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Bowling Report - Week ending 05th May

Regional junior A championships are winding down across the county. All-Ireland final date for the competition is pencilled in for Saturday July 13th at Castletownkinneigh and deadlines for inter-regional rounds are close at hand. The junior A is bowling’s second oldest championship, in existence since 1958, and the pre-eminent competition at regional level. However, the down-grading trend of recent decades has seen its impact diluted. A limited number of contenders in many regions results in a minimum number of scores deciding outright winners. Nevertheless, the grade holds a certain aura and county, and All-Ireland winners hold a special place in the record books.

Three regional finals were played out at the weekend while Gaeltacht have completed their championship. Cian Boyle’s late surge won him the City junior A crown after a terrific battle with Trevor O’Meara at Templemichael. For a €2,800 total, former intermediate standard bearer, O’Meara, had the better of it amid a flurry of top-class exchanges and in the bowling from ‘Sarsfield’s cross’ to the novice line rose the bones of a bowl of odds. Boyle, well established in junior A too and a county runner-up to John O’Rourke in 2018, rallied with two super efforts. When O’Meara’s second last crossed right it was Boyle who led for the final exchanges and the new leader completed his comeback winning by a good fore bowl.

Clonnakilty's Johnny O’Driscoll, an All-Ireland winner in the grade in 2009 is back for another tilt after winning the South-West final at Shannonvale on Sunday morning. Playing Jimmy O’Driscoll on a road where the winner had recorded a string of victories in the recent past, Johnny showed his paces again taking good odds to ‘Desmond’s cross’ where he lofted across in eight. Jimmy levelled it up with super throw on the rise and it went shot for shot in good bowling to the ‘palms’. A mistake here by Jimmy when throwing for ‘Campbell’s’ left the former champion in the clear and it is Johnny O’Driscoll who moves to a county quarterfinal against City or London. Ballyvourney in the Gaeltacht will be hosts for that fixture.


Bucking the trend in West Cork is Noel O’Regan, a first-time junior A champion in the region after a stirring battle with fellow clubman and defending champion, Peter Murray at their home Togher Cross venue on Saturday evening. Last year’s county junior B champion, O’Regan was on the back foot in this contest as Murray opened with three excellent casts and then followed up to take a good advantage through the ‘cross’. O’Regan levelled with two of the finest from the ‘bridge’ to ‘Hurley’s’. It was the start of a purple patch for the grades debutant as he proceeded to dominate with excellent bowling to ‘Derrinacarragh school’. Murray was game to the end but O’Regan, on a roll, would not be caught and claimed back-to-back championships in impressive style. He faces Gaeltacht’s Eoin O’Riordan in a preliminary county round contest at Castletownkinneigh.

There was a big turnaround in the Gaeltacht junior A shoot-out at Baile Mhuirne on Sunday evening week. Macroom’s Eoin O’Riordan and Terry Mallon clashed, and it was Mallon for a €1,300 stake, who stormed into a big early lead that amounted to close on two bowls of odds after three shots. O’Riordan put his early hesitancy behind him and lined three in succession of the highest order to level. Buoyed by his comeback, the Macroom man went on to win the contest by almost a bowl. As regional junior A winner, O’Riordan will play West Cork champion, Noel O’Regan, in a preliminary county round contest at Castletownkinneigh.

Elsewhere around the county, in North-East the Murphy brothers Michael and Timmie will battle it out for the junior A championship. Doneraile is the chosen venue. There is a family connection too in the Mid Cork decider. Cousins, Kieran and Sean Murphy will face off on the weekend May18th/19 that a venue to be decided.

The East Cork junior A championship has four still involved in what looks like an evenly matched shoot-out. John O’Donoghue, Mick Hurley, Willie O’Donovan and James Cooney will fight it out here.

Darragh Dempsey and David Shannon will go head-to-head for the Carbery junior A championship at The Marsh Road on Saturday May 18th with the winner meeting Noel O’Regan/Eoin O’Riordan in the quarterfinal at Ballygurteen.

Meanwhile in North Cork there is a semi-final line-up of Edmund Sexton v Dean Sexton and Mark Bourke v Vincent Kiely with the final pencilled in for May 26th. A word from Jerome Casey from London region confirms Patrick O’Driscoll having won his best of three with Colin O’Donovan, will carry that regions banner into the inter-regional rounds. London are also in the preliminaries and O’Driscoll plays City champion, Cian Boyle, for a place in the quarterfinals at Ballyhooley. It went to the wire at Launder’s lane both having recorded a win each in the lead up to the decider on Sunday last. O’Driscoll rose a bowl of odds on the outward route and, although O’Donovan levelled, it was the former Glen man who prevailed by a good fore bowl.


Bol Chumann’s international odyssey got the perfect send off when teams and officials were accorded a Civic Reception at Council Chambers, County Hall, Cork on Tuesday last. Mayor Cork County, Frank O’Flynn, welcomed everybody and had special mention for fellow Glanworth resident, team-coach and player, Billy McAuliffe and for Seamus Sexton, the current European champion. The County Mayor said he was delighted to see our indigenous sport of Road Bowling hold such a high profile among European sporting bodies. It’s growth in popularity within the German, Durch and Italian federations was evident in the high standards now being set for all Irish participants. He urged the Irish players to embrace the occasion and said there was no greater honour than to represent your country on the international stage. Bol Chumann chair, Willie Murphy expressed his sincere thanks to Cork County Council and to County Mayor O’Flynn and his officials for the honour bestowed. He said the support and good will shown to Bol Chumann and to those who promote the sport of bowling by the council authorities was warmly appreciated. Willie paid tribute to Castletownkinneigh Bowling Club who had facilitated the many trials and training sessions held at their venues. There were words of encouragement and praise too from attending Cllrs Joe Carroll and Michael Looney who had proposed and seconded the Civic reception and from Cllr Michael Creed, Macroom who congratulated the Gaeltacht region on their promotion of bowling which was evident in the crowds attending week evening scores in his Clondrohid-Cill na Martra locality. Most of the selected teams were in attendance for the Civic Reception and were the recipients of many compliments on donning their new European Championship sportswear sponsored by Dean and Young Electrical, Bantry, Tide Construction and Proto Mark Technologies.


In women’s intermediate Ailbhe O’Shea rebounded in style from an opening score defeat at Ardcahan to win a cracking group A contest with Hannah Cronin at Newcestown on Wednesday. Bowling out from the village, Ailbhe hit five exceptional openers that had her at ‘O’Brien’s cross’ a shot ahead. Hannah did not make any major errors but could not stay with her Macroom rival who powered on to ‘Canty’s lane’ at which point she had doubled her lead. Ailbhe, Hannah and Lisa Hegarty have all scored a point a piece in group stage scores while Juliette Murphy is still in the running with two to play.

Emma Hurley captured the West Cork U18 championship for 2024 with a hard-earned one bowl victory over Niamh O’Connell at Ballinacarriga on Friday. Niamh led in the shots past ‘McSweeney’s’ but the proverbial ‘train’ was delivered by Emma on the rise past ‘Granure cross’ and it turned the contest in her favour. Another high-octane U18 clash took place at The Clubhouse on Sunday morning. Bol Chumann panellist for Germany, Jonathan Deane, took on Eoin Hurley (Kilronan) for a place in the final and fireworks ensued when, Deane, having missed sight at ‘O’Brien’s’ from a good stand, hit an unbelievable cast from back of the bend that ran almost to ‘Dineen’s lane’. Hurley, a Ted Hegarty tournament winner in April, lost ground in the shots to ‘Clon cross’ and Deane with another big one at ‘Murray’s’ came through by two bowls. They played for a total of €1,200. Also in West Cork championships, in novice C, Sam Kingston defeated Paudie Crowley by a bowl for €940 at Ardcahan and in U14 at Ballinacarriga, Eoghan Hickey won from Tadg O’Farrell. Hickey won as well in U16 defeating Kevin Courtney in the last shot of a good score at Durrus. In a novice D championship score at Drinagh, Mark McCarthy defeated Paul Walsh in the last shot for €700.

In the South West novice veteran championship scores at Lyre saw wins for Danny O’Brien and Denis Whooley. O’Brien saw off the challenge of Niall Crowley while Whooley got the better of Vincent Dullea.

In Gaeltacht championships at Cill na Martra in novice D, Conor Cotter defeated Joe Warren and in U18 at Baile Bhuirne, Liam Murphy defeated Jack Lynch. In a return score at Macroom, on Sunday week, Noel Murphy defeated Cillian Kelleher, last shot, for €600. Also, at Baile Bhuirne in championship action, Tara Twomey won from Niamh O’Callaghan and Robyn O’Brien won from Abbey Lynch in the U18 championship. In Clondrohid in U18, Lauren O’Brien won from Abby Lynch. In novice D at Inchigeela, Garoid Lucey won from Jerry Lynch. In novice championship scores at Terelton on Sunday, novice D, John O’Donoghue defeated Richard Browne, last shot, for €640 and in C, Niall Murphy defeated Patrick Browne, last shot, for €1,720.

In Mid Cork in the novice C championship at Dunderrow, Mark Cahalane defeated Lee Collins and, in a return, Daniel Desmond defeated John Murphy, last shot, for €600. In a score at Jagoe’s Mills, Finbarr Coleman defeated Denis Mangan for €640. In an U18 semi-final at Ballinacurra, Shane O’Mahony won from Reece Murphy. In Jagoes on Sunday, Danny O’Donovan and Ethan DeBurca played for a total of €1,100 with O’Donovan taking the verdict in the last shot.


David Hubbard survived a torrid test in his North Cork junior B championship shoot-out with Stephen Murphy. Played for a €740 total at Kilcorney on Saturday, Murphy held big leeway to the tune of a bowl of odds with six shots to go. Hubbard rallied and although still behind for the last shots, delivered a score-winning cast that Murphy narrowly missed. In novice D at Firmount, Brendan Cotter defeated the fancied Matthew Bradley for a €1,740 stake. There was a cracker too in the same grade at Kilcorney on Tuesday when Luke Philpott and Will Harrington clashed. Philpott prevailed in a score of top-class bowling for the grade. In a return here, Joe Freely defeated Barry Twomey, last shot, for €1,880. In novice D championships at Ballinagree on Friday, Paul Walsh defeated Jack Oldham, last shot, for €1,000 and Barry Murphy defeated Joe Murphy. Matthew Bradley was back to winning ways defeating Joe Walsh, last shot, for €1,800 in a return score at Kilcorney. In scores at Beal na Morrive on Saturday, Paudie Murphy defeated Tony Flynn having come from a bowl down for a €2,300 total and in the novice D championship, Jim Martin defeated Michael Casey, last shot, for €1,220. In novice D at Bweeng on Sunday morning Jerry Hubbard defeated Evan Murphy.

In scores at Whitechurch on Saturday, Michael John O’Brien defeated Michael O’Donnell, last shot, for €5,000 and Padin Stokes defeated Denis O’Sullivan, last shot, for €4,400. Back Templemichael after the junior A final, Willie O’Donnell defeated Anthony Crowley by a bowl for €2,700. In the City novice B championship at Templemichael, Trevor O’Brien defeated Tony Dunlea, last shot, and, in a return, Rico O’Brien defeated Jimmy Quilligan, last shot, for €2,920.


The death has occurred of former Bol Chumann Ard Mhaca, secretary and chairman, Sammy Gillespie. Sammy will be remembered in Bol Chumann circles for his eight-year term at the helm (2002-2010) which coincided with much of Susan Greene’s time in charge of affairs here in Cork. He, along with then secretary, Jarlath Devlin, liaised well with Cork officials and he was a supportive figure during the hosting of the 2008 European Championship series. Inducted to Bol Chumann Uladh Hall of Fame in 2015 his citation acknowledged his lifelong enthusiasm for the sport of bowling and his commitment to supporting a wide range of active participants of all ages. It was during his term that the new Hughie Trainor Cup replaced the original which had been played for since the inaugural All-Ireland senior championship in 1963. Throughout his years in office Sammy was involved in streamlining the annual provincial and All-Ireland championships and in coping with necessary input to European Championships. Bol Chumann extends its sympathies to Bol Chumann Ard Mhaca and to the Gillespie family. Are dheis De go raibh a anam Dilis


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