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Bowling Report - Week ending 03rd March


The second score in the Dan Riordan Cup senior tournament at Bantry saw Seamus Sexton, Nadd, and Patrick Flood, Fermoy, in opposition on Sunday last. A competitive contest had the lead change hands at different junctures before the North Cork man delivered the decisive surge over the last quarter that took him through to the last four. The hot favourite despite a loss to Gary Daly in the Willie Whelton Cup at Grange the previous Sunday, Sexton opened in style with a lengthy first shot that gave him an immediate fifty metre cushion when Flood failed to get traction with his response. The Fermoy youth, just out of his teenage years, has the ability as he showed with some excellent performances in his first year in the premier grade in 2023, but his from of late has lapsed from those high standards. He showed his capabilities in spades with a monstrous second shot and led the score by three metres after three shots. Sexton regained the front with a fine cast but Flood again, with a great effort to ‘Casey’s’, was back in the ascendancy as they played to the novice line. The breakthrough came when Sexton found the gears to hit a super effort to the junior line. Delivered with smoothness and precision, it catapulted him into a seventy-metre lead at a vital juncture. A late chance to close the gap came Flood’s way at ‘Connolly’s wall’ but it didn’t run to his liking and Seamus Sexton took the spoils by a bowl of odds margin. He joins defending cup holder, Arthur McDonagh, in the last four draw. The remaining first-round fixtures will see James O’Donovan take on Gary Daly and Martin Coppinger vie with Aidan Murphy. The stake-money at Bantry on Sunday amounted to €2,400.


In junior A tournament action. Bill Barrett Cup winner Denis Wilmot took full advantage of a few errors by Michael Murphy, Ballyclough, to forge a bowl of odds victory from their Saturday Jagoe’s Mills clash. For a €5,600 total, Murphy made a cracking start but undid his good work with a misplay at ‘O’Brien’s corner’. Wilmot tracked a big one to the ‘kerbs’ to take a fifty-metre lead but Murphy reeled that in and led by twenty after a super effort to ‘Lawton’s’. The exchanges were top notch again to the ‘power station’ where tips were practically level. Wilmot maintained the high tempo and took a handy lead to ‘Ballinavard cross’. Murphy was game to the finish, but Wilmot is the form man and won a fine contest by a bowl of odds. On a busy day at Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday, P J McCarthy defeated Mark Coleman, last shot, for €800 in the novice veteran championship and Michael O’Leary defeated Paddy Hennessy, last shot, for €1,400.


Whitechurch staged an intermediate contest on Saturday where the grades newest incumbent, 2023 All-Ireland junior A champion, Denis O’Sullivan showed his suitability for his elevated status with a bowl of odds victory over Eamonn Bowen. Both feature as part of the ‘Dowtcha Boy’ Festival at The Marsh Road on this coming weekend and showed good form in the lead-up with Bowen, having made a bright start, spurning an opportunity to take a hand leady to the brow of the hill. O’Sullivan hit an astounding effort on the incline that rose the bones of a bowl of odds. Bowen challenged strongly in the bowling to ‘Downey’s line’, but O’Sullivan beat big tips to maintain his advantage. A late flurry by Bowen was again met with resistance as O’Sullivan held his ground and won by the bowl. They played for a total of €3,600. Also here, John O’Donoghue defeated Willie O’Donovan, last shot, for €2,200 and David Stokes defeat Michael O’Donnell, last shot, for €2,000.


The opening score in the women’s intermediate championship was an engaging affair at Bantry on Saturday. Playing off in the first of the group B round robin series, a win was important for Emma Hickey and Rachel Kingston as both have U18 champion Ellen Sexton to contend with for qualification for the semi-finals. Mere metres separated them in the opening exchanges before Durrus girl, Emma, took full advantage of a rather unlucky misplay when her Dunmanway rival’s fourth whipped left off the play. Emma was steady and smooth in her deliveries and quickly rose a bowl lead. Showing the competitiveness that won her an individual gold at the 2022 European Championships, Rachel cut the margin to sixty metres in the shots to ‘Casey’s’. Emma fine cast at ‘Cronin’s’ kept her well ahead but it was still all to play for until Rachel, with three to go, fired two in succession to the left leaving the result very much in the Durrus girl’s favour. Emma heads the group while Rachel needs a win in her next outing against the U18 champion.


There was disappointment at the late cancellation of the inter-provincial youths’ play-offs at Newcastle, Co. Dublin on Saturday last. Many had travelled when the announcement was made and many more were in readiness to make the journey on Saturday for what had proved to be an enjoyable and competitive event since its inception two years ago. Unfortunately, the weather in Dublin deteriorated rapidly on Friday leaving Lyon’s Road, the appointed venue, adjacent to Newcastle heavily waterlogged. With weather alerts active until the following afternoon and overnight frost in forecast, the Newcastle club organisers were forced to bow to the elements. A new date of March 23rd has been announced.


On another busy weekend at Grange, four scores were played. Association Honorary Secretary, Michéal O’Céallacháin showed his competitiveness with a two-bowl victory over a strong opponent, Ivan Buchannon, Woodfield. For a €1,800 total, O’Ceallacháin’s opening four yielded a hundred metre lead and this transferred to almost a bowl after three more to ‘the crossroads’. Buchannon had kept up a good challenge, but this was completely derailed when he lofted ‘inside’ at ‘Hegarty’s’ and incurred a ‘dead bowl’. With the odds now close to two it was too much ground for the South West man to make up. Playing back in Ballineen’s Eoin McCarthy chalked up another win when he accounted for former City junior C, Kieran Corrigan. For a €1,600 total, McCarthy’s closing spurt from ‘Hodnett’s sheds’ to the finish line would have seen off most as four of the best had him a bowl of odds winner. A big-money three-way at Grange on Sunday had Ger Connolly, Kenneth Murphy and David Hegarty in opposition for a combined €13,500. This was a score of fluctuating fortunes. Murphy was first away rising a bowl of odds on Hegarty and almost that on Connolly with an opening shot piledriver. That advantage didn’t last long for the Mid Cork man as Connolly soon led before Hegarty with a couple of excellent efforts to the ‘big tree’ and on to ‘O’Sullivan’s’ not only wiped out Murphy’s lead but put the Lyre man in pole position to the tune of a shot of odds. Mistakes though were the order too and two from Hegarty on the rise had Connolly back in front but, in another twist, an extraordinary cast to ‘Holland’s wall’ put Murphy back level when his chances seemed forlorn. The upshot was a last shot finish with all three in the frame, Connolly just in front. Hegarty from hind, had a good go, but not enough and it was Murphy who put down a testing target for Connolly. The Shannonvale man stayed strong and beat the mark by twenty metres. Back the road, Luke Connors defeated Ryan Buckley, by one bowl, for €4,000.

At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday, Michael John O’Brien and Bryan O’Halloran engaged in a junior B tournament score. Chances came and went in an even enough contest before O’Brien, from hind for the last shots, shaded the verdict with his final throw. They played for a total of €3,400. The pair re-engaged in a return score from which O’Brien again emerged the winner. The stake total in their second duel amounted to €2,400. Here too Tim Allen defeated Paul Kelleher.

Templemartin bowling had a well-supported Cancer Research fund-raising series of scores which attracted a good cross-section of the bowling community. On Sunday last Shane Collins defeated Liam Walsh, last shot, for €4,800 and Tim Kelleher defeated David Walsh, one bowl, for €3,200. In scores at Dunderrow, John Paul O’Driscoll defeated Adrian Wilmot and Gary O’Sullivan defeated John Paul O’Driscoll. In a junior contest at Newcestown, local, Ger O’Driscoll defeated Mark Bourke, one bowl, for €1,620 and John Holland won two from two with Bernard O’Callaghan, one bowl and last shot, for stakes of €1,300 each time.


Championship action continued in the regions. In West Cork U18 there was a good contest at Kealkil. Drinagh’s Eoin Hurley finished strongly to deny a game Luke McCarthy (Rossmore). In the same grade at Drinagh, Sean Cronin, defeated Eamonn Crowley. At Drimoleague in novice D, David Deane won from Michael Collins and Tadg Crowley won from Coleman Murray. The West Cork team event was held at Inch and here Drimoleague (James Russell, Andy McCarthy, Niall Forbes) and Ardcahan (Danny O’Donovan, Ian O’Sullivan, Padraigh Duggan) qualified for the March 24 finals at Castletownkenneigh. In the South-West novice team play offs at The Pike the two qualifiers to emerge were home side The Pike (Donal O’Sullivan, Ger Shanahan, Erick Harrington) and Grange (John Holand, David Nixon, Niall Crowley).


There was drama aplenty at Terelton where the Gaeltacht’s 2023 novice E final was played out amid a welter of excitement. Inchigeelagh’s Sam Pickering and Jack Lynch, Reenaniree, were the protagonists and, for a €1,580 total stake, they delivered a see-saw battle that stayed in the melting pot right to the final shots. There were at heir best in brilliant fourth and fifth shot exchanges where Lynch, having trailed earlier took the lead and then beat a massive cast of Pickering’s to hold a seventy-metre advantage. A misplay then by Pickering left him a bowl down and he was further punished when Lynch extended his odds to a bowl and eighty metres by the half-way point. The Inchigeelagh man rallied, knocked the bowl and suddenly found himself right back in the reckoning when Lynch hit a poor effort at ‘the garage’. The back-and-forth struggle continued when Lynch restored his bowl advantage only to lose it to Pickering’s monstrous effort as the line neared. Two metres separated them for the last shots and here Pickering produced the winning throw, a fine cast that Lynch, despite a game attempt missed by less than a metre. Back the road, Martin Cotter defeated Denis Paul Bradley, last shot, for €1,300.

In Gaeltacht junior A at Macroom Eoin O’Riordan defeated Terry Mallon.

In the City junior A championship at Templemichael, Trevor O’Meara defeated Craig Moynahin, last shot. Here too in U18, Paddy McCarthy won from Kevin O’Keefe and, in a further score, Michael O’Driscoll defeated James McCarthy, last shot, for €1,100. In novice veteran at Paddoes, David Sugrue defeated Paddy Cronin and, at The Bog Road, doubles, John Donnellan/Tom Fulham defeated Jeremy Downey/Pat Cunningham, one bowl, for €500 and in a singles score, Downey defeated Noel Hegarty, by a bowl, for €300. In City team bowling at Curraheen it was the home teams 1 (Gary Maguire, Tony Delaney, Jason McCarthy) and 2 (John Donnellan, Noel Hegarty, Kevin Ward) who qualified for the overall finals at Castletownkenneigh. Also competing were Whitechurch and The Bog Road.

In North Cork championship action at Bweeng, novice D, Matthew Broderick defeated Mark Bourke (Jun) and, in a return here, Adrian O’Connor defeated Jack Oldham, last shot, for €800. In a three-way novice D at Berrings, Trevor Ahern won from Joe Murphy and Aaron Doherty and, in a return here, also novice D championship, Michael Casey defeated Ryan Long for €800.

In the North East novice veteran championship at Doneraile, Michael Murphy won from Paddy Kinsella.


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