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Bennettsbridge Seniors bow out of championship against Mullinavat

posted Feb 2, 2017, 8:45 AM by Alan Flynn

It took 3 years but like all records they eventually come to an end. Last Saturday afternoon in Ballyhale it was the turn of Bennettsbridge GAA Club. After 20 games over 3 seasons winning Junior and Intermediate County, Leinster and All Ireland titles along the way the straw that broke the teams back came in the form of Mullinavat. After 15 minutes we were reduced to 14 men after an attack on our goal resulted in their corner forward been brought down and the referees showed our man the red card. At that point we were down by 3 points but rather than lie down once again the lads dug deep and fought back to go in at half time all even after playing against the wind. This was as good a performance as the team had put up in the 3 years. Playing with the wind in the second half the boys were warned before leaving the dressing room to be patient. Patient they were and while not taking the lead and with a point down half way through the second half Sean Morrissey was struck by their centre back with a free awarded to the Bridge but amazingly no action taken by the referee. Some afters resulted and then away from the scramble a Mullinavat player went down and the referee showed a second red to a Bridge player. What was a difficult task now became impossible but still our lads and with 5 minutes remaining and just 2 points down the sheer weight of numbers resulted in a goal for Mullinavat. Still our lads kept pressing and with 2 wonderful long range points from Aiden Cleere we kept pushing forward hoping for a goal that would have taken the game to extra time. However as we pressed forward gaps appeared in our defence and a second goal resulted. So after 34 months of near constant training the squad now have a chance to take a well earned rest. Unless you are part of the U21 panel who will begin their quest for glory in a months time. To the management, selectors, trainers, physios, doctors, hurley carriers, water carriers and anyone else who gave their time to the club over this wonderful journey the club is most grateful.

What we have to do is look at what has happened to this club and community thanks to this 30 something group of players. To have followed the team over the last few years and watch them train as they did you would have to say they put their lives on hold for the club. To each and every one of them we are so grateful and no doubt they will return next season refreshed and ready to push for honours again. The team last Sat. was. E Cleere, C Wafer, J Moran, E Murphy, E Morrissey, J Cleere, A Cleere(0-2), DWafer, K Blanchfield(0-1), L Blanchfield(0-1), S Morrissey(0-4), N Cleere(0-7), M Shiel, B Lannon, D Walsh. Subs used. W Murphy and K Brennan.