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Bennettsbridge into Intermediate Championship final after great win over St Lachtains

posted Nov 3, 2015, 6:04 AM by Alan Flynn

And still the dreams goes on. After a hectic semi-final in Nowlan Park last Sunday the Bennettsbridge run continues for another couple of weeks at least. Playing against St. Lactains of Freshford in the semi’s this Bridge team showed they are up to the challenge of the higher grade with a convincing win in bright conditions perfect for good hurling. And this is what this team is ‘’A good hurling team’’.The Bridge were first off the mark with 2 early points from Hugh O'Neill and Kevin Blanchfield. Freshford hit back with a pointed free before Nickey Cleere got off the mark with a pointed free himself. Then after the Saints hit another pointed free they struck a goal against the run of play which was followed up by a point from county panellist James Maher. Bennettsbridge hit back with 4 unanswered points before St. Lactains got 3 of their own. On the 20 minute mark however the Bridge raised their first green flag when Hugh O’Neill got on the end of a ball and finished it to the back of the net. St. Lactains hit back with a pointed free but this was to be their last score of the half. With 5 minutes left in the half The Bridge did what most good teams can do when they hit 2 sweet points before Hugh O’Neill finished off a lovely move to the back of the net again. Michael Shiel won a good ball and fed it to the ever running Kevin Blanchfield who made his way towards the country goal before feeding O’Neill who made no mistake. At half time the scoreboard read BB 2-10 to the Saints 1-7. The second half started with The Bridge applying the pressure but it was the Saints who struck first with another pointed free. But the pressure finally paid off and 3 points later the lead was now out to 8 points. Bennettsbridge were awarded a penalty on 12 minutes but Nickey Cleeres strike was well saved and you would have thought this might have given St. Lachtains a lift but this was not allowed by the Bridge troops. The game went through a spell of stale mate with just a couple of pointed frees for the Saints sandwiching a Liam Blanchfield point. Then that same man who had scored 2 great goals last week struck again when he took on the Freshford defence and when he struck at goal he made no mistake. The game was over at this stage as a contest but in the dying minutes Freshford struck a consolation goal which the Bridge management would not be happy with. The game finished on a score of 3-18 to 2-14 but the entire 15 will have to up the ante for the final but hopefully with the weeks break and some niggling injuries recovered this improvement is there. The real story of this game was for the first time in 2 years the Bridge had some injuries to carry into this game most notably Enda Cleere and Brian Lannon who did not take the field. Enda wearing a heavy strap on the knee lead from the back as he always does and his influence on the team is enormous. So on the 18th of October we have the chance of repeating last year’s achievements and only St. Patricks of Ballyragget stand in their way.

The Team was E Cleere, E Morrissey, J Moran, C Wafer, J Cleere, R Lennon, A Cleere, D Wafer, K Blanchfield(0-2), S Morrissey(0-2), N Cleere(0-9), L Blanchfield(1-2), M Shiel, H O’Neill(2-3), K Brennan. Sub used was W Murphy