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Kilkenny's Bennettsbridge claim second All-Ireland club title in 12 months

Abbeyknockmoy of Galway were defeated by the Kilkenny club at Croke Park today.

Bennettsbridge players celebrate after defeating Abbeyknockmoy.
Bennettsbridge players celebrate after defeating Abbeyknockmoy.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Bennettsbridge (Kilkenny) 1-17
Abbeyknockmoy (Galway) 1-14

Paul Keane reports from Croke Park

SEAN MORRISSEY’S FREAK 56th minute goal proved to be the difference as Bennettsbridge came from behind to secure a slightly fortuitous AIB All-Ireland intermediate club hurling title success this afternoon.

The Kilkenny champions trailed by four points with 12 minutes remaining but firstly fought back to level terms before Morrissey floated in a high ball from the right wing that somehow sneaked to the net.

Abbeyknockmoy goalkeeper Declan Molloy will have nightmares about the concession as the ball sneaked in over his head and under the crossbar, the score that ultimately separated the sides in an energetic and entertaining contest.

Morrissey finished 1-6 overall, all from open play, and was the man-of-the-match as the intermediate silverware followed the same path as the junior title by going to Kilkenny.

Bennettsbridge begun the brighter and took a deserved four point lead after 23 minutes, 0-10 to 0-6, with four of those scores from former All-Ireland minor medallist Morrissey.

William Murphy, a late addition to the team, also scored two points though the Leinster champions didn’t score again until the 36th minute.

In the meantime, Abbeyknockmoy fought back thanks largely to Paul Flaherty’s six points in the opening half to level it at up 0-10 to 0-10 at the break.

Bennettsbridge hit three points in a row early in the second-half to take a two-point lead again but, again, they would succumb to a burst of Abbeyknockmoy scoring.

This time, the Galway outfit fired 1-2 without reply to turn the game on its head and move 1-13 to 0-13 ahead after 43 minutes.

Midfielder Damien Rooney got the Abbeyknockmoy goal but the introduction of Craig Kennedy was decisive as he firstly fired the shot that was parried for Rooney to tap in before scoring a neat point himself.

The three-time Galway intermediate champions led 1-14 to 0-13 approaching the 50th minute but, agonisingly, didn’t score again as Bennettsbridge dug deep for a famous win.

Scorers for Bennettsbridge: Sean Morrissey 1-6, Nicky Cleere 0-7 (0-7f), William Murphy 0-2, Hugh O’Neill and Brian Lannon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Abbeyknockmoy: Paul Flaherty 0-8 (0-5f), Damien Rooney 1-0, Fionnan Garvey, Caelom Mulry, Eoin Blade, Brian Flaherty, Brian Costello and Craig Kennedy 0-1 each.

Bennettsbridge

1. Enda Cleere

2. James Moran
3. Robert Lennon
4. Cormac Wafer

5. Jason Cleere
6. Enda Morrissey
7. Aidan Cleere

8. Darragh Wafer
9. Kevin Blanchfield

11. Nicky Cleere
13. Sean Morrissey
12. Brian Lannon

17. William Murphy
14. Liam Blanchfield
10. Hugh O’Neill

Subs
21. Sean Wemyss for K Blanchfield (53)
15. Michael Shiel for Murphy (53)
18. Kevin Brennan for Lannon (62)

Abbeyknockmoy

1. Declan Molloy

2. Ronan Cooley
3. John Culkin
4. Tommy Farragher

5. Trevor Mullins
6. Brian Flaherty
7. Brian Costello

8. Damien Rooney
9. Caelom Mulry

10. Danny Mullins
11. Coleman Maher
12. Eoin Blade

13. Paul Flaherty
14. Brian O’Donnell
15. Fionnan Garvey

Subs
18. Greg Kennedy for O’Donnell (41)
17. Padraig O’Donnell for Blade (53)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).

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