independent

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Gorey hang on to stay second

Gorey 20 Bective Rangers 15

Stephen Horan puts his low centre of gravity to good use as he spots a gap in the Bective defensive lines
Stephen Horan puts his low centre of gravity to good use as he spots a gap in the Bective defensive lines
Gorey’s Andrew Walsh is brought to ground by Andy Thompson

An excellent display from captain Stephen Gardiner saw Gorey just about deserve the points in an entertaining Leinster League Division 1A game at Clonattin on Saturday.

Gorey got off to a good start but could not find a rhythm to capitalise on their territorial advantage as the Bective defence stood up well.

It took a tremendous line break by captain Stephen Gardiner that finally cracked the visitors' defence and, having done all the hard work, he off-loaded to Ethan Badham to go in under the posts. James Nolan added the conversion.

Gorey should have kicked on but Bective started to find some momentum and belief.

It did not take them long to take advantage, and they drew level with a try and conversion which left the sides level at the break.

After the interval Bective quickly added a penalty to take the lead.

Bective shocked the home support when they went over for a try to extend their advantage to 15-7.

Staring defeat in the face but with 25 minutes still left on the clock, Gorey started to put some phases together.

A continuous barrage into the Bective '22 with some good carries by the pack finally yielded results. A James Nolan penalty reduced the lead to one score.

From the re-start Gorey were again back on the attack. They looked to be going over in the corner, but a deliberate knock-on saw Bective reduced to 14.

They did not have to wait long with the resulting line-out, and a number of phases later winger Andrew Walsh finally crossed after the visitors' defence ran out of numbers.

Bective did not lie down, and when Gorey had a penalty decision reversed they kicked deep into the opposition half.

From the next phases of play a crucial try-saving tackle by Eddie Horan in the corner saw Gorey win the subsequent line-out.

Gorey worked their way out and quick hands through the backs saw Andrew Walsh race from deep inside his '22 to outstrip the Bective defence and put Gorey 20-15 ahead with ten minutes left.

It was still not over as Bective tried to get back, but Gorey hung on for a crucial win to stay in second place.

Gorey had some good performances, with Michael Duke, James Nolan and Andrew Walsh the pick of the backs.

The forwards were not found wanting either, with Kevin Browne, Stanley Hadden and man of the match Stephen Gardiner showing well.

Gorey are away to Kilkenny next week, with the first round of the Towns Cup on Sunday, January 20, when Portlaoise will provide the opposition in Clonattin.

Gorey: D. Bellanova, E. Badham, K. Browne, S. Gardiner (capt.), E. Horan, K. Breen, B. Mason, S. Hadden, S. Horan, S. Duke, R. Harrington, J. Nolan, J. Rothwell, A. Walsh, M. Duke, T. Jameson, E. Walsh, J. Naughton, L. Stephens, D. Gregan.

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