The senior championship draw has kept the Murphy brothers apart with both facing intriguing semi-final engagements at Bauravilla and Grange. The elder, David, is up against James O’Donovan at the Carbery venue while Aidan takes on Martin Coppinger at Grange. Ballincurrig will host the county decider. The women’s senior semi-final draw will see Hannah Sexton defend against Geraldine Curtin at The Marsh Road and Veronica O’Mahony going head-to-head with last year’s intermediate winner, Denise Murphy at Beal na Morrive. In men’s intermediate the semi-final line-up has either Tim Young or Donal O’Riordan meeting Wayne Parkes at The Marsh Road and Brian Wilmot taking on either Wayne Callanan or Andrew O’Callaghan at Newcestown. The lady’s intermediate final has been fixed for Ballyvourney. Contesting here are Ciara Buckley and the winner of the semi-final clash of Chloe O’Halloran and Juliette Murphy.
The big draw on the road at the weekend was the county intermediate quarterfinal clash of Brian Wilmot and Eamonn Bowen who contested at Castletownkenneigh for a €3,000 total. The sizable gathering witnessed a disappointing score that was dominated from the outset by the favourite Wilmot. The Bandon man lined a superior opener that yielded a hundred-metre advantage and wasn’t in trouble thereafter. Bowen, a county champion, in the grade in 2018, never got going in this one barring a good sequence from ‘Pyne’s corner’ when the result was long a foregone conclusion. Wilmot was a bowl clear after three and had, without being at his best, doubled his advantage by the ‘round tower cross’. Nothing was going for Bowen and Wilmot increased his odds with his tenth to ‘Pyne’s’ and, despite a well-played brace at this juncture by the Carrignavar man, the Bandon man’s victory was assured long before the finish. A semi-final meeting at Newcestown with either Andrew O’Callaghan or Wayne Callanan is next up for Wilmot. In Armagh, Thomas Mackle showed his All-Ireland winning form in his defeat of Colm Rafferty in the third score of their best of five at Knappagh on Sunday. In securing his second win, Mackle posted near record figures in a three-bowl win.
Noel O’Donovan, Innishannon, took a big step in the county junior B title race with a quarterfinal victory over North Cork’s worthy champion Dean Sexton. The pair engaged at Inchigeelagh on Tuesday for a €2,420 total and it was the Mid-Cork champion who opened in a blaze. Four outstanding opening shots had him close to a bowl up. Sexton stayed the course well and reduced the odds to a seventy-metre gap at the ‘forestry entrance’. O’Donovan increased his lead in the next exchange and won by the shot of odds. He contests with South-West’s Johnny O’Driscoll at Derrinasafa for a place in the decider. On the other side, City’s Noel Gould and West Cork’s Noel O’Regan clash in an eagerly awaited penultimate round score at Templemartin.
Noel Gould is through to the junior veteran county final after a brace of wins. Runner-up last year, the City champion, also campaigning in junior B, saw off the challenge of Andrew O’Leary with a storming finish at Firmount on Sunday evening. For a €2,600 total, Gould recovered from a wayward third with a stunning fourth shot but then went a bowl down to an excellent sequence from O’Leary as they played to ‘the cross’. The City man’s resurgence started here and, with two exceptional deliveries, he wiped out the deficit and took his first lead. There was no stopping the City man’s charge over the closing quarter and a place in the final was his after a thundering drive to the finish line. Terelton is the venue for the decider against either Phillip O’Donovan or John Shorten. The City man, made a sweeping start to his quarterfinal joust with Carbery’s Jimmy Collins at Lyre on Tuesday. Four big opening shots had him a bowl of odds and eighty metres with it to the good but a lapse or two in the bowling to ‘Crowley’s bend’ and resurgence from Collins had it back to the even shot throwing up for ‘McCarthy’s corner’. The Carbery man’s twelfth was well-pitched, and, with a nice swing, the margin was down to a throw-out facing up for the ‘rose bed’. His follow-up was not so good, and Gould was away again to a bowl lead. He held it to the finish. They played for a €600 total. In another quarterfinal at Inchigeelagh on Thursday, John Shorten eliminated Mark Burke, last years winner, by a margin of two bowls. A stakeless duel saw honours even for most of the first segment as the lead changed on a few occasions. A misplay at the half-way point resulted in Shorten rising a bowl of odds and he was untroubled thereafter. The Mid Cork man plays Phillip O’Donovan (East Cork) in the semi-final at Templemichael.
The novice veteran is down to the last four. On Monday at Baile Bhuirne, North Cork’s Dan O’Regan ended the hopes of West Cork’s doughty campaigner, Connie Connolly. For a €1,120 total, a strong display on the Coolea road particularly in the middle third to the ‘council entrance’ was instrumental in this win for O’Regan. His Drinagh rival had kept it level in the early shots to the ‘wall’, but from there the North Cork champion lined a sequence of lengthy deliveries and would not be caught. O’Regan plays East Cork’s Paul Butler at Curraheen for a place in the county novice veteran final. Butler and Mid Cork’s Mick Murphy went head-to head at Whitechurch on Thursday, and it was a score that saw the Innishannon man stage a magnificent rally at the mid-way point only to lose ground again in the closing stages. Butler started well here and an excellent sequence to ‘bula’ had him close to two bowls up. Murphy tenaciously overhauled that significant deficit before taking a sensational lead by ‘Downey’s line’ but, in a hard-fought closing quarter, the East Cork champion regained the ascendancy and held on for a fore bowl victory. On the other side of the draw Carbery’s Sidney Shannon won through to a semi-final meeting with Michéal O’Callaghan by virtue of a one bowl victory over North-East’s Eugene Hanley at Terelton on Sunday morning. In a stakeless contest, Shannon was not at his best in the opening phase and Hanley might have pushed further ahead than the fifty metres he held after four. The Carbery champion opened up with a brilliant salvo from the ‘garage’ and won by a bowl. He plays Micheal O’Callaghan of the Gaeltacht in the semi-final this Thursday at The Clubhouse venue.
The first of two preliminary round scores in the junior A county rounds took place at Grenagh on Sunday. London representative, Patrick O’Driscoll won this clash with East Cork’s James Cooney. A bowl of odds was O’Driscoll’s winning margin for a stake of €2,700 and the winner now meets South-West’s Denis O’Sullivan at Curraheen. The second preliminary round contest will involve City winner, Cian Boyle or Patrick Stokes versus Gaeltacht’s Eoin O’Riordan.
With Ballincurrig looming the U16 boys and girls and U12 boys county rounds are bounding to the final rounds. East Cork’s Ben Cooney, a stylish performer who has an All-Ireland U12 title to his credit won his U16 preliminary round contest with London’s Patrick O’Driscoll at Grenagh on Wednesday evening and will now play Mid Cork’s Rhys Murphy in the quarterfinal round at Whitechurch. West Cork’s Brian O’Sullivan awaits the winner in the semi-final. At Terelton on Sunday morning in a thrilling set-to, North East’s John O’Donoghue edged out Carbery’s Shane Crowley. When Crowley beat a two-hundred metre plus second shot of O’Donoghue’s it set the stage for a fascinating duel. Shot-for shot it went with the North East boy coming in front by a sixty metres for the last exchanges. Crowley lined a monstrous effort only for O’Donoghue to beat it in an exciting finale. O’Donoghue meets another likely contender in City’s Anthony Crowley in the county semi-final.
A well-contested girls’ quarterfinal at The Clubhouse saw defending champion, Laura Sexton, forced to pull out all the stops to hold off the spirited challenge of Carbery’s Emma O’Leary. Laura raced to an early bowl lead before Emma’s excellent play to ‘Murray’s’ reduced the margin significantly. Still closing the finish line came a little too soon for the Carbery champion and the determined Laura held on and will play Tara Twomey in the county semi-final. Through to the final is Drinagh’s Emma Hurley who edged a terrific contest at Lyre with Mid Cork’s dual champion, Rosin Allen. Newcestown girl, Rosin, led for much of the way but Emma, an emerging talent too in West Cork soccer, stayed close in a competitive joust. The Drinagh girl took her first lead at ‘Ballycummer creamery’ but just three metres separated them for the final exchanges. Rosin, a shade unluckily, missed the finish line and Emma took her chance and booked his final spot.
In boy’s U12 West’s Eoghan Hickey and Gaeltacht’s Eoin Kelly are through to the semi-finals. Eoghan will play Mid Cork’s Jack Allen this week at Lyre for a place in the final. Carbery’s Brian Harrington contests with South-West’s Fionan Twohig in a quarter final fixture this week with the winner meeting Gaeltacht’s Eoin Kelly.
The West Cork junior A play-off at Togher Cross on Friday evening resulted in a comprehensive win for Peter Murray. On his home road, the local man made a storming start rising the bones of a bowl of odds on Muiris Buttimer who had gained the upper hand in their previous encounter at Bantry. Five to sight at the ‘chips’ represented very good bowling for Murray and a two-bowl cushion here was enough to set him on his way to levelling up the best of three series at a win apiece. It was an evening when nothing went right for Buttimer as many well-played attempts went awry off the play and he will be glad of another opportunity when they go again at The Clubhouse in the final decider. In West Cork junior C at Durrus, James Lordan defeated Chris Murray by a bowl for €1,400 and, in the same grade at Kealkil, Neil Crowley defeated fellow clubmate Diarmuid Hurley. In the novice A semi-final at Durrus on Sunday, Brian O’Driscoll and Michael Carroll had a terrific battle. O’Driscoll from forty metres back won it with a super last shot for a stake of €1,500. O’Driscoll will play either Chris Cronin or Ciaran Nyhan in the regional novice A decider. In novice D at Durrus, Peter Hickey defeated Finian Hurley in the last shot for €1,160. Kieran O’Driscoll or Johnny Kelly await in the final in this grade. In boys U18 at Ardcahan, Con O’Sullivan won from Drinagh’s Eoin Hurley and in U14 here, Aaron Hurley won from Patrick Crowley. In an U18 quarterfinal at Ballinacarriga, Jonathan Deane, brother of Mark, looked strong too in his win over Alan Crowley. He faces a big test in the semi-final at Togher Cross when he comes up against James Russell. At Bantry in two U14 championship scores, there were wins for Kevin Courtney and Tadg O’Farrell. Kevin won a cracking contest with Daithi Galvin and Tadg overcame a good opponent in Oisin Wiseman.
David O’Mahony won his first Mid Cork junior A final at Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday. Contesting with Denis Wilmot for the Dan Joe Holland Cup, the Fivemilebridge man again displayed his affinity with the road in a steady almost error free performance that had him a bowl of odds clear at the finish line. Wilmot fought a good battle and got a few vital breaks at times but was also unlucky when a few more well-delivered attempts failed to run. For a €5,400 total stake, O’Mahony set his stall out early with a huge second shot but saw his sixty-metre lead reduced to five when Wilmot’s third touched off the right to the ‘main road’. O’Mahony restored his earlier advantage with his next two but again Wilmot closed to within metres with a lengthy sixth. The next exchanges were decisive. Wilmot did not follow up and lost ground again in the shots away from ‘Perrot’s’. O’Mahony, as he did in his April tournament success against Tim Young, fired two with pin-point accuracy to take a commanding lead by Innishannon cross. This transferred to a bowl advantage by the novice line and, although Wilmot brought it under that with a smashing cast to ‘Cronin’s avenue’, O’Mahony finished strong again and will carry the Mid Cork banner to the county rounds when he takes on North Cork’s Mark Burke in the quarterfinals at Inchigeelagh. Declan Holland presented the imposing cup commemorating his late brother to the new champion. David O’Mahony and Mid Cork chair, Martin Foley paid tribute to the late Dan Joe Holland who passed away in 2017 while throwing a score. Dan Joe, from Ovens, was a loyal servant to bowling, an All-Ireland winner and a popular performer at venues throughout the county and beyond. In a hard-fought novice A semi-final clash at Beal na Blath on Wednesday, last years B champion, Jack O’Callaghan eventually won by two from Christopher Murphy for a €5,000 total. O’Mathuna’s stalwart, O’Callaghan, put a few recent indifferent displays behind him to bowl a near perfect score. His opening five to ‘Bradfield’s’ were top notch and put him a bowl ahead.
Templemartin’s Murphy was playing well too but could not stay with an in-form O’Callaghan who increased his lead as the score went on. The Castletown man will play Eoin O’Donovan who won another cracker at Jagoe’s Mills on Tuesday in the upcoming final. The youthful Belgooly exponent, who won the county novice 1 championship as a seventeen-year-old in 2020, withstood a strong challenge from Anthony Broderick to book his spot. O’Donovan was heading for a two-bowl lead coming up to half-way before a brilliant sequence from Broderick put it back in the melting pot. With his odds down to a throw out, O’Donovan finished strongly to take the spoils. In Mid novice C at Beal na mBlath on Saturday Conor O’Donovan defeated Brian Collins for a €700 total. In Mid-Cork novice D at Castletownkenneigh a cracking score between Fionn Dwyer and John Madden resulted in victory for Belgooly man, Dwyer. The stake at issue was €2,200. In the same championship at Templemartin on Friday, Donnacha O’Donovan defeated Finbarr O’Sullivan in the last shot of a very even score. There was a total of €1,300 at issue. In Mid junior ladies at Ballinacurra, Evelyn Foley won from Chloe Desmond. In the South-West novice A championship at Timoleague, Ivan Buchannon won from Brian Daly, two bowls for €740.
In the City junior A championship, it’s down to the final. At Whitechurch on Wednesday Patrick Stokes defeated Craig Moynahin and, at the same venue on Sunday, Cian Boyle posted a two-bowl win over Michael O’Donoghue for a €2,400 total. In a couple of doubles at Whitechurch, Declan O’Leary and Maurice Connolly defeated Finbarr Coomey and Stephen Bowen and O’Leary again combined with Bernard O’Donovan to defeat Denis Connolly and Birol Kat, last shot, for €1,800. At Templemichael in the novice B semi-final, Bernard O’Donovan (Paddoes) defeated Finbarr Ross, last shot, for €800. In other scores at Templemichael Pascal Bowen won a three-way with Noel Hegarty and Tom Connolly two bowls for €1,200 and Tom Connolly/Birol Katt defeated Pascal Bowen/Keith Kidney, one bowl, for €600. In a further score Tom Connolly defeated Pascal Bowen, last shot, for €700.
In the North Cork U18 semi-final at Peake Jonathan O’Callaghan defeated Evan Buckley. At Beal na Morrive in novice Billy Healy and John MacSullivan engaged for a €1,620 total. A cracking shot for shot duel ended with Healy winning in the last shot. Also, in C at Beal na Morrive Martin Kelleher defeated John Walsh in another last shot finish for a €440 total stake. In the novice D championship at Kilcorney, Barry Twomey defeated Brendan Cotter for €1,100, Will Harrington defeated Shane Corkery and Jack Oldham came from a bowl down to deny Matthew Bradley. In the North Cork novice B quarterfinal at Peake, Tony O’Flynn defeated Sean Kiely in the last shot, for €2,500. In a return here Will Harrington defeated Mickey McAuliffe, last shot, for €2,040. In novice D at Ballinagree, Mikey O’Regan defeated Mick Murphy.
Uibh Laoire’s Cathal Vaughan won his Gaeltacht novice B championship score at Macroom with Donal Og O’Leary on Wednesday and, here too, in the D grade, D D McCarthy won from Colm O’Leary. In the Gaeltacht division, two novice D championship scores at Baile Mhuirne at the weekend, saw Darragh O’Leary defeat Brendan O’Donoghue and Colm Dromey get the better of Donal O’Shea. At Terelton in novice D, Brian Crowley defeated Brendan O’Callaghan.
The North-East junior A final will be contested between Paddy O’Donnell, last year’s All-Ireland U18 winner, and John O’Donoghue. In the North-East junior C championship at Carrignavar, Willie O’Donnell defeated Patrick O’Brien by two bowls for a €5,000 total. The North-East novice C championships progressed with scores at Carrignavar. Here, on Bank Holiday Monday, Evan Buckley defeated Jamie McDonagh and Michael Murphy defeated Billy Cahill.
The Pat Kiely Shield had a successful nineteenth hosting at Baile Bhuirne on Saturday. A tremendous day’s bowling saw teams from London, Dunderrow and Banteer battle it out for the prestigious shield. London’s leading man, Padraigh Nugent, was to the forefront in a singles win over local youth, Liam Murphy. The Nugent family were well-represented on the road with Padraigh’s father Mick, former Bol Chumann Ard Mhacha chair, and Michael (Jun) also making the journey from the orchard county. London emerged the winners on eight points and Padraigh was well-supported in his endeavours by Danny O’Shea and Jerome Casey while local back-up came with Micheal O’Céallacháin, Michael Masters, Ross O’Brien, Eamonn McSweeney and Cathal Creedon. Team Dunderrow were second just a point behind. Their line up included Mark Coleman, John Murphy, Danny Murphy Leo Carroll, Aodh Lynch, Liam Murphy, Niall Murphy and Denis Mangan. Banteer put up a brave battle and were third on five points. Eugene O’Sullivan, Ned Kelleher, Maurice Cashman, Sam Ahern, John Breen, Richard Harnedy all saw action for the North Cork side. The Longest-shot award was won by London’s Danny O’Shea while Dunderrow’s Danny Murphy was named player of the day. A special presentation was made to Billy Kiely, brother of the late Pat, for his contribution to this very popular annual event. In a special challenge score the trio of Ned Kelleher, Danny Murphy and Maurice Cashman defeated Eugene O’Sullivan, Richard Harnedy and Sam Ahern in the last shot. The 2024 Pat Kiely Shield will take place at Dunderrow.
In club scores at Jagoes Mills, Chris Hayes defeated Dean Cowhig last shot, for €300. In club scores after the Mid junior A final at Ballinacrrra a doubles contest saw Jim Coffey and Evan Buckley combined to come from a bowl down to defeat Anthony Gould and Deccie O’Mahony, last shot for a €4,000 total. Gaeltacht junior A winner Eoin O’Riordan then defeated Gould for €2,800 and Mike Casey defeated Johnny Byrnes for a similar stake.