The Allianz Cumann-na-mBunscol finals got off to a rip-roaring start in sun drenched Nowlan Park. Mooncoin and Bennetsbridge squared up in the Toymaster Roinn B decideer and produced a brilliant game of hurling which was thoroughly enjoyed by a good sized crowd.
Both sides had periods of dominance but it was Mooncoin who produced it when it mattered most and just about deserved the spoils. Mooncoin got off to a bright start and led by three points after five minutes. Bennetsbridge gradually settled and hurled their way back to level the game by the 10th minute.
David Blanchfield and Ciarán Brennan were causing problems for Mooncoin and points from them saw Bennetsbridge two ahead by the midway stage. The losers struck for their first goal from David Blanchfield. Martin O’Neill replied with a point.
Bennetsbridge tacked on two more points and Mooncoin were under siege. Jamie Harkin made the first of a series of wonderful saves to deny Mooncoin a goal. Lee Tracey then grabbed the sliotar and burst through the ’Bridge defence to crash home a super goal.
Back came Bennetsbridge. Ciarán Brennan, who was outstanding, scored his side’s second goal before the break. Mooncoin ’keeper, Darragh Murphy was called into action and made an excellent save. The sides traded points and when the half time whistle sounded the score was Bennetsbridge 2-7, Mooncoin 1-5.
The losers shot the opening score of the new half, a point from David Blanchfield. Mooncoin made some positional switches and Sean Gannon went from defence into attack. He was only denied a goal by a brilliant save from Jamie Harkin.
Mooncoin were on the rampage. Killian Hogan scored a brilliant goal in the third minute. Sean Gannon then set up a third Mooncoin goal for Lee Tracey to level the game, 3-5 to 2-8. Back came the ’Bridge to edge ahead with a point from Ciarán Brennan.
Sean Gannon replied with another goal for Mooncoin after good work by Adam Croke. Lee Tracey scored a wonderful point for Mooncoin to put them two ahead. It was engrossing hurling.
Ciarán Quilty and Killian Hogan added points for Mooncoin, who were in control. Bennetsbridge were far from finished. The excellent Ciarán Brennan grabbed a long range free and buried the sliotar in the net in the 44th minute. Bennettsbridge hrew everything at the opposing goal. Laurence Mahon was switched to full-forward and somehow the Mooncoin defence saved his shot at the expense of a 65.
Mooncoin were forced to defend for all their worth. Ciarán Brennan added another point from a free but Mooncoin had the final say when Adam Croke grabbed a goal in the final minutes to end a fabulous game.
Mooncoin - Darragh Murphy, Ryan Carroll, Cormac Kinsella, Padraig Delahunty, Máirtín Gannon, Sean Gannon, Donnacha Hogan, Killian Hogan, Aidan Doyle, Martin O’ Neill, Eva Aylward, Adam Croke, Ciarán Quilty, Lee Tracey, Rory Lehane, Eoin Grant, James Aylward, Oisín Hennebry, Aoife Purcell, Niamh Crowley, Jack Conway, Jack Ryan, Luke O’ Brien, Ben Skehan-McDonald, Alicia Delahunty, Kate Cooney, Aronn O’Neill.
Bennetsbridge - Jamie Harkin, Laurence Mahon, Barry Lennon, Rachel Kelly, Troy Walsh, Danny Coyne, Mikey Lewis, Tim Corkery, Conor Murphy, Sean O’Connell, David Blanchfield, Ciarán Brennan, Hannah Kelly, Tom Bolger, Ciarán Mullen, Gary Anderson, Tom O’ Donnell, Aaron Varley, Johnny Waugh, Conor Campion, John Doyle, Ivan Kelly, Dylan Kenny, Daniel Madigan, Michael Molloy, Charlie Nolan, Conor Nolan, Niamh O’Connell, Matthew Treacy, Adam Walsh Brennan, Niamh Walsh, Abby Wemyss, Sean McBride.
Referee - Paschal Connolly