In a fine team performance Conahy Shamrocks overcame a fancied Bennettsbridge in the Semi-Final of the JJ Kavanagh & Sons Junior B Hurling Championship in Bennettsbridge.
The winners now qualify to meet Dicksboro in the County Final this Sunday. When the teams last met on June 11 in the league stages, Bennettsbridge scored a merited 10-point win over Conahy Shamrocks in the Polo Grounds, Jenkinstown.
The home side raised the first flag of the game when Shane Byrne pointed, but three minutes later, Mark Gunner who pointed seven frees over the 60 minutes, levelled for Conahy Shamrocks.
Little separated two evenly matched sides during the first quarter with Conahy holding a narrow 0-6 to 0-5 lead at the first water-break.
The closeness of the exchanges was also evident during the second quarter. Bennettsbridge started the quarter well with points from Willie Murphy and Kevin Brennan while, in the 19th minute, Sean Brennan scored the first of Conahy's three goals to edge his side ahead.
But the ’Bridge were back in front again on 22 minutes when Kevin Brennan raised a green flag for the home side.
Two points from Mark Gunner for Conahy and another Bennettsbridge point from Kevin Brennan saw the teams level at the interval at 1-9 each.
The home side, though, would have led at the interval but for three outstanding saves by Conahy goalie Andy O’Keeffe in the first half.
The third quarter proved decisive and saw Conahy dominate the period despite Kevin Brennan pointing two early frees for Bennettsbridge.
Mark Gunner (4), Paddy Mullan, Bill Murphy, Eoin Carroll and Geoffrey O’Shea added points for the winners, while a second Sean Brennan goal in the 42nd minute was an important score.
Points for the home side from Barry Lennon, Willie Murphy and Shane Byrne left Conahy leading 2-17 to 1-15 at the second water-break.
A point from Mark Gunner and a goal from Bill Murphy put Conahy in a strong position early in the fourth quarter, but a Kevin Brennan goal from a free on 54 minutes gave the home side some hope.
Conahy finished strong with points from Mark Gunner (free) and Sean Brennan to record a merited victory after an excellent performance.
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