U14 Leinster League Premier Div Final Gorey RFC 12 - Portlaoise   14/04/2015

Gorey and Portlaoise served up a thrilling final in Naas on Saturday with Gorey just about coming out on top at the end.   The two teams have played fast open rugby all year so it was no surprise that this game was an end to end encounter with drama right to the final whistle.

From the kick off Gorey went on the offensive. With good work around the fringes, from the front row of Niall Kenny, Adam Simpson and Kyle Donnelly, Gorey got to within 5m of the Portlaoise line but were pushed back by excellent last ditch defending from Portlaoise. A turnover and excellent running from Portlaoise soon led to the tables being turned with Gorey having to desperately defend their line. Some excellent rucking by Adam Byrne and Adam Simpson finally turned over the ball and the concession of a number of penalties at the breakdown by Portlaoise saw Gorey push to the line once more. Robert Murphy took the ball 10m out and burst for the line but his touch down was adjudged to be short of the line & Portlaoise kicked clear.   The game slowed for a period while the referee was unhappy with the engagement of the front rows in a series of scrums in the middle of the park. With five minutes left in the half the a kick from the out-half was chased and collected by Portlaoise speedster Brian Redmond  who scored in the corner.

The second half started with sustained Gorey pressure. After some excellent forwards work with line breaks from the Alex Rothwell, Daragh Canavan and Martin O’Loughlin the ball was whipped out by Cathal Stokes to the wing where Mark Boyle and Ryan Kinsella took it close to the line and a pop to Robert Murphy saw him go over for a try. With the score at 5 all Portlaoise went on the offensive again and after being held up by for a period, including superb try saving tackles by Brian O’Leary and Cian Kenny, Brian Redmond crashed over for his second try of the game. A missed conversion left the score at 10-5.  

From the kick off Gorey went on the offensive again and for the next 10 minutes were camped on the Portlaoise line. With a knock on over the line and foot adjudged to be in touch, before a touch down, it looked as if it just might not be Gorey’s day. Portlaoise got back position in their own 22 but a pass across the backs was brilliantly read and intercepted by Mark Boyle who ran in under the posts. Oisin Fortune converted the try to give Gorey a 12-10 lead with 2 minutes left. Those two minutes proved to be heart stopping. From the kick off Gorey took possession and pushed forward. A kick and chase saw Mark Doyle just clear of the Portlaoise defence with his kick forward going over the dead ball line. The drama continued and from the resulting scrum Portlaoise moved the ball quickly across the backs and a low kick forward set up a chase. Once again Brian Redmond showed his incredible pace to outrun the Gorey defence but agonisingly for him his kick forward from 8m out was marginally too long and went over the dead ball line. The final whistle blew and the Gorey team and supporters breathed a sigh of relief before going into celebration mode. It was a deserved win for Gorey having gone through the league phase unbeaten in 14 games against all the top flight teams in Leinster. 


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