Mid Cork’s 2022 junior A championship got underway on Sunday last. With nine starters, the title race here is one of the more competitive among the regions and it’s now down to seven after the knock-out formula gives no second chance to those defeated in the opening rounds. Sean Murphy, a county winner in the grade in 2014, is through to the semi-final after a comprehensive win over Denis Wilmot at Templemartin on Sunday morning. In a stakeless duel, Wilmot, a player in form as indicated by a recent Bill Barrett Cup win at Caheragh, made a bright start and was eighty metres up after three. Murphy then fired a sensational fourth that ran to sight at ‘Slynne’s corner’ and, when Wilmot missed that juncture with his response, the score was transformed. That mighty effort spurred Murphy and a huge seventh followed by another big one to ‘Collins’ house’ had the Brinny native over a bowl up. A brilliant twelfth from Wilmot past the ‘novice line’ threatened a comeback but Murphy’s reply to the ‘stonefield bend’ put it beyond the Bandon man’s reach.
In a first-round fixture at Jagoe’s Mills Stephen Desmond made a return to bowl-playing but found the veteran campaigner, John Shorten too much of handful and bowed out of the 2022 title race. Going for a €2,600 total, Desmond, who shot to prominence at The Marsh Road in 2008 when winning the All-Ireland U18 title from no less a luminary than Thomas Mackle, fired a superb cast to ‘O’Brien’s corner’ only for Shorten to follow and beat a formidable mark by sixty metres. It was a signature statement from the Kilmurray man, and he went on to rise a bowl lead at ‘the kerbs’. He continued in that vein and won by nearly two. John Shorten plays David O’Mahony in the quarterfinals at Castletownkenneigh. Mid’s 2021 novice veteran championship is down to the decider after Saturday’s Templemartin semi-final clash of Dan O’Donovan, Belgooly, and John Murphy, Brinny, was one of the very few to survive the elements. With a pre-noon throw-off players and punters were spared the worst of the downpour and it was a good joust for most of the way. Level in the early stages, O’Donovan made a move with a mighty cast at ‘O’Riordan’s’ after which he led by the bones of a bowl of odds. It was an advantage he needed as Murphy closed in the last quarter and looked to have a chance of level, but O’Donovan stayed steady and will play Mick Murphy, Innishannon in the upcoming decider. In Mid novice D at Dunderrow, Michael Waugh defeated Kevin Wall.
Saturday’s deluge resulted in a raft of cancellations one of which was a City junior A first-round tie at Whitechurch that held plenty of interest for bowling followers around the county. Contesting was James Nagle, recently departed from the Carbery division where he won championships in all three junior grades, and one of the City’s iconic figures, Pat Butler, a senior champion over forty summers ago. A re-fixture is in the offing. In under-age grades, West Cork had a number of exciting clashes. Local contender, Adam Daly won at The Clubhouse after a good tussle with Eamonn Crowley. Dunmanway’s Crowley hit a beauty to sight at ‘the chips’ to take the lead, but Daly rebounded well and a massive cast from ‘Murray’s’ put him in the driving seat. At Ardcahan there was a double for the Russell clan. In U18, Marie just edged a great battle with junior runner-up last week, Eirinn O’Donovan while in U14, David won from Patrick Crowley.
In the West Cork novice C championship at Bantry, Drinagh’s Daniel Hayes came good in a last victory over Con McCarthy, Drimoleague. Gaeltacht’s championships are moving. An early start at Terelton on Saturday saw Macroom’s Alan O’Shea and Blarney’s Shane Burns contesting in novice C. The Macroom man prevailed in a tight contest. In novice D at Clondrohid on Sunday, Adam O’Connell defeated Shane Hoare and in the same grade at Ballyvourney, Colm Dromey, Kilmichael, overcame Shane Keane, Macroom and Darragh Murphy won from Jamie McCarthy. In the North Cork championship at Beal na Morrive, novice D, Michael O’Regan defeated Thade Murphy and Mickey McAuliffe defeated William Harrington, both for stakes of €1,200. Also, in North Cork at Firmount, Daniel Twomey scored a couple of wins from youths international, Conor Lucey for stakes of €1,600 and €1,300. Twomey had a bowl to spare in the first of these and it was the last shot in the second. In City scores at Curraheen, Paul Butler defeated Declan O’Leary by a bowl of odds for €800 and Tony Dunlea defeated John Donnellan also by a bowl for €600.
In club action Martin Coppinger avenged a recent defeat to Arthur McDonagh at Corrin when inflicting a one bowl defeat on the All-Ireland champion at the same venue on Saturday last. They played for a total of €8,000. Here too, Patrick O’Donoghue defeated Craig Moynahin, one bowl, for €1,100 and Pat O’Donovan defeated Michael O’Leary by two bowls for €1,200. In a couple of City scores at Whitechurch, Anthony Gould defeated Thomas Boyle twice, one bowl and last shot, for stakes of €2,010 and €1,200. In club action, at Doneraile, Patrick Flood defeated Andrew O’Callaghan, last shot, for €1,900. Flood who plays at The Marsh Road this weekend was on the receiving end in the return at Doneraile when going under to Tom O’Sullivan for a €2,000 total. At Beal na mBlath, Sean Kiely came with a late surge to deny Sean O’Leary in the last shot for a €2,600 total. Whiddy’s O’Leary was a bowl to the good mid way through, but the North Cork man’s recovery won the day.
Bantry’s Tim Young has been added to Bol Chumann’s senior men’s team for the May European championships in Meldorf, Germany. Armagh’s Cathal Toal has withdrawn from the squad and the recently crowned West Cork junior A champion is a capable replacement. Young showed his paces at Castletownkenneigh car track on Sunday morning last awhere the teams underwent a Moors bowling and German Loft training session. Distances attained were noted by team leaders, Billy McAuliffe and Gretta Cormican for the purpose of providing guidelines to form in the lead up to the championships on May 27/28/29.