Gorey bounce back to win battle of Rangers
Gorey Rangers recovered from a two-goal deficit to see off home side Rosslare Rangers to move into the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-15 Cup quarter-final on Saturday.
Gorey Rangers 3 Rosslare Rangers 2
Seán Delaney was the tormentor-in-chief for the visitors with a superb hat-trick in a game that really could have gone either way and was in the balance until Damien Donovan blew his full-time whistle.
The first-half in particular was a fantastic advertisement for under-age soccer. Both sides were keen on employing a high line defensively and, while this might have caused a clogged midfield battle, instead they used the space in behind by pinging long passes over the opposition.
Both clubs compete in league Division 1 where Gorey lie second while Rosslare are one spot from the foot of the table. When the sides met earlier this season the title challengers ran out 7-2 winners. However, this was a much closer contest than that.
Indeed, in the first-half Rosslare broke the offside trap more frequently and had far more clearcut chances. Gorey couldn't find the answer for Liam O'Connor's succulent through balls and the pace of Lucas Pierce as Rosslare rattled their illustrious opponents.
Rees Broaders shot straight at Rhys Smith in the eleventh minute in a sign of what was to follow. Just two minutes later the hosts took the lead when Broaders' free squirmed past his nemesis from moments earlier.
No fewer than three times did O'Connor play Pierce into the clear as the half wore on, but each time Smith was up to the challange between the sticks. However, there was nothing the Gorey goalie could do seven minutes from half-time when Pierce's cross fell to Jamie Tomkins who poked home from close range.
A quick response was vital for a struggling Gorey and they got it three minutes later when Delaney hared away, slid the ball past Josh Burke, and slotted to the net. It took just five second-half minutes for the equaliser to arrive and it was Delaney again with the finish, a sensational chip from the left, from Ethan Vickers' pass.
The longer the game went on the more on top and in control Gorey became, and they booked their place in the last eight with 17 minutes remaining when Delaney rounded the last defender, the goalkeeper and then thumped the ball into the empty net to complete the comeback.
Star man - Seán Delaney (Gorey Rangers): struggled with the offside trap early on but eventually became the biggest factor in the turnaround.
Gorey Rangers: Rhys Smith; John Higgins, Conor McDermott, Ethan Vickers, Eddie O'Brien; Ross Pedoe, Dillon Dixon (capt.), Guillume Vuigneir, Matthew O'Brien; Seán Delaney, Brendan Corcoran. Subs. - Adam Fleming for O'Brien (47), Michael Dunne for Corcoran (53), Diego Sousa for Vuigneir (61), Kajetan Podgorski for McDermott (64), Eoin Quigley for Pedoe (64).
Rosslare Rangers: Josh Burke; Darragh Mullins, Dan Halligan (capt.), Michael Honey; Josh Whelan, Jess Codd, Liam O'Connor, Rees Broaders, Sammy Delaney; Lucas Pierce, Jamie Tomkins. Subs. - Eoghan Moore for Broaders (69), Rory Griffin for Delaney (79), Jordan Comerford for Tomkins (79).
Referee: Damien Donovan.