Bandon’s Brian Wilmot brought his Castletownbere form to Lyre on Sunday where another competent showing saw him overcome Wayne Parkes, a newcomer to the intermediate grade, by a bowl of odds. It was Clon youth, Parkes, who held the better
stand after firing a massive sixth shot but his effort to rise a bowl of odds to ‘Crowley’s bend’ went left too soon and Wilmot took his second fore bowl in eight to the corner. As he did in the RNLI fund-raiser against Tommy O’Sullivan, Wilmot fired his score winning shot at the half-way stage shooting a beauty across the double bend the consequence of which was a bowl of odds to his advantage by ‘McCarthy’s bend’. A great effort from Parkes to the ‘rose bed’ was defiantly beaten by Wilmot who went on the hold his bowl lead to the finish. They played for a €10,100 total. Trevor O’Meara made an early break in his junior A tournament contest with Gavin Twohig at Ballygurteen on Sunday last. The City man was close to a bowl up at the ‘women’s lane’ point having taken advantage of a few opening shot misplays by his Rossmore rival. T
wohig rallied well in the bowling to ‘Oakmount avenue’ knocking the odds to twenty metres but his challenge unravelled in the next sequence. O’Meara, with two excellent efforts to ‘O’Donovan’s cottage’ came home a comprehensive winner. A €5,000 total was at issue.
Also in tournament action, at Ballinacarriga, Noel O’Regan got the better of local clubman, Finbarr Lynch by a bowl of odds and at Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday, Bernard O’Callaghan defeated Pascal Bowen, last shot, for €680 and Mark Courtney defeated Michael Waugh, last shot, for €500. In a junior contest at Peake, Michael Murphy defeated Mark Burke, last shot, for €500. Also here in doubles, Paul O’Sullivan and Paul Walsh defeated Matthew Bradley/Pat Bowles, last shot, for €400 and, in a singles contest, Bradley defeated O’Sullivan, last shot, for €420. Ardcahan club fund-raisers
had four scores with the Gaeltacht visitors achieving a double in the opening two. Darren Kelly got the better of James O’Driscoll (Ahakeera) by two bowls for €3,600 and Anthony Lynch defeated Martin Murphy, one bowl, for €2,000. Vincent Healy won for the home side against Bantry’s Sean O’Leary and John Murphy defeated Brian Murray in the afternoon contests. Kieran Corrigan scored a double at Curraheen defeating Damien Burns last shot and one bowl, for stakes of €1,200 and €1,100.
A third county from the 2022 championship season came to the Sexton household when 2019 U16 winner, Margaret, claimed the junior crown with a masterful display at Beal na mBlath on Bank Holiday Monday Jan 2. East Cork’s Anna Hurley had overcome
strong challenges to reach this decider and fired a big opening shot as proceedings got underway. Margaret Sexton’s response was electric, and she beat a big tip by forty metres to set a marker for the day. Another good one from Anna was again matched by the Timoleague lady who was in relentless mode and, after three, a bowl of odds separated them. There was no holding the South-West champion in the bowling to ‘Bradfield’s cross’ as the margin steadily increased. Margaret held a three-bowl cushion at the three-quarter stage before a brilliant salvo from Anna made significant inroads on the big deficit. The Conna challenger knocked two bowls of odds, but the finish line came with Margaret still holding substantial odds. Caroline O’Leary of Bol Chumann’s lady’s committee presented prizes.
The vintage grade section A final at Terelton on Saturday last was played in unpleasant conditions, but Martin Connolly and Ted Hegarty stuck to their task serving up an absorbing tie that did credit to their age group and one that held interest for the good-sized attendance right to the final shot. The cold rain started with the opening throw, a big one from Hegarty that deserved more. Connolly did not get much purchase on his opening two, but Hegarty spurned a few early chances of rising a bowl of
odds. It was still Hegarty with good odds after four, but the standard was mixed as Connolly endeavoured o close the gap. He did and took his first lead after seven with a fine cast to ‘Foley’s’. Hegarty regained the lead with a great effort to the ‘garage’ but the next exchanges had a vital bearing. Connolly’s effort tight on the right opened to run a huge distance and regained the lead to the tune of fifty metres. It was still all to play for when Connolly missed the line with his fifteenth, but he held his nerve to beat a valiant last effort his Lyre opponent. Denis Trunwit presented the cup in his name to his fellow Bandonian at scores end. The final carried a €12,000 total stake. The remaining vintage sectional finals, B and C, remain to be played. Jerome O’Mahony and Pat Scanlon meet at Terelton again in the C decider while the B play-off will have Donal Harnedy and Micheal O’Callaghan in opposition at Bantry. On Sunday last at Tim
oleague there was a good turnout for the girls U12 and U14 trials from which teams will be selected to contest the inter-provincial event at Newcastle, Co. Dublin, on March 4.
2022 ended on a sad note with the departure of one of bowling’s best known and best loved personalities. Denis Collins’ passing on December 30 was mourned by the legions of friends and followers he accumulated through a lifetime’s involvement in sport. Born in Listowel, Co. Kerry, Denis moved to Clonakilty with his parents at a very young age. His athletic prowess was soon evident. Through his teens and twenties his star shone in the boxing arenas of Munster as he won amateur light heavyweight provincial titles and on the hurling fields of the county as an accomplished forward on Clo
nakilty’s West Cork junior championship winning teams. But it was the bowling game that benefitted most from his sporting talents. He relished the contest on the road, the challenge of taking on all comers and the social engagement it brought whether in victory of defeat.
His extraordinary career in bowling spanned seven decades. He bowled in the fifties playing his brother, Francis, in a final in Ardfield in 1958 and played his last score in the 2018 vintage championship at Castletownkenneigh against James O’Driscoll, Drinagh, and Ballincollig.
His commitment to bowling was unwavering. Through the decades he competed in eve
ry championship, at intermediate level for much of his career, then junior and, as the years rolled on, novice, veteran and vintage were contested with fervour. He won an acclaimed All-Ireland veteran championship on the Cathedral Road, Armagh, in 1993 defeating Harry Toal (Sen) and Mayo’s Willie Carroll in the final. He entered tournaments everywhere and won 28, his last one at Grange in 2015. His trophy laden homestead bear testimony to his successes. Yet, it was on the international stage that Denis was surely in his element. Bowling’s European Championships which had their formative years in the late sixties and through the seventies, gave him a platform to showcase his bowling expertise to a new audience. He loved to perform against the Germans and the Dutch and won a silver medal on the road at the Tubbergen games in 1980. Blessed with a fine physique, Denis was a hugely popular figure on the continent and enjoyed many lengthy stays at the behest of his hosts. Denis’s achievements in
bowling were acknowledged with his induction into the game’s Hall of Fame in 2015. His funeral services were attended by his many friends from the bowling fraternity, representatives from Clonakilty G.A.A. and colleagues from E.S.B. where he worked for many years. Denis was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Clonakilty, on Tuesday last.
There was sadness too at the passing of Derry Spillane, Carrignavar, a man who gave many years loyal service to bowling. Denis was a very capable secretary of the North East division for many years and did trojan work in promoting bowling in his own region. In the North East too, Michael O’Donoghue went to his reward. Michael was a l
ifelong supporter of Fermoy Bowling Club. The death of Madden bowling personality, Paddy Morgan, was mourned by the many bowling friends he made at All-Ireland and Bol Fada events in Cork and Armagh.