Gorey end losing streak
Gorey travelled to Ashbourne on Saturday for a league fixture that could define the remainder of their season.
Gorey 21 Ashbourne 21
It finished on a scoreline of 21 points each, but Gorey can feel unlucky, as they controlled large parts of the game and the territory for all but 25 minutes of the second period, and really should have done enough to secure the away win.
The match started with Gorey out of the blocks early, and on nine minutes they were rewarded for their efforts when crisp handling and decisive running saw them open the Ashbourne defence with a superb Dave Shannon try which James Nolan converted.
Ashbourne responded but a resolute Gorey defence saw them go away empty-handed on more than one occasion.
Gorey on the other hand were showing that they meant business and two penalties from James Nolan saw them finish the half on a score of 13-0.
It could have been even better when a superb run by Eoin Walshe, from deep in his own half, saw him stopped inches from the home line, and a try there would have capped a tremendous first-half performance by the Wexford men.
Ashbourne are not a Division 1A side for nothing and their response arrived early in the second-half. Unlike the first period, Gorey were now showing Ashbourne too much space and the first line of defence was easily breached.
A penalty opened the score for the home team. In the next 20 minutes it was all Ashbourne as they grew in confidence and their pack worked their socks off to get into the visitors' '22.
They duly finally crossed for their opening try. Try number two followed shortly to draw the teams level at 13 each.
Ashbourne had their tails up and everything seemed to be going their way. They took the lead with a very contentious try, when a clear knock-on was not picked up by the referee and this allowed them to cross, much to the consternation of the Gorey team.
Gorey were now staring down the barrel of a gun, however they did not panic and somehow they managed to focus their efforts, and a James Nolan penalty reduced the deficit to 18-16. Ashbourne came again though and a further penalty put them out to 21-16.
With five minutes left on the clock, Gorey somehow resurrected their season, when wave after wave of attacks eventually saw the returning Stephen Duke finally cross to draw the teams level at 21 each, with the conversion attempt to come.
It was no more than Gorey deserved. The first attempt touched the post on the outside, but the referee ordered a re-take. The next attempt looked to be sailing over but somehow hit the post to the sound of the referee's whistle.
While not winning, this draw brought an end to a long run of narrow defeats for Gorey. In an all-round good team performance, Gorey had some individuals of note, with David Shannon, James Nolan and Stephen Horan the pick of the backs, while Alex Bond, Darragh Bellanova and man of the match Eoin Walshe were the stand-out forwards.
Next up for Gorey is an away trip to D.L.S.P. next Saturday.
Team: R. Deering, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, J.P. Redmond, A. Bond, E. Walshe, E. Horan, N. Stanley, S. Horan, P De Barra, A. Walsh, J. Nolan, G. Rynhart, N. Copeland, D. Shannon, S. Duke, S. Triggs, M. Whelan, G. Bater, W. Rothwell.