Hannah Sexton joins senior ranks in 2022, her winning run intact after a two-bowl intermediate county final victory over Ciara Buckley at Templemartin on Saturday last. There will be expectation after her exceptional achievements in under-age grades, but with her talents spread over many codes, a chance must be given to consolidate at the much more difficult higher level. Hannah was given a good test by her North-East rival, also a high achiever in youths grades, and for a while in the early stages, the ascendancy was with the Mallow challenger. Hannah’s perfectly executed deliveries around and away from ‘Slynne’s corner’ showed her at her best and the power in her bowling enabled her get away with a few tight plays subsequently. Ciara might have taken more than a thirty-metre lead as both took a while to get going on the tough rising surface playing away from the startline at Farranhavane cross. Hannah led with a fine fourth, but it was her seventh and eighth that catapulted her into a commanding lead that eventually transferred to a bowl advantage after ten. Ciara did well to hold off that deficit beating big shots to ‘O’Riordan’s’. Hannah put the seal on her victory with a sweeping cast around the ‘school-house cross’ and, already the national U18 winner, she goes now in search of an All-Ireland double when she takes on Ulster champion, Sinead Kiernan, in two weeks’ time at Ballyvourney. Michael Brennan presented the 2020 intermediate champion with the John Harrington Perpetual Cup.
The opening round trials for the forthcoming European Championships were held at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning. Dutch Moors and German Loft disciplines were the focus and a good turnout saw most of the likely contenders stake an early claim. A panel of players will be selected from these trials. The results from all three disciplines, Road Bowling the third, will be combined in the selection process. Each player will have 3 attempts at all three with the best 2 results to count. The second round of trials, again Dutch Moors and German Loft goes ahead again at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning next October 10, 9.00am Senior Men, 10.00am, Youths and Ladies.
Following on from Westport, Ballyvourney and Ballincurrig, a quieter weekend was still a busy one as tournament and championship action abounded with scores in most divisions. The vintage (over 60’s) championship remains to be completed from the 2020 schedule. Divided into three sections it is making slow but sure progress under the management of fixtures secretary, Harry Jennings.
The big one at the weekend was the meeting of West Cork’s finest in section A at The Clubhouse. Chris O’Donovan and Mick Young have given a lot to bowling and have indeed acquired their share of the laurels down through the years. Their section A quarterfinal clash resulted in victory for Ballineen man, O’Donovan, who overcame a sluggish start to see off the challenge of the defending champion, Young. It might have been different had Young taken a chance to gain leeway after O’Donovan’s poor effort at ‘Dineen’s lane’ but when that didn’t materialise, they went level in eighth each to ‘Clon cross’. The next exchanges were decisive. Young, a shade unluckily, missed sight at ‘Murray’s’ whereas, O’Donovan went well around to rise a bowl of odds. The Ballineen man increased his margin subsequently and goes into Wednesday night’s draw for the next phase. They played for a total of €1,600.
In vintage B after a score of mixed bowling at Leap, Harry Russell defeated Pat McCarthy, by two.
In Mid Cork’s junior A round-robin series, Aidan Desmond made a big statement when getting the better of 2020 champion, Denis Wilmot, at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday. For a €3,800 total on the old Castletown-Enniskeane road, playing up to the village, they went level in seven each to ‘the triangle’. A tight well-contested encounter went Desmond’s way when he fired two excellent drives to ‘Kenneigh cross’. A place in the final beckons after this his second win in the competition.
In the junior C play-off at Newcestown, Alan Butler defeated Joe Madden by two for €2,500. Butler plays Trevor O’Sullivan in the overall final. In novice D at Dunderrow, Tom O’Donovan defeated Brendan Hurley, last shot, for €2,000. In novice veteran at Jagoe’s Mills, Martin O’Donovan defeated David Walsh, last shot. In Mid Cork novice C at Beal na mBlath, Dylan Galvin defeated Mark Courtney and in D at Castletownkenneigh, Fionn Dwyer won from Barnes O’Callaghan.
Stephen O’Connell’s terrific finish at The Pike on Saturday evening saw him claim the South West novice B championship and the Sonny Daly Cup. Shane Nugent was the punters favourite and played his part in an excellent contest but could not do anything with O’Connell’s unprecedented brace from ‘Draper’s’ that brought him close to the finish line. They played for a total of €1,000. At Ballygurteen in novice veteran, Vincent Dullea, kept a good run going with victory over fellow clubman, Timmie O’Brien. In the South-West novice D final at Fisher’s Cross on Saturday evening week, Jason Harrington took the Mark O’Donovan Memorial Cup when he defeated Jack O’Driscoll by two bowls for a €1,600 total.
West Cork’s championships progressed with novice, veteran and under-age scores. At Bantry Mike McCarthy, Drinagh, thanks to a nice touch with his second throw, advanced with a two-bowl win over Barry O’Donovan. They played for a €600 total. In novice veteran at Kealkil, Jimmy Nyhan defeated James O’Driscoll, by a bowl, for €600. At Durrus in U14, Eoin Hurley, Dunmanway, won from David Russell. Also, at Durrus in novice veteran, Patsy O’Sullivan defeated Michael Carroll and in novice B, Vincent Healy defeated James O’Sullivan. In novice B at Togher Cross, Alan Keane overcame a tough opponent in Connie O’Leary and in C, David Hourihane defeated Daniel Hayes for a €1,700 total. At Ballinacarriga, Kevin Murphy defeated Brian Murray, last shot, for €500 and at Ardcahan in novice C, Jason Daly won from James O’Sullivan. A cracking U16 contest at The Clubhouse, Brian O’Sullivan put in a powerhouse finish to deny Ronan Coughlan.
In Gaeltacht championships, the big one at Ballyvourney saw Jim Coffey defeat Conor Creedon in the combined Junior A/B championship. In novice C at Ballyvourney, Darragh Lynch won from Brian Corcoran and in a three-way novice veteran clash, Niall Murphy won from Micheál O’Ceallacháin and Jerry Lynch. At Clondrohid in D, Denis O’Leary defeated Dan Lucey. At Cill na Martra in novice B, Stephen Crowley defeated Donal Og O’Leary and in D, Mattie McDonagh kept a good run going with victory over Neilus Murphy. In Gaeltacht championships at Macroom in the veteran grade, local, Tim O’Riordan won from Donnacha O’Luasa of Ballyvourney and in novice C, Leap native Adrian O’Driscoll defeated Kevin Manning, Cill na Martra. At the same venue on Saturday, a novice D championship fixture saw John O’Callaghan, Terelton score a victory over Darren O’Brien, Clondrohid.
In tournament action, the Fearghal Beamish Cup resumed at The Pike. The Covid interrupted second running had Bantry’s Muiris Buttimer in against competition runner-up in its inaugural hosting, Micheál O’Sullivan and the pair delivered a competitive joust that carried a €2,720 total stake. O’Sullivan missed a chance with his fourth after a wayward effort by Buttimer and it proved costly as the Bantry man took a bowl lead at ‘White’s cross’. O’Sullivan’s splendid effort to the ‘bridge’ looked to have levelled it, but crucially, Buttimer came within metres to hold most of his lead. Buttimer held off O’Sullivan’s challenge over the closing stages. The Fearghal Beamish Cup commemorates the fondly remembered Ardfield man, a committed sportsman in many codes, who died tragically in a work accident. In junior A tournament action at Lyre two men making inroads in their respective regional championships came head-to-head and it was South West’s trail blazer, Alex O’Donovan who prevailed over his Carbery rival, James Nagle. For a €1,400 total, O’Donovan’s seven on the tough terrain to ‘Crowley’s corner’ would have left most trailing and they gave him a two-bowl cushion on the Ross man. They matched other over the second half, but the advantage stayed with the Shannonvale man.
Reagún na Gaeltachta marked the achievements of their youth’s sector at a pleasant function at The Mills Inn on Friday when finalists from eight under-age championship competitions (2020) received awards. Introduced by new Bol Chumann Honorary Secretary, Micheál O’Ceallacháin the recipients ranged from U12 boys and girls’ categories to U18. Mr. O’Ceallacháin thanked regional chair, Eamonn McSweeney, and youths’ officers, Mick Lucey, Teddy Bradley and Niall Murphy for their work in organising and running off the championships. Special guest was Association chairman, Michael Brennan, who made the presentations. Receiving awards were Girl’s U12, Kayla Healy, winner, Dorothy O’Brien, runner-up; U14, Abby Lynch, Lauren O’Brien; U16, Ailbhe O’Shea, Rosin O’Riordan; U18, Ailbhe O’Shea, Ciara Creedon: Boy’s U12, Evan O’Riordan, winner, David O’Leary, runner-up; U14, Liam Murphy, Cathal Creedon; U16, Ben Herlihy, James McCarthy; U18, Anthony Lynch, Jerry McSweeney. Ben Herlihy as U16 champion received the Michael Tom Bradley Cup presented by Thomas Bradley. The late Michael was one of the Gaeltachts founding members, a former chairman and long time Executive delegate. Described by Eamonn McSweeney as one of bowling’s great characters his memory is preserved in the annual presentation for the U16 championship. County finalists in their respective U12 and U14 categories, Kayla Healy and Liam Murphy were joint Player of the Year winners.
Bol Chumann’s website www.irishroadbowling.ie has had a makeover thanks to Gareth Whooley. Its renewal contains score reports, results, fixtures, an extensive photographic input from Gretta Cormican, also, an archive section that contains historical lore on some of the games great championships and tournaments that have sustained the sport down through the decades. Bol Chumann Ard Mhaca, through their P.R.O. Eugene Tierney will have regular input.