TJ Reid of Ballyhale Shamrocks in action against Robert Lennon of Bennettsbridge during the Kilkenny County Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Nowlan Park. Pic: Piaras O'Midheach/Sportsfile
Shamrocks of Ballyhale showed exactly why they are the defending Kilkenny, Leinster and All-Ireland champions as they overpowered Bennettsbridge in a surprisingly one sided Kilkenny SHC Quarter-Final.
Shamrocks form was a bit of an unknown coming into the last eight clash but similar to last year they are very much the team to beat after putting in a dazzling display where in the second half they contained Bennettsbridge to a solitary point from play with the rest of their scores coming from frees.
Shamrocks raced out of the traps and quickly went into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after points from TJ Reid, Eoin Cody, Colin Fennelly and Liam Barron.
Bennettsbridge hit back though and they found themselves on level terms by the 16th minute after hitting four points on the bounce.
The sides then swapped scores before Jason Cleere netted the game's opening goal for Bennettsbridge.
Despite Cleere's well taken effort for goal there was still nothing between the sides at the break as Nicky Cleere and TJ Reid shared a number of points (1-10 to 0-13).
Whatever was said to Shamrocks during the interval certainly had the desired effect as they completely took over and went seven points clear by the time of the second half water break.
Cody, Cuddihy and Reid were all having a devastating impact on the game and sub Hugh O'Neill got Bennettsbridge only point from play in the second period.
Shamrocks will have been disappointed not to have found the net over the 60 minutes but they still defeated the league champions by nine points which is no mean feat and it set's up their clash with James Stephens in the semi-finals perfectly.
Shamrocks- TJ Reid (0-6, 0-4f), Eoin Cody (0-6), Joe Cuddihy (0-4), Colin Fennelly, Brian Cody and Ronan Corcoran (0-3 each), Liam Barron and Brian Cody (0-2 each)
Bennettsbridge- Nicky Cleere (0-5, 0-5f), Jason Cleere (1-0), Ciaran Brennan (0-3), Kevin Brennan (0-2, 0-1f), Sean Morrissey (0-2), Willie Murphy, Kevin Blanchfield and Hugh O'Neill (0-1 each)
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