Gorey J1s travelled to Dundalk for their opening game of the season and after a tumultuous game shaded the Louth men on a score of 13 - 6. Gorey were full value for their win as they defended their line when needed without a fault. 

Dundalk started the brighter and their much vaunted backline ran menacing lines but somehow Gorey held their nerve with the back row of Killian Breen, Stanley Hadden and Jordan Ahearn winning a crucial number of penalties at the breakdown. 

Gorey settled and for the next 20 minutes took control. Steven Horan opened the score with a penalty and minutes later was inches wide with a second attempt. 

Dundalk came storming back and could have crossed for a try but a resolute Gorey defence were proving difficult to crack and they had to settle for a penalty, which Darragh Conroy converted.

From the restart Gorey immediately forced Dundalk deep into their 22 and a further penalty from Dundalk saw Steven Horan add the points to go to the break 6  - 3. 

The restart saw Gorey again on the attack with big carries from Ciaran Allen,  Kevin Browne and co. 

Steven Duke and James Nolan started to grow in confidence and looked menacing in midfield. 

Gorey had to survive a major scare when some smart play forced a hole, in the otherwise perfect visitors defence, to leave a one-on-one situation, but Rob Harrington stood his ground to pull off a crucial tackle which gave the Gorey defence time to regroup.

The decisive score came in the 60th minute with Dundalk on the attack deep in the Gorey half, as they moved the ball wide the ever alert Steven Duke stole an intercept to run from his own 22 to touchdown. Horan added the conversion to extend Gorey’s lead to 13 - 3. 

Back came Dundalk and some excellent play took them into the Gorey 22 and were duly awarded a penalty,  Darragh Conroy made no mistake. Gorey had to survive a nervous ten minutes as Dundalk threw the kitchen sink at them but as they did all day, they held on for a crucial win on the road.

Gorey will take the win and know this is only the first step on a difficult road that will require discipline and concentration throughout a long season. This was a tremendous team effort as this young team is starting to show signs of maturity. The backs to a man were excellent, with Steven Duke, Steven Horan and James Nolan leading the way. But it was the pack that laid the foundation for this victory with a determined front five and a back row of Jordan Ahern, Stanley Hadden and man of the match Killian Breen never deviating  from the plan. 

Next Saturday,22nd, last year's league champions Ashbourne will provide the opposition in Clonattin. Kick-off will be at 3pm. 


K. Browne, E. Batham, C. Allen, S. Gardiner (Capt.), T. Jameson, K. Breen, S. Hadden, J. Ahern, S. Horan, S. Duke, A. Walsh, J. Nolan, J. Rothwell, C. Power, R. Harrington, D. Bellanova, E. Walsh, J. Naughton, E. Horan, L. Molloy.


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