Enniscorthy's narrow victory
Gorey 22 Enniscorthy 24
On a cracking day for rugby, Gorey welcomed near neighbours Enniscorthy to Clonattin for the first Leinster League Division 1A local derby of the season on Saturday.
With both clubs having had indifferent starts and lying in fourth and fifth positions respectively, the large crowd were looking forward to an entertaining game. They were not to be disappointed as the contest ebbed and flowed until the final whistle, with Enniscorthy edging in front with minutes left on the clock.
The game was played in ideal conditions with both teams not afraid to have a go, and plenty of mistakes by both sides contributed to a very entertaining game.
Gorey started well and with the strong breeze at their backs were soon putting pressure on the visitors' defence. In the tenth minute they were rewarded when Andrew Walshe finished off a flowing move by the Gorey backs, and Steven Horan converted from out wide.
Gorey were now going well and during the next ten minutes they added another try when a line-out on the five-metre line saw Killian Breen touch down for Steven Horan to again add the conversion and extend the lead to 14-0.
But as often happens, every team has a purple patch and 'Scorthy were now beginning to shade the set-pieces. In the last ten minutes of the half Enniscorthy exerted consistent pressure and, when Gorey gave away a penalty just outside their '22, Enniscorthy kicked for the corner.
From the resulting line-out, Ivan Poole darted through to open their account. Poole converted to leave seven between the teams as half-time approached.
Games are won and lost on incidents and early in the second-half Gorey had the chance to extend their lead when James Nolan weaved his way through the defence, to be stopped just in front of the posts.
A simple two on one should have seen Gorey score but they somehow managed to fluff their lines. Enniscorthy were not as wasteful and in the 46th minute they drew level with a simple score when Ivan Poole put David O'Dwyer under the posts for the former to tap over the conversion.
At 14-14 both teams were now throwing caution to the wind as Enniscorthy tried to break down a resolute Gorey and, from an infringement at a scrum, Poole put the visitors in front for the first time.
Within minutes Gorey restored their lead when Stevie Gardiner gathered from the kick-off. Gorey ramped up the pressure, with the ball worked through the backs and forwards to arrive at the Enniscorthy line for Gardiner to touch down, with Steven Horan just wide with the conversion attempt.
Gorey kept the pressure up and should have extended their lead but somehow managed to pass up another clearcut chance with a three on one. Minutes later they did manage to extend their lead to 22-17 with another Horan penalty.
But a one-score lead is always dubious and with minutes left on the clock Enniscorthy struck for what proved to be the winning score as Gorey failed to clear their lines effectively.
A number of pick and drives by the Enniscorthy forwards eventually saw Tom Ryan go in under the posts to draw the teams level, with Ivan Poole having the simple task to put two between the sides.
The clock was now against Gorey and 24 22 was how it ended. This was a game that either side could have won but Gorey will rue at least two clearcut chances that might have given them victory.
On the other hand, Enniscorthy were not as wasteful and move into second place as D.L.S.P. suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Boyne.
No games will be played next weekend, with an away trip for Gorey the following week to Dundalk.
Gorey: J. Mulligan, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, D. O'Leary, S. Gardiner, K. Breen, J. Ahern, B. Horan, S. Horan, M. Swarts, A. Walsh, S. Duke, J. Nolan, T. New, D. Shannon (capt.), F. Bolger, D. Gregan, C. Butler, M. Whelan, G. Bater.
Enniscorthy: A. Todisco, D. Murphy, P. Waters, J. Carley, J. Daly, J. White, T. Ryan, N. Doyle, A. Dunne, K. Lett, D. O'Dwyer, I. Poole, D. Pim, I. Jacob, R. Dunne, E. Lett, H. O'Neill, A. White, T. Farrar, T. Stamp.