Friday 30 September 2016

Morrissey leads 'Bridge to historic triumph

Bennettsbridge 1-17 Abbeyknockmoy 1-14

Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30

Bennettsbridge team-mates Seán Morrissey, Nickey Cleere, and Robert Lennon celebrate after the game. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile
Bennettsbridge team-mates Seán Morrissey, Nickey Cleere, and Robert Lennon celebrate after the game. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile
Abbeyknockmoy's John Culkin against Liam Blanchfield of Bennettsbridge. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile

Bennettsbridge created history by becoming the first side to put junior and intermediate club hurling championship wins back-to-back, and they did it in remarkable fashion at Croke Park, coming from four points down during the last quarter.

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Abbeyknockmoy looked set to become the first Galway club to claim the title when they fired 1-3 without reply between the 40th and 46th minutes to jump 1-14 to 0-13 ahead. Sub Greg Kennedy nabbed the goal with his second touch of the ball, and suddenly they were in control of a game that had been nip and tuck all the way.

However, the 'Bridge, now 30 games unbeaten, refused to give up. A long-range point from star man Sean Morrissey - who scored 1-5 from play - ignited a stunning revival.

On 50 minutes Morrissey landed another mighty point, and after Abbey' missed a good goal chance, scores from Brian Lannon and deadly free taker Nicky Cleere levelled it at 1-14 to 0-17 with six minutes remaining.

Then disaster struck for Abbey'. Morrissey sent in a speculative shot from 55 metres near the right sideline that flew over the keeper and into the net.

The 'Bridge were 1-17 to 1-14 in front, and they held on.

SCORERS - Bennettsbridge: S Morrissey 1-6, N Cleere 0-7fs, W Murphy 0-2, B Lannon, H O'Neill 0-1 each. Abbeyknockmoy: P Flaherty 0-9 (6f), G Kennedy 1-0, B Flaherty, B Costello, C Mulry, E Blade, F Garvey 0-1 each.

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, W Murphy. Subs: S Wemyss for K Blanchfield (52), M Shiel for W Murphy (52), K Brennan for B Lannon (61).

ABBEYKNOCKMOY - D Molloy; R Cooley, J Culkin, T Farragher; T Mullins, B Flaherty, B Costello; D Rooney, C Mulry; D Mullins, C Maher, E Blade; P Flaherty, B O'Donnell, F Garvey. Subs: G Kennedy for B O'Donnell (40), P O'Donnell for E Blade (52).

REF - J Keenan (Wicklow).

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