The serious end of the season for Leinster Youth Teams kicked-off last weekend as the Leinster League began.

Gorey’s U18s were one of the four seeded teams to be split into the Premier Division qualifiers and they had a tough home draw as they welcomed local neighbours Enniscorthy to Clonattin.

Once again, this year gave us beautiful weather conditions with bright sunshine and a slight south westerly breeze.

These two teams know each other very well and there is a great deal of mutual respect between them. This local derby fixture never disappoints when it comes to full-on exciting rugby.

Gorey kicked-off with the wind at their backs and chased up to immediately put the visitors under pressure. Some hard tackles gave an omen of what was to be expected for the rest of the game. Enniscorthy’s out-half was substituted just minutes into the game after taking a hard fall.

The first scrum of the game went to Gorey and they pushed Enniscorthy off the ball. Gorey continued to apply pressure and it looked like it would be only a matter of time until they got their name on the scoresheet, when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. There was no doubt in their captain’s mind that they were opting for another scrum, rather than taking the easy points on offer. It turned out to be the correct decision as on the nine-minute mark Gorey Hooker, Cormac Walsh, powered over the Enniscorthy line for the opening try of the game.

Full-Back, Oisín Fortune, judged the wind well to add the extra 2 points. (Gorey 7 – Enniscorthy 0)

From the kick-off Gorey once again took control and were dominating the exchanges. Jack Ryan and Cormac Walsh made some line busting runs and before long Gorey found themselves once again threatening the Enniscorthy line. Nine minutes later, with the referee holding his arm out for an advantage to Gorey, Mark Boyle burst past two defenders to give Gorey their second try. Once again, Oisín Fortune was laser-like with his strike accuracy. (Gorey 14 – Enniscorthy 0)

It seemed to be one-way traffic at this early stage of the game, with the Gorey half-back combination of Cillian Tomkins and Cathal Stokes directing play expertly.

Tadhg O’Neill was dominating the lineouts and Seán Wafer and Brian O’Leary were causing Enniscorthy’s defensive line no end of problems.

But Enniscorthy dug deep and as Gorey started to tire, the visitors pushed back and began to turn the tables on the home team. Suddenly, where Gorey seemed to have full control of the game, they now found themselves frantically defending their own line. They seemed to have been handed a lifeline when they managed to turn over the ball in a ruck, but their failure to deploy an exit strategy was to cost them dearly, as Enniscorthy regained possession and almost inevitably crossed the line to get themselves on the scoresheet within minutes of the half-time whistle. The wind carried the attempted conversion away to the left of the posts, leaving the half-time score Gorey 14 – Enniscorthy 5.

Gorey tried to lift themselves for the start of the second half and Joe Burke led the way with some great runs. Oran Fitzpatrick was terrier-like in his tackling and his work-rate set the bar for his team.

Their determination and sustained pressure paid dividends, when Jack Ryan touched down for Gorey’s third try of the day. The unflappable Oisín Fortune once again added the points to leave Gorey ahead 21 – 5.


Gorey were flying again now and just minutes later Gorey Centre, Adam Byrne, made a fine break before offloading to Seán Wafer who scored Gorey’s fourth try. Oisín Fortune made it four out of four, as he sent the ball sailing between the posts. (Gorey 28 – Enniscorthy 5)

But Gorey’s efforts were beginning to take a toll on their stamina and Enniscorthy didn’t need any invitation to take advantage, as they once again turned the tables and pinned Gorey back in their own 22. And not to be outdone, they scored two tries in quick succession to bring them back to 28 -15.

Mark Boyle was superb in defence and won penalty after penalty as he stopped and held up attackers in the maul.

Gorey lifted their game once and were beginning to win their scrums again, but they couldn’t keep Enniscorthy from one last try in the final minute of the game to bring the final score to 28 – 20 for Gorey.

Gorey will surely be happy with their win and to get a good start to their Leinster League campaign, but they’ll also be very much aware that there is a lot of work to be done. Enniscorthy will be disappointed not to go away with a least a losing bonus point, but they will have to be pleased with a good team performance.

Both teams have things to work on, but in both cases there are things that can be easily fixed and it will be very surprising if we don’t see both teams in the latter stages of this competition.

Gorey’s Man of the Match goes to Cillian Tomkins who pushed his team along, tackled hard, led the team and kept the pack and backs going.


  • Jack Ryan
  • Cormac Walsh
  • Niall Kenny
  • Joe Butler
  • Tadhg O’Neill (Capt.)
  • Martin O’Loughlin
  • Oran Fitzpatrick
  • Mark Boyle
  • Cillian Tomkins
  • Cathal Stokes
  • Brian O’Leary
  • Sean Wafer
  • Adam Byrne
  • Joe Burke
  • Oisín Fortune
  • SUBS
  • Rhys Slator
  • Cian Sullivan
  • Carl Johnston
  • Gonzalo Sanchez
  • Andrew Cushen
  • Eoin Canavan
  • Donough McGivern


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