Cup exit for Gorey
Provincial Towns Cup: Tullow 25 Gorey 19
Despite a valiant attempt, Gorey's Provincial Towns Cup campaign came to a disappointing conclusion when they were defeated by reigning champions Tullow in Saturday's enjoyable quarter-final played in front of a big crowd at Clonattin.
Ultimately, the determined hosts left themselves with too much ground to make up at the short whistle, by which stage the Carlow men had developed a 20-7 advantage thanks to a mixture of some obdurate defiance in front of their posts, and occasional flashes of brilliance at the other end.
Gorey threatened to make a real game of it on the re-start when some early positive possession saw Paul O'Connor crash over on 43 minutes, but Tullow reverted back to their parsimonious selves thereafter to suffocate any further attacking intent the locals showed.
Gorey more or less encamped in the Tullow half in the early exchanges without duly concerning the champions, with Tullow's Will Canavan opening the scoring via a penalty slightly to the left of centre on nine minutes.
Tullow had scored eight tries in their second round mauling of Wexford Wanderers, and they showcased their attacking arsenal again with two such scores between the 20th and 23rd minutes.
The first arrived after quick hands from Garrett Fitzgerald and Canavan and even quicker feet from Aho Bloomfield saw the captain hare towards the posts.
And although he was held up short of the line, John Hanbridge powered over, with Canavan knocking over the straightforward coversion.
But their second try came from avoidable means, when a mis-communicated Gorey line-out was gleefully stolen by Stephen Smith who couldn't believe the ocean of space he had in front of him as he ran in to help make it 17-0.
Killian Breen was the catalyst to most of Gorey's good work, and he got his just desserts before the break when he touched down under some bodies after Stephen Duke had found touch.
Jordan Aherne had made the initial break for that O'Connor try after the interval, but all their hard work was undone three minutes later when a counter-attack saw replacement Patrick McCaul break away and tee up Pino Moise for a simple finish, although Canavan's conversion hit the post.
Paul O'Connor utilised his low centre of gravity to somehow hold his footing under pressure and stretch over the whitewash some three minutes from time, but it came too late to alter the verdict for a passionate Tullow side who counted Leinster and Ireland legend Seán O'Brien among their backroom team.
Gorey: Dylan Gregan, Barry O'Connor, Darragh Bellanova; Tom Jameson, Stephen Gardiner (capt.); Killian Breen, Jordan Aherne, Eddie Horan; Stephen Horan, Marty Swarts; James Nolan, Paul O'Connor; David Shannon, Andrew Walsh; Stephen Duke. Replacements (used) - Rob Harrington, Ciarán Allen, Gareth Bater.
Tullow: Scott Calbeck, Aaron O'Byrne, Louis Kilcoyne; Joe Waters, Frank Murphy; Kyle Hanbridge, Stephen Smith, John Hanbridge; Garrett Fitzgerald, Will Canavan; Paul Stephenson, Pino Moise, Aho Bloomfield (capt.), Shane Rohan; Killian Redmond. Replacements (used) - Patrick McCall, Sam Corrigan, Will O'Brien, Martin Cole.
Referee: Gary Conway (New Ross).