LEADING LIGHTS IMPRESS AT EUROPEAN TRIALS
The last round of international trials for the forthcoming European Championships were held at Castletownkenneigh’s Auto Track on Sunday morning with Dutch Moors and German Loft disciplines the focus for those aspiring for places on adult and under U18 panels. Following on from three road sessions, a fine turnout again indicates serious competition in all four sectors and, with the games in Germany now just six months hence, it was heartening too to see some of those who have brought home Gold in recent championships hitting big targets and making strong claims for selection again. Conditions were reasonable on Sunday last and, on the day, the top three in adult men were Aidan Murphy, Gary Daly and current European Road champion, Seamus Sexton. In U18 Gaeltacht boys, Cathal Creedon and Liam Murphy, as on the road, posted big figures as did City’s Anthony Crowley. There was, however, disappointment that a number in the U18 category who had excelled on the road two weeks previous did not make it for these all-important trials. Leading ladies when last Sunday’s figures were totted up were Veronica O’Mahony, county senior champion, Geraldine Curtin and Ciara Buckley. Laura Sexton, Darcy O’Brien and Emma Hurley were top three in a competitive Girls U18 trial.
On an otherwise slack November weekend the main action focused on tournament and novice E regional scores.
JUNIOR TOURNAMENT WIN FOR MICHEAL MURPHY
Ballinacurra, Upton had a big one with a junior tournament meeting of Michael Murphy, Mallow and Johnny O’Driscoll, Clon, drawing a sizable crowd who contributed to the €7,000 total stake the contest went for. O’Driscoll had the better of it for much of the way taking a handy lead to the ‘main road crossing’. In a couple of lively exchanges past ‘Perrot’s’ and on to the GAA pitch entrance, O’Driscoll extended his lead but Murphy, whose bowling carried plenty of power, defiantly kept the margin to less than a bowl of odds. That perseverance paid and a smashing drive from the bend past ‘Innishannon cross’ cut O’Driscoll’s lead to five metres. The turnaround was complete when the Mallow man led for the first time with a fine cast past ‘Cronin’s avenue’. The last quarter belonged to Murphy who more than matched O’Driscoll’s best. The victory went to the North East camp by a bowl of odds margin. Back the road, Jim Coffey scored a couple of wins defeating Michael John O’Brien twice by two bowls and last shot for stakes of €4,000 and €3,200.
JERH COTTER CUP AT TERELTON
In the Jerh Cotter Cup at Terelton on Sunday, Daniel O’Sullivan, Ballinagree, and James O’Leary, Toomsbridge, engaged and had a see-saw battle that went to the wire. For a €440 total, O’Leary took an early bowl of odds lead but was quickly pegged back and it was O’Sullivan who took control approaching half-way. The Toomsbridge man came again with a strong charge only for O’Sullivan to again recover and lead for the final exchanges. The North Cork campaigner then took the spoils with a tremendous last shot.
LUCEY CONTINUES WINNING WAYS.
In other club action at Templemartin on Sunday week, North Cork’s Conor Lucey got the verdict from his tussle with Dunmanway’s hard-beaten Alan Brickley. An impressive showing had Lucey away to a bowl lead after seven to ‘O’Riordan’s’ and, when he doubled his margin beyond half-way, there was no way back for the Dunmanway man. They played for a €3,240 total. Lucey continued on his winning way at Rosscarbery on Sunday last when progressing to the novice B tournament final there with victory over Skibb’s Shane McCarthy. At Jagoe’s Mills at the weekend, Gary O’Sullivan defeated Kieran Kelly, last shot, for €500 and Derrick Murphy defeated Mark Coleman, last shot, for €1,000. At The Bog Road, Paul Murphy defeated Gary Maguire, last shot, for €500 and, in a doubles, Willie O’Donnell and Stephen Bowen combined to defeat the Connolly’s Maurice and Denis, last shot, for €2,000. At Carrignavar at the weekend three scores were played. Michael Gould defeated Michael Barry in the first of these by two bowls for €800. After that Noel Hegarty defeated Birol Kat by a bowl for €900 and Michael O’Leary won from Tom O’Donovan, one bowl, for €1,700.
WEST CORK NOVICE E SERIES HOTTING UP.
Novice E’s provide scores aplenty as competitions near conclusion in most divisions. West Cork is particularly active. On Sunday week last on the famed Inch road in Dunmanway, local, Michael Carroll won from Drimoleague’s Noel O’Brien but Jack McCarthy levelled for the scorchers when he got the better of Kevin Hurley. At Ardcahan on Bank Holiday Monday Jack Murphy halted the good run of Brendan McCarthy, two bowls for €600 and Donal Hayes won from Daniel Dullea. It was back to Inch on Saturday last for three more scores one of which was a clash of the previous weekend’s winners, Michael Carroll and Donal Hayes. Carroll prevailed in this one defeating Hayes in the last shot for €600. Also, at Inch on Saturday last, Durrus man, Timmy O’Sullivan won from Conor O’Brien for a €600 total and Conor Bursell edged out Ballineen’s Chris Bowles for an €1,100 total.
North Cork and Gaeltacht are also playing off novice E’s. At Coolea on Sunday morning, Eanna Dineen and Garoid Lynch progressed in the Gaeltacht competition. Dineen got the better of Eamonn Morgan and Lynch won from Cian Dineen. At Macroom Jack Lynch won from Pat Healy and Ronan O’Callaghan defeated Hugh O’Shea for a €1,200 total. At Terelton on Saturday in novice E Ciaran O’Riordan defeated Finbarr Buckley, last shot, for €300. A doubles score back the road saw regional secretary, Michael Masters combine with Kevin Kelleher to defeat Sam Pickering and Seanie O’Riordan, last shot, for €500. In North Cork’s novice E at Firmount, on Saturday, Tadg Bradley defeated Trevor O’Sullivan for €1,180 and John Buckley won from Donnacha Spillane for €1,480.
R.I.P DONAL O'DRISCOLL
West Cork bowling has lost a true and dedicated follower with the untimely passing of Donal O’Driscoll, Hawthorn. Donal’s homeplace beside the famed Drimoleague road had him at the epicentre of many an epic battle. It is a venue steeped in bowling history with records of scores dating back to the start of the last century many of which, in those early years, took two days to complete. Donal’s instant recall of many of those played in the seventies, eighties, and nineties endeared him to all with an interest in historical lore. A man of gentle ways and warm manner, Donal was engaging company at the countless scores he followed all over the county. Bol Chumann extends its sincere sympathy to the O’Driscoll family.
Under-age trials for the annual February inter-regional play-offs are currently ongoing in many regions. There were big turnouts at Togher Cross for West Cork aspirants and at Dunderrow for Mid Cork. Bowling has been honoured with the nomination of Emma Hurley for the third quarterly West Cork junior Sports Star Award in acknowledgement of her thrilling All-Ireland U16 championship success. Emma will receive her award at a presentation evening later in the month. The versatile Drinagh girl will be among a galaxy of Sports Stars at the overall presentation night in the Celtic Ross in early January when the Paudie Palmer Youths Sports Star of the Year will be announced.
SOUTH WEST REFLECTS ON ITS SUCCESS.
South-West and North Cork regions held AGM’s during the past week. Bol Chumann’s James O’Driscoll attended the South West meeting held at the Emmet Hotel on Bank Holiday Monday. Regional Secretary, Gretta Cormican, reported a successful year overall with three of their representatives winning All-Ireland titles, in separate grades, Denis O’Sullivan, Junior A, Tommy O’Sullivan and Ellen Sexton in U18. Geraldine Curtin won the ladies senior county and Laura Sexton and Grace Ahern were finalists in U16 and U14 respectively. Ted Hegarty’s under-age tournaments on the Phale Road continue to provide post-championship involvement for bowling’s youths’ sector. All the regional championships were run off to schedule and tournaments were ongoing in all clubs. Gretta thanked her fellow regional officers for their help and support through the season. James O’Driscoll thanked the region for their support in running off countless county round scores. South-West’s officer board were returned to serve for another year. President is James Barry; Chairman is John O’Leary; Vice chair is Richie Lawton; Hon Secretary is Gretta Cormican; Treasurer is Bernie O’Donovan; Fixtures secretary is Ted Hegarty; P.R.O. Brian Sexton; Registrar, Gretta Cormican; Youths officers, Gretta Cormican, Ted Hegarty, Hannah Sexton. The region mourned the passing of one of their vice-presidents, Paddy Murray, Ballygurteen, in August.
Stuake Hall was the venue for the North Cork’s AGM on Thursday November 2. Willie Murphy, acting interim chair Bol Chumann, oversaw proceedings in his own division in which he also holds the position of treasurer. Regional chair, Vincent Kiely, welcomed delegates and proclaimed 2023 a productive and successful twelve months with the regions under-age and adult players garnering honours in championship and tournament events. Honorary Secretary, David Hubbard, delivered an expansive overview detailing the many highlights starting with a thrilling victory on the Phale Road in February when the North Cork girls team comprised of Rihanna Collins, Jena Healy and Chloe Hubbard won the inter-regional team finals. There was success too for Chloe at Newcastle, Co. Dublin where she who won the individual U12 at the inter-provincial play-offs. It would be the precursor to further laurels later in the year for the rising star from Rylane. There was more under-age success for North Cork when Jayden Crowley won the U10 competition run by Ted Hegarty on the Phale Road while, in adult grade, Aghabullogue’s hurling star, Matthew Bradley, won the Lyre novice final in June. On the championship front, North Cork enjoyed exceptional success with Shane Collins winning the county Junior C while Jena Healy and Chloe Hubbard maintained their early season good form capturing county honours in U14 and U12 respectively. Other came close, Paul Twomey was runner-up in the novice D championship while Denise Murphy led for a long a long way in a thrilling women’s senior final. David thanked the regions clubs for running off the multitude of scores their championship programme entailed and, also those who ran inter-regional county scores. Officers elected to serve for 2024 are Chairman, Vincent Kiely, vice chair, Olan Noonan, Secretary, David Hubbard; Treasurer, Willie Murphy; Fixtures, Conor Lucey and David Hubbard; P.R.O. Wille Murphy; Registrar, Abbey Lehane; Youths Officers, Stephen Spillane, David Hubbard; Executive delegates, David Hubbard, Willie Murphy, Timmie Kelleher, Vincent Kiely, Abbey Lehane, Stephen Spillane, Olan Noonan, Conor Lucey, Michael Casey.
CAHERAGHS DENIS O'SULLIVAN IS NEW CARBERY CHAIRMAN.
Association Honorary Secretary, Micheal O’Céallacháin attended Carbery’s 2023 AGM at The Corner Bar on Monday night last and oversaw a significant change in officer roles with Denis O’Sullivan, Caheragh replacing long-serving chairman, Pat O’Sullivan. Pat whose service to the region and to the West Cork Bowling Association from which Carbery evolved spans many decades, was given a warm round of applause in appreciation of his work. He has served in the role of chairman for fifteen years and has also acted as Secretary and Youths Officer. Denis O’Sullivan was congratulated and wished well in his new role at the helm. William O’Brien gave an extensive report on the regions activities in 2023 detailing the various events that impacted on the region including the tragic passing of James Nagle whose loss was profoundly felt. Championships were all run off on schedule and while county honours evaded the regions champions, Gavin Crowley’s splendid run to the final in novice C and Brian Harrington’s similarly in boys U12 were highlights. Finbarr Lynch’s treasurer report was meticulous but showed a small loss in revenue.
Dan McCarthy presented his youths report and thanked all who helped with the ongoing success of the regions Showgrounds off- road track. P.R.O. Pat McCarthy thanked the various media outlets for their coverage. Fixtures Secretary, Richie Fitzgerald, bemoaned the lack of tournament scores but said the extended championship season was the most probable reason. Richie who has the demanding role of Association Fixtures Secretary also requested a
separate regional officer for this position and Noel Shanahan was nominated as new Carbery fixtures secretary. Micheal O’Céallachain thanked the region for their work and support throughout the year and wished all well for the coming season. Carbery’s officer board for 2024 reads, President, Jerry Murphy; Chairman, Denis O’Sullivan; Vice chair, Donal Crowley; Secretary, William O’Brien, Treasurer, Finbarr Lynch; Youths Officer, Dan McCarthy; Fixtures, Noel Shanahan; Registrars, Michael Cussen and Christopher O’Donovan; Safety Officers, Denis O’Sullivan and Pat O’Sullivan; Executive delegates, Pat O’Sullivan, Sidney Shannon and Johnny Whooley.
Conor Lucey joins Sidney Shannon in the three-way Rosscarbery novice B decider after his bowl of odds win over Skibb’s Shane McCarthy on the Cahermore road on Sunday last. McCarthy had the better of it early on and, despite Lucey briefly coming in front after four, still held the ascendancy in six to the point known as ‘the priest’s house’. It stayed close to ‘Barry’s cross’ where Lucey had regained the lead and an exciting finish seemed in prospect.
Lucey availed of a misplay here by McCarthy and took a stranglehold in the shots past ‘DeBarra Lodge’. The Skibb man fired a great effort in a game attempt to recover ground, but his North Cork rival responded well and covered the tip. Lucey’s winning margin was a bowl of odds. The upcoming contest between Shane Nugent and Jack O’Callaghan will deliver the third finalist for Rosscarbery. Prior to the B semi a Pat O’Halloran Cup novice D first rounder had Kilmac football star, Martin Collins, in against Bandon’s Colm O’Regan. Collins was the master here rising big odds early on and then thwarting O’Brien’s comeback charge with a splendid cast from below ‘Barry’s hill’.
Drimoleague’s Alan Keane defeated David Minihane in the Marsh Road tournament but the Leap camp were on the winning trail at Schull where, in a thrilling Mick Flor Cup finish, Cian Minihane, having lost a two-bowl lead to Jan Tessyman, still found the gears to fire the winning last shot. Progressing too at Schull was Caheragh’s Darren Lynch who got the better of Morgan Hickey, Durrus.
Rosscarbery: Novice D tour, Martin Collins defeated Colm O’Regan,
two bowls, for €1,100; Novice B semi-final, Conor Lucey defeated
Shane McCarthy, one bowl, for €800.
Marsh Road: Alan Keane defeated David Minihane, one bowl, for
€900; return, Patrick Crowley defeated Kieran O’Sullivan, last shot,
Schull: Mick Flor Cup: Darren Lynch defeated Morgan Hickey, two
bowls, for €800; Cian Minihane defeated Jan Tessyman, last shot, for
Shannonvale: Michael Carroll defeated Gary Lombard, last shot, for
€1,400; Eoin McCarthy defeated John Connolly, last shot, for €1,000.
Phale Road, Ballineen, Ted Hegarty tournaments,
Boys U14, Kevin
Courtney won from Dylan O’Shea; Rory Twohig won from Oisin
Boys U12, Eoghan Kelly won from Jack Allen; Matthew
O’Neill wo from Ciaran O’Sullivan; Matthew Kelleher won from Cian
Kelleher; Darragh Ahern won from Joe O’Donovan;
Boys U10, Tommy
Coppinger won from Cathal Kelleher;
Boys U8, Colin Ronan won from Dylan Kelly; Darragh Ronan won from Micheal Gleeson; Jack Daly won from Jay Lynch and Evan Kelleher;
Girls U16, Niamh O’Connell won from Lelia Foley; Girls U12, Saoirse O’Neill won from Alice Browne; Anna O’Driscoll won from Caoimhe Hurley; Laoise Young won from Mia Hubbard; Lauren O’Rourke won from Lilly Barry-Twohig and Cara Harrington