Including reports from Templemartin, the West Cork Junior B round-robin, the Mid-Cork novice D semi-final along with other club action as well as reports from AGMs held throughout the week
The big one at the weekend was at Templemartin where a local family fund-raiser had as it’s headliner a repeat of the 2020 senior championship semi-final played on the same road on August 8 last. James O’Donovan and Aidan Murphy are a well-matched pair and rarely fail to deliver a close contest. They didn’t disappoint on Sunday last with both lining big opening shots away from ‘Farnivane cross’ after which O’Donovan led by thirty meres. Although Murphy won the second shot, it was the championship runner-up who opened up a big lead through a monstrous third effort that his opponent only beat by fifty in two. Both men were giving it their all and O’Donovan followed an average fifth with another piledriver to take a hundred metre advantage at the ‘cornfield gap’. After nine up past ‘the school-house cross’ the margin between them remained unchanged and it looked very much O’Donovan’s day when he sped to sight at the ‘stonefield bend’ in eleven. As is almost always the case between them, it is never really over until the last shot is thrown as so it proved again on this occasion. O’Donovan contrived to lose his commanding lead with two poor ones and then missed a golden opportunity when Murphy got a poor thirteenth. The upshot of these exchanges was that two metres separated them in O’Donovan’s favour with two to go. Murphy then led for only the second time as they faced the line, but in a fashion not too dissimilar to their August meeting, James O’Donovan had the final say lining a last shot of monstrous proportions that Murphy missed well despite a game attempt. They played for a €9,000 total and the dramatic finale brought the curtain down a well-supported benefit day for which the family involved expressed sincere gratitude to the bowling community.
Early on, Declan O’Donovan, Kinsale, rebounded from a Saturday Jagoe’s Mills defeat to get the better of Shane Healy, one bowl, for €2,000 and followed that up with a last shot win over local, Barry Coughlan for a €1,200 total. The third of the day at Templemartin was a big junior A shoot-out between Vincent Kiely and Denis Wilmot. For a €7,400 total, Wilmot’s best chance came when throwing his fourth for sight at ‘Slynne’s’. He didn’t quite make it out and, from there Kiely made no errors eventually winning by close to the bowl.
The West Cork Junior B round-robin at Togher Cross, Adrian Buttimer shaded a cracking contest with Drinagh’s John Young. For a €1,100 total, Young drove a splendid opener that gave him a bowl lead but, on the straight stretch down to the ‘chips corner’, Buttimer reeled it in and forged in front by a few metres. The lead changed on numerous occasions as they strove for supremacy before Buttimer, from hind at ‘Derrinacahara school’ fired a big one that gave him odds enough to take the verdict in the last shot. In novice B at Drimoleague on Saturday, David O’Brien came from arrears to win his quarterfinal battle with David Horgan. For an €800 total, Horgan settled fast and had handy law after four, but from there to the finish, O’Brien was in control.
In the Mid-Cork novice D semi-final at Dunderrow, Fionn Dwyer defeated Kevin O’Sullivan by a bowl for €1,500 and will play Michael Hickey in the decider. Reagiún na Gaeltachta had scores at Baile Bhuirne where, in the novice E category, local, Mickie O’Callaghan won from John O’Callaghan, Terelton and Charlie Kenneally, Macroom defeated Donal O’Shea, Clondrohid. At Terelton in novice B, Donal Og O’Leary got the better of Denis Bradley.
In vintage (over 60’s) action at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday, a local derby, saw Jim Walsh and Gene O’Callaghan in opposition. Walsh it was who took the verdict by a bowl of odds after a well-contested encounter played for a total of €340.
At Drinagh on Sunday morning John Tringle overcame Robbie Limerick by two bowls. John went a shot up after two throws and doubled his lead by ‘Kennedy’s’.
At Ballinacarriga, Con O’Donovan won from Donal O’Mahony. The Newcestown man’s seven to ‘O’Hare’s’ were instrumental in this win. O’Donovan and Tringle meet in the next round. Also in section C, at Grange, P J Hegarty, Gaggin, came through against Pat Joe Sheehy, Kilbrittain. For a €240 total, this was a good tussle as Hegarty showed nice style in going close to a bowl up at the ‘school’ while Sheehy staged a good fightback to bring it to a last shot. Next up for Hegarty is a meeting with either Jerry Connolly or Timmie Hennessy. Fixtures secretary, Harry Jennings has announced a change of date for the vintage A final. Sunday November 28 is slotted in for the Ballygurteen three-way between, Chris O’Donovan, Jimmy Collins and John Nagle.
In other club action, Lyre hosted an enticing junior B tournament clash on Saturday when Enniskeane’s Brendan O’Neill took on Conor Creedon, Ballyvourney. The Gaeltacht man was favourite in the €2,600 total stake and was on the front foot after a super second shot to the ‘forest entrance’. Close on a bowl up, he didn’t build on his advantage throwing a poor follow-up and O’Neill had it more or less level after six. Again, Creedon held the upper hand with a massive seventh rising a bowl lead but for the second time failed to drive his advantage home firing a very poor eighth. The Enniskeane man, sensing his moment would come, narrowed the gap and came ahead with a fine eleventh cast to ‘McCarthy’s bend’. It was a decisive turn and O’Neill beat a big twelfth of Creedon’s as he finished strongly to take the verdict by a big fore bowl. In a return here, the Gaeltacht men were on the winning side when the youthful Cathal Creedon defeated Deccie O’Mahony.
On a busy Sunday at Lyre, junior A and novice C tournaments progressed. For the second Sunday running, David Hubbard was in the winner’s enclosure. In very mixed fare, the Beal naMorrive man finally put daylight between himself and Alex O’Donovan with a good cast to ‘McCarthy’s corner’ and it was enough for victory from their junior A tournament second round fixture. Martin Murphy, Togher Cross just edged a tight novice C contest with Shane Buttimer at Lyre on Sunday morning. The stake in this one amounted to €1,000. In scores at Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday, Jim Coffey defeated Jerry Murphy by two for €4,400. Coffey led from the off and dominated throughout. In the afternoon here, Carbery’s Patrick Crowley defied his underdog tag with two strong displays in a pair of victories over John Hickey. On the outward route, Crowley was in control throughout for an €800 total while, in the return, an opening salvo saw him fire six of the best that were instrumental in a last shot win. At Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday, City’s Anthony Crowley defeated Declan O’Donovan, Belgooly, one bowl, for €1,840 and back here, Michael O’Leary defeated Martin O’Donovan, one bowl, for €1,400.
Conditions were sticky at Diarmuid O’Mathuna’s second pitch on Sunday week for the last of the Moors and German Loft trials. A good turn-out included Martin Coppinger, Gary Daly, Seamus Sexton, Aidan Desmond, David Hubbard and Eamonn Bowen among the senior men, Hannah Sexton, Hannah Cronin and Ciara Buckley, senior women and youths Conor Lucey, James O’Sullivan, James Kelleher, Rachel Kingston, Emer O’Connell, Ellen and Margaret Sexton. Road trials, also at Castletownkenneigh, will take place on November 14, 21 and 28.
Kilmichael native, Michéal Masters is new Regiún na Gaeltachta Rúnai having received the unanimous support of delegates at the regions AGM in Ostan Gobnatan on Thursday night last. Michéal fills the role vacated by long-serving Brendan O’Callaghan, currently in recovery from illness. The well-attended gathering heard glowing reports on the success of the All-Ireland series hosted by the region at Baile Bhuirne in October. Thanks were extended to sponsors SSE Renewables and Firebird Heating Solutions and to all who helped ensure a smooth-running event. There were multiple successes for the regions playing membership as the 2020 championships were completed. County titles were attained by Darren Kelly, (novice D) and Aoife Creedon (junior ladies), while Conor Creedon (junior C), Tim Kelleher (novice veteran), Liam Murphy (U14) and Kayla Healy (U12) all were county finalists in their respective grades. Officers to serve for 2022 are, Cathaoirleach, Eamon McSuibhne, Cuil Aodha; Leas Cathaoir, Maire de Brun, Cill na Martra; Runai, Michéal Masters; Cisteoiri, Eamon Mac Suibhne, Michéal Masters, Michéal O’Luasa; Safety Officer, Nial O’Murchu, Cluain Drohid. Bol Chumann’s James O’Driscoll attended.
Avenue House, New Road, Bandon, headquarters of Bol Chumann Chair, Michael Brennan, was the location for Mid Cork’s regional AGM. The division reported a busy period since bowling’s return in mid-June with under-age championships completed in record time. Most adult grades are down to the final stages with entries at least comparable and in some categories increased on pre-Covid figures. The region acknowledged the superb 2020 county novice 1 win for Belgooly teenager, Eoin O’Donovan. There were big performances too from county finalists, James O’Donovan (senior), Tom O’Donovan (junior B), Chloe Desmond (U18) and Ciara Allen (U16). Officers re-elected for 2022 are, President, Tim Buckley, vice-president, Gene O’Callaghan, Chairman, Martin Foley, Secretary, David Murphy, Treasurer, Denis Kelly, Fixtures Secretary, John Murphy, Registrar, Linda Kelly.
In a correction to our All-Ireland report, the Cork All-Ireland series for 2022/23 will be hosted by the East Cork division. The rotation system drawn up following Doneraile 2006 sees the championships move on a two-yearly basis to each of the Association’s nine divisions. East Cork follow Gaeltacht but with a year lost to Covid, their tenure now encompasses ‘22/23. Mid Cork follow in 2024/25 with Carbery in the frame for ‘26/’27. Our thanks to Kieran Harrington for providing all relevant records.