Mighty 'Bridge book another Croker date
Bennettsbridge 0-15 Wolfe Tones 0-8
Bennettsbridge extended their unbeaten run to a magnificent 29 games when winning through to the decider in Banagher.
The reigning All-Ireland club junior champions are chasing another national crown having completed the Kilkenny league/championship double at junior and intermediate level over the past two seasons.
“Things are moving along nicely for us,” insisted ’Bridge manager Christy Walsh after the defeat of Wolfe Tones (Clare) on Saturday. “It is nice to be going back to Croke Park again.
Wolfe Tones suffered damage during the opening quarter, falling 0-5 to 0-2 behind when playing with the wind. Nickey Cleere landed two early frees for the winners and he added the fifth score after Brian Lannon and Hugh O’Neill also pointed.
By the break the Tones had the arrears back to 0-8 to 0-6, but they looked in a spot of bother. The winners piled on the pressure after the turn, and upped their advantage to 0-12 to 0-6 by the 44th minute.
The Banner boys put in a defiant closing quarter, but the strength of midfielders Darragh Wafer and Kevin Blanchfield helped the ’Bridge maintain their grip to book a return trip to Croker.
SCORERS – Bennettsbridge: N Cleere 0-7 (5fs, 1 ‘65’); H O’Neill 0-3; S Morrissey 0-2; D Wafer, B Lannon, W Murphy 0-1 each. Wolfe Tones: A Shanagher 0-5fs; A Cunningham 0-2; B O’Gorman 0-1f.
BENNETTSBRIDGE – E Cleere; J Moran, R Lennon, C Wafer; J Cleere, E Morrissey, A Cleere; D Wafer, K Blanchfield; H O’Neill, N Cleere, B Lannon; S Morrissey, L Blanchfield, M Shiel. Subs: W Murphy for Shiel 46; S Wemyss for Morrissey 55.
WOLFE TONES – P Hogan; D McCarthy, J Roughan, D O’Rourke; B O’Connell, B McPhillips, B Loughnane; B O’Gorman, J Guilfoyle; A Cunningham, G O’Connell, J Cunningham; K McCafferty, A Shanagher, D O’Connell. Subs: R Hayes for Roughan 18; D Devanney for Guilfoyle 47; A Shanagher for Cunningham