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Bennettsbridge clinch the U-19B Hurling League

By John Power Wed 13th Dec

Bennettsbridge clinch the U-19B Hurling League
Bennettsbridge clinch the U-19B Hurling League Under 19 B Hurling League Final

Bennettsbridge 1-15; Young Irelands 1-10

Bennettsbridge clinched the U-19B hurling league with a five-point victory over Young Irelands Gowran, at a windy Bennettsbridge on Saturday last. This was a historic contest, in that, with age grades returning to even years in Kilkenny next season, this was the last competitive game in this six-year-old under 19 grade, which commenced in 2019.

Bennettsbridge had previously recorded a 2019 B championship victory at Under 19, so this league final victory was their second visit to the under 19 honours list.

Bennettsbridge started against the strong Saturday afternoon wind and opened the scoring with a Bill Hughes point from play.

Young Irelands were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead at the quarter hour mark, with scores from Ben Phelan, a James Hughes free, and a Charlie Fitzgerald minor.

Paddy Langton from a “65” for Young Irelands reduced the margin.  Bennettsbridge were still operating well against the wind, with points from two of their better players on the afternoon, Billy Nolan and Kyle Ryan.

Young Irelands needed scores by the interval and got a badly needed goal and a point by corner forward Mikey Keating in the last five minutes of the half, leaving things all square at the interval.

Half-time Bennettsbridge 0-6; Young Irelands 1-3.

The home side started the second half with a very fortuitous, but crucial, goal by Bill Hughes from a long range free, that went all the way to the Gowran net (1-6 to 1-3). James Hughes added a Bennettsbridge free two minutes later.

Young Irelands again needed scores to stay in the game, and in the next ten minutes they recorded three unanswered points, two from Patrick Langton, one from play, the other from Jim Conlon (1-6 to 1-7).

James Hughes (BB) and Killian Carey (YI) exchanged points, as did Kyle Ryan, who had a fine score from distance, again replied to by Carey. There was just a point between them as the game headed towards the final ten minutes, Bennettsbridge 1-9 to 1-8 clear.

Bennettsbridge outscored their opponents six points to two in the final twelve minutes, with Hughes points from frees, Charlie Fitzgerald, Jack Campion and Bill Nolan amongst the scorers. Diarmuid and Patrick Langton were the Young Irelands scorers in this closing period of the game.

Bennettsbridge deserved their victory, with the strong second half showing against the wind being particularly noteworthy. Players such as Billy Hughes, goalkeeper Jack Forristal, Kyle Ryan, Bill Nolan and Charlie Fitzgerald being their strongest performers.

Young Irelands as a club have had a great year in 2023, and players such as Patrick Langton, and Killian Carey will certainly feature at adult level in the very near future.

A fine game to end the under 19 grade, well refereed by Conor Everard.

Bennetsbridge team – 

Jack Forristal, Conor Molloy, Kyle Ryan (0-2), Eoin O’Connor, Paddy Walsh, Joe Hughes, Oran Lavery, Billy Hughes (1-1, 1-0 frees, captain), James Hughes (0-7, 0-6 frees), Charlie Fitzgerald (0-2), Timmy Kelly, Bill Nolan (0-2) , Jack Campion (0-1) , Noah Walsh Brennan, Stephen King.

Subs – Alex O’Farrell, Luke McBride, Paul Mahon, Sean Byrne, Adam Barden, Paddy Cash, Cillian Kelly, Gearoid Kenny (inj).

Young Irelands team – 

Tim Brennan, Charlie Brennan, Bobbie Brennan, Charlie Fitzgerald (captain), Jake Byrne, Patrick Langton (0-4, 1 “65”, 1 free), David Langton, Luke Phelan, Diarmuid Langton (0-1), Ben Phelan (0-1), Padraig Naddy, Jim Conlon (0-1), Cian Phelan, Cillian Carey (0-2, 0-1 frees), Mikey Keating (1-1).

Subs – Eóin O’Neill, Thomas Langton, Rory Farrell, Kieran Timmins, Shane Simpson, Sam Brennan, Richard Nolan, Eoghan Phelan, Luke O’Donnell, CJ Delaney, Daniel Manning (inj).

Referee – Conor Everard.

By John Power Wed 13th Dec

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