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Bowling Report - Week ending 11th February




IMPRESSIVE WILMOT DOMINATES BILL BARRETT CUP FINAL FROM START TO FINISH

The Bill Barrett Cup has long been the signature tournament for Caheragh Bowling Club and, while the latest hosting produced a decider that will not rank with some of the great scores played on the road, there was satisfaction at its completion given the long delays incurred by Covid and injury to players. The meeting of Denis Wilmot and Denis O’Driscoll brought a fine crowd to the Carbery venue, but the expected fireworks never materialised as Bandonian, Wilmot, dominated almost from the off. Drimoleague man, O’Driscoll never hit the heights of an excellent semi-final performance against John Creedon and was uncharacteristically wayward with many of his deliveries as he attempted to claw back an early deficit. He would have needed to be at his best as Wilmot choose the day to show the full range of his talents best exemplified by a sweeping, score changing second shot. O’Driscoll, the punter’s favourite in the €5,000 total stake, won the opening exchange but it would be a short-lived lead as it took him two to beat Wilmot’s ferocious drive from back of the church. A big fourth shot that hugged the right brought Wilmot a shot and fifty metres in front and, when O’Driscoll had the ill-luck to see his seventh to the bridge accidentally blocked, the odds continued to mount. Wilmot produced some of his best bowling in the next sequence to the ‘tunnel’, countering a game tenth of O’Driscoll’s that might have knocked odds, with an even better effort that increased his advantage to two bowls. There was no slacking on the Bandon man’s part, and he was declared the eighth winner of the Bill Barrett Cup with a few shots to go. The imposing trophy commemorating Bill, a stalwart of the forties and fifties, was presented to Denis Wilmot by his grandson, Patrick O’Sullivan. Previous holders since its inception in 2001 were Kieran Gould, Johnny Murphy, Beal na mBlath, Michael Bohane, James O’Donovan, David O’Mahony, Jerry Gibbons and David Hubbard.


Terelton Bowling Club are closing on completion of their Jerh Cotter Cup tournament. An exciting semi-final battle unfolded on Sunday last when Liam Kearney, Inchigeelagh and Daniel O’Sullivan, Ballinagree went head-to-head. It was snot for shot to the three-quarter point before Kearney big closing sequence got him home a winner. They played for a total of €1,020. Back the road, Andrew Kelleher defeated Joe Lynch for €1,100. Liam Kearney will play either Niall Murphy, Carriganima or Coachford’s Paul Twomey in the Cotter Cup decider.


MURPHYS GOOD RUN CONTINUES @ TEMPLEMARTIN

There is no stopping, Timmie Murphy. The Ballyclough man returned to Templemartin, the scene of his recent junior B tournament final win, for a couple of fund-raising scores and won twice inflicting a double defeat of Gloun’s Adrian Buttimer. He had a bowl of odds to spare in the first of these for a €2,480 total while it was a last shot victory in the second for €1,600. There was also a double for John A Murphy at Ballinacurra, Upton. The Templemartin man won two from two with North East’s Shane Lotty for stakes of €2,800 and €1,100. Also here, Colm O’Regan won twice from Ronan Hoey and scored a win as well against Gary O’Sullivan.

O'DONOVAN EASY WIN IN DESMOND CUP.


Elsewhere, at Ballygurteen the new tournament for the Jerry Desmond Cup got underway. Noel O’Donovan and the returning Jordan O’Sullivan went head-to-head for a €5,900 total and it was Crossbarry man, O’Donovan, who dominated from the off. A right hand drag militated against O’Sullivan and O’Donovan lost no time in rising a two-bowl lead. He was gaining further ground when matters were terminated at the three-quarter stage.


CIARA BUCKLEY TAKES CORMICAN CUP

The delayed staging of the 2023 Gretta Cormican Cup Queen of the Road qualifying competition final took place at Grenagh on Saturday last when Ciara Buckley and Veronica O’Mahony clashed. It was last year’s intermediate champion and Player of the Year, Buckley, who came from almost a bowl down after six to storm ahead with two brilliant shots and take control. In a competitive last quarter, she held her lead and won by a big fore bowl. The stake at issue amounted to €500.


There was a big crowd at City venue, Templemichael for the clash of Willie O’Donnell and Liam Walsh. This was a trap to line victory for O’Donnell whose big shots from ‘Sarsfield’s cross’ on were instrumental in a two-bowl win. They played for a total of €7,000. Edmund Sexton made a winning start to the new year with a merited one bowl win in the return here from Craig Moynahin. The City man missed a beatable opener from Sexton and it proved costly as the score unfolded. The stake at issue amounted to €2,700.

There was doubles tournament action in Carrignavar where the partnership of Kieran and Martin Daly defeated Michael Barry and Evan Buckley in the last shot for €600. The Connolly’s were winner’s here too, Donie and Patrick defeating Pat Scanlon and Alan Daly, last shot, for €300.

In a score at Newcastle, Co. Dublin, Michael Brennan defeated Keith McDonnell by a bowl, for €200.


CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION

Championship action abounded in many regions. West Cork had a wide-ranging selection. Castledonovan’s Timmie Roberts won his novice D contest in Durrus, defeating Damien Hurley in the last shot. Two good contests at The Clubhouse saw the novice D grade progress. Cian Young from Bantry, a young man from a great bowling dynasty, came good in a cracking score with another leading contender, Donal McCarthy from Drimoleague that carried a €480 stake and two men making a return to the game, Patrick O’Sullivan, Ballinacarriga and Barry O’Sullivan, Johnstown, also had a tough battle. For a €640 total, Patrick advanced by a narrow margin. On the Inch road, Dunmanway, Mark McCarthy defeated Peter Hickey, last shot, for €500 and Vincent Roche defeated Darren Cronin by two bows for €400. At Ballinacarriga, Dan Hayes of Drinagh won from Barry O’Donovan. In novice C at Drinagh, Kevin O’Sullivan defeated Kevin Hurley.


A big clash in Mid Cork novice veteran went ahead at Jagoe’s Mills. Here Dan O’Donovan overcame former winner, Mick Murphy by a bowl of odds.


Gaeltacht championships are underway and two in the novice D grade took place at Cill na Martra. Here Jerry Lynch defeated Pat Healy and Richard Browne defeated Donal O’Connell. At the other end of the age spectrum two good scores at Baile Bhuirne heralded the beginning of the U18 championship. Here, Tadg Cooney won from Eoin Moynahin and Jack O’Sullivan won from Jack Og Coleman.


Gaeltacht held their team competition on Sunday morning at Baile Bhuirne and it was the home teams A and B who took the top two spots from eight competing.

In the North Cork novice D championship at Berrings, Alex Roche defeated Dylan Browne, last shot, for €200. At Beal na Morrive in D, Aidan O’Sullivan defeated Paul O’Sullivan by two for €2,000 and, in a return, Paul Walsh defeated Kieran Buckley, last shot, for €600.

In the City novice veteran at The Bog Road, Tony Dunlea defeated Kieran McCarthy and, in a return double, Michael O’Leary and Darragh O’Donovan defeated Jeremy Downey and Bernard O’Donovan, last shot, for €1,100. In novice veteran at Paddoes, Denis Connolly, Glanmire, defeated Finbarr Ross and kept his run going with a last shot victory over Mark Long in the return.


In the North East division at Ballyhooly the novice veteran grade is also up and running. Here Tom Allen won from Michael Murphy. In the same championship at Carrignavar, John O’Leary defeated Denis Murphy.


COPPINGER AND MURPHY WILL CLASH IN HEAVYWEIGHT SCORE

The draws, just announced, for bowling’s premier grades have thrown up a selection of fascinating confrontations to be played out at venues across the county over the spring and summer months. The game’s premier championships, senior men and women, have twelve and nine contesting respectively. They will be played in different formats with the men playing a straight knock-out championship while the ladies adopt a two-group round-robin league format that will have five and four contenders in each. Senior men’s champion, David Murphy, currently recovering from injury, will have an extra week to recover having received a bye when the first-round fixtures were unveiled on Wednesday night. The four first round fixtures will generate plenty of interest in their own right with the clash at Timoleague between Martin Coppinger and Aidan Murphy with seven county titles between them probably the pick. 2022 champion, Michael Bohane faces 2016 winner, Killian Kingston in what should be a riveting encounter at Templemartin. Seamus Sexton will renew acquaintance with, Gary Daly at Inchigeelagh while Patrick Flood and James O’Donovan will look to secure quarterfinal slots when they meet at Beal na Morrive. The full senior championship first round draw reads; Killian Kingston v Michael Bohane at Templemartin; Martin Coppinger v Aidan Murphy at Timoleague; Seamus Sexton v Gary Daly at Inchigeelagh; Patrick Flood v James O’Donovan at Beal na Morrive. Bye to David Murphy, Michael Harrington, Brian Wilmot and Arthur McDonagh. The men’s intermediate has sixteen starters and an early stand-out clash sees last years All-Ireland veteran and former senior champion, Phillip O’Donovan taking on the grade’s newest incumbent, the 2023 junior A All-Ireland winner, Denis O’Sullivan. North East venue, Grenagh, are hosts. The eight first round fixtures for the 2024 county intermediate championship read; Raymond Ryan v Donal O’Riordan at Caheragh; Phillip O’Donovan v Denis O’Sullivan at Grenagh; Billy McAuliffe v Paul Buckley at Firmount; Wayen Callanan v Tom O’Donovan at Bweeng; Tommy O’Sullivan v Eamonn Bowen at Newcestown; John O’Rourke v Patrick Stokes at Bottlehill; Wayne Parkes v Andrew O’Callaghan at Baile Bhuirne; Tim Young v John Creedon at Bauravilla. In ladies senior, defending champion.


Geraldine Curtin along with last years runner-up, Denise Murphy are accompanied by Veronica O’Mahony, Emma Fitzpatrick and Meghan Collins in a tough group A. Last years finalists meet at Beal na mBlath while the meeting of Emma Fitzpatrick and Meghan Collins at Ballinacarriga is another big clash. Hannah Sexton fully recovered from injury, Maria Nagle, last year’s intermediate winner, Ciara Buckley and former three-time county winner, the returning Catriona O’Farrell/Kidney make for a competitive group B. Fixtures are as follows; Group A, Veronica O’Mahony v Emma Fitzpatrick at Baile Bhuirne; Veronica O’Mahony v Meghan Collins at Clondrohid; Veronica O’Mahony v Geraldine Curtin at Templemartin; Veronica O’Mahony v Denise Murphy at Beal na Morrive; Emma Fitzpatrick v Meghan Collins at Ballinacarriga; Emma Fitzpatrick v Geraldine Curtin at Lyre; Emma Fitzpatrick v Denise Murphy at Ballinacurra; Meghan Collins v Geraldine Curtin at The Clubhouse; Meghan Collins v Denise Murphy at Baile Bhuirne; Geraldine Curtin v Denise Murphy at Beal na mBlath: Group B; Catriona Kidney v Maria Nagle at Jagoe’s Mills; Catriona Kidney v Ciara Buckley at Templemichael; Catriona Kidney at Dunderrow; Maria Nagle v Ciara Buckley at Macroom; Maria Nagle v Hannah Sexton at Derrinasafa; Ciara Buckley v Hannah Sexton at Baile Bhuirne.

Likewise, women’s intermediate is divided into two group giving each of the seven contenders multiple scores. Group A has plenty of enticing shoot-outs, with internationally selected Hannah Cronin, last years junior champion, Ailbhe O’Shea, former champion, Juliette Murphy and former under-age champion, Lisa Hegarty all in the mix. Group B has U18 and European champion, Rachel Kingston, Emma Hickey also on the team for Germany and last years U18 All-Ireland winner all vying for a semi-final spot. The fixtures read; Group A, Hannah Cronin v Juliette Murphy at Baile Bhuirne; Hannah Cronin v Lisa Hegarty at Bauravilla; Hannah Cronin v Ailbhe O’Shea at Newcestown; Juliette Murphy v Lisa Hegarty at Dunderrow; Juliette Murphy v Ailbhe O’Shea at Templemichael; Lisa Hegarty v Ailbhe O’Shea at Ardcahan: Group B, Rachel Kingston v Emma Hickey at Bantry; Rachel Kingston v Ellen Sexton at Caheragh; Emma Hickey v Ellen Sexton at The Marsh Road.


Bol Chumann Registrar, Billy McAuliffe, distributed the Association’s register of players for 2024 to delegates and regional representatives. It is a colourful production filled with grading lists and club and regional contacts. Adorning the cover is a fine action shot of Billy’s youngest son, Sean.


CARBERY NOTES

O'SULLIVANS GIANT LEAP TO CUP GLORY

Leap’s Kieran O’Sullivan finished with a flurry and captured the Dinny and Frankie Memorial Cup after hard-fought three-way shoot-out with James McNulty and Denis Murphy on the Meenvane road, Schull on Saturday last. It was an engaging battle all the way with Union Hall’s McNulty first to show when lining a super opener past the ‘school entrance’. Eventual winner O’Sullivan looked in trouble almost a bowl down but extricated himself with excellent third and fourth shots. Denis Murphy came to the fore with accurate deliveries around the bends to ‘McFarlane’s’ and took a handy lead onto the flat. A couple of misplays cost the Skeagh man, and he was overhauled by O’Sullivan and McNulty. The Leap man powered to a bowl lead but could have been caught by McNulty who missed an opportunity in the bowling to the bridge. It was still in the melting pot with three to go when O’Sullivan unleashed a score winning brace that covered a large portion of the straight and ensured the coveted cup was heading for Leap. The imposing trophy, commemorating the memory of Dinny Griffin and Frankie Coughlan, staunch bowling men of decades past who organised and ran many tournaments at Schull and on the Lowertown road, was presented to Kieran by Pat Coughlan (Jun) grandson of Frankie. Schull bowling club wish to express their thanks to ‘The Townhouse O’D’S’ for their sponsorship and after score hospitality.


For the second week running Sidney Shannon was in the winner’s enclosure at the end of a novice B tournament final. Doggedness and will to win are the hallmarks of the long-time Durrus campaigner and these qualities came to the fore after he vanquished opponents many years his junior when scoring a thrilling last shot victory on the Cahermore road on Saturday last. Conor Lucey from Beal na Morrive and Jack O’Callaghan, Castletownkenneigh had delivered big performances on the way to this Rosscarbery decider and contributed hugely too on Saturday last to a pulsating encounter that ebbed and flowed with almost every shot. Lucey’s brilliant third and a fine touch with his fourth gave him a big early lead but his form dropped in the bowling past the ‘priest’s house’ and on to ‘Barry’s hill’ allowing both rivals catch up. O’Callaghan’s excellent play on the rise had him in front at ‘Barry’s cross’ but Shannon then fired two of the best to take a valuable lead at the ‘black pole’. In another twist, the Durrus man’s chance seemed lost when he scattered his next and it was the Castletown man who was back in front at ‘Maguire’s gate’. Lucey came strongly with a big effort close to the finish line and, when O’Callaghan missed, it was all to play for throwing their fourteenth. Shannon, who had squeezed in front again, held his nerve and won that vital exchange. Conor Lucey finished in second place.


On a weekend when three finals were played in Carbery Denis Wilmot won the Bill Barrett Cup at Caheragh when, in a turn-up for the books, he scored a two-bowl win over favourite, Denis O’Driscoll.


Michael Bohane, Carbery’s senior contender, faces a testy opener in the senior championship. The Caheragh native will pitch up against 2016 champion, Killian Kingston, who has West Cork roots in Reenascreena, in a first round fixture with the winner moving through to the quarterfinal round in the twelve-man championship. Templemartin in the Mid Cork division will host their clash. Emma Fitzpatrick and Maria Nagle are in groups A and B respectively in the women’s senior championship and will have multiple scores in the round-robin format.

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