Gorey firsts get out of jail
Gorey welcomed Monkstown to Clonattin on Saturday in a Leinster League Division 1A game of immense importance to both clubs.
Gorey 12 Monkstown 10
Both were in a must-win situation, as they hover in the bottom half of the table, and what was served up was a game of huge intensity, commitment and no shortage of skill. How these two teams are in this situation says a lot about the standard of this league.
Monkstown set out their stall early with an intensity that belied their league position. Gorey struggled in the early exchanges but their defence stood firm.
Town opened the scoring with a well-worked try that saw them breach the Gorey line with a great break from their inside centre. The Gorey response was good and soon they had the visitors' line in their sights, only to fluff their lines on at least two occasions.
A combination of a determined visitors' defence and an over-eagerness by Gorey was proving costly, and on one such visit inside the Town '22, as Gorey looked to open their account, an intercept pass saw their lively winger run the length of the pitch to score under the posts.
Somehow the kicker managed to drive the ball wide of the posts, for the second time, to leave the score at 10-0 to Monkstown.
In fairness, this score was completely against the run of play as Gorey had dominated for a prolonged period.
They finally did get on the scoreboard with a James Nolan penalty and that was how it stayed until half-time.
The second-half offered more of the same with both teams prepared to run at every opportunity. Gorey were starting to put some good phases together but still could not get the breakthrough.
Another James Nolan penalty reduced the Monkstown lead to four. But unlike the previous week, when everything went right for Gorey, this was proving a different story as Monkstown defended their territory to a man.
Gorey kept up the pressure, with captain J.P. Redmond and Mark Whelan making the hard yards. They reduced the score to the minimum with another James Nolan penalty.
The clock was now ticking fast for Gorey as they entered the final minutes, but they never gave up, and a final assault saw them enter the Monkstown '22 looking for a chink in their armour.
The opportunity came when Town were penalised for a high tackle. James Nolan stepped up and coolly kicked Gorey into the lead for the first time with seconds left on the clock.
The game re-started but time was now on Gorey's side, and after a short passage the referee sounded the final whistle for what was probably one of the most important results in a long time for Gorey.
They definitely used their get out of jail card here as Monkstown stuck to their task all day and will feel a bit unlucky to go away with just one point.
Gorey had some big performers in the pack with J.P. Redmond, Barry O'Connor and Richard Deering the pick.
Stephen Horan, Stephen Duke and man of the match James Nolan showed well in the backs.
The lads have no game until the first weekend in January.
Team: R. Deering, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, J.P. Redmond, A. Bond, D. O'Leary, B. Horan, M. Whelan, S. Horan, S. Duke, A. Walsh, J. Nolan, E. Walsh, N. Copeland, D. Shannon, S. Hadden, S. Triggs, G. Bater, G. Rynhart, W. Rothwell.
The Gorey J2s entertained Monkstown at home on Saturday, and for the second week in a row they had to come from behind to win.
This was a very entertaining game as both sides tried to move the ball at every opportunity. Like their first team, Monkstown were first out of the blocks and worked hard to establish territory in the Gorey half.
Scores were hard to come by and it was a home team mistake that handed the initiative to the visitors. They duly accepted, and cantered over for the opening try which they also converted.
Gorey replied and put some good phases together themselves with good work from the pack, but three points was all they had to show as they arrived at half-time.
The second-half saw Monkstown dominate the opening exchanges. They increased their lead to 14-3 with an intercept as Gorey tried to move the ball out of their half.
With 25 minutes left Gorey turned the game on its head as a Conor Butler penalty reduced the deficit.
Drama was to follow as Gorey started to put the phases together and they were rewarded for their efforts when Eoin Scannell barged over after sustained pressure by the forwards.
Gorey now sensed they could win this game with five minutes left. Sustained pressure was finally rewarded when Tommy Newe crossed for a try after tremendous work by the whole team.
Conor Butler converted and Gorey had completed a remarkable comeback to take the four points.
Conor Butler, Tommy Newe and Josh Thomas were excellent in the backs, with Zack Sinnott, Willie Rothwell and Tom Tomkins showing well in an excellent forward performance.
Team: W. Rothwell, E. Scallan, A. Kinsella, Z. Sinnott, B. Horan, R. Hughes, S. Triggs, H. Gaizer, G. Bater, C. Butler, J. Thomas, S. Byrne, S. Carty, T. Newe, L. Willoughby, W. O Morchoe, T. Tomkins, M. Woods, R. Harrington, D. O'Neill.