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Bowling Report - Week ending 07th April


Noel O’Donovan’s late flourish got him the winner’s prize from a drama filled three-way junior A final at Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday last. Seldom has a decider delivered so many twists and turn as both Michael Murphy, Ballyclough, and Kieran Murphy, Templemartin, held winning advantages and indeed looked unassailable at different points through the score. Evenly matched and coming on the back of good qualifier wins played over the Christmas period, all three had plenty support in the €8,100 total stake the contest went for. While Noel O’Donovan won the opening shot, it was Kieran Murphy who set the early pace. Michael Murphy had catching up to do after a misplayed second, but he brought himself back into it with magnificent fifth and sixth shots from well back of the main road. But Kieran Murphy held sway at this point taking full advantage of two misplays at ‘Foley’s’ by O’Donovan. The Templemartin man consolidated his lead to a bowl and thirty metres with a fine seventh to ‘Perrot’s’ but, unfortunately for him his eighth missed sight at the ‘GAA pitch’ and, given a glimmer, both his opponents were right back in it at ‘Innishannon cross’. Michael Murphy came for the second time and took a sensational lead as Kieran’s travails continued. Noel O’Donovan had come from well over a bowl adrift to within thirty metres of the lead, but his chance looked surely gone when his thirteenth went right off the play. Nothing was going to plan for Kieran Murphy and he, along with O’Donovan, fell a shot adrift of Michael Murphy by ‘Cronin’s avenue’. Out of nowhere, O’Donovan produced the score changer, a perfectly executed fifteenth cast that ran a huge distance around the last bend. It instantly wiped out Michael Murphy’s bowl of odds lead and, when the Ballyclough man missed the finish line with his sixteenth, the Valley Rovers’ man beat that target by centimetres to achieve a victory that could not have been countenanced two shots earlier. There was no joy either for the North East camp in the return when Gaeltacht’s Conor Creedon got the better of Timmie Murphy last shot, for €2,240.


Shannonvale had a couple of high-profile tournament scores at the weekend. A Noel Phair Cup shoot-out on Sunday had Seamus Sexton and Michael Bohane in opposition and it was the 2022 county winner, Bohane, who hit the ground running firing four of the best to take a lead that bordered on a bowl of odds. Sexton dug in and a beauty towards ‘Buttimer’s pillars’ ensured they went level to ‘Desmond’s cross’. Buoyed by that response, the north Cork man fired two big ones to ‘Kingston’s’ to come in front, but it stayed close and only thirty metres separated them at the ‘palms’. Sexton extended his lead to the ‘novice line’ and emerged a bowl of odds winner. They played for a total of €7,200.

On Saturday in an intermediate tournament semi-final Wayne Parkes defeated Donal O’Riordan by over a bowl for €2,120. It was an uphill battle for the Bantry man, O’Riordan, after his opening throw went awry. Parkes took the bowl lead to ‘Desmond’s cross’ and held it comfortably to the end.

In a quarterfinal round score in the same tournament on Sunday, Tim Young scored a merited win over senior opposition when accounting for Brian Wilmot by a big fore bowl for a €4,100 total. On the road where he shone in the international fund-raisers just a few weeks earlier, Young gained early leeway with big first and fourth shots. Wilmot was below his best and was a bowl down in eight and nine to ‘Desmond’s’. Last year’s intermediate winner upped his game and led after two excellent efforts from the cross. They went level to ‘Campbell’s’ before Young took charge again at the novice line and a supper sixteenth set him up for a tournament semi-final assignment with Paul Buckley.

The women’s intermediate championship progressed with a group A round-robin fixture at Baile Bhuirne on Saturday. Hannah Cronin, Togher Cross and Juliette Murphy, Donoughmore, played out an exciting shot for shot duel that went to the final throw. Juliette had edged in front with four to go but her second last didn’t run, and Hannah took advantage to forge into a good lead for the final exchanges. Juliette’s big last shot nearly snatched it, but Hannah stayed strong and beat the mark by fifteen metres. Both have further group stage scores against Lisa Hegarty and Ailbhe O’Shea.


It was tournament final weekend also at Lyre and Firmount. The Lyre novice C decider was an engaging encounter between Carbery’s Gavin Harrington and West Cork’s Mark Deane. Deane’s opening three had him a bowl up before Harrington’s downhill special levelled it. Shot for shot it went with the lead exchanging until the Carbery man fired an excellent cast to ‘Ballinascarthy cross’. It gave him cushion enough for a narrow last shot win and satisfaction too at atoning for defeat in last year’s final to Matthew Bradley.


In the North Cork division, James Collins and Jerry Hubbard went head-to-head in the novice D tournament final at Firmount. For a €5,000 total, it was an even start before Collins, a brother of 2023 junior county winner, Shane, and a vital cog too in Kilcorney achieving runner-up spot at the recent inter-regional team play-offs at Castletownkinneigh, edged into a fifty-metre lead after eight. Hubbard kept it competitive but eventually Collins took a stranglehold and rose a bowl of odds. It would be enough for victory. Also, at Firmount on Sunday, Will Harrington defeated Anthony Cullinane by a bowl for €5,000 and Adrian O’Connnor defeated Jack Oldham for €800.

Still in club action Colm O’Regan’s good run continues after a couple of wins at Jagoes Mills at the weekend. Playing Bernard O’Callaghan on the outward route, O’Regan won in the last shot, for €300 and it was the same result in their return for €200.


International fund scores in the City and North East regions saw some exciting action at The Bog Road and Carrignavar. On Saturday at the City venue, Denis Connolly defeated Evan Buckley, last shot, for €4,200; Tom O’Donovan defeated John Donnellan, two bowls, for €2,400 and Noel Hegarty defeated Jeremy Downey, one bowl, for €1,600. Sunday’s scores at Carrignavar saw James O’Sullivan defeat Liam Walsh, last shot, for €5,000 and Tom Cronin defeat Stephen Bowen by two for €1,900.


Still on tournaments, Ted Hegarty has announced the line-up for his under-age finals on The Phale Road this weekend. One on Saturday April 13th at 2.00 is the U10 boys decider, Dylan O’Callaghan v Jayden Crowley, at 7.00pm u-16 boys Eoin Hurley v Daniel Wilmot. Sunday April 14th has a full programme starting at 10.00am with Girls U12, Chloe Hubbard v Saoirse O’Neill; 11.00am Boys U14, Ross O’Brien v Culann Bourke; Boys U12, Tadg Hickey v Eoghan Kelly; Girls U16 Sophie Murphy v Darcy O’Brien; U14 girls, Leila Foley v Bella Barry-Twohig; 11.30 U18 girls junior ladies Ellen Sexton v Ailbhe O’Shea; 12.00 Boys U8, Timmie McDonagh v Tommy Coppinger; Girls U10, Cait Young v Elsie Flynn v Chloe O’Farrell.

In the Mid Cork division, the junior A and B championship grades are down to the semi-final stage. In junior A Ballinacurra tournament finalists Noel O’Donovan and Kieran Murphy meet again in semi-final 1 and Ballinacurra is also the designated venue. In semi-final 2, Denis Wilmot plays Sean Murphy at Newcestown. In junior B, the semi-final line up is Bryan O’Halloran v Kenneth Murphy at Ballinacurra, and Dan O’Halloran v John Anthony Murphy at Templemartin. In the Mid Cork novice D championship at Ballinacurra on Friday, Timmie Maloney defeated Cormac Desmond and in the same grade at Newcestown, Mick O’Callaghan defeated William Allen. At Beal na mBalth in D, Batty Foley won from Finbarr Lucey.


Mid Cork bowling mourns the passing of Jerry Crowley, Kilcoleman, a stalwart on the bowling roads of the region in the late fifties and early sixties. A popular and capable performer who commanded a big following, Jerry won the Mid Cork junior A championship of 1959 when defeating Dan O’Driscoll in a great score at Templemartin. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.


Emma Hurley is on the championship trail again. Following her supremely successful U16 All-Ireland winning campaign in 2023, the U18 category will, her football commitments allowing, be the focus this year. Emma edged a good battle with Eabha Kehilly, to advance at Drimoleague mid-week. The first of the week evening scores held plenty of interest in West Cork. At Ballinacarriga on Tuesday, in a second-round novice D clash, the age-gap was, to put it mildly, significant, when Fachtna Keane, Drimoleague, and Cian Young, Bantry met. Young had impressed in an opening round win over Donal McCarthy at The Clubhouse but did not bring that good form to his latest engagement. The peerless Fachtna, defying the years with aplomb, raced to a bowl lead and was close to doubling his margin before the end. They played for a total of €600. Also, at Ballinacarriga in U14, Conor Hourihane won from Jack McCarthy in the last shot and in U18 here, Eoin Hurley (Kilronan) advanced another round with victory over 2022 county U14 winner, Daniel O’Sullivan. In novice D at Durrus, Jan Tessyman defeated John Murray, by two for €740 and Daniel Hayes, Kilronan, defeated Sean Calnan also by two. At Inch, in D, Alan Crowley defeated last year’s E winner, Conor Bursell, last shot for €740. In novice D at Bantry, Conor McCarthy defeated Anthony O’Connell and at Togher Cross in the same grade, Ray Jennings defeated Johnny Hurley, last shot, for €660. At Ardcahan, in D, Pat O’Sullivan defeated Conor O’Brien by two for €500 and at The Clubhouse, in D, Kieran O’Driscoll defeated Eamonn Crowley by two. In West Cork under 14 at The Clubhouse, Joe O’Donovan defeated Dylan Daly. On a busy weekend in West Cork two scores at Kealkil saw Shane Hurley win from Stephen Hourihane in U18 and Alan O’Sullivan defeat Chris Bowles by a bowl for €500 in novice D.

In the Gaeltacht championship a wonderful contest at Baile Bhuirne saw Orla Murphy win from Germany bound, Darcey O’Brien. In U18 at Clondrohid, Jack O’Sullivan won from Aodh Lynch.

On a busy weekend in North Cork, a good novice C championship contest at Ballinagree, saw Michael Horgan overcome Martin Kelleher for €680 and, in a return, Matthew Bradley defeated Mickey McAuliffe for €800. In novice D at Bweeng, Jack Oldham defeated Tom Dennehy, last shot, for €1,100. A return double here, saw Stephen Spillan combine with Pat Fitzgibbon for a win over Liam McCarthy and Paul Walsh, last shot, for €460. At Beal na Morrive in novice D, Evan Murphy defeated Pat Joe Murphy. At Firmount in novice D, Darren Burns defeated Alan Sexton.

There were wins for Gavin Quirke and Trevor Jewitt in the North East novice D championship at Carrignavar. Gavin got the better of Ted O’Donovan by two bowls and Trevor won by the same margin from Shane Cahill. In North East novice A at Doneraile, Sean Buckley defeated John O’Brien by a bowl.

The first week of evening bowling was, not unexpectedly, disrupted by rain with scores on Thursday completely washed out and several on Friday’s list also deferred.


The elements did relent enough on Wednesday at Castletownkinneigh’s auto-track to allow a full practice-trial, workout in the Moors and German Loft disciplines for Bol Chumann’s international panel. The 17th European Championships at Newharlingerseil, North Germany, are but a month away and all hands are on deck to ensure optimum performance on May 10/11/12. The trial aspect of these sessions sees all throws measured with figures achieved determining selection on the various teams. Thirty-one in total make up Bol Chumann’s four selected panels and there was close to a hundred-per cent Cork based turn-out at Castletownkinneigh. The panels show a number of changes from those named by Billy McAuliffe, David Murphy and Gretta Cormican in December the most notable being the withdrawal of Aidan Murphy due to family commitments on that weekend. His loss, though understandable, will be significant as he is a proven competitor at these championships having won Gold on the Moors at Pesaro in 2012 and silver on the road at Ootmarsum in 2016. A very worthy replacement comes in the form of Michael Murphy, Ballyclough, an active player in junior ranks and with experience at these championships having been a valued member of the 2012 team in Italy. Also out is Ulster representative in youths Oisin Gribben whose loss will be felt as he is a dual Ulster U16/U18 champion. His place will be filled by Cork’s Daniel Wilmot, son of senior panellist, Brian. Daniel’s figures from the original trials held during September/October last year had him on the fringes of selection and he is a very capable replacement. The full complement for Germany is as follows; Senior Men, Seamus Sexton, David Murphy, Martin Coppinger, James O’Donovan, Gary Daly, Michael Bohane, Tim Young, Billy McAuliffe, Thomas Mackle, Colm Rafferty, Andrew O’Callaghan, Michael Murphy, Brian Wilmot: Senior Ladies: Kelly Mallon, Dervla Toal-Mallon, Geraldine Daly, Veronica O’Mahony, Hannah Sexton, Ciara Buckley, Hannah Cronin, Rachel Desmond, Emma Fitzpatrick (Coach-mentor):

Youths Boy’s, Cathal Creedon, Liam Murphy, Jonathan Deane, Anthony Crowley, Daniel Wilmot;

Youths Girls, Ellen Sexton, Laura Sexton, Darcy O’Brien, Roisin Allen, Michaela Greene.


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