U14s Exit Leinster League at Semi-Final   25/03/2019

U14s Exit Leinster League at Semi-Final

Gorey travelled to Mullingar on Saturday morning for their first appearance in a Leinster league semi-final. Perfect spring weather conditions and their first opportunity to play on a 4G pitch waited. Gorey were without injured captain
Liam Murphy but welcomed Ross Higgins back into the pack.

Straight from the off Gorey were up and at Mullingar and a strong carry from Alvaro Gill drew in 2 defenders and an excellent support line from Dan Doyle saw him beat the remaining defence to score under the posts which Tom
Stokes converted to make it 0-7 in the opening minutes.

From the restart it was obvious that Mullingar were relishing the chance to play quick and free flowing rugby as they looked to take advantage of their home pitch and their knowledge of the 4G surface. Gorey had to soak a lot of pressure and their line stood strong a turn over saw Gorey break out but an unfortunate knock-on lead to a Mullingar scrum from which they scored from a well-rehearsed play and converted to make it 7-7.

Gorey pushed on again from the restart and following a Mullingar knock on, Reece Price was aware enough of the referee’s willingness to let the game flow and carried to score in the corner to make it 7-12. In the following passage of play scrum half Will Copper carried bravely into the Mullingar defence and an awkward fall lead to an arm injury, it’s an unfortunate way to end his season as has made the 9 jersey his own this year.

In the closing minutes of the first half Mullingar worked up the field with a clever kick to the corner they scored to make it 12-12 at half time.

The second half started brightly and was just as physical as the first half, Gorey were penalised for a high tackle about 25 meters out. From the penalty Mullingar backed their out-half who kicked brilliantly all day to give them a 15-12 lead early in the second half. Gorey picked and carried from the restart and set up camp on the Mullingar try line for an eternity but were unable to break a well-disciplined Mullingar defence.

The middle phase of the second half was where the game was won and lost and 2 quick tries from Mullingar one of which was converted saw the score board read 27-12 with 10 minutes to go. In fairness to Gorey the heads never dropped and the introduction of Calum Sheridan and Finn O’Gara gave the lads a lift as they tried to work hard to score in the dying minutes, unfortunately today it wasn’t to be and Mullingar deservedly advance to the Leinster league final.

The job for the next 2 weeks is to build the lads back up for a Leinster cup semi-final in Carlow against a very strong Tullamore side but today was part of season long learning curve which every one of the players has grown upon and
should be very proud of how they have conducted themselves.

1. Ross Higgins
2. Tomás Furlong
3. Dylan Hendy
4. DJ Donnelly
5. Alex Cousins
6. Tom Fanning
7. Aiden O’Gara
8. Tom Stokes (captain)
9. Will Cooper
10. Neil Byrne
11. Michael McDonald
12. Dan Doyle
13. Alvaro Gill
14. Reece Price
15. Niall O’Shaughnessy
16. Finn O’Gara
17. Kyle Slator
18. James Pender
19. Calum Sheridan


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