Bowling Catch-up (Week ending 19/09/21)

Arthur McDonagh is the new kingpin of Cork bowling. A commanding final performance at a packed Ballyvourney on Sunday last saw him crowned 2020 county senior champion. For James O’Donovan the wait goes on, a brave and spirited display not enough to win the coveted title on this occasion. The Coolea Road offers scope aplenty for senior standard-bearers to show their prowess and, to the credit of both finalists, they delivered a stirring contest. McDonagh had the edge from the off and once ahead, showed little inclination to yield ground. For O’Donovan there may be some regret that he didn’t get more traction on his opening shot and set a marker for the day.


McDonagh, who was underdog with the punters, was away to a fifty- metre lead after the opening exchanges and consolidated that with a splendid second. O’Donovan showed his wares with a brilliant third all the way to sight at ‘falla seanie’s’, a shot McDonagh did well to beat but now with a very much reduced lead. Unfortunately for O’Donovan, his fourth whipped left giving his Fermoy rival an opportunity to pull away again. This he did in no uncertain manner, firing one of the shots of the score to rise almost a bowl off odds. On a roll now McDonagh lined another big one, but O’Donovan defiantly followed to keep the margin under the bowl.


A chance came for the Bandon challenger when McDonagh’s sixth went right but it wasn’t fully capitalized on, and it soon became apparent it wasn’t going to be O’Donovan’s day. McDonagh’s eighth was another screamer that gave him a full bowl lead that was almost doubled when the unlucky O’Donovan saw his ninth accidentally blocked. Two bowls then separated them at ‘Herlihy’s’ but here was a glimmer for O’Donovan when he tracked a super eleventh that reduced the odds to fifty metres with the bowl. He kept pressure up with big shots past ‘O’Riada’s’, but McDonagh yielded no more and when his sixteenth shaved the right to restore his two-bowl cushion, the senior championship cup was heading to the North-East division for the very first time.


Arthur McDonagh will return to the Coolea Road on October Bank Holiday weekend to contest with Thomas Mackle for the 2020 All-Ireland championship.


Thomas Mackle regained the Ulster senior title with a comprehensive three-bowl victory over reigning champion, Cathal Toal in the final played at Knappagh on Sunday last.


Next weekend sees the return of the King and Queen of the Roads albeit on a diluted scale. Events throw off on Saturday, September 25, at 10.00am with the first of the King of the Roads semi-finals: Newly crowned Ulster champion, Thomas Mackle engages with David Murphy, wild card entry, and Dutchman Jochem Winnenk in the opening semi. This is followed at 11.30 by the McCarthy Insurance Group sponsored Charlie McCarthy Cup doubles, Darren Kelly and Mick Hurley (Cork) v Paddy O’Neill/Eugene McVeigh (Armagh).


At 1.30pm the King of the Roads semi-final 2 has newly crowned County champion, Arthur McDonagh pitted against fellow North East man and defending King of the Roads champion, Gary Daly and, also a very real contender, former finalist Ralf Look of the German FKV team.


At 3.00pm, The BH Tree Services Trophy, Michael O’Donoghue/James O’Sullivan (Cork) v Aaron Hughes/Darragh Gribben (Armagh).

On Sunday September 26 at 10.00 am the final of the Jim O’Driscoll Cup will take place. Contesting here, in a repeat of that thrilling All-Ireland intermediate final of just three weeks ago, are John O’Rourke v Mark Toal.


At 11.30 The Proto Marl Technologies Youth International Triple Crown; Wayne Parkes/Hannah Sexton (Ireland) v Olivier Scholten/Karlijn Greven (Netherlands) v Marian Jahnke/Imke Hiljegerdes (Germany).


At 1.30pm The King of the Roads final:


At 3.00pm Sam Kingston sponsored Queen of the Roads final:

Kelly Mallon v Silke Tulk v Martina Goldenstein.


The vintage (over 60’s) grade is making progress. At The Pike on Sunday week in section A, Carbery’s Jimmy Collins took a big step when getting the better of another likely contender, Jerry Murphy, Templemartin. With the elements proving a handful, Collins took a bowl lead in five and six to the no-play lines at ‘White’s cross’ but offered opportunities to his Mid Cork rival when taking three to the ‘lay by’. Murphy closed the gap to a throw-out at ‘Draper’s’ but could get no closer as Collins held off his challenge to win by a good fore bowl. At Drinagh in vintage B the local man prevailed when Connie Connolly won from Damien Hurley. In vintage B at Ballinacurra, Upton, Martin Desmond won from Jerry O’Driscoll and in the same section at The Bog Road, former winner, Denis Hickey came through against Tony Dunlea. In vintage C at Clondrohid, Martin Kelleher won a fine contest with Connie Lehane. That popular man of many scores, Tom Browne, bowed out of the vintage championship with defeat in section C to fellow East Cork man, Wille O’Donoghue at Ballincurrig. In the same grade Denis Hoare advanced from Billy O’Brien at Carrignavar.


The opening score in the new Gretta Cormican tournament went ahead at Shannonvale on Sunday morning. European silver medallist, Claire O’Sullivan, got the verdict here coming home a two-bowl winner from Carbery’s Emma Fitzpatrick. Claire’s exceptional effort from the brow above ‘Desmond’s cross’ down past ‘Kingston’s pillars’ was a decisive cast in what had been a well-contested encounter to that point.


In the Mid Cork junior B championship round-robin series, Enniskeane’s Brendan O’Neill turned in a performance of high quality at Templemartin where he won from Bryan O’Halloran. Innishannon man, O’Halloran, was coming off a win against Denis Murphy in this competition but was on the backfoot after O’Neill’s blazing start had him almost sight at ‘Slynne’s’ in four. Close to the ‘school-house cross’ in nine and over a bowl up, the Ennniskeane man sealed his win with a couple of massive drives on the downward stretch to the ‘monument’. They played for a total of €1,300.


A good winner too in Mid junior B was Newcestown’s Ger D O’Driscoll who played well in a one bowl win over Eugene Kiernan at Ballinacurra, Upton, on Sunday morning. O’Driscoll’s victory margin was close to a bowl of odds, and they played for a €2,000 total. In a Mid Cork junior C three-way at Newcestown’s, Trevor O’Sullivan defeated Joe Madden and Alan Butler in a three-way junior C contest at Newcestown. Second and third in this one play-off again to contest the overall final.


A score of two-halves was how the Clubhouse clash of James Hurley, Togher Cross and Bantry’s Jimmy O’Leary was described by Michael Cotter of the host club after Hurley took the verdict by a bowl of odds for a €2,300 total. O’Leary scorched to a two-bowl lead with four of the best to the ‘chips corner’. A fall throwing his third may have impacted as that high standard wasn’t maintained in the shots to ‘Clon cross’ at which stage the odds were halved. Hurley hit a brilliant sequence and led for the first time at ‘O’Riordan’s’ and he kept it up with a storming finish to book a quarterfinal spot. Back, The Clubhouse in novice D, David Deane fired two big last shots to deny Ardcahan’s Andrew O’Sullivan who played a fine score on his debut in the adult grades. In the West Cork championship at Derrinasafa, novice C, Alan Brickley again showed his paces with a comprehensive win over another likely contender, Johnny Kelly. They played for a total of €1,800.


Also, at Derrinasafa, a novice veteran score, section 2, Martin O’Donovan defeated Seamus O’Sullivan by two for €500. In novice C at Togher Cross, Stephen Daly ended the good run of Padraigh O’Sullivan, last shot, for €400. Daly continue in the same vein at The Clubhouse on Sunday morning when overcoming one of the grades stronger contenders, John Murphy, Togher Cross by a bowl of odds. An interesting duel for a €400 total had Daly scorching to ‘O’Brien’s corner’ in four going close on three up after an untypically poor start on the part of his Togher opponent. Murphy found his groove subsequently and reduced the margin to the shot of odds by that early burst of Daly’s was too much to reel in. There was success for the Murphy clan on their home road when Martin defeated Garoid Cronin in another last sixteen shoot-out.


West Cork’s U12 championship had seven scores at Bantry, and Tim Young has forwarded details. Oisin Wiseman won from Dathi Galvin; Oisin Murray won from Cian O’Callaghan; Conor Hourihane won from Tadg O’Farrell; Kevin Courtney won from Michael Galvin; Kieran Crowley won from Jamie McCarthy and Shane O’Farrell won from Josh O’Farrell.


In the Gaeltacht novice D championship at Macroom, Chris De Jagger defeated John O’Driscoll and D J O’Driscoll won from Mattie O’Leary.


The South-West novice C final at Lyre on Saturday evening was a well-contested joust that stayed in the melting pot right to the end. Conor Sheehy of Kilbrittain took the prize in the final throw from Shannonvale’s Ethan DeBurca. They played for a total of €1,800.


In City junior A at Curraheen, Trevor O’Meara was too strong for Thomas Boyle. Very much the underdog, Boyle did keep it competitive for a while and led at the ‘bridge’. Two massive shots to ‘Richard’s lane’ from here, had O’Meara in total control and he went on to win by two. In City novice B at Curraheen, Derry Crowley defeated Fergus French.


A tournament semi-final at Jagoe’s Mills resulted in Mark Coleman advancing to the final with victory over Mark Hurley and will now play John Paul O’Driscoll in the competition decider. Back the road here in a double contest, John Paul O’Driscoll and Paul Hurley defeated Mark Coleman and Dinny Mangan, last shot, for €600. There was a big stake event back Ballyvourney after the senior final. Here, Darren Kelly put Westport disappointment behind him in a one bowl victory over Jim Coffey (Jun) for a combined €8,600.