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Bennettsbridge advance to Northern U21 A Semi Final

posted Dec 14, 2014, 10:31 AM by Alan Flynn

Bennettsbridge played James Stephens in the QF of the JJ Kavanagh & Sons U21 Northern Hurling Championship on Sunday last. This game was scheduled for Castlecomer but when the pitch was unavailable the 2 clubs tossed for home advantage and luck was with the Bridge. The game started at a hectic pace and both sides showed their intentions by going hell for leather with no quarter given or taken. The Village were first to strike with a free after 2mins. They made it 2pts with a delightful side line cut and followed it up with another pointed free. It took the Bridge 10 minutes to get off the mark with a point from Hugh O’Neill. This was followed by 3 more scores for the home team with a free and a 65 from Willie Murphy sandwiched by a strike by Kevin Blanchfield. The Village hit back with another pointed free but then the Bridge took control of the scoring. From the 16th minute to half time the Bridge put on 6 unanswered points with 5 coming from play. This brought up half time and the lads were in a good position going in 10pts to 4 in front. The second half started as the first ended with 2 early points to W Murphy (free) and H O’Neill from play. Over the next 10 minutes the sides traded 4 points apiece and things were looking good. However the Village being the Village they were not going to let this go without a fight and they piled on the pressure and brought the game back to a single point with time running out. Still they piled on the pressure and but for some great defensive work by the home side they might have stolen it. A great catch by Aidan Cleere took the pressure off and the resulting long range free for the Bridge went close but wide. Back came the Village and again more defending for the lads but they were up to it. After getting the ball down the field eventually Liam Blanchfield won a free and Willie Murphy put it over for a 2 point cushion. This was a great game at this time of the year and it shows the maturity and experience that is in this group of players and the winning feeling continues. There is not much time for rest however as they now face more town opposition next week against O’Loughlin Gaels. Final score: Bennettsbridge 17pts . James Stephens 1-12.  The team was : S Nolan, P O’Neill, R Lennon, S Byrne, J Cleere, E Morrissey, A Cleere, C Wafer 0-1, K Blanchfield 0-1, S Morrissey 0-3, H O’Neill 0-2, M Shiel, D Walsh 0-1, L Blanchfield 0-1, W Murphy0-8(7 frees, 1 65). Sub used K Brennan for P O’Neill.