DUKE KICKS GOREY INTO QUARTER-FINAL   24/02/2019

DUKE KICKS GOREY INTO QUARTER-FINAL

Gorey don’t do things easy but in a fantastic Towns Cup game they advanced to the quarter-final after a hard-fought and exciting game at Fournaughts on Sunday.

Gorey had to dig deep, as with one minute left on the clock and in arrears the visitors produced a remarkable turnaround when with in excess of fifty phases that took them from deep in their own half, Gorey’s Stephen Duke landed a drop-goal to seal a famous victory that looked to have slipped away.

It was the visitors who got the perfect start as they shaded the set pieces. This gave them the territory and Gorey were not long in exploiting it. In the seventh minute off a lineout quick hands saw Gorey carry hard. Joe Naughton came into the line to split the home defence and run in under the posts for the opening score. James Nolan converted.

Naas responded but struggled to breakdown the Gorey defence with a number of knock-ons and forced errors not helping their cause.

On the twenty-first minute Gorey again arrived back in the Naas 22 and again the pack put major pressure on the home team. A kickable penalty saw Gorey go for the corner and a strong drive saw Ethan Badham go over to stretch Gorey’s lead. Nolan added the conversion to take the score to 14 - 0.

From the restart Naas had their purple patch and forced a couple of penalties to take them deep into the Gorey half. A number of phases later Naas scored a well-worked try to reduce Gorey’s lead to seven.

Halftime saw Gorey turn into the hill and the strong breeze and the first twenty minutes saw Gorey defending their line non-stop.

Naas though could not find a hole in the Gorey defence. But a number of kickable penalties saw Cillian Dempsey convert a 14 - 7 deficit into a take the lead 16 - 14 with twenty minutes left on the clock.

Gorey started to put some phases together with big carries from Captain Stephen Gardiner, Eoin Walsh and Co. They worked their way again into the Naas half and when Naas were penalised, James Nolan stepped up to restore Gorey’s lead.

But as the game had gone all day Naas were again back in the Gorey half and another penalty saw Cillian Dempsey nudge them in front 19 17 with minutes left on the clock.

From the restart Gorey again forced their way back into the Naas half. Both teams were now tiring and a further penalty for Gorey saw James Nolan step up, but from a difficult angle he pushed the ball just left of the post.

With one minute left on the clock Gorey’s opportunity looked to have passed for another year. Naas restarted and drove the ball deep into the Gorey half.

What happened next will go down in the Gorey annals as one of the most incredible passages of play witnessed by a lot of seasoned supporters. Carry after carry saw Gorey inch their way into the Naas half. Naas defended to a man but big carries from almost every player saw Gorey produce in excess of 50 phases to take them just inside the Naas 22. Stephen Duke sat back in the pocket and when the opportunity came he landed the sweetest drop goal to an ecstatic Gorey support.

It is moments like this that make the Towns Cup so special and Gorey now advance to another away fixture against the All Ireland club champions Ashbourne. This match is fixed for March 17th.

Gorey had some fine performances with the pack to a man impressive with Stephen Gardiner, Killian Breen, Ciarán Allen and Darragh O’Leary the pick. Andrew Walsh, Stephen Horan and Man of the Match, Stephen Duke showed well in the backs.

Gorey return to league duty next Saturday with a home fixture against Wicklow kick-off is 3pm.

GOREY

C Allen E Badham K Browne S Gardiner T Jameson K Breen D O Leary S Hadden S Horan S Duke J Nolan R Harrington A Walsh J Naughton M Duke D O Neill L Molloy A D Bellanova B O Connor E Walsh J Rothwell M Kemp





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