The first tournament final of 2024 was played out at Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday. The Kenneth Murphy Memorial Cup was up for grabs when Mark Coleman, Dunderrow and Paul O’Donoghue, Riverstick, took issue for a €2,400 total stake. A very even contest had little separating the tips to the half-way point. O’Donoghue had held a slender lead after four to the ‘kerbing’ before Coleman edged in front by five metres at ‘Lawton’s’. The break came when the Dunderrow man unleashed a cracking tenth past the old railway entrance. That fine effort put him a bowl up and, when he followed with a powerful eleventh to the ‘power station’, he had cushion enough to take the winner’s prize. Back the road, Luke Forde made a winning return defeating recent Dunderrow tournament winner by a bowl of odds for €2,400.
In the new Champy Deasy Cup at Grange, Noel O’Donovan defeated Denis Wilmot by a bowl of odds for €9,500. O’Donovan rose his winning odds in the shots around ‘Con Hegarty’s’ and held his lead to the finish in a score of top-class bowling. Here too, Kevin Coughlan scored a two-bowl victory over county novice C champion, David Desmond, for a €2,900 total. Bantry had a fund-raising day on the ‘creamery road’ and here, Adrian Buttimer delivered the performance of the day defeating Ger Connolly by a bowl for €3,600. Buttimer first five were of record-breaking proportions for the road.
At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday, Darren Oliver defeated David Hubbard, last shot, for €4,400. Also here, Timmie Murphy defeated Jim Coffey, one bowl, for €3,500; Stephen Murphy defeated Tommy Maloney, last shot, for €500 and Paul Kelleher defeated Ronan Hoey for €700. At Ballyhooley, Timmie McDonagh defeated Willie O’Donovan, last shot, for €600; David Stokes defeated Liam Walsh, last shot, for €1,200; Alan O’Leary defeated Michael John O’Brien, one bowl, for €2,000 and Trevor O’Brien defeated Vincent O’Leary, last shot, for €2,200. In scores at Firmount in the novice tournament, Will Harrington defeated Michael Murphy, by a bowl, for €700 and Kieran Buckley defeated Ross Lynch, by a bowl, for €700. In the City division at Curraheen, Tom O’Donovan defeated Evan Buckley by a bowl for €1,100 and Rico O’Driscoll defeated Bernard O’Donovan, last shot, for €1,100. Also in the City, at The Bog Road, Michael Gould defeated Pat O’Donovan, last shot, for €2,000 and Stephen Bowen defeated Finbarr Ross, last shot, for €2,200. There were scores too at Dublin venue, Newcastle and here, in doubles contests, Anthony O’Shea and Declan Burke won from Timmy Cooney and Sean McBride, last shot, for €300. Cooney/McBride reversed that result in the return defeating O’Shea/Burke, by a bowl for €200. Almost unbelievably the 2024 championship season, which will run to September 8, has begun. West Cork are first underway with two eliminators at The Clubhouse and Ballinacarriga. At the former, Bantry’s Garoid Cronin and Drinagh’s Trevor Jagoe engaged in a novice C first rounder that was in the melting pot to the last shots. Cronin prevailed in that decisive exchange. Just over the road at Ballinacarriga in Novice D, John Murray, Ardcahan, won his clash with Dunmanway’s Eoin O’Sullivan. It was a tight contest too for much of the way before Murray’s strong finish decided it. In the Gaeltacht division at Baile Bhuirne, a 2023 novice E semi-final saw Jack Lynch defeat Eanna Dineen, last shot, for €1,100. Jack plays Sam Pickering in the final.
Bowling has received a New Year boost with the news of Emma Hurley’s selection as West Cork Sport’s Star Paudie Palmer Youths Award winner for 2023. Along with her inclusion in West Cork’s Kennedy Cup team, Emma’s All-Ireland U16 championship success impressed the judges. The Drinagh teenager will receive her Award at The Celtic Ross Hotel on January 27.
There was sadness in the bowling world at the untimely passing of Pakie O’Regan, Togher Cross. Father of county junior B champion, Noel, Pakie was a lifelong follower of the game and, coming from a great bowling heartland, enjoyed the triumphs of the greats of yesteryear from that locality among them, Dermot O’Sullivan and Billy Hurley. Although in the background during Noel’s magnificent run to county honours, Pakie was a calming and helpful presence in the heat of many high-octane battles. Quietly spoken he was held in high regard by all whom he encountered on the countless bowling roads he visited throughout the county. His many friends from the bowing fraternity formed a guard of honour as made his final journey to St. Finbarr’s Cemetery, Dunmanway, on Wednesday last. Bol Chumann extends its sympathies to Zena, to Marion, Noel, Sharon and Cathal and extended families. Bol Chumann also regrets the passing of Tadhgie Drinan, St. Finbarr’s G.A.A. club. Tadhgie was a helpful and accommodating facilitator for the many Association meetings held at St. Finbarr’s Pavilion. Rest in Peace. The bowling world also remembers Timmy Harrington, Timoleague, who went to his reward recently. Timmy played and won many scores in the Timoleague-Butlerstown locality and will be sadly missed.