Aidan Murphy’s explosive finish got him a bowl of odds victory over Gary Daly in Lyre bowling club’s latest staging of their popular Mother Hegarty Cup tournament on Saturday last. The hot favourite on the back of a few recent wins over his Fermoy rival, Murphy was on the backfoot as they played away for a combined stake of €11,000. Daly drilled a fine opening brace and was decidedly unlucky not to have more than the sixty metres leeway he held after two. Murphy’s tendency to ‘pull’ right manifested itself in those early exchanges and he offered Daly a chance to extend his lead with only an average third. Crucially that opportunity wasn’t taken, and Murphy made the most of the reprieve when taking the lead with an excellent fifth. Daly fired a big seventh that Murphy beat well but the Fermoy man handed the advantage to this rival when making only poor light at ‘Crowley’s corner’. He responded with two well-played shots across the ‘chicane’ and up to ‘McCarthy’s bend’, both of which Murphy beat when any slip would have been costly. Daly came again with a fine cast past ‘the wall’ but again to no avail as Murphy replied with the first of three astounding efforts that put this final completely to bed. His twelfth beat Daly’s mark by eighty metres and two more of the highest order had him over the line, a deserved bowl of odds winner. Both finalists have history in the Mother Hegarty Cup, Daly winning it when it was in its junior B incarnation in 2008 defeating Finbarr Fitzpatrick and Pa Ryan in the final and, after it became established as a senior tournament of prestige, Murphy winning in 2014 when defeating Thomas Mackle. Aidan Murphy received €2,000 and Gary Daly €1,000 from the €3,000 prize fund which the tournament carried. Ted Hegarty recalled at the presentation, the role his late mother played in setting up the club all of fifty-three years ago and spoke of the enjoyment derived from the many tournaments played on the road.
On to Shannonvale on Sunday for another senior show-down involving the Murphy clan. The latest hosting of the Noel Phair Cup had Martin Coppinger and David Murphy in opposition, an enduring rivalry that remains, over a decade on, a guaranteed crowd puller. The sizable gathering witnessed an excellent contest beyond half-way before Coppinger took an unbreakable grip and won by almost two bowls of odds. Having won most of their recent head-to-heads, Coppinger was the punters favourite in the €11,140 total stake and started with intent coming within metres of a splendid opener by Murphy. The Brinny man rose to the challenge in the next exchange getting close to a monstrous effort from Coppinger, but it was the Bantry native who stayed in front in the shots to the ‘quarry bend’. He had fifty valuable metres after six, but Murphy was decidedly unlucky not to make it out to ‘Desmond’s’ and keep it level with a well-thrown seventh. Coppinger gradually too control with a big eighth on the rise and followed with a rocket-like ninth that, had it stayed its course might have decided the contest there and then. Murphy, still in it, caught the right with his tenth and a bowl of odds came between them. Another ‘cannon’ from the Bantry native on the incline to ‘Tobin’s’ virtually put the seal on this win. On a busy day at Shannonvale, Jimmy O’Driscoll came from arrears to defeat U18 All-Ireland winner, Paddy O’Donnell for €3,600 and Tommy O’Sullivan and Paul Buckley exchanged wins in two scores that carried €3,000 and €4,000 stakes.
Gavin Twohig won his tournament score at Ballygurteen with John Creedon by a bowl of odds. For a €2,600 total, the Rossmore man rose his winning odds in the shots from the ‘women’s lane’. Creedon, last year’s All-Ireland junior A winner, put in a good finish but Twohig held his ground. On a busy weekend of tournament action, the Champy Deasy Cup progressed at Grange with a score between John Shorten and David O’Mahony. Shorten took the spoils in this one for a €700 total. In the Jerry O’Donovan Memorial Cup semi-finals at Carrignavar, Padraigh Scanlon and Willie Cahill had a two-bowl win over Martin Daly and Shaun Buckley for a €1,600 total and Martin Daly with Shaun Buckley won in the last shot from Tom O’Callaghan and Tom O’Donovan for a€2,000 total. In club action at Ballyvourney on Wednesday, Conor Lucey defeated Anthony Lynch for a €900 total.
Drinagh’s Connie Connolly has an enduring record in the novice veteran grade and has shown flashes of his 2014 championship winning form in the early rounds of the West Cork championship. Having accounted for a formidable rival, Michael Carroll, in the opening round at Kealkil, Connolly bowled well in defeating another, Finbarr Lynch, Ballinacarriga, at Ardcahan on Sunday last. They played for a total of €700. In novice veteran, here, Kevin O’Sullivan won from Martin Dullea. In West Cork novice C at Ardcahan, Kevin O’Sullivan defeated Barry O’Donovan in the last shot. In the D championship here, Johnny Hurley defeated Tadg Crowley. In U18 at Togher Cross a couple of cracking scores saw James Russell win from Daniel O’Sullivan who was making a big step up from U14 and progress too for Alan Crowley who edged out David Russell. There was a big U18 shoot-out at Durrus on Sunday, Brian Horgan defeated Kieran O’Driscoll. In the novice A championship here, another eagerly awaited encounter, Brian O’Driscoll defeated David Horgan in the last shot of a brilliant score for €2,600 total. At The Clubhouse in U16, Eoin Hurley (K) won from Josh O’Farrell and in U18, Kieran O’Sullivan won from Sean Cronin. The Togher Cross bowling club are running a special boys U10 competition and latest results are, quarterfinal scores, Adam Hurley won from Donnacha Collins; Charlie O’Leary won from Cillian Murray; Tommy Coppinger won from Aaron Hurley; Brian Murphy won from Kevin Hickey. In the novice A championship at Drimoleague, Ciaran Nyhan defeated James O’Driscoll, last shot, for €600 and here too, in U16 Shane Hurley defeated Oisin Murray by a bowl. In championship scores at Kealkil, James Russell defeated Con O’Sullivan in the novice C championship and in the D grade, Johnny Kelly defeated Ian O’Sullivan.
In Mid-Cork novice D at Templemartin on Monday, Micheal O’Driscoll defeated Darren O’Donovan, last shot, for €200. At the same venue in U18 girls, Sophie Murphy won from Rosin and Ciara Allen. In novice D at Ballinacurra, Upton, Fionn Dwyer defeated Eoin O’Callaghan.
In the South-West junior B round-robin score at Shannonvale on Saturday evening, Ger Connolly prevailed against David Hegarty, last shot, for €1,000. Fisher’s Cross host the South-West novice veteran championship and, here in the damp on Saturday evening, one-time All-Ireland junior B winner, Ger Fitzpatrick, made a winning return taking the spoils from a three-way A section score with David Desmond and Joe Tyner. Here on Tuesday in the lower section, Danny O’Brien hit form in quarterfinal win from local, Denis O’Donovan and, on Thursday, Vincent Dullea defeated P J Hegarty. Eoin McCarthy won his novice B championship contest with James Hayes at Grange. In a big Gaeltacht U18 clash at Ballyvourney, Liam Murphy defeated Cathal Creedon. In Gaeltacht novice D at Macroom, John Kingston defeated Jonathan McCarthy.
In City junior B at Curraheen, Shane Lotty defeated Aidan Bowen by two bowls for €1,400 and in a return double here, Stephen and Darren Bowen defeated John Donnellan and Denis Connolly by a bowl for €1,780. At Templemichael John Lynch defeated Liam Lynch and, in a return here, there was a win for the Paddoes player Pascal Bowen who defeated Leo Hegarty in the last shot of a good score for a stake of €2,000. In the absence of the scheduled championship scores at The Bog Road on Thursday a doubles contest saw Michael O’Driscoll (Jun) Blarney combine with Johnny Byrnes for a win over John Donnellan and Bernard O’Donovan for an €800 stake. At Paddoes in novice veteran Bernard O’Donovan won from Derry Crowley.
In North Cork at Kilcorney novice D, Colin McCarthy won from Kenneth Cullinane, Brendan Cotter defeated Martin McSweeny and Mikey O’Regan won from Alec Roche. In a return double, Mickey McAuliffe and James Roche combined for a win over William Harrington and Jack Oldham and in a singles contest, Conor Casey defeated Kieran Buckley. At Beal na Morrive in novice C, Dan O’Regan won from Aaron Mackey while, back the road, Ross Lynch defeated Colin McCarthy for €500. In novice D scores in North Cork on Saturday, Mickey McAuliffe won in the last shot from Luke Philpott and, in the C grade, at Beal na Morrive, Kevin O’Donoghue defeated Conor Roche. Back Beal na Morrive on Saturday, Alex Roche won from Ross Lynch. In the North Cork junior B championship at Bweeng on Sunday, Dean Sexton won his three-way with Stephen Murphy and Denis O’Regan. In East Cork junior veteran at Conna, Willie O’Donovan defeated Mick Hurley by a bowl of odds for a €2,300 total.
A bulletin from Jerome Casey reveals renewed interest in bowling within the London region’s remit. ‘Bowling continues to grow with numbers increasing at Launders Lane, Dagenham, Essex for the London Region. Over the past four Sundays the Junior Spring: League has been running at a great pace with Patrick O' Driscoll (the Glen, Cork) playing Colin O' Donovan (Dunmanway) on four occasions with Colin winning the first two over the outward and inward routes and Patrick levelling up matters with two recent top-drawer performances. All that is good about Road Bowling was displayed in abundance at these four scores, long shots, super lofts and throwing the vital shot when the chance came. Padraig Nugent (Armagh) & Danny O' Shea (Clondrohid) defeated Colin & Calum O' Donovan (Dunmanway) over the outward route at Launders Lane last Sunday whilst on the inwards route the O' Donovan’s defeated Padraig Nugent and Jerome Casey (Bantry) by two feet in a fantastic finish. The London Region will host the Pat Kiely Shield at Killea, Tramore, Co. Waterford on Saturday 10th June 2023 starting at 10am. The London Region Junior A winner will play the East Cork winner at Grenagh on Sunday 11th June at 11am and is also seeking its U16 winner to also play at Grenagh on Sunday 11th June’.
The Phale Road, Ballineen is a venue with a century’s old tradition in hosting bowling events in all its various forms. Most of the games greats of yesteryear would have played there and it is a road frequently mentioned in the writings of Flor Crowley whose immortal prose described the great challenge scores in the pre-Bol Chumann era of the forties and early fifties. Today, the Phale Road holds relevance as the central venue for Ted Hegarty’s innovative series of post-championship tournaments dedicated to bowling’s under-age sector. Starting in October and with an April finish deadline, the competitions attract the games best young talent from across the county and, even if the elements can be sometimes unkind, all are completed on time for participants to concentrate on their championship endeavours. This year is no exception. Hundreds of scores over the winter months with all participants getting a second chance led up to five finals being played out on Easter Monday. The lady’s junior/U16/U18 decider was a three-way between Ailbhe O’Shea of Macroom and Carbery’s Triona Murphy and Eileen McCarthy. Ailbhe, who shone for her Coachford Community School at the post-primary event at Shannonvale in March, emerged the winner in this one. Fresh from his doubles victory with Laura Sexton in the north, Daniel O’Sullivan triumphed in the U14 final, another three-way in which he was well-tested by Tom McCarthy and David Russell. Ross O’Brien’s star continues to rise, and he dominated the U12 three-way final against very good West Cork rivals, Oisin Murray and Eoghan Hickey. The performance of the day was given by another Macroom star in the making, Jayden Crowley. In the boys U10 final Jayden hit nine brilliant shots to come in ahead of stylish Mid Cork exponent, James Murphy and Carbery’s Brian Harrington who was so unlucky with his opening shot. Ted is a believer in starting them young and his boys U8 final, brought the curtain down on a wonderful morning on The Phale Road. Ted’s expression ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ was uttered in the most positive terms after an excellent contest between Tommy Coppinger, son of the inimitable Martin, and Charlie and Thomas Callanan, both sons of City intermediate standard-bearer, Wayne. Tommy won narrowly after all three demonstrated a fine aptitude for the game. Finals in boys U16, Girls U16 and Girls U10/12 remain to be played. Ted wishes to acknowledge sponsorship and support he has received from regions, Carbery, West, Mid, South/West and Gaeltacht and from The Village Inn and Courtney’s Carpentry, Bantry.