A Bridge too far for Clara
JUST four years ago, Bennettsbridge were a junior club. Now the Bridge are only one win away from their first Kilkenny senior hurling title since 1971.
Bennettsbridge defeated 2013 and 2015 champions Clara in a 51-point thriller played out in Nowlan Park. The bookies couldn’t separate them, with both sides priced at even money before throw-in and this was reflected in a point-for-point, goal-for-goal humdinger of a battle in Kilkenny’s county grounds. Clara had the better of it in the early stages and they led 1-6 to 0-6 after 20 minutes of the action. Bennettsbridge responded well, however, with a couple of points before sucker-punching Clara with two goals just on the stroke of half-time.
Those two goals changed the half-time team talks but to Clara’s credit, they just wouldn’t die. The game exploded into life as soon as the referee threw the ball in to start the second half with both sides hitting the ground with a flurry of points. Crucially, however, despite Clara levelling the game on more than one occasion, they would never lead the Bridge again. Sean Morrissey did most of the damage for the eventual winners, the half forward ending his afternoon with 2-5 from open play.
However, The Bridge will have to do it all again in this Sunday’s final when they come up against Ballyhale Shamrocks, whose last ditch effort in last Sunday’s senior semi-final was just enough to deny Erin’s Own a spot in the County Championship Final in Nowlan Park over October Bank Holiday weekend.