AIB Leinster JHC

Fennell on fire as Knockbridge book their place in the next round of the Leinster JHC

Knockbridge 2-16 Maynooth 1-14

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Fennell on fire as Knockbridge book their place in the next round of the Leinster JHC

Knockbridge celebrate their Louth senior hurling final win over St. Fechin's. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)

AIB Leinster JHC

Knockbridge 2-16 Maynooth 1-14

Shane Fennell led the way as Knockbridge moved into the next round of the Leinster JHC on Saturday with a convincing win over Kildare’s Maynooth in Dowdallshill.

The forward finished with 2-7 as Tony Teefy’s men made a winning return to the provincial competition after a four-season exile.

Knockbridge struck the opening five points consecutively, with Gerry McKeown, Andrew Smyth, Conor Deane and Fennell all on target.

They led 0-11 to five by the time the latter opened his goal-scoring account, driving a cracker to the net just before half-time as the Reds retired with a 1-11 to six-point buffer.

Maynooth struck the first three points of the second period, but were hit with a sucker punch as Fennell raised a second green flag to put the winners eight points in front.

The veteran left the field through injury before the close, as Gerry McKeown took over free-taking duties, but his contribution ensured his team of a place in the next round, despite Maynooth rallying shortly before the close, cutting the finishing deficit to five points.

Knockbridge: James King; Stephen Hoey, Conor Kerrigan, Ronan Mulholland; Andrew Smyth (0-1), Ronan Byrne, Mark Wallace; James Costelloe, Liam Molloy (0-1); Gerry McKeown (0-3, one free), Shane Kerrigan, Conor Deane (0-3), Shane Fennell (2-7, 0-4 frees & ‘65), Gareth Hall (0-1), Seán Marry

Subs: Ricky McKeown, Seán Byrne, Seán Brennan, James Searson, Robert Wallace, Brendan McNally