A single point bridged a 53 year gap and Lisdowney were left singing in celebration following a thrilling Kilkenny junior hurling final in Nowlan Park this afternoon.
Five minutes from the end the ’Bridge were shot a point ahead when Liam Blanchfield was fouled and Nicky Cleere clipped the free over the bar (1-17 to 2-13). The ’Bridge lost last year’s final, but the title looked within their grasp this time as they had come back from one time second half arrears of six points (2-10 to 1-7).
However, Lisdowney got back level through Michael Kenny. With the game wide open and wildly exciting, the winners edged ahead through Hickey. Sean Morrissey levelled again right on the hour, before Hickey’s additional time point won the game for Lisdowney.
The winners led by 2-9 to 1-5 at half-time after playing with the wind. The goals were scored by Aaron Fogarty (penalty) and Hickey, but the best of the action was still to come. The ’Bridge improved considerably after the rest but it was a slow, hard slog back to equal terms of 2-13 to 1-16 in the 53rd minute.
When they pushed on and got in front their supporters went wild, but Lisdowney showed real character when battling back for a famous victory.
Scorers: Lisdowney - R. Hickey (1-6); A. Fogarty (1-2); L. Carroll (0-3); P. Carroll, E. Hickey, C. Mackey, M. Kenny, E. Kenny (0-1 each). Bennettsbridge - N. Cleere (0-10); K. Blanchfield (0-3); B. Lannon (1-0); S. Morrissey, H. O’Neill (0-2 each); L. Blanchfield (0-1).