Christy Mullins and Chris O’Donovan clashed in a vintage section A quarterfinal at Derrinasafa on Sunday and showed they still have plenty to offer delivering a spirited joust that ended with the Bantry man ahead by over a bowl of odds. O’Donovan had won a cracker at Ballinacarriga when they met in May in junior veteran, but Mullins wasn’t long in asserting dominance in their latest set-to. Three big opening shots gave the Bantry man early leeway and, while O’Donovan’s fine fifth to ‘Fax’s bridge’ pegged it back, Mullins still took a bowl lead to ‘Nattie’s’. He doubled his odds when making ‘darkwood’ in three more and it was cushion enough for victory. Next up for Mullins is a section A semi-final meeting with North Cork’s Eugene O’Sullivan at Clondrohid. Mid Cork’s Jerry Murphy awaits in the A final. Section B progressed with a semi-final at Kilcorney. Here Michéal O’Céallacháin won a cracking score with Paddy Kinsella. Going for a €900 stake, Kinsella had early momentum but missed a chance at ‘Coleman’s bridge’. The Gaeltacht man powered on from there and will meet, in the section B final, either Donal Harnedy or David Walsh, who play at The Clubhouse this Sunday. Section C moved closer to conclusion too in both east and west groupings. Jack Cahalane got he better of Jim Cronin with a strong display at Caheragh defeating the Togher Cross man by two for €1,100 and will meet in the semi-final, Donal O’Sullivan who won by a shot from Pat Joe Connolly also at the Carbery venue. At the other side of the county, Carrignavar hosted section C vintage quarterfinals and here, Eddie Barry defeated Donie Connolly by a bowl for €660 and Con O’Donovan defeated Oliver Searls, last shot, for €1,100.
Ailbhe O’Shea, Macroom, is ladies junior champion for 2023. After a final befitting a wonderful championship, Ailbhe’s victory came as the deciding shots were thrown at Timoleague on Sunday last. Newcestown’s Siobhan Kelleher gave her all recovering from a bowl of odds down to take a commanding lead with some excellent shot making only to lose out at the end to Ailbhe’s thrilling late charge. Having come desperately close to attaining county honours at under-age level, the Gaeltacht champion’s first foray in adult grades has proved successful and she has banished any bogeys when surviving some torrid tests especially in the county rounds. Last Sunday was no exception. Ailbhe came with resolve and lined three impeccable opening shots from the start line at ‘Lawton’s cross’ and threatened to overwhelm her Mid Cork rival who found little going for her on the downward slope. The turnaround was swift as Siobhan, showing the renowned Newcestown resilience, fired a brilliant sixth past ‘Cronin’s’ that knocked the bowl of odds. She edged closer in the subsequent exchanges before firing a splendid ninth to take her first lead. When Ailbhe’s tenth went left, Siobhan took advantage rising substantial odds with a cracking drive to ‘Barryshall cross’. Now it was Ailbhe’s turn to show her fighting spirit and two excellent efforts past the ‘monument cross’ levelled it up for the last quarter. Siobhan gamely held her now slender lead following a big cast from Ailbhe and, in another thrilling exchange, came within metres of another big one. Crucially the ascendancy was back with the Macroom lady and she held a forty-metre lead facing the line. Siobhan’s shot for victory veered left too soon and the O’Riordan Insurances Cup went the Gaeltacht division for the third time in five years. Laura O’Callaghan (2018) and Aoife Creedon (2020) were Gaeltacht’s most recent winners. At the after-score presentation, Ladies secretary, Gretta Cormican, praised both finalists on delivering an excellent contest and thanked Timoleague Bowling Club for their efficient hosting.
There was a good turnout for the second International road trials at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning. In ideal conditions, many staked their claims in emphatic fashion. In senior men Michael Bohane blitzed the road carding 1,336 for his nine shots while Martin Coppinger and Gary Daly with 1,154 and 1,153 respectively are also well in the frame as are several more who combined solid figures with those achieved on October 1. In the youths sector, Liam Murphy and Cathal Creedon were again tops while Dunmanways Jonathan Deane also put himself in the picture. The third and final road trial will be held again at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning next with a 9.00am throw-off time. This will be followed by Moors and German Loft trials at Castletown Auto Track on November 5. Totals in all three disciplines will decide selection.
West Cork’s regional fund-raisers were successfully run off at The Clubhouse venue over the past weekend. Sunday’s feature had Paul Buckley and Wayne Parkes in opposition and the pair delivered a competitive contest for a combined stake of €2,200. Nothing separated them in four to the ‘chips corner’ and they stayed locked together in the bowling to ‘Murray’s’. Parkes looked to make a break with a big throw to ‘O’Riordan’s’ but Buckley responded well to come within twenty metres. Clon man, Parkes, then made a crucial error at the ‘old school’ and Buckley lost no time in taking advantage. The Crossbarry man’s seventy metre lead for the last shots was enough for victory. Durrus man, Donal O’Mahony, had a busy weekend both in a stewarding capacity and in action on the road. Having taken the spoils from Luke Connors win in the last of Saturday’s five scores, O’Mahony was in the winner’s enclosure again on Sunday winning in the last shot from Barry O’Donovan for a €6,000 total. Brian Hurley and young Jonathan Deane were also winners on Sunday. Saturday’s programme started with three scores involving players from the novice B grade with the opening two resulting in a brace of wins for the regions county champion, David O’Brien. First off, his joust with Castledonovan’s Seamus O’Regan looked a stiff test given O’Regan’s own good championship pedigree but it swiftly developed into a one-sided contest as over three bowls of odd separated them in the Dunmanway man’s favour before matters were terminated at ‘Clon cross’. It might have been closer had not that vital element of luck not guided O’Brien’s fourth to sight at ‘the chips’. O’Regan, a county winner in novice 2 in 2017, was uncharacteristically scattered in the early exchanges and was almost two shots adrift at this juncture. When O’Brien fired a splendid fifth to ‘Dineen’s lane’ the contest was effectively over. They played for a total of €1,500. Kinsale’s Declan O’Donovan pluckily took on the county champion over the remainder of the outward route but fared little better losing out for a €2,000 total by over a bowl of odds. Central to O’Brien’s second win was a perfectly executed effort from ‘Murray’s lane’ all the way to sight at ‘O’Riordan’s’. O’Donovan was just a metre back before this exchange but could not stay with O’Brien who retains much of his summer county winning form on this showing. Score 3 back in The Clubhouse route was the proverbial belter. For a €4,000 total, Alan Brickley and Dunmanway and Eoin McCarthy, Ballineen, fought it to a standstill both delivering shots of junior standard at varying points. McCarthy was away to a big lead after a lengthy opener, but Brickley levelled and led with a super cast past the ‘old creamery’. Brickley took charge with a thunderous drive down past ‘Clon cross’ and led here by almost a bowl. McCarthy hit two of the finest from this point to sight at ‘the chip’ to level it up again and followed with two more excellent efforts over the finish line. It was not enough however for the Ballineen man as Brickley beat both in convincing fashion for a thrilling win. Next out was a novice C contest between Luke Connors and Darren Cronin. Cronin, with a commendable showing, was the master here.
In club scores around the county, Noel O’Donovan and John Creedon had a good battle at Ballinacurra, Upton on Sunday. For a €2,000 total, it went to the last shot which O’Donovan, with a forty-metre advantage, won. Back here, Ronan Hoey defeated Micheal Brennan, last shot, for €500. In the Jerh Cotter Cup at Terelton Con O’Sullivan, Johnstown, defeated Wolfe Memorial finalist, Liam McCarthy, last shot for €900 and back the road, Ronan Lynch defeated Andrew Kelleher by a bowl for €300. At Grenagh, Andrew O’Leary defeated Shane Collins, last shot, for €2,400. At Dunderrow, Donnacha O’Donovan defeated Michael Waugh and John Deane defeated Donnacha O’Donovan, by a bowl, for €1,100. Back Kilcorney after the vintage score, Niall Murphy defeated Mikey McAuliffe, last shot, for €500. At Firmount in North Cork novice E scores, Oisin Fogerty defeated Luke Dennehy, last shot, for €800 and Cathal Hanlon defeated Dave Harrington for €1,000. In two three-way scores at Carrignavar, Noel Hegarty defeated both Bernard O’Donovan and Johnny Byrnes in the outward score for a combined €1,050 but trailed in the return which was won by O’Donovan for a similar stake. In Gaeltacht at Inchigeelagh, Jack Oldham defeated Ciaran O’Riordan and at Macroom Charles Kenneally defeated John Murphy.
It’s regional AGM time as the Association’s nine divisions reflect on what was at times a tumultuous twelve months. Bol Chumann’s Hon Secretary Micheal O’Céallachain and treasurer, James O’Driscoll attended when the City region reviewed their year’s activities at St. Finbarr’s GAA Pavilion last week. Chairman, Trevor O’Meara said there was great cooperation between clubs in ensuring all championships were completed on time and in the running off of major events including senior scores, the Joe Bowen tournament and the William Wolfe Memorial. Secretary, Ken Long and treasurer, Martin Connolly, provided extensive reports on their respective briefs. Both Mr O’Ceallachain and Mr. O’Driscoll thanked the region for their work over the season. Sitting for 2024 in the City will be President Mick O’Driscoll, Chairman, Trevor O’Meara, Hon Sec, Ken Long, Treasurer, Martin Connolly, Fixtures Secretary, Stephen Bowen, PRO, Jonathan Curtin, Safety Officer, Jennifer Horgan, Youths Wayne Callanan, and Garreth Bourke.