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Saturday 16 December 2017

Gorey firsts win on road

Gorey 34 Boyne 18

Gorey firsts travelled to Boyne on Saturday for their first outing of the new season. With excellent conditions and a strong breeze blowing down the pitch, Gorey were mindful of Boyne's excellent result the previous week and with very little game time so far they did not really know what to expect.

Gorey started the brighter and set their stall out early. Consistent pressure saw James Nolan slot their first penalty in the third minute.

Boyne settled but the visitors' defence were proving hard to break down. Gorey were moving the ball at every opportunity and it was during one of these phases that second row Darragh O'Leary arrived in the line to race through from just inside his own half to score a fine try. Conor Butler converted to extend Gorey's lead.

Boyne responded almost immediately with a penalty to reduce the visitors' lead. A further penalty saw them leave just four between them.

But Gorey were to finish the stronger when a penalty took them deep into the Boyne '22. From the line-out some big carries from Steven Gardiner and Darragh O'Leary took them to the Boyne line.

Steven Duke saw the space out wide and landed the ball in the hands of Tommy New as he crossed for try number two. Duke converted from a wide angle to take the score to 17-6 at half-time.

The second-half couldn't have started better for the visitors, as again some good exchanges between backs and forwards saw prop Willie Rothwell cross.

This seemed to turn a switch on for Boyne and for the next ten minutes they played some cracking rugby to score two tries to reduce Gorey's lead to four.

The game was now finely balanced, but Gorey were to do what they had done all day as Marty Swart showed a clean pair of heels as he weaved his way through the Boyne defence.

Steven Duke was on his shoulder and quick passing between the two saw Swart cross for try number four.

This seemed to take the sting out of Boyne, as Gorey were now starting to control events. They soaked up a lot of Boyne pressure and, as they did in the first-half, Gorey finished the stronger and were again deep in the home '22 as the pack kept a tight grip on the ball.

After several phases they finally moved the ball wide for Stephen Horan to score their fifth try for Duke to convert to take the score to 34-18 as the referee blew the final whistle.

The scoreline probably flatters Gorey as Boyne were unlucky on a number of occasions and on another day might have scored. Gorey had some big performers, with Steven Duke, captain Dave Shanahan and Marty Swart the pick of the backs.

The forwards were not found wanting either with Willie Rothwell, Steven Gardiner and man of the match Darragh O'Leary showing well.

Next up for Gorey is a home game against Wicklow next Saturday in Clonattin.

Gorey: W. Rothwell, B. O'Connor, D. Bellanova, D. O'Leary, S. Gardiner, M. Whelan, J. Ahearne, E. Horan, C. Butler, M. Swart, J. Nolan, A. Walsh, J. Willoughby, T. New, D. Shanahan (capt.), S. Horan, F. Bolger, R. Deering, T. Jameson, S. Duke.

Wexford People

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