John Bennett (hurler)
|Irish name||Seán Binéid|
Douglas, Cork, Ireland
|Died|| (aged 84)
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 22:45, 26 April 2015.|
John Bennett (1934 – 10 August 2016) was an Irish hurler whose league and championship career with the Cork senior team spanned eight years from 1960 to 1968. He is regarded as one of Cork's greatest ever players.
Born in Douglas on the south side of Cork city, Bennett was introduced to hurling in his youth. The lack of an underage structure with the Douglas club prompted his move to Blackrock where he quickly joined the senior team. Bennett went on to enjoy a successful career with the club and won two county senior championship medals. As Gaelic footballer with St. Michael's, he finished his club career with Douglas.
Bennett made his debut on the inter-county scene when he was added to the Cork senior panel for the 1960 championship. Over the next few years he found it difficult to establish himself on the team, however, by 1966 he was a regular in the forward line. Bennett won a set of All-Ireland and Munster medals that year. He played his last game for Cork in July 1968.
In retirement from playing Bennett became involved in team management and administrative affairs. He was a selector with the Blackrock senior team before serving as club chairman for six years. As a selector with the Cork senior team Bennett helped guide the team to Munster and National Hurling League successes in 1972.
Although eligible to play with the Douglas club, Bennett transferred to Blackrock who were in the midst of a 25-year era without success. In 1954 he was at right wing-forward as Blackrock qualified for their first county final in six years. The Rockies fielded a young team, however, Glen Rovers had eight inter-county players on their team and held a 2-4 to 0-2 half-time lead. Bennett's side fought back after the interval with goals from Eddie John O'Sullivan, Tom Furlong and Seán Horgan, leaving the result in doubt up to the end. At the full-time whistle Blackrock were defeated by 3-7 to 3-2.
Two years later in 1956 Blackrock qualified for a second county final in three years, with Glen Rovers providing the opposition once again. The Glen were now regarded as a team in transition and were defeated by a Mick Cashman-captained Rockies on a scoreline of 2-10 to 2-2. It was Bennett's first championship medal and a first for Blackrock since 1931.
After a six-point defeat by Glen Rovers in 1959, Blackrock were back in yet another county final in 1961. North Cork divisional side Avondhu were the opponents on that occasion and a fats-paced and high-scoring game developed over the hour. At the full-time whistle Blackrock were the champions by 4-10 to 3-7, with Bennett collecting a second championship medal.
Bennett first played for Cork as a member of the senior hurling team. He made his senior championship debut on 31 July 1960 when he came on as a substitute in Cork's 4-13 to 4-11 Munster final defeat by Tipperary.
After a decade in the wilderness Cork bounced back in 1966. A 4-9 to 2-9 defeat of Waterford in the provincial decider gave him his first Munster medal. The subsequent All-Ireland final on 4 September 1966 pitted Kilkenny against Cork for the first time in nineteen years. Kilkenny were the favourites, however, a hat-trick of goals from Colm Sheehan gave Cork a merited 3-9 to 1-10 victory over an Eddie Keher-inspired Kilkenny. Not only was it a first championship for Cork in twelve years, but it was Bennett's first All-Ireland medal.
Bennett retired from inter-county hurling following Cork's exit from the championship in 1968.
- Cork Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 1956, 1961
- O'Sullivan, Jim (11 August 2016). "Cork mourns hero John Bennett". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Horgan, John (11 August 2016). "John Bennett: a giant of Cork hurling". Evening Echo. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Death of Cork hurling legend John Bennett". Hogan Stand. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Crowe, Dermot (5 January 2014). "Kings for a day find it hard to repeat trick". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2015.