Tuesday 28 March 2017

Morrissey leads 'Bridge to historic triumph

Bennettsbridge 1-17 Abbeyknockmoy 1-14

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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.

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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