Bowling Report - Week ending 09.01.22

Reports from Section C of the vintage grade, action from Lyre including the recently contested Novice 2 Tournament, reaction from the John Joe Murphy Cup semi-final along with all the other weeks action


The vintage grade has been one of bowling’s most successful innovations catering as it does for those willing and able in the over 60’s age-group. With an annual entry of close to or sometimes exceeding one hundred and divided on grading merits into three sections, it gives so many of the games lesser lights an opportunity to continue to enjoy the sport they love and indeed, on occasion, go on unexpected winning runs with a chance of county glory. Such was the case at Jagoe’s Mills on Sunday morning last when the section C (for those graded novice D) was played out between two men who have given a lifetimes contribution to the game. Joe Walsh was one of a background team who ensured a successful two-year All-Ireland hosting at his home club Grenagh just a few years back while John Tringle is the man at the front when The Clubhouse venue is chosen to run any of the multitude of championship scores that come under their remit on an annual basis. The pair, the last two standing from fifty-four section C starters, served up a wonderful finale for the Fachtna Hayes Cup at the Mid Cork venue on Sunday morning last. For a combined €1,600. Tringle had the better of it to the ‘concrete footpath’ when, throwing odds over fifty meres, a pulled muscle put a spanner in the works. John, whose dexterity on the dance floor has lit up many a social gathering, bravely battled on and made a right fight of it in the subsequent exchanges. The stylish Joe, nimble too in his deliveries, eventually came ahead after twelve and, although John regained the lead with a mighty thirteenth, the man from the North-East hit a superb brace past the ‘power station’ and they were enough for a big fore bowl victory. The vintage section B final is on at Togher Cross on Sunday morning next when Gaeltacht’s Michéal O’Callaghan takes on Carbery’s Donal Harnedy. Jimmy Collins is the section A winner.


Club and player affiliations for 2022 will be the focus for Executive and regional officers over the coming weeks. Registrar, Billy McAuliffe, has circulated details to all regional secretaries along with a timetable for affiliation deadlines and grading. In a welcome development, club insurance fees show a reduction from pre-Covid years with the figure set at €250 for the coming twelve months. Player affiliation fees are broadly the same as 2020 with allowances for regional adjustments. Senior and intermediate men are fixed at €70 while junior and novice is €55. Senior and intermediate ladies are €50. Non-playing members pay €10 while boys and girls U18 are set at €25. All other under-age €10. The timetable for registration is Monday 17th January which is the closing date for affiliation and for regional grading. Wednesday 26th January is the date for the 3 way grading meeting and overall grading meeting.


Lyre bowling club celebrates its half-century in 2022 and, from that auspicious beginning in 1972 and with 115 tournaments completed, the show goes on in its normal, efficient and unobtrusive manner. On Saturday last the latest instalment in the Wayne Parkes-Tom O’Donovan rivalry took centre stage. O’Donovan may have shaded the majority of their half dozen or so meetings thus far but Parkes, crucially, won the big one, the 2020 county junior B final at The Marsh Road in July. Still, such was O’Donovan’s mastery in their post-Christmas clash at Ballinacurra that the Belgooly player was the punter’s favourite when they met at the South-West venue on Saturday last. Going for a €2,700 total, the Clon youth chose this occasion to register a strong statement and confound the experts with a big fore bowl win. He made an early move rising a sixty-metre lead at the ‘tunnel’ but missed chances subsequently as O’Donovan regained the front at ‘Crowley’s bend’. Still locked together at ‘McCarthy’s corner’, Parkes made a decisive break beating a big effort of O’Donovan’s past the ‘long wall’. He finished in a blaze to win by almost a bowl. Back the road, two West Cork men who have enjoyed successful runs over the holiday period went head-to head for a €12,300 total.


Alan Sheehan, since his return from Australia, has scored wins at Derrinasafa and Ballydehob while Togher Cross exponent, Diarmuid Hurley was victorious in the Reenascreena tournament final on Jan 3. Sheehan prevailed in this shoot-out, rising big odds with two exceptional efforts at the three-quarter point.

A score that slipped under the radar amid the multitude of Christmas-New Year fixtures was a well-contested novice 2 tournament final played out on the lower, Lyre road on Monday Dec 27. Under the stewardship of Gretta Cormican, the thirty-two man competition was whittled to just Timmie O’Sullivan, Rosscarbery and Corneilus O’Mahony, Schull and the pair delivered a contest to savour. After an even start with little separating the tips down the ‘mason’s hill’ and on to the ‘double gates’, the western man made a break with two fine shots to ‘Knockskeagh school’ to rise a hundred metre lead. It looked to be going in O’Mahony’s favour when he hit another big effort to ‘Ballycummer creamery’ but O’Sullivan’s best was to come and a mighty cast at ‘the hump’ gave him an unexpected lead. It proved a major turning point as the former Clon stalwart followed up with a piledriver past ‘Ballinascarthy cross’ all of which gave him leeway enough to see off O’Mahony’s game challenge.


Still in the South West division a tournament of long-standing, the latest running beset by Covid cancellations, will conclude on Saturday next. The O’Connell/Dullea Cup has been a staple of Ballygurteen club for many decades and, allocated as it is to players of senior ranking, many of the games best have had their names inscribed on the imposing trophy. Finalists in the current running are from opposite ends of the county and it sure to be a lively encounter when Gary Daly of Fermoy and Caheragh native, Michael Bohane go head-to head next weekend. Both showed form in the recent international trials and will not be wanting for practise. Daly may be the punters favourite, but Bohane has plenty in his armoury to fancy his chances. Throw off at Ballygurteen is 1.00pm.


The John Joe Murphy Cup semi-final at Bauravilla on Sunday last was a re-run of the 2018 decider and produced a similar result. Drinagh’s John Young is the cup holder and a masterful performance on Sunday saw him home ahead of Jimmy O’Driscoll the defeated finalist four years ago. For a €3,000 total it was hard fought with the Clon man levelling after Young made a strong start. The Drinagh man’s three from ‘the rock’ pushed him clear again, but it was his next two on the difficult stretch from ‘the bridge’ that gave him winning law. He had enough in hand then to hold off O’Driscoll’s strong finish and secure a final spot where he will come up against one of a trio still left on the other side of the draw, James Nagle, David Hubbard or Mick Hurley. The Paddy Barry Cup at Rosscarbery commemorates a great player of yesteryear who hailed from the townland of Tineel. The tournament in his name resumed on Sunday last when City’s Wayne Callanan and Mallow’s newly crowned county junior A champion took issue in a first-round score. For a €4,300 total, Callanan negated O’Callaghan’s bright start by taking a big advantage out ‘Cahermore cross’ and held his lead on the rising road to forge a last shot win. Ardcahan was a busy venue on Sunday with four worthy contests. It was a good day for the Newcestown men with James Kelleher winning the opener from James Hurley, one bowl, for €2,200 and Ger O’Driscoll scoring a last shot win over Adrian Buttimer in the feature score that carried a €7,340 total. Carbery’s David O’Connor won a three-way and Kevin Murphy won the last of the day. In the City junior C final at Paddoes, Gareth Bourke won from Kieran Corrigan, one bowl, for €2,000 and back the road here, John Donnellan defeated Denis O’Donovan, last shot, for €2,200. In the Mid Cork U14 championship semi-final at Ballinacurra, Upton, Daniel Wilmot edged a great contest with Patrick Twomey.


Another man with many bowling miles on the clock is still strutting his stuff to good effect. Beal na mBlath head man, Gene O’Callaghan, was in fine form at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday last winning his E competition quarterfinal by two from Donnacha O’Driscoll for a €600 total. Also at Castletown, Eoin O’Callaghan won from Daniel Desmond.


In north Cork, the novice E grade is providing scores aplenty. At Peake on in a semi-final contest, Mark Sexton won from Willie Murphy, last shot, for €1,200 and Darren Cremin defeated James Roche by a similar margin for €1,000. Also here, Kieran Buckley defeated Aidan O’Brien, one bowl, for €1,000 and Mike Casey defeated Alex Roche, last shot for €800.