'Bridge win comes at cost
Bennettsbridge won and lost in this high-class decider at Nowlan Park.
The Kilkenny men will go through to the All-Ireland semi-finals in the new year but could be without their county senior panellist Robert Lennon, who was harshly red carded in the dying minute.
Lennon wrestled Kiltale's Mark O'Sullivan to the ground as he charged towards goal, and was given a straight red.
Kiltale took the game to the Kilkenny champions, and they weren't behind until Brian Lannon bagged a goal for the 'Bridge in 49th minute (1-11 to 0-11).
Liam Blanchfield and Nicky Cleere (free) then pointed for the winners, but Meath side Kiltale refused to yield.
Two minors from Jack Regan left it a one score game two minutes from the end, before Cleere pointed a free to give the 'Bridge breathing space. But the Royal County representatives continued to charge forward and were looking for a goal when the sending off occurred.
Kiltale led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break and troubled Bennettsbridge in the third quarter, but Lannon's goal finally turned the game.
SCORERS - Bennettsbridge: N Cleere 0-9 (7fs, 1 '65'), B Lannon 1-1, L Blanchfield 0-2, J Cleere, S Morrissey 0-1 each. Kiltale: J Regan 0-8 (6fs, 1 '65'), K Ryan, P Durnin 0-2 each, P Kelly 0-1.
BENNETTSBRIDGE - E Cleere; E Morrissey, J Moran, C Wafer; J Cleere, R Lennon, A Cleere; D Wafer, K Blanchfield; H O'Neill, N Cleere, B Lannon; S Morrissey, L Blanchfield, M Shiel. Subs: P O'Neill for C Wafer; W Murphy for M Shiel; K Brennan for K Blanchfield.
KILTALE -S McGann; A Donnelly, D Donoghue, C Ennis; S Donoghue, R Ryan, E Ryan; A Forde, P Kelly; J Kelly, J Donoghue, J Regan; P Durnin, R Ryan, K Ryan. Subs: M O'Sullivan for R Ryan; S Lenehan for J Donoghue.
REF - B Redmond (Wexford).