Brothers Shane, 4th from left, and Stephen Bennett, 6th from left, of Waterford with their Bord Gáis Energy All Ireland GAA Hurling U-21 Team of the Year Awards along with their friends and family, from left, Kieran Bennett, Harriett Bennett, Ailish Murphy, Ann Bennett, Jessica Drohan, Mary Ryan and Ger Cunningham, Bord Gais Energy Judge, at the Bord Gáis Energy Team of the Year Awards in Mansion House. Mansion House, Dawson St, Dublin. (Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Topping off what has been an already successful 2016 hurling campaign, Ballysaggart’s Stephen Bennett was announced as the Bord Gáis Energy U21 Player of the Year at Dublin’s Mansion House recently.

The UL student saw off competition from Waterford teammates Austin Gleeson and Patrick Curran for the top honour after steering the Déise to Munster and All-Ireland success. Stephen was named at full-forward in the U21 Hurling Team of the Year, while his younger brother Shane was also named on the team at right wing-forward. In total eight Waterford hurlers were named on the Team of the Year.

Accepting his award in the Mansion House, Stephen said their success has been in part due to the amount of time the squad have been playing together. “It was just a brilliant year for us all, everyone enjoys it so much so it makes it a lot easier to go training and go to the matches. We lost the Tony Forristal final U14 seven or eight years ago and it’s the same team, there’s younger fellas as well but the core of that team is there the whole time so we’re very close.” 

Coverage in this week’s Print Edition