Gorey J1’s hold off Dundalk in Leinster League

After the narrow loss to Enniscorthy last week Gorey returned to winning ways with a hard fought win over Dundalk last Saturday in the Leinster League Division 1A.
Dundalk came out with all guns blazing as they set out their stall early, sustained pressure in the Gorey 22 saw them leave scoreless.
After weathering the storm Gorey began to edge the set piece with a couple of scrums producing penalties taking Gorey into the Dundalk 22. Several phases later team captain Stephen Gardiner powered over for the opening score James Nolan converted.
Both teams huffed and puffed with neither really denting the others defence.
Half-time arrived with Gorey just about having shaded the exchanges.
Dundalk started the second as they did in the first. And this time they were not as wasteful when in the Gorey 22 when the opportunity presented itself.
A few excellent phases saw them finally get on the scoresheet when John Smith crossed for a well worked try. Sam Weber added the conversion.
The game was now opening up as Gorey upped their effort with some excellent work pinning the visitors in their 22.
This came about after Stephen Duke split the defence to release his backs and when Stephen Horan was pulled down just before receiving the ball Dundalk received their first of two yellows after consistent infringements. Shortly after they received their second.

It did not take long for Gorey to extend their lead when Stephen Horan touched down after steady pressure. James Nolan added the conversion.
Gorey tried to extend their lead but some excellent defending by Dundalk denied them on several occasions.
Gorey were moving the ball at every opportunity and it was from a Gorey attack that Dundalk grabbed a lifeline when Sam Weber intercepted to run in under the posts to draw the sides level.
From the restart Gorey again applied pressure and a further penalty saw James Nolan restore the lead.
The game was in the final quarter and Gorey kept the visitors deep in their half. Dundalk were now throwing caution to the wind as they tried to move the ball wide and an ever alert Joe Naughton went for the intercept to run in under the posts to kill off the contest. James Nolan added the conversion to leave the final score at 24 – 14 to Gorey.
This was a close encounter throughout with indiscipline costing Dundalk dearly. Gorey moved into outright second place after Enniscorthy accounted for Wicklow.
Gorey had some good performances in the pack with Killian Breen, Ciaran Allen and Captain Stephen Gardiner working well.
On his first senior game Michael Duke acquitted himself well at fullback with Stephen Horan and man of the match James Nolan the pick of the backs.
GOREY; D. Bellanova, B. O’Connor. K. Browne, S. Gardiner (capt.), D. O’Leary, K. Breen, E. Horan, S. Hadden, S. Horan, S. Duke, J. Naughton, J. Nolan, J. Rothwell, A. Walshe, M. Duke, T. Jameson, C. Allen, E. Badham, G. Bater, B. Mason, G. Bater.
Next up for Gorey is an away trip to Ashbourne next Saturday, this is the final game before the Christmas break.

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