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Bennettsbridge take back to backs
07 Feb 2016 18:06
Bennettsbridge 1-17 Abbeyknockmoy 1-14
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Former All-Ireland minor medallist Sean Morrissey fired 1-06 including the decisive, if fortuitous, match-winning goal as Bennettsbridge claimed a historic AIB All-Ireland club intermediate hurling title success, overcoming Abbeyknockmoy by 1-17 to 1-14.
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The reigning AIB All-Ireland junior champions made light of the step up in grade with back to back successes though did require a lucky 56th minute goal at Croke Park to do so.
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In fact, with 12 minutes remaining, the Kilkenny and Leinster champions trailed the Galway representatives by four points and looked destined to slip to a dispiriting defeat.
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But Christy Walsh's side battled back to level terms with a brace of pointe from both Morrissey and free-taker Nicky Cleere before winning the contest with Morrissey's surprise goal.
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The towering attacker was going for a point from the right wing but his shot dropped slightly short and deceived Abbeyknockmoy 'keeper Declan Mullan as it dipped just below the crossbar.
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Neither team scored again despite six more minutes of play meaning Bennettsbridge outscored their opponents by 1-04 to no score in the crucial final 10 minutes or so.
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It was tough on three-time Galway intermediate champions Abbeyknockmoy as they contributed to a fine contest and looked to have moved into pole position during the third quarter.
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The sides were level at 0-10 to 0-10 at half-time but 1-02 without reply from Abbeyknockmoy including a 42nd minute Damien Rooney goal put daylight between the teams.
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Abbeyknockmoy led by 1-13 to 0-13 before Paul Flaherty hit his eighth point of the day to open up a four-point gap. That was as good as it got for the Galway men, however, as they didn't score again and looked on in agony as Morrissey ensured their downfall.
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It was a double delight for Kilkenny as the county's junior champions, Glenmore, overcome Eoghan Rua, Coleraine in the earlier AIB All-Ireland junior final on a 2-8 to 0-12 scoreline.
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But they were left clinging on for dear life after a great start and only scored three points in the final 42 minutes of the contest, two of those from frees.
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Alan Murphy's 2-02 haul was crucial and his goals after eight and 18 minutes put Glenmore, the 1991 All-Ireland senior champions, into a 2-5 to 0-2 lead.
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But Derry and Ulster champions Coleraine battled back bravely from there to trail by just 2-06 to 0-06 at half-time and further reduced the gap to three after 37 minutes.
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That three-point margin remained between the teams until late on when Ciaran Gaile converted his seventh free of the afternoon for Coleraine, cutting the deficit to two. Glenmore battled for their lives though and held on to their advantage to claim a maiden title.
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Bennettsbridge: E Cleere; J Moran, R Lennon, C Wafer; J Cleere, E Morrissey, A Cleere; D Wafer, K Blanchfield; N Cleere (0-07 0-07f), S Morrissey (1-06), B Lannon (0-01); W Murphy (0-02), L Blanchfield, H O'Neill (0-01).
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Subs: S Wemyss for K Blanchfield, M Shiel for Murphy, K Brennan for Lannon.
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Abbeyknockmoy: D Molloy; R Cooley, J Culkin, T Farragher; T Mullins, B Flaherty (0-01), B Costello (0-01); D Rooney (1-00), C Mulry (0-01); D Mullins, C Maher, E Blade (0-01); P Flaherty (0-08 0-05f), B O'Donnell, F Garvey (0-01).
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Subs: C Kennedy (0-01) for O'Donnell, P O'Donnell for Blade,
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Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).
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Glenmore: D Aylward; S Duggan, F Freyne, S Doherty; P Roche, R Mullally, M Phelan; S Murphy (0-01), D Aylward; J Cody, E Murphy (0-01), E Vereker; A Murphy (2-02), M Phelan, M Aylward (0-04, 0-04f).
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Subs: L Hennessy for D Aylward, B Doherty for Pheland, D Croke for S Murphy.
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Eoghan Rua, Coleraine: P Mullan; C Lagan, B McGoldrick, L McGoldrick (0-01); A Rafferty, N Holly, P Dallas; SL McGoldrick (0-02), R Leonard; C Gaile (0-07, 0-07f), R Mooney, D Mullan; Ciaran McGoldrick, Colm Mc Goldrick (0-01), T Magee (0-01).
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Subs: None.
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Referee: James Clarke (Cavan)
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