Under-17 crew under guidance of new coach
Gorey's Under-17s made their first outing recently, travelling to Tullow to play a South-East League fixture.
Gorey 29 Tullow 7
This was not just the first game for these two teams coming together (with the Under-15s moving up to join the younger Under-17s from last season), it was also the first game under the new coaching and management team of Philip Doyle (head coach), Ken Kenny and Declan Gibney with Nicola Doyle the new manager.
The day turned out to be beautifully sunny with practically no wind, perfect rugby conditions in stark contrast to the rain storms the day before.
Both Gorey and Tullow were missing a large number of players due to the ongoing G.A.A. season. Tullow fielded a physically larger team and it looked like Gorey were going to have a tough day at the office.
This feeling was confirmed when after just three minutes, Tullow cut through Gorey's defence off a scrum in their '22 to score their first try which was converted to leave the home side 7-0 up.
Tullow continued to pile on the pressure from the kick-off and a few handling errors meant Gorey found themselves pinned in their own '22. But Gorey had now organised their defensive line very well and were proving impossible to penetrate.
It didn't take long for Gorey to put together a number of silky passes and quickly work themselves up the field for a superb team try in the corner, scored by Cillian Tomkins. Tullow looked a little shell-shocked after this try, which was arguably against the run of play.
However, Gorey were now beginning to grow in confidence with some excellent link work between out-half Henry Kennedy and centre Greg Bolger. Each time Gorey made it into the Tullow half they demonstrated speedy play, spreading the ball the full width of the pitch, and one felt it was only a matter of time before they would be on the scoresheet again.
Gorey continued to work themselves into Tullow territory, help by a strong scrum and a line-out that was working well and frustrating the opposition.
One of the outstanding performances came from Dylan Sawyer, who made barnstorming run after run.
On the 25-minute mark he was rewarded when some characteristically fast Gorey play released Sawyer 15 metres from the Tullow try line, and you just knew that nobody was going to stop him. Gorey duly led 10-7 at half-time.
The second-half began much as the first had ended with Gorey's centres making great runs before spinning the ball out to the wings. Flynn Donnelly operated very well, as did Cormac Walsh who was playing in an unusual position for him out on the wing.
Gorey didn't take long to add to their lead when Henry Kennedy put Greg Bolger through to run under the posts for his try and to make the conversion that bit easier for his team-mate (17-7).
Kennedy finally had his reward ten minutes later when he spotted a gap and went for it to score his own try, which he converted in style (24-7).
A few tactical changes were made by Doyle, Gorey's new head coach, as he moved around a few players, strengthening the scrum, as well as changing the line-out tactics, which Tullow had now got their heads around, and once again frustrating them at each line-out.
Gorey fitness paid dividends as they kept up the pace throughout the second-half and never took their foot off the pedal.
Another superb inter-linking between out-half and centres fed Greg Bolger for his much-deserved second try to leave the final score at 29-7.
This was a great start for this new team, particularly when one considers how many players they were missing. It bodes well for the future, but also sends a message to all players on the panel that starting team places will be hard won and every player will need to give one hundred per cent commitment and be at their very best in order to claim a jersey.