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Bowling Report - Week ending 15th January

Patrick Flood displayed his senior credentials at Rosscarbery on Saturday in a barnstorming display against senior champion, Michael Bohane. This Paddy Barry Cup semi-final had the game’s premier titleholders from 2022 in opposition and it brought a sizable gathering to the Cahermore road for their Saturday shoot-out. Going for a €10,000 total, Flood, a shade unluckily, got no run from his opener and it was Bohane who had early ascendancy. The Caheragh native, who won their previous engagement at Bantry earlier this year, held his lead with a good second but was on the hind foot when Flood fired a searing third to the ‘ivy pole’ point. That shot prefaced a score-turning sequence from the Fermoy youth. Brilliant fourth and fifth efforts had him extending his lead at the foot of ‘Barry’s hill’. Bohane was not doing a lot wrong but trailed by almost a bowl as Flood fired another big one on the rise opening sight for the double bend. It was his eighth, whipped past ‘Barry’s cross’ that showed the full range of his capabilities and rose the bowl of odds. Luck didn’t favour Bohane in valiant attempts to reduce the margin by the no-play line whereas Flood enjoyed that vital element with his tenth as it recovered from the left to run fifty metres past ‘Maguire’s gate’. The upshot of those exchanges was that a two-bowl margin separated them as they faced the re-start at Cahermore Cross. The intermediate champion got another big break off ‘Murray’s wall’ to go sight past Froe cross and that finally put paid to Bohane’s challenge. The Paddy Barry Cup final will be contested by Patrick Flood and Brian Wilmot.

Arthur McDonagh showed his liking for the Bantry road with another high-profile win on Sunday last. Having defeated Martin Coppinger in the quarterfinal, McDonagh scored a last shot victory over Aidan Murphy, in their penultimate round meeting with his scorching start again giving him cushion enough to withstand the Mid Cork man’s spirited late rally. They went for a €27,600 total, with both men in the midst of winning runs as they entered the fray. Murphy was in trouble after catching the left with his third while McDonagh again was error free in that opening phase. The North-East man’s fourth was drilled to perfection and it put him close to a bowl up. McDonagh rose the bowl and had big odds with it following another good brace to the half-way point. Murphy, typically, did not give up the ghost and, aided by an uncharacteristic lapse in form by McDonagh, began to whittle away at the lead. It came under the bowl only for McDonagh to regain it, but still the battle raged as Murphy edged closer with the line in sight. Thirty metres separated them in McDonagh’s favour for the last exchanges. Murphy’s effort just missed the target while McDonagh, with a lot do, beat it after his first attempt was ‘called’. He plays either Gary Daly or Michael Bohane in the Bantry tournament final.

The Johnny O’Driscoll Cup Gaeltacht v Carbery meeting at Clondrohid on Saturday started with a thrilling last shot win for the visitors. Ailbhe O’Shea and Natalie Dempsey played starring roles in this mixed doubles encounter with Macroom girl, Ailbhe, particularly impressive in the opening exchanges. Adrian O’Driscoll played his part too with a huge cast from the ‘Bell Inn’ as the home side went almost a bowl of odds up. Three brilliant last shots, two from Natalie, swung it back in the westerner’s favour. Denis Murphy levelled it up before the U18 county runner-up fired the winner. It was as good as it got for the Carbery camp. Donal Crowley and Gavin Harrington fell a bowl and forty metres down to Joe Creedon and James O’Leary in the early stages of the days second score. Crowley’s brilliant sixth levelled it but Gaeltacht had the final say as Uibh Laoire netminder, Creedon, and his vintage graded partner from Toonsbridge combined power and smoothness for a last shot win.

Gaeltacht won three from three in the afternoon session. Michael Desmond and Darren Kelly were too strong for Denis O’Sullivan and Sidney Shannon in the third of the day and the combination of Niall Murphy and Anthony Lynch edged a fiercely competitive joust with Carbery’s David Minihane and Mark Limrick for a win that secured the prestigious cup. Gaeltacht had the final say too in the last of the day as Ballyvourney’s Conor Creedon, with a faultless display, got the better of Skibb’s Donie Harnedy. Proceeds from the day’s bowling were presented to the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

On a busy mid-January Sunday, tournaments progressed at several venues. Ger Connolly came from arrears to win his quarterfinal contest with Ger O’Driscoll at Ballinacarriga. For a €2,300 stake, O’Driscoll made the better start reaching ‘Finn’s corner’ in five to his opponent’s six before Connolly countered with three big shots to the ‘triangle’. They went level to ‘O’Hare’s’ and nothing separated them for the final exchanges after both saw chances go a begging. Connolly’s last shot proved a winner, and he now plays Adrian Buttimer in the semi-final round. Noel O’Regan and Jimmy Collins are on the other side of the draw. There was an exciting finish to the return score at Ballinacarriga. Local player, Padraigh O’Sullivan, the 2022 West Cork novice B winner, was forced to beat a big last shot of Joe Madden’s after the Mid Cork man staged a ferocious late rally in the bowling from Manch downwards. Their contest carried a €2,100 total.

There were three scores at Whitechurch. In junior action, veteran campaigner, Thomas Boyle defeated All-Ireland U18 winner, Paddy O’Donnell by a bowl for €2,600. East Cork’s Sean O’Leary defeated Jimmy Connors for a €1,200 total before O’Donnell returned to the fray for a win over Maurice Connolly in the last of the day. At Ballincurrig, former intermediate, Andrew O’Leary, defeated Michael Wall by a bowl for €1,600 and his brother, Michael also won defeating Paul Butler in his contest last shot, for €1,200. Brian Wilmot and Wayne Parkes re-engaged at Shannonvale for a €8,000 total. The Bandon man repeated his success of the previous week at Lyre defeating his Clonakilty rival by a bowl. Wilmot did the damage in the early stages rising two bowls of odds by ‘Desmond’s cross’. At Lyre on Sunday, Brendan O’Neill had a good comeback win in his three-way with David Hegarty and Kenneth Murphy. For a €2,100 total, Hegarty built a bowl lead on both rivals in the shots to ‘Crowley’s corner’ but lost ground to O’Neill in the shots to ‘McCarthy’s bend’. The Enniskeane man powered on from there to forge a big last shot win. Hegarty rebounded well with a win in the return from Kenneth Murphy. This was a last shot victory for the local with their singles duel carrying a €2,100 stake. At The Bog Road, Michael Murphy put the brakes on Trevor O’Meara’s winning run. The Mallow man finished a two-bowl winner over his City rival for a €1,800. Also here, Jeremy Downey and Michael Morley combined for a doubles win over Birol Kat and Michael Geoghan, one bowl, for €2,000.

Ból Chumann’s 2023 register of players was issued to all regional delegates at last Wednesday’s January Executive meeting. In keeping with its revised Rules and Constitution, the early delivery will facilitate bringing the Association’s annual timetable in line with the calendar year. The early start will also give regions more leverage in complying with championship deadlines. Registrar, Bill McAuliffe, thanked all those within the divisions who compiled affiliation details in time for publication. The new registrar reflects a solid membership with numbers marginally increasing again from last year’s figures when affiliations post Covid held up far better than expected. Highlighted too is the disparity in the grading process with just fifteen per cent of adult affiliations allocated to junior ranks. The booming novice sector has upward of one thousand in the five categories. Exceptional figures have been posted from some regions. West Cork has almost one hundred and fifty in its under-age classifications, Mid has seventy-one in novice D alone and Gaeltacht rise to twenty-three in junior ladies. Several have announced the championship draws for 2023 and some have identified this weekend for start-up. Also, at last Wednesday’s meeting the date for the 2022 Annual General Meeting was announced. It will take place the Munster Arms, Bandon, on February 22nd at 8.00pm with registration at 7.30pm.

Tournament overseer, Kieran Harrington, issued details of tournaments ongoing with the Association’s remit. The majority are active and progressing through their various stages, but a small number have been highlighted as urgently requiring attention. February has been identified as a busy month with Ból Chumann’s lady’s committee holding an open day for the western side of the county on the 4th of the month. The Froe Road, Rosscarbery, is the venue with a 10.00am Saturday morning start time the order. Ból Chumann’s female membership under-age, social clubs and adult are welcome, and all will be accommodated in the team events. The inter-regional youth team play-offs for the Kelleher Shield will take place on the Phale Road on February 12 and it is hoped to hold the post-primary school’s competitions at Shannonvale later in the month.

The South-West region mourned the passing Dan O’Connor, Kilkernmore. Dan had a lifetime’s involvement in bowling playing in junior grades for many decades before dedicating his talents to the administrative side of things. He served as chairman of the South-West division from 1982 until 1989 and proved himself a capable and fair-minded officer who oversaw a region that was expanding at the time as lady’s bowling and lower novice grades led to increased activity. The Miles bowling road was the focal point for a generation of bowlers. It staged senior championship finals on three occasions; 1960 (Johnny Creedon v Donie Lehane); 1975 (Mick Barry v Pat O’Sullivan) and 1984 (Seamus Sexton v Christy Mullins). Dan O’Connor was the leading light in the Miles Bowling Club. His organisational skills were to fore in running countless tournament competitions and he commanded respect amongst his peers as a referee whose impartiality was never questioned. Ból Chumann extends its sympathies to the O’Connor family and extended families.


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