty minutes in and Gorey were back on level terms when a turnover and quick hands saw Dave Shannon come into the line to cut through the Wicklow back line for a try, Cian Hadden landed the conversion, 7 - 5.

Into the strong wind Wicklow stuck to their game plan with their backs looking lively when in possession. But it’s sometimes difficult to keep that intensity going and when Gorey managed another turnover inside the Wicklow half a quick thinking Cormac Walsh, on his first outing in the first team, showed great maturity to step a number of defenders to put his older brother Eoin through for a superb try. Cian Hadden added the conversion.

The final ten minutes of the half was nip and tuck with Gorey having a long range Dave Shannon penalty attempt just dropping short.

The restart saw Gorey like Wicklow in the first half dominate the early proceedings.
Gorey were now edging the forward battle as Daragh O'Leary and Willie Earle kept the forwards on the front foot. Phase after phase and a number of penalties later Wicklow were reduced to 14 men.

Gorey finally made the territory pay when after a series of scrums, Aaron Davies crossed for a try, Cian Hadden landed a tremendous conversion from the touchline.
to take the score to 21 - 5.

The game was now entering the final quarter and Wicklow were now putting Gorey under a lot of pressure with some good carries from the pack. Again they asked questions of the Gorey rearguard and when Gorey were reduced to 14 men, Wicklow finally crossed the line when again Alex Porter touched down, Niall Earls added the conversion to leave 9 between the sides.

Wicklow kept pushing but Gorey held tight for the remaining 10 minutes to hold on for a win to lift the South East Cup for the first time in five years.

Gorey had some good performances in the backs with Dave Shannon, Flynn Donnelly and Cian Hadden showing well.
But it was in the forwards where this game was won with the front five shading the exchanges in the set pieces, while the back row of Walsh, Horan and Ahern played well throughout.

Gorey are back in League duty on sat January 11th with an away trip to Dundalk.

W Rothwell C Walsh K Browne D O Leary Capt W Earle E Walsh B Horan J Ahearn A Davis C Hadden F Donnelly B Brooks H Kennedy J Naughton D Shannon S Hadden B Mason J Willoughby D Slator C Reynolds


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