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Season Kicks off with a win

Gorey 1st XV 23         Wicklow 1st XV 25  

Wicklow got their season and their  South East League campaign underway when they beat a tough and fired up Gorey side in Gorey RFC on Sunday afternoon . Gorey who ply their trade in Division 1 of the Leinster league last season, looked like they meant business and got off to the better start.

Both teams were fielding young sides notably  Paddy Cullen making his senior debut for Wicklow, Mark Cullen in the front row and Stefan Nixon on the bench.

Gorey were first to score with an unconverted try to make it 5 – 0. They added a penalty after fifteen minutes to make it 8 – 0. Wicklow responded well and got a penalty of their own through Niall Earls after a spell of good pressure to make it 8 – 3.

Gorey had the wind in the first half but Wicklow began to come more and more into the game. They won a penalty and kicked to the corner. From the ensuing lineout the ball went through the phases and some good work by Niall Earls saw him go over in the corner. He converted his own try to make it 8- 10 to Wicklow.

Gorey attacked again but were denied by a brilliant tackle from Eoin O’Sullivan. Gorey did manage to add on a penalty and retake the lead at 11 – 10. Wicklows response was immediate and Earls put them back in front 11 – 13.

On the stroke of half time Wicklow handed Gorey an easy score when an error at lineout time saw a Gorey player pounce on a loose ball and go over for the try. The subsequent conversion made it 18 – 13 at halftime.

A try early in the second half appeared to put Gorey in control at 23 – 13 but Wicklow weren’t finished yet. The game began to open up and Wicklow began to exert real pressure on the Wexford men. John Jenkinson, Dennis Higgins and the two Doyle brothers were prominent in the exchanges.

With 15 minutes on the clock Eanna Kileen went over for an unconverted try to make it 23 – 18. Wicklow were well on top now in the closing stages as a tiring Gorey clung on.

As the clock wound down some good work by Kieran Hurrell and Alex Porter put Wicklow on the attack. A brilliant Paddy Cullen break set up the scoring opportunity. The ball went wide and Ben Porter dived over in the corner to score. The socres were level with the kick remaining.

Captain Niall Earls coolly slotted the kick from the touchline and Wicklow had won the game with the last play.

Wicklow were happy with the run out. The final scoreline was probably a little unfair to Gorey but this Wicklow side have developed a habit of winning. Wicklow were particularly pleased with the progress the young players continue to make and were delighted to see Paddy Cullen, Stefan Nixon and Mark Cullen establish themselves on the firsts squad.

The seconds game unfortunately had to be called off due to the referee not turning up. The two teams played a short training game with Wicklow emerging as 12 – 7 winners.

Next Sunday the South East League continues when Wexford visit Wicklow with kick off at 3pm. Seconds kick off at 1.30pm.

The following Sunday Enniscorthy are the visitors for the 2015 South East final which is an over run from last season. Firsts and seconds from both clubs will play for the coveted trophies. Wicklow have only won the J1 South East League trophy once in the last forty years and will be keen to make that twice.

Squad: Timmy Donovan, Eanna Kileen, Mark Cullen, Fergal Walsh, John Jenkinson, Andrew Doyle, Michael Doyle, Eoin O’Sullivan, Dennis Higgins,  Niall Earls, Shane Farrar, Paddy Cullen,  Kieran Hurrell,  Ben Porter, Ben Armstrong, Jonny Butler, Alex Porter, Ronan Monahan, Neil Dickenson, Ally Byrne, Stefan Nixon


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