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Bennettsbridge continue their winning streak in Rd 2 of the Intermediate League against the Emeralds

posted May 15, 2015, 12:31 AM by Alan Flynn

After all the wind and rain we experienced on Friday last the weather changed for this round 2 of the Michael Lyng Motors Intermediate hurling league game in Jenkinstown. This game was between the Junior champions of 2014 and the beaten Intermediate finalists of 2013. Having got over last years finalists in the first round somewhat luckily this was going to be a test of the Bridge boys metal. There was a minutes silence before the game in respect of Tony Cullen who died during the week. The early exchanges indicated the Emeralds men were out to make amends for their first round defeat. Nicky Cleere got the Bridge men off to a good start with a pointed free. Emeralds responded with a pointed free of their own from centre forward Conor Martin. They then struck 2 more points from Pa Doheny and another free from Martin. Brian Lannon won a good through ball and struck it sweetly on 11 minutes. However 2 more pointed frees from Martin and 2 nicely taken points from Alan Guilfoyle put Emeralds in a strong position after 15 minutes. However this was to be the last score of the half for them as the Bridge started to win primary possession and with clever passing and strong off the ball running the tide started to change. 3 Further pointed frees from Cleere and a well struck Hugh O’Neill point meant they went in 7-6 down after a slow start. The one concern the Bridge mentors would have had going in at half time was the number of wides their side had hit while the Emeralds mentors would have been asking themselves what happened to the team that were flying for the first 15 minutes. The second half began with a point from O’Neill for the Bridge but this was responded to by Taggy Fogarty for Emeralds. He was causing problems for the Bridge defence whenever he got on the ball. Brian Lannon got one back for the Bridge and he like Fogarty was a menace for the Emeralds defence. Another pointed free from Martin kept them in touch before Liam Blanchfield got on the score card with a nicely taken point. The game changed however when the Bridge were awarded a free 30m from their own goal. Goalkeeper Enda Cleere used all his might to drive the ball down field and somehow the ball caught the Emeralds defence off guard and the ball ended up in the net. Indiscipline was now causing the Emeralds boys dearly and 4 unanswered pointed frees from Cleere saw the Bridge men run into a 1-13 to 11 points lead after 20 minutes of the half. After being booked early in the second half a moment of madness saw Brian Troy get a straight red after an off the ball strike with the hurl and but for the awareness of the linesman would have got away with his actions. We often mention lack of action by the referees officials but on this occasion James Barry was alert and justice was served. Another point from Lannon was quickly followed by a well worked goal after Lannon caught a ball 30m out and run towards goal and after drawing in the defence fed the ball to the on running O’Neill who drilled it to the net. The Bridge men were in total control and if they were a tad lucky in the first game there was no luck needed here. They finished off the game strongly and scored 3 more points in the final 4 minutes to end up winners by 12 points. Bennettsbridge were forced into making a number of changes before the game due to injury and exams but their replacements were well up for the game and it showed good depth in their panel. Bennettsbridge E Cleere(1-0), E Fitzgerald, J Moran, C Wafer, J Cleere, R Lennon, E Morrissey, D Wafer, K Blanchfield, M Shiel, H O’Neill(1-2), N Cleere(0-10, 9frees), W Murphy, B Lannon(0-4), L Blanchfield(0-1). Emeralds. D Phelan, A Farrell, D Fitzgerald, T Moriarity, J Kenny, B Troy, P Phelan, E Moriarity, N O’Gorman, S Nortan, C Martin(0-6 frees), J Ryan, A Guilfoyle(0-2), A Fogarty(0-2), P Doheny(0-1). Subs used E Kavanagh for Guilfoyle, D O’Gorman for Norton.