Donal O’Riordan is first through to the last four of the 2022 intermediate championship following his quarterfinal victory over Willie O’Donovan at Carrignavar on Sunday. A tremendous late salvo got the Bantry man out of trouble after Mayo based O’Donovan looked to have a winning lead at the novice line. For a €1,300 total, they went level to the ‘creamery cross’ before a couple of misplays and a big tenth from O’Donovan put almost a bowl of odds between them. O’Riordan regained the lead with two brilliant efforts to ‘Crowley’s lane’ and, when he followed in similar vein with another brace, the turnaround was complete. The remaining quarterfinals sees another Bantry contender, Tim Young take on Billy McAuliffe at Clondrohid, Wayne Callanan of the City plays Andrew O’Callaghan, Mallow, at Terelton and Brian Wilmot goes head-to-head with Patrick Flood at Templemartin.
In regional junior A action, there were wins for Gavin Twohig and Christy Mullins. Twohig qualified for the South-West final with victory over Jimmy O’Driscoll at Ballygurteen on Friday evening. Both down from intermediate ranking, the pair produced a score of mixed bowling with O’Driscoll’s slack start having the biggest bearing on the outcome. For O’Driscoll, a regional junior A winner in both South-West and Carbery divisions, taking four to come sight at the first bend was uncharacteristic and Twohig, needed no second bidding to rise a bowl of odds with his third throw. It looked to be heading for two as they played past the ‘women’s lane’ with Twohig’s speed and accuracy, best exemplified through a super fifth shot, giving the edge. Gradually, O’Driscoll found some form and delivered four excellent shots past ‘Oakmount avenue’ and up the rise to ‘O’Donovan’s’ that reduced the odds to a throw out. A close finish did not materialise as Twohig’s twelfth steadied the ship regaining his one-bowl lead when O’Driscoll missed sight from a better stand. Little changed in the remaining shots although there was a surprise when O’Driscoll saved the bowl of odds in the final exchanges. They played for a total of €1,300.
Gavin Twohig will play Alex O’Donovan in the South-West junior A final at Ballygurteen on a date to be announced. Christy Mullins is in his regional junior A decider too. The round-robin West Cork series involving Bantry men, Mullins and Muiris Buttimer and Drimoleague’s Denis O’Driscoll has concluded with Mullins’ victory over Buttimer at Bantry on Friday eliminating last year’s B winner. This was a score Mullins dominated for large parts although Buttimer took a brief lead at the half-way point. Mullins secured the winners point in the last shot and his re-match with Denis O’Driscoll should be something to savour. In City junior A, Cian Boyle qualified for the decider when the unlucky Craig Moynahin pulled up injured with two shots to go in their hard-fought Whitechurch clash. In the second City semi-final, Michael O’Donoghue finished strongly to defeat James Nagle. A big junior B clash in the City championship took place at Carrigaline and here, Anthony Gould defeated Pater Nagle, the 2016 junior A All-Ireland winner, in the last shot for a €1,200 total.
In East Cork, Dunmanway native Mick Hurley pulled off a sensational last shot semi-final win over Denis Cooney at Ballincurrig. For a €1,700 total, Cooney had the upper hand to the ‘sycamores’ where he held a bowl lead. Hurley’s blinding finish overhauled the deficit and he won it by metres with a super final effort. Another of the Cooney brothers, James, will be Hurley’s opponent in the final. The London junior A final was on at the weekend, and it is Patrick O’Driscoll who will represent the region in county rounds following his victory over Dunmanway native, Colin O’Donovan. Padraigh Nugent is London junior B representative and young Calum O’Donovan, son of Colin, will make a little bit of history as he becomes the regions first U14 champion. Sean Murphy is through to the Mid Cork junior A final after winning his penultimate round clash with David O’Mahony at Newcestown on Friday evening. A blazing start had Murphy two bowls to the good, but O’Mahony’s late surge saw him hit the line in three from ‘O’Brien’s bend’ to bring the margin under the bowl. They played for a €520 total. Murphy will play either Tom O’Donovan or Dan O’Halloran in the decider.
In Castletownkenneigh in novice D, Michael Desmond won from John Madden and in novice A at the same venue, Paul Walsh won from Joe Madden. In Gaeltacht junior B at Baile Mhuirne, Jim Coffey defeated Conor Creedon and in novice A at Clondrohid, the former South-West man, Freddie Scannell overcame a tough hurdle when getting the better of Muskerry star, Cathal Vaughan. In the North-East junior A final at Grenagh on Friday, Tim McDonagh (jun) defeated former intermediate champion Paddy O’Donoghue by a bowl of odds.
In women’s senior, Hannah Sexton made a winning bow at Castletownkenneigh when, with her only fore bowl of the score, she took the winners point from a riveting group B clash with Veronica O’Mahony. Veronica, with a win already under her belt from her contest with Emma Fitzpatrick, rose a bowl of odds in the early stages but Hannah determinedly whittled away until coming within reach for the final throws. A splendid last shot won the day, and she goes now to a meeting with Rosscarbery lady, Emma, for whom a win is a must at Shannonvale. In intermediate, Chloe O’Halloran gained her first point with victory from a cracking score with Julianne Hayes at Grange and in group D, Louise Daly’s win from Lisa Hegarty at Timoleague means the Lyre lady is out of contention. Former senior champion, Helen Whyte, Reenascreena, is out too after going down to Denise Murphy at Ballinacurra, Upton. A good score in which a few chances went a begging for the Carbery contender saw Denise forge in front in the last quarter and win by a bowl. She progresses now to the quarterfinals from Group C along with Gretta Cormican.
In other regional action, P J Hegarty won his South-West D first rounder with Denis McSweeney at The Pike and at Timoleague, in the same grade, Alan Murphy won in the last shot from Mike Kiely and Toss Ahern won from Joseph Hennessy. In novice B at Shannonvale, Stephen O’Connell defeated Enda Conneally. In West Cork novice A two likely contenders clashed at Drimoleague and it was Paul Kingston who advanced with victory from Sean O’Riordan. At Bantry in West Cork novice B, Padraigh O’Sullivan won from David Cotter in the last shot for an €800 total. 2021 championships still linger and Castletownkenneigh hosted a wonderful contest for the Mid Cork U18 title on Friday evening. Ciara Allen won this one in the last shot from Niamh O’Callaghan.In senior club action at Corrin, Martin Coppinger kept a good run going with victory over Gary Daly, one bowl, for €8,200.
Ted Hegarty’s Phale Road tournaments have been a mainstay on the annual schedule for many years now. Encompassing all age categories in the youth’s sector, the Sunday morning sessions have brought young bowlers from across the county for competition and practice. It has been the starting point for many who have gone on to win county, All-Ireland and even European honours. There have been thrills and spills aplenty along the way and this year’s events have been no exception. Ten finals were run-off in the past fortnight the culmination of more than twenty Sunday morning qualifying rounds in all grades with participants getting several opportunities to show their paces in multitudes of scores. The first of the deciders was the boys U14 shoot-out between Cathal Creedon of Ballyvourney and Bandon’s Daniel Wilmot. It set the trend for a wonderful week as the boys produced a riveting encounter that Daniel led for the final throw. Cathal delivered a tremendous last effort, and it won the day when Daniel, unluckily, missed. Cillian Kelleher won the boys U16 final after a thrilling three-way battle with West Cork’s best, Brian Horgan and James Russell. There were two finals in U10. A special county competition for boys based on inter-regional championship format was won by Jack Allen of Newcestwon, representing Mid Cork, who just got the better of Macroom’s Eoghan Kelly, the Gaeltacht champion.
In the separate Ted U10 tournament, another three-way, all Dunmanway, Tadg O’Farrell won from Ryan Crowley and Brian Murphy. The girls U14 final was a cracker too and here Laura Sexton kept the Timoleague flag flying with a narrow win from Niamh O’Connell, Ballinacarriga. Danielle Crowley won the girls U12 final from Leila Foley. Skibb’s Tom McCarthy won the boys U12 after a great contest with Gaeltacht’s Ross O’Brien and Bantry’s Kevin Courtney. A combined tournament for girls U16/U18/junior ladies brought another victory to the Sexton clan when Ellen just edged out Gaeltacht girls Ailbhe O’Shea and Rosin O’Riordan. The boys U18 final was on May 3 and it was Danny O’Donovan who emerged from this three-way with victory over James O’Sullivan and Noel O’Driscoll. Finally, a firm believer in starting them young, Ted had His U8 decider last Wednesday and it was West Cork’s Cillian Murray who shaded a mighty contest with Gaeltacht’s Eoghan Kelly.
Bowling mourns the passing of Donal Hurley, Clonakilty. A player who mixed it with the best in junior and intermediate grades through the sixties and seventies, Donal was also an important cog in the Miles Bowling Club during a period when it was a Mecca for bowling followers and the focal point for major tournament and premier championship scores. Donal was an affable and knowledgeable presence on bowling roads of the county up to recent years. Sympathies are extended to the Hurley family. Mid Cork lost a great bowling stalwart with the passing at the weekend of Jerry Murphy, Crookstown. Jerry was a long-time competitor in Mid Cork championships regularly competing at junior A and B level and was B champion in 1989 after a well-contested final at Upton with Jerry O’Donovan. Jerry had a great passion for bowling and enjoyed many good days in the company of his sons, Johnny and Denis, both of whom carry on the family tradition as indeed does his grandson, Tadg Hickey, who played a starring role with Cork’s U12’s at the recent under-age inter-provincials at Newcastle, Dublin. Jerry was a footballer of talent also and was part of county winning Kilmurray junior and Muskerry senior sides in 1969 and ’70. Bol Chumann extends sympathies to the Murphy family.