An extremely windy and occasionally very wet Saturday morning saw only the bravest of parents/supporters from both teams not take shelter in the stand.

Gorey elected to play into the strong wind in the first half and in tough and testing conditions this League quarter final had the look of a game that was mainly going to be contested by the forwards. Both teams looked to lay down early markers and North Kildare displayed some excellent handling and looked to get the ball moving to their back line. Gorey worked hard and won an early line out from which Tom Fanning powered to score in the corner to make it 5-0. The strong wind made it impossible for either side to convert all day despite best efforts. North Kildare passed and moved well from the restart and worked well
back into the game and scored to make it 5-5 early in the first half. Gorey continued to play the conditions and with strong carries from Alvaro and Reece Price they worked up the field again, a clever break along the left touch line from Neil Byrne and a late off-load to Michael McDonald made it 10-5 mid way through the first half. Gorey were very unlucky to lose captain Liam Murphy who has been in free scoring and dominating form of late to a knee injury so the lads had to stand up and be counted and they continued with big carries from centre Dan Doyle, full back James Pender and versatile Alex Cousins switched today
to the second row and they sored again with strong touch down from DJ Donnelly. North Kildare worked the ball very well again from the re-start and following a strong drive they were awarded a penalty 5 meters out which they scored from to make it 15-10 at half time and set up a toughly contested second

Gorey played with the wind in the second half and an early pass from Will Cooper to Neil Byrne lead to a deep kick into the North Kildare 22 saw Gorey win the oppositions line out and drive the maul forward and Tom Stokes touched down an excellent team move to make it 20-10 with 20 minutes to go.

Physical exchanges in the ruck and at the breakdown were a key to the second half as the heavy pitch and tired legs took their toll, the amended Gorey front row of Dylan Hendy, Tomás Furlong & Kyle Slator worked hard to keep Gorey ahead as North Kildare pushed on try and get back into the game but a tackle
over the line by Niall O’Shaughnessy took the pressure off and Gorey again won the oppositions line out and with a powerful run from Aiden O’Gara they were back up the field and working the clock well. Despite the 10 point lead the game was far from over as both teams battled knowing the next score could be
crucial, as a place in the semi-final loomed tempers flared and strong words from the referee were required to calm both sets of players. North Kildare pushed on in the dying minutes and following a couple of missed tackles they scored to make it 20-15 with 1 minute to go. Gorey soaked the pressure from the
restart and closed out a hard-fought victory to take them to next weeks semis against either Navan or Mullingar.

Dylan Hendy
Tomás Furlong
Tom Fanning
DJ Donnelly
Alex Cousins
Aiden O’Gara
Liam Murphy (Captain)
Tom Stokes
Will Cooper
Neil Byrne
Michael McDonald
Dan Doyle
Reece Price
James Pender
Kyle Slator
Finn O’Gara
Ross Higgins
Niall O’Shaughnessy
Calum Sheridan


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