Bennett proves the ace for Abbeyside

A MASTER class in free-taking from Dave Bennett saw Lismore safely to victory in an exciting Waterford Senior Hurling Championship opener at Cappoquin on Saturday.

Bennett finished with seven points, including four 65s, in the deserved win for Lismore.

The losers had enjoyed the best possible start with Mark Fives, Gary Hurney and Mark Gorman all finding the range inside five minutes, before Sean Daly got Lismore off the mark with a sweetly-struck point in the seventh minute.

The game’s only goal came in the 21st minute when David O’Gorman finished clinically after being set up by an otherwise quiet Dan Shanahan.

That goal gave Lismore a fortuitous 1-7 to 0-8 half-time lead, but they stoutly defended their advantage on the turnover before eventually easing clear.

Wing back William Cunningham’s move to midfield was also decisively influential, with Cunningham proceeding to drive his side forward in the second half.

James O’Connor revelled in his move to centre back and Shane Kearney also benefited from his transfer to the number three berth. Abbeyside’s cause wasn’t helped by wayward shooting — 14 wides to Lismore’s seven — and they were a point off the pace, 1-9 to 0-11, entering the final quarter.

But with the Bennetts, Dave and Eoin, picking off some great scores and Abbeyside clearly lacking the penetration in attack, Lismore weathered the storm for their hard-earned but richly -deserved victory.

Scorers: Lismore: D Bennett (0-7); D O’Gorman (1-0); E Bennett (0-3); D Howard (0-2); S Daly (0-2); D Shanahan (0-1). Abbeyside: M Gorman (0-5); M Fives (0-4); J Phelan, G Hurney, J Hurney (0-1) each.

LISMORE: B Landers; C O’Keeffe, J O’Connor, M O’Sullivan; W Cunningham, S Kearney, P Howard; D O’Gorman, D Bennett; D Shanahan, J Shanahan, D Howard; E Bennett, S Daly, J Heneghan. Subs: M Walsh for J Shanahan; S Bennett for O’Gorman.

ABBEYSIDE: D Ryan; P Lynch, J Kindregan, G Breen; J., Phelan, S Briggs, R Foley; E Enright, J Hurney; M Fives, G Hurney, J Gorman; M Ferncombe, M Gorman, J Foley. Subs: L Hurney for Enright; P Phelan for J Gorman.

Referee: Vincent O’Toole (Roanmore).

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