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Bowling Report - Week ending 03rd June




COPPINGER DELIVERS KNOCKOUT BLOW TO MURPHY

June Bank Holiday Monday saw the opening score in the men’s senior championship as South-West venue, Timoleague, hosted the meeting of Martin Coppinger and Aidan Murphy. On the road where he captured the 2017 county title, Coppinger choose to deliver a consistent performance, not always forthcoming from him this year, and it yielded a bowl of odds victory over a dangerous rival whose interest in the championship is now terminated for 2024. It was a stakeless duel and both men started in style with two big bowls out the first bend after which Murphy led by twenty metres. Coppinger led after four as a nice touch off ‘Bateman’s’ wall’ got him a sixty-metre advantage. Murphy levelled after a good sixth and both lined their seventh to perfection as a good contest unfolded. Coppinger made a big break at ‘O’Brien’s’ and, with Murphy going right with his ninth, the Bantry native held seventy metres approaching ‘Barryshall cross’. Murphy’s efforts to level again weren’t gaining traction and Coppinger eventually rose the bowl of odds at ‘O’Leary’s’. For the remainder, Coppinger covered tips and won by the bowl of odds.

BUCKLEY'S PERFORMANCE AT CONNA RATES HIM HIGH TO TAKE THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

Paul Buckley certainly laid down a marker for the 2024 intermediate championship with a scintillating performance in his quarterfinal round contest against Paidin Stokes at Conna on Monday. Firing four opening shots of record-breaking proportions, the Crossbarry man raced to a two-bowl lead. Stokes hit two big ones to the ‘bridge point’ in a good effort to reduce the deficit but, Buckley followed both to hold his odds. There was to be no holding Buckley in this one. His ten to the ‘gas line’ represented excellent figures for the East Cork venue and he now joins Wayne Callanan in the last four draw.

HURLEY MARCHES ON TO WEST CORK JUNIOR B FINAL.

A big one in West Cork on Monday was the junior B semi-final at The Clubhouse. Liam Hurley, Togher Cross, and Drinagh’s John Young were in opposition, and it was a score that despite Hurley’s early dominance, might have gone either way. Young’s opener never got going whereas Hurley lined three of the finest to ensure a bowl lead at the ‘chip’s’ in four. When the Drinagh man’s shot from ‘Dineen’s lane’ went right, he looked in further trouble but he rebounded in splendid style. A magnificent effort to sight at ‘Murray’s’ kept it at the shot of odds and when he followed with four super casts beyond the ‘old school’ the odds was back to thirty metres. Unfortunately for him, when he caught the right with his third last, his good work was undone, and Hurley was back with commanding odds. Hurley held his ground over the closing shots and will play Adrian Buttimer or Kevin Cotter in the West Cork junior B decider. Back the road at The Clubhouse, Adrian Cronin defeated Tom Reaney, one bowl, for €1,900.

QUALITY BOWLING FROM THE UNDER AGE AT JAGOES.

An early Bank Holiday treat was served up at Jagoe’s Mills where an U14 county quarterfinal between West Cork and East champions played out a thriller. West’s Conor Hourihane and his counterpart, Tommy O’Callaghan gave their all in a shot for shot duel of quality bowling for the age-group. Leads exchanged with regular frequency as it went to the wire. Conor shaded it in the final exchanges to advance to the semi-final round. At Conna on the previous evening, London’s good Courtmacsherry form did not transfer to the East Cork venue as they lost their weekend championship engagement. North East’s Gerald McDonagh just edged Callum O’Donovan in the county U16 preliminary. Still on under-age, in North Cork Kilcorney hosted the regional U12 final. Darragh Foley won this three-way play-off from Donagh Murphy and Ronan O’Connell.

DEMPSEY UNDER PAR AT BALLYGURTEEN.

Eagerly awaited at the weekend was the county junior A quarterfinal local derby between West Cork’s Noel O’Regan and Carbery’s Darragh Dempsey. It didn’t quite live up to its billing. Noel O’Regan takes the bragging rights mainly due to a more assured closing quarter while the Carbery champion will rue a sub-par performance well below what he is capable of. There were flashes of good bowling, O’Regan’s brilliant fifth from ‘Dullea’s new house’ rose a hundred metres odds. Dempsey’s opening two did not get the runs they deserved, and he was now very much on the hindfoot. He extricated himself well firing an excellent seventh that cut the lead to five and then went ahead with great eighth to ‘Oakmount avenue’. O’Regan regained the fore bowl and, with Dempsey showing inconsistency, the bones of a bowl of odds separated them as they played to ‘O’Donovan’s corner’. O’Regan made a major blunder here but recovered instantly with a massive throw around the bend to restore his big advantage. A poor fourteenth by O’Regan gave Dempsey a late glimmer but it was not to be for the Skibb man and his Togher Cross rival remains on track for back to back county titles.

MICHAEL MURPHY INTO LAST 4 OF JUNIOR A CHAMPIONSHIP.

Another of the derby variety took place at Templemichael on Sunday afternoon. This last eight clash had Michael Murphy, Ballyclough, and Mark Bourke, Coachford, respective North East and North Cork champions vying for a semi-final spot. In a stakeless contest Bourke led briefly after a big second shot but it was a score dominated by Murphy. The Ballyclough man availed of a few mistakes to rise a bowl after five and was never really threatened thereafter. Murphy and Noel O’Regan meet in the county semi-final.

PARKES SETS UP A MEETING WITH O'RIORDAN AT THE MARSH ROAD.

Deferred due to rain from the previous weekend, Wayne Parkes and Andrew O’Callaghan played their second-round intermediate fixture at Baile Bhuirne. For a €2,420 total, O’Callaghan opened in style firing three excellent openers, but Parkes followed in like manner and the margin between them was not significant. Parkes rose eighty metres with a big cast at the ‘council gates’, but O’Callaghan responded well and had it back to twenty by the novice line. A tight finish beckoned, but Parkes put paid to that with two lengthy drives that rose an instant bowl of odds. It was enough for a Marsh Road quarterfinal meeting with Bantry’s Donal O’Riordan.

REIGNING CHAMPION CURTIN TAKES CONTROL OF GROUP A.

The women’s senior and intermediate championship threw up a few interesting results. Geraldine Curtin, the defending champion, consolidated her place at the top of group A with a bowl of odds victory over Emma Fitzpatrick at Lyre on Wednesday. Geraldine’s opening four showed her close to her best. Three to sight at the first bed followed by well-executed drive on the rise at the ‘mason’s hill’ left her a bowl of odds up. Emma ensured there would be no runaway, knocking the shot of odds with a big throw to the ‘double gates’. It stayed thus in the bowling to the ‘school cross’ and on to the ‘creamery’, the lead still hovering on the bowl of odds. Emma’s shot for ‘Ballinascarthy cross’ did not run kindly and Geraldine was untroubled in gaining her third point. Veronica O’Mahony is her nearest challenger at the moment in a group that also contains Meghan Collins and Denise Murphy. Hannah Sexton joins Triona Kidney and Ciara Buckley on one point in group B while Maria Nagle despite another brave performance at Derrinasafa on Friday needs a combination of unlikely results to make it into the top two. Hannah and Maria jousted at the Dunmanway venue and it was the Carbery lady who led for the first three. Hannah’s fourth and fifth were exceptional but her big lead was reduced again to metres following a good rally by Maria in the bowling to ‘natties’. A mistake then proved costly and, when Hannah raced to a two-bowl lead heading up for ‘Walshe’s lane’, the contest was effectively over. Back to group A and early wins for Geraldine Curtin and Veronica O’Mahony made them favourites for qualification but last year’s runner-up, Denise Murphy, is putting up a rare battle. She took the point from a thrilling set-to with Veronica at Beal na Morrive on Saturday evening. The all-north tie saw Denise at her best in the shoots to the ‘railings’ where three big ones rose a bowl of odds. Veronica rallied to level over the last quarter and just five metres separated them for the last shots. Denise would not be headed and beat a big last throw for victory. In the women’s intermediate championship group stage at Ballinagree, Juliette Murphy won from Ailbhe O’Shea.

WILMOT BEATS EUROPEAN CHAMPION MURPHY IN U-18 SHOCK.

The first of the inter-regional U18 quarterfinals went ahead at Clondrohid on Thursday and here, North Cork’s Shane Dennehy had the measure of South-West’s Cillian Twohig. The second of the weekend provided the big talking point. The meeting of European teamamtes Daniel Wilmot and Liam Murphy Mid and Gaeltacht champions was expected to be competitive but not on the radar was the elimination of the European Champion. Daniel Wilmot hadn’t read the script at Kilcorney on Friday and stayed in the hunt long enough to produce a killer last shot. Both held the lead at different points and both mixed the good with the average losing opportunities to consolidate. Wilmot looked to have missed his chance when his second last didn’t get traction, but he recovered in some style spinning a super last shot around the final bend to score a notable victory.

Emma Hurley (West) will contest county on two fronts defending her U16 title and hoping to add U18 to her laurels. In the latter grade, she won her county quarterfinal with East’s Julianne O’Sullivan at Jagoe’s on Saturday.

LONDON AND DUNDERROW SHARE THE SPOILS IN KIELY SHIELD AT DUNDERROW.

London region certainly made its presence felt over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Dunderrow at Saturday was idyllic for the twentieth hosting of the Pat Kiely Shield and here among the winners were the partnership of John A Murphy and Luke Forde who got the better of London’s Padraigh Nugent and Chris Kiernan for a €2,100 total. Padraigh Nugent then won from John O’Mahony to level the series before another doubles win for Chris Murphy and Ronan Hoey put Dunderrow in front. London levelled again and thus the day ended with the Pat Kiely Shield being shared for 2024.

COURTMACSHERRY ALL-IERLAND FUND-RAISER A BIG SUCESS.

Sunday’s regional fund-raisers at Courtmacsherry were well-supported and left the region in good fettle ahead of their All-Ireland hosting in September. The scores also showed the visitors at their best on the road as they scooped two big wins from the day’s openers. Their big hitters Colin O’Donovan and Padraigh Nugent scored a two-bowl win over Jim Coffey and Dylan O’Driscoll for a €5,600 total. The Londoners rose their winning odds over the first four shots. O’Donovan was to the fore again in the return, this time partnered by fellow Dunmanway native Peter Kelly, when taking a handsome victory over likely West Cork men, Brian O’Driscoll and Eoin McCarthy. O’Donovan beat a massive seventh of O’Driscoll and Kelly rose a hundred metres with his next. Another piledriver from O’Donovan put them a bowl of odds up and it was enough for for the spoils. Remarkably, London pulled a third on the trot when Padraigh Nugent defeated Vincent Cahalane, a man with strong local connections in the days third score. The stake at issue amounted to €6,000. Then, Darren Harrington defeated Flor Crowley by a bowl for €13,000 and Johnny O’Driscoll took a last shot win from David Hegarty for €14,000. In the last of the day, Jim Coffey/Kevin Coughlan defeated Dylan O’Driscoll/Shane Nugent, two bowls, for €5,000.

TYNER FINISHES WELL TO TAKE NOVICE VETERAN DECIDER AT LYRE.

Championship action in the regions continues apace. One of South-West’s most enduring campaigners, Joe Tyner, Woodfield, has captured another regional title. Playing against Kilbrittain’s David Nixon for the regions novice veteran crown at Lyre on Wednesday evening for a €3,500 total, an enthralling battle unfolded. Shot for shot it went to the bottom of the ‘mason’s hill’ but, when Nixon missed up Tyner took a vital advantage. The Kilbrittain man responded with a brilliant throw to leave it level again. Tyner lost the lead in the next exchange but then produced a super finishing surge to take the championship by almost a bowl of odds. At the other end of age spectrum, Cathal O’Donovan won the South West U14 three-way play-off also at Lyre. This was a fine display from Cathal and he needed to be on form against two very good opponents, Darragh Ahern and Fionan Twohig. In South-West novice D at Grange on Thursday, Ger Shanahan defeated Sean Quirke and Joe Williamson defeated Michael Harrington.

In West Cork the third of the junior C match-up produced a good tussle for a while at Ardcahan on Wednesday. County winner in the grade in 2012, Chris Murray eventually pulled away to defeat Paul Kingston by a bowl for €2,200. On the same evening at Ballinacarriga, in U16 Aaron Hurley won from Jack McCarthy and in novice E here, Donal Hayes defeated Tom Kingston by two bowls. Earlier in the week at Ardcahan, in U16 Adrian Deane won from Ethan Hurley and in the E grade, Niall Forbes defeated Michael Carroll by two bowls. In championship action at Togher Cross, Eoghan Hickey, transferring to the bigger bowl, won his U16 tie with Kieran Crowley while in E, Darragh McCarthy defeated Padraigh McCarthy. In West Cork novice C scores at Inch on Thursday, Danny O’Donovan defeated Eoin Hurley (K) and Kieran McKenna put the brakes on Joseph O’Mahony’s good run defeating the Schull man by a bowl for €2,800. At Durrus on Friday, in novice A Alan Brickley got the better of Colin Kingston by a bowl for €480 and in B here, Vincent Healy defeated Jerry Crowley by two for €1,500. In a big novice clash at Ardcahan on Friday, Chris Cronin defeated Padraigh O’Sullivan, last shot, for €4,000. At Kealkil in C Martin Murphy defeated Timmie Roberts while in the novice veteran grade in Drinagh, the home club’s outstanding campaigner, Connie Connolly, turned in yet another fine showing in a win over Gloun’s Michael Carroll. They played for a total of €1,000. In the same grade at Inch on Saturday evening Damien Hurley defeated John Murphy, Togher Cross.

ROSIN RETAINS HER MID CORK U-18 TITLE.

Rosin Allen retained her Mid-Cork U18 crown but only just after a magnificent shot for shot engagement with Sophie Murphy at Newcestown on Saturday. Virtually nothing separated the tips throughout before Rosin shaded the final exchanges. She joins an elite band now including defending champion, Ellen Sexton, Emma Hurley, Abbey Caverley, Darcey O’Brien, Rihanna Collins all vying for county honours. Also, in Mid, Shane Healy won his novice D contest at Templemartin from Thomas Maloney.

There was a big turn-out at Macroom for the Gaeltacht novice C clash of Gearoid Lucey and Niall Murphy. For a €1,380 total, Murphy had the ascendancy for much of the way throwing over twenty metres at ‘Bantry’s cross’ and holding his advantage on to the straight. Lucey hit a purple patch with two brilliant efforts that Murphy did well to stay in front of but, with the lead considerably reduced. Lucey had momentum and produced another piledriver to take the lead. It was Lucey who prevailed in the tense closing stages. Also in the Gaeltacht, in novice C, Liam Kearney and Brian Corcoran drew a big crowd to Clondrohid for their novice C clash. Kearney came from fifty metres down at the ‘novice line’ to win this one for an €1,800 total. In novice D here, Brian Crowley defeated Michael Murphy, last shot for €340.

In North Cork the U16 final was on at Berrings and here, Culann Bourke won the three-way play-off with Aaron Crowley and Ian Coleman. In North novice C at Ballinagree, John MacSullivan defeated Clifford O’Flynn. In the City division at Paddoes, Pascal Bowen defeated Tom Connolly by a bowl and Joe Lotty defeated Michael (L) O’Driscoll by a bowl for €500.

CARBERY NOTES;-

DEMPSEY'S COUNTY BID GOES OFF TRACK IN QUARTER FINAL LOSS.

Disappointment was the lot for Darragh Dempsey’s big following as the Carbery champion exited the county junior A title race at the hands of Noel O’Regan after a fraught encounter at Ballygurteen on Saturday. Only rarely showing glimpses of their true form both players made mistakes gifting chances while squandering others as the contest unfolded. It was always in the melting pot, however, the decisive exchanges only coming when O’Regan rose commanding odds in the shots to ‘Burke’s’. There was nearly late drama as more errors abounded but O’Regan had enough in hand for a semi-final spot.

CONNOLLY TO MEET JOHN YOUG IN THE MICHELLE HAYES MEM CUP AT ROSSCARBERY.

It was another busy week among the clubs as championship action abounded while Rosscarbery had the second semi-final of the Michelle Hayes Junior B tournament. Here, in a score of excellent bowling Ger Connolly eclipsed South-West junior B championship winner, David Hegarty in a dramatic last shot shoot-out. They matched each other in excellent bowling to ‘Barry’s cross’ before Hegarty took what looked like vital law around the lines at Cahermore cross. Connolly mounted a fierce challenge over the last third and was rewarded when a stunning final effort secured a twenty-metre win. He plays Drinagh’s John Young in the Hayes Cup decider. In the junior B championship at Bauravilla, Donie Harnedy, came with a strong surge in the bowling from ‘the rock’ to the ‘bridge’ where he rose winning odds on Micheal O’Sullivan. The win sets up a final spot for Harnedy where he encounters old rival, John Cahalane.

In the novice championships Ross had a double at Reenascreena on Monday when Mike Cussen held off the challenge of Ballygurteen’s Peter O’Sullivan to advance in novice C while Padraigh Hodnett edged David O’Regan in D. Mike Mennis overcame a slack start to pull an extraordinary win out of his locker against Donal Harnedy in the novice B championship at Leap on Tuesday and, in the same grade at The Marsh Road on Wednesday, Sidney Shannon prevailed against Darren Whooley. Leap’s Kieran O’Sullivan hit top form in a two-bowl novice C win over Gavin Harrington at The Marsh Road and new novice veteran champion, Denis Murphy won his C clash with newcomer, Rian Hayden. and there were novice D wins for Paddy McCarthy.

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