Gorey dig deep for U-18 points
Gorey 15 Kilkenny 10
The Gorey Under-18s welcomed Kilkenny to Clonattin on Saturday, following their impressive win the previous week away to Athy.
Gorey welcomed back a number of their players that had been missing the previous week, and were hoping to continue their unbeaten record in the Leinster Premier/Division 1 Qualifier League.
The game's opening phases were fairly evenly contested, with the first opportunity falling to Gorey in the seventh minute when Henry Kennedy forced a penalty from Kilkenny for holding on. But the kick fell just wide of the posts and the sides remained deadlocked.
Gorey continued to exert pressure, but Kilkenny's defence remained solid and it wasn't until midway through the first-half that Kilkenny opened the scoring with a well-taken penalty.
Gorey continued to cause Kilkenny problems and Andrew Cushen made a couple of good runs up the left wing. After one long kick and chase, he forced a scramble for the loose ball but a Kilkenny defender managed to ground the ball in his own in-goal area for a '22 drop-out.
The subsequent long kick-out dropped nicely into the hands of Gorey centre Seán Wafer who took the ball on, stepping several defenders before off-loading perfectly to Henry Kennedy.
He made some good ground himself before passing the ball back again to Wafer, who delivered it to Liam Molloy for an exquisite last pass to Dylan Sawyer who finished strongly for the opening try (5-3).
Despite further close efforts by both sides, that's how the score remained for the rest of the first-half.
While it had been a fairly even affair up to that point, Gorey started the second-half with real intent and they pinned Kilkenny in their own '22 for the first quarter of an hour.
For a time, it looked as if all their dominance would count for nothing, as attack after attack was repelled by Kilkenny's strong defence.
However, it was only a matter of time before they were rewarded, and Flynn Donnelly beat several defenders to get over for Gorey's second try (10-3).
Kilkenny continued to fight hard and they were beginning to get the measure of Gorey's strong scrum.
With 55 minutes on the clock, Kilkenny eventually got a reward for their hard work when they were awarded a penalty, but unfortunately for the visitors the kick fell just short of the posts.
The game continued to ebb and flow, but Gorey's discipline let them down when they were penalised on their 22-metre line for being ahead of the kicker.
Gorey managed to win the ensuing scrum and the ball was fed back to Seán Wafer, whose kick to clear his lines was blocked down by Kilkenny, and the ball fell nicely for them to dive under the posts for their first try (10-10).
The game remained deadlocked for the next 20 minutes, despite Gorey piling on huge pressure.
As the clock ticked into the final minutes, the ball was fed from the base of a ruck to Gorey's Tadhg O'Neill who managed to evade a number of Kilkenny defenders to get over for the third try to the delight of supporters along the sidelines (15-10).
Just minutes later the referee blew the whistle to close what was a hard-fought and tremendously entertaining game.
Gorey travel to Tullow next week for the clash of the two joint table-toppers.
Gorey: Jack Ryan, Cormac Walsh, Cian Sullivan, Lukas McDonagh, Tadhg O'Neill, Dylan Sawyer, Seán Dunne, Liam Molloy, Cillian Tomkins, Mark Kehoe, Andrew Cushen, Mikey Duke, Henry Kennedy, Flynn Donnelly, Seán Wafer. Subs. - Toby Falconer, Ryan Gibney, Donagh McGivern, Eoin Buckley.