Gorey shake off persistent Ross
Round Two of the 2016 Provincial Towns Cup saw Gorey at home to fellow county men New Ross on Sunday.
Gorey 36 New Ross 5
New Ross, who are plying their trade in Division 2A, went into the game as underdogs and would have surely caused the upset of the round if they were to take their neighbour's scalp. But stranger things have happened and Gorey showed no sign of complacency as they fielded the strongest team possible.
Gorey opted to play with the strong wind in the first-half but struggled to put any cohesion on the game. Missed passes and poor line-outs did not help their cause, but a stubborn Ross defence was also adding to the mix.
It took Gorey until the 20th minute to finally get on the scoreboard when a turnover saw Stephen Duke sprint down the right wing to put Eoin Walsh through for the opening try, which Duke converted.
From the re-start, Gorey had another chance but again poor handling let the opportunity pass. But Ross pulled the rabbit out of the hat when a super kick from young out-half Eanna Burke was picked up by Dean Prendergast inside the Gorey half. He still had work to do, but raced for the corner to score a fine try.
Ross were now growing in confidence and started to put some good phases together, but a line-out steal from captain J.P. Redmond saw Stephen Duke put Ross back in the corner.
The resulting line-out saw Gorey move the ball through the hands, and when Seán Byrne went over in the corner for a try which Duke converted, the scoreline of 14-5 flattered the home team.
With two minutes left on the clock further Gorey pressure saw them move the ball through the hands and Eoin Walsh went over for try number three to take the score to 19-5 at half-time.
The second-half saw Ross playing with the wind and pinging Gorey back in their half with some good kicking. But as with Gorey in the first-half, poor handling cost them when it mattered.
Gorey should have added try number three but Clement Power was adjudged to have held on just short of the line. The brave effort by New Ross was beginning to wane as the big Gorey carriers of Gardiner and J.P. Redmond were starting to make ground.
Finally Gorey were beginning to put some phases together and some cracks began to appear in the visitors' defence. Quick hands between backs and forwards finally saw number 8 Jordan Ahern go over for try number four.
It was now starting to go Gorey's way as Ross tired and the gap in the divisions finally began to show. Gorey rounded off their win with two further tries from Andrew Walsh and Phil De Barra.
This was a true cup tie as New Ross defied their league status to give Gorey a battle royal, despite the scoreline which flattered the home team. Gorey had some good performances from Eoin Walsh and Stephen Duke in the backs, with Stephen Gardiner and man of the match William Earle the pick of the forwards.
Gorey are back on league duty next Saturday when they travel to Kilkenny for the penultimate league fixture before the last game in Clonattin the following Saturday.
Team: R. Deering, F. Bolger, D. Bellanova, S. Gardiner, A. Copeland, W. Earle, J.P. Redmond, J.P. Ahern, G. Bater, S. Duke, S. O'Leary, M. Bater, E. Walsh, A. Walsh, C. Power, P. De Barra, B. O'Connor, S. Byrne, E. Horan, C. Hatton, D. Gregan.