The oldest competition in Irish rugby, The Provincial Towns Cup was the centre of attention on Sunday last as Gorey welcomed Portlaoise to Clonnattin.

Portlaoise who have won this prestigious Cup on two occasions are now playing in Division 2A but as Gorey know from past experience the difference in Division counts for nothing when the Cup is at stake.
And so it was on a beautiful day and an ideal pitch both teams took to the field to kick off their Towns Cup campaign for 2019.

Portlaoise started the brighter but Gorey weren’t long in gaining a foothold in the Portlaoise 22 and a number of penalties and phases later after some excellent work Stephen Horan darted over under the posts, James Nolan converted. 

Straight from the restart Gorey returned down field with a Garryowen which Portlaoise  failed to deal with, but the chasing Stephen Duke gathered to race in from the halfway line to touchdown in the corner for a try.

Gorey soaked some pressure and on the thirtieth minute were back in the Portlaoise 22  and a number of phases later Stephen Gardiner went over for try number three,James Nolan converted.

Portlaoise got a foothold in the Gorey half and when awarded a penalty, Jack Reddin converted to leave the score at 19 - 3.

The second half saw Portlaoise start strong with Gorey again soaking  up the pressure.

The home team eventually got back in the Portlaoise half and a number of phases later Stephen Gardiner powered over under the posts, James Nolan converted.

Portlaoise came back again and put some good phases  together, but Gorey again weathered the storm. 

A number of penalties later and from a lineout quick hands from Killian Breen to Ethan Badham saw Ciaran Allen run a good line to go over for another try.

Gorey kept the pressure up and another quick attack saw Joe Naughton round off another try as Portlaoise tired.
It was fitting that Captain Stephen Gardiner rounded off the scoring when he came through to go in under the posts, Killian Breen converted to leave the final score at 43 - 3. 

To their credit and their tradition in this competition Portlaoise never gave up and made Gorey fight for every yard all day. 

Gorey had some good performances with James Nolan, Stephen Horan and Stephen Duke the pick of the backs. Daragh O'Leary, Stanley Hadden and Kevin Browne who made sure he was man of the match were outstanding in the forwards.

Gorey are away to Naas in Round two. 

D Bellanova E Badham K Browne S Gardiner Capt E Horan K Breen B Mason D O Leary  S Horan  S Duke R Harrington J Nolan  A Walshe J Naughton M Duke T Jameson  E Walshe  B O Connor E Horan B Mason J Rothwell C Allen


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