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Bowling Report - Week ending 16th June


Michael Bohane won the weekend’s senior championship contest at Templemartin defeating Killian Kingston by a bowl of odds. After an even opening, Bohane gained good law in the bowling to ‘Slynne’s’ corner’. and this transferred to a bowl lead at ‘O’Riordan’s’. Kingston dug in and, in good bowling kept it at the shot of odds as they played to the three-quarter point at ‘Buttimer’s’. Bohane increased his margin beyond the ‘monument’ and had close to two at the finish. He plays Michael Harrington in the quarterfinal at Jagoe’s Mills.

Michael Murphy, Ballyclough, the North East champion, will play Mid Cork’s Kieran Murphy in the 2024 county junior A final at Castletownkinneigh. Securing their places with semi-final wins at Bantry and Ballinagree, the pair promise an exciting final, both having shown consistently good form for the most part in the run-up. Murphy’s win over South West’s Johnny O’Driscoll came thanks to superb brace that broke early deadlock as the contest entered its third quarter stage. Playing for a combined €5,200, they both started well lining big shots to ‘McSweeney’s’ where the South West champion led by metres. They stayed close in eight each to ‘Cronin’s cross’ before a misplay by O’Driscoll gave Murphy an opening. He took it in some style lining two massive shots to the point know as ‘the crush’ and suddenly he was clear. O’Driscoll could not recover ground and Murphy won by a big fore bowl.


Murphy’s win on Saturday came in a surprisingly one-sided contest with West Cork’s Noel O’Regan. Played at Ballinagree for a €7,400 total with the Ballyclough man the hot favourite, the score began with O’Regan in the ascendancy following an excellent opener and a well-drilled second shot that looked like rising a bowl of odds. His fourth and fifth cost him odds and when the improving Murphy hit a screamer past ‘Horgan’s cross’, it brought him in front for the first time. Coming from arrears hasn’t been a problem for the Togher Cross man in an unbeaten two-year Cork championship run and there were expectations of a quick revival. It did not materialise. Murphy showed his paces with outstanding efforts on the rise and on the ‘bridge point’. He increased odds with almost every shot as O’Regan failed to get the distances he needed. Murphy was in total control over he closing stages winning by close to three.


Tommy O’Sullivan won a rip-roaring county intermediate semi-final at Derrinasafa on Saturday. Paul Buckley fought it to the finish but could not get in front at any point despite seeing his comeback charge bringing him within twenty-five metres in the closing quarter. Both men carried plenty support evidenced in the €20,000 total stake but it was O’Sullivan who laid the early markers. A sweeping third shot brought him close to ‘Fax’s bridge’ and when he followed with a super fifth, a big bowl of odds separated them. Buckley whose blistering opening salvo of Conna two weeks ago was not replicated here, did well to keep it at the shot of odds to ‘natties’ and, when a cracking tenth opened sight at ‘darkwood’ he put pressure on O’Sullivan. The South-West man’s ninth did not quite make it out but he regained his bowl lead when Buckley hit a poor twelfth in the bowling to ‘Walshe’s lane’. The Crossbarry mans hopes were instantly revived when he hit a thundering thirteenth shot that O’Sullivan only beat by metres in two, but crucially, he did not follow-up and a crossed shot at ‘O’Neill’s cross’ allowed O’Sullivan increase his advantage again with the line in sight. Still, following two more exchanges, only twenty metres separated them for the closing shots, but it was not to be for Buckley as his final effort again drifted right leaving O’Sullivan with the task of beating a tip well within his grasp. He did with aplomb and will play either Wayne Parkes or Wanye Callanan, who meet in the second semi at Templemartin next weekend, in the county decider.

The inter-regional rounds of the U18 and U14 championships are down to the finals. At Terelton on Sunday morning Carbery sought double success for the third time, but it was not to be. North Cork’s Culann Bourke proved himself a real challenger when a storming start gave him momentum to derail Darragh Crowley’s great run. The Carbery champion fought it manfully, but Culann fired the big ones down past the ‘garage’ and will play Gaeltacht’s Ross O’Brien in the county final. In U18 Carbery’s Shane Crowley stays on course after his victory over North’s Shane Dennehy. This was a quality score too although Crowley made the vital break with a splendid second shot. Dennehy stayed threatening but last quarter belonged to Crowley. In the second semi at Templemichael on Sunday evening, East Cork’s John O’Donoghue came with a late charge to deny Mid’s plucky Daniel Wilmot. Wilmot led in good bowling with three to go but had to give best to O’Donoghue’s late salvo. The grades had a captivating evening at Beal na mBlath on Monday last week when the champions of Carbery and North-East clashed in quarterfinal fixtures. As they did against City opposition in the preliminaries at Ballinaurra, Upton, Carbery’s duo again pulled off a notable double with strong finishing surges decisive against formidable opponents. Shane Crowley, in his U18 shoot-out against Bernie McDonagh, lined a superb opener that gave him a sixty-metre lead but then missed chances to extend in the shots to ‘Bradfield’s cross’. It continued in that vein, both players finding it difficult o settle, as the lead stayed marginal in Crowley’s favour to the ‘novice line’. Crowley finally put paid to the McDonagh challenge with a well-directed fourteenth that brought him within sight of the line. It was not too dissimilar for Darragh Crowley, Carbery’s U14 standard-bearer, in his tussle with Mikey McDonagh, brother of Bernie. A super opener gave him momentum, but that lead was lost by the third shot as the North -East champion found his groove. Darragh was in danger of falling well-behind until he found the gears to line perfect eighth and ninth shots that regained the lead. Two more over the line proved his finishing prowess and it was on to a meeting with North Cork’s Culann Bourke for a place in the county final.


The county rounds have commenced in the novice veteran grade and through to the quarterfinals is City’s Declan O’Leary who got the better of Carbery’s champion, Denis Murphy, in preliminary round score at Ballinacurra, Upton, on Tuesday. O’Leary’s winning margin was two bowls for a €1,900 total. Playing on Ballinacurra’s alternative route, O’Leary rose his winning odds on the narrow stretch from the fifth shot onwards. Back the road here, Colm O’Regan kept a winning run going with victory of last year’s All-Ireland D winner, Mick O’Discoll (Blarney). The stake in this one amounted to €2,200. On Wednesday at Ballincurrig, North East’s John O’Leary defeated Leinster’s Alan Long by almost bowl. Long a doughty performer at the junior C and novice finals annually, would not be fazed by anybody in the grade, but did not make the best of starts and O’Leary wasted no time inn building a handy lead he didn’t relinquish. He plays City’s Declan O’Leary in the quarterfinals. South-West’s Joe Tyner awaits the winner of that contest in the semi-final. Tyner eclipsed North Cork’s Jim Martin at Clondrohid on Wednesday. Tyner rose a bowl of odds at ‘The Bell Inn’ and held it.


Catriona Kidney marked her return to senior championship action with a second group B win and put a dent in Ciara Buckley’s aspirations when they met at Templemicael on Saturday. A bowl of odds separated them in favour of the former champion from Carrigtwohill and she shares top spot with Hannah Sexton. In women’s senior group A, Meghan Collins moved to a possible play-off spot with a two-bowl victory over Emma Fitzpatrick at Ballinacarriga. After an even start, Meghan rose commanding odds in the bowling to ‘Lynch’s’.


The girls U18 county semi at The Marsh Road on Wednesday did not quite live up to its billing. Rosin Allen was coming on the back of some excellent performances at regional level and in the quarters but did not bring that form to the Carbery venue. West Cork’s Emma Hurley took advantage of a few misplays and came home a bowl of odds winner. In a quarterfinal clash at Clondrohid mid-week, defending champion, Ellen Sexton, still looks the one to beat after overcoming the challenge presented by North Cork’s Rihanna Collins. Rihanna fought this one well in the early stages, but Ellen’s power told, and she moves to a semi-final meeting with Carbery’s Abbey Caverley.


From under-age to vintage (over 60’s) and this ever-popular championship, again with over one hundred entries has commenced with a score in section C (West). At Lyre on Tuesday, two of the games most enduring campaigners, Pat Joe Connolly and Gene O’Callaghan had a wholesome battle for a €500 stake. Gene negotiated the ‘mason’s hill’ in excellent style and rose the bones of a bowl of odds in the process, but it wasn’t enough as Connolly fired five of the finest from ‘O’Donovan’s pillars’ to turn it around and win by almost the shot.


In regional action Connie Connolly won the West Cork novice veteran play-off at The Clubhouse on Sunday morning defeating a game Jim Cronin by a bowl of odds for a €1,740 total stake. It was a hard-won victory for the Drinagh man who won the county title in the grade ten years ago. He will be a worthy contender going forward again. Also, at The Clubhouse on Sunday in novice B, Brian Horgan defeated Alan Keane, last shot, for €1,600. In the novice veteran section A final at Drimoleague on Tuesday, Connie took on long-time rival, Patsy O’Sullivan from Kealkil and started well with three big bowls to ‘Barry Deane’s’. O’Sullivan pegged back a sixty-metre deficit but an error or two proved costly and Connolly wasted no time in taking a shot lead to the ‘lines’. It was the difference between them at the end. The contest carried €1,400 total stake. In West Cork U16, Daniel O’Sullivan, Ardcahan, in the 2024 champion. Building on his promise of 2022 when he won the county U14 championship, Daniel won a cracking final at Kealkil on Friday when getting the better of Eoghan Hickey who has plenty more years at U16. Eoghan won his semi-final from Aaron Hurley at Togher Cross earlier in the week. A big junior C semi-final shoot-out at Durrus on Saturday was won by Brian O’Discoll after a tough battle with Chris Murray. The contest carried a €3,600 total and the Drimoleague man’s winning margin was a bowl of odds. He plays either Diarmuid Hurley or Kieran Hourihane in the decider. The Novice D championship progressed at Inch where Alan O’Sullivan progressed at the expense of Mark McCarthy, last shot, for €800. A couple of West Cork novice E scores at Ardcahan on Sunday morning, saw Padraigh Duggan win from Mickey Kelly and Jamie Kearney defeat Kevin Hurley.


Rhys Murphy won the Mid Cork U16 final at Jagoe’s mid-week. A good start enabled him stay in from of two strong finishing opponents, Jason O’Donovan and Charlie Murphy

In Mid-Cork a novice B semi-final at Newcestown was won by former Carbery man, Kevin Coughlan. A good tussle with Ronan O’Donovan saw Coughlan emerge with a last shot win for €2,720. Back the road, Stephen Murphy and Shane Desmond played for €2,200 with Murphy winning that particular contest. In the novice A semi-final at Ballinacurra, Chris Murphy just held on to deny Kieran Corrigan in the last shot of an exciting contest that carried a €1,700 total. Back the road at Ballinacurra, Sean Galvin defeated Barry Murphy, one bowl, for €1,200. At Jogoes Mills on Sunday, Mark Coleman won twice from Brian Crowley, both last shot, for €1,900 and €1,600. A novice C championship contest at Templemartin on Tuesday had players from different generations in opposition and it was Joshua Murphy, with youth on his side who prevailed against the redoubtable Deccie O’Mahony in the last shot of a good score played for €200. At Newcestown in D, Brian Galvin defeated Donnacha O’Driscoll, last shot, for €1,000.

In the South West division a novice A semi-final at Fisher’s Cross went the way of John Connolly who defeated Stephen O’Connell in the last shot. At Grange in novice D, Richie Lawton advanced at the expense of Eoin O’Neill.


A busy week in the Gaeltacht division saw Conor Creedon win the regional junior B final at Inchigeela on Saturday evening. Denis Cooney, a man with a junior A county to his credit from 1998, provided stern opposition in a terrific shot for shot duel. It went to the wire with Creedon winning that vital last exchange. West Cork’s Liam Hurley is next up in the preliminaries. The stake money at Inchigeela amounted to €920. Creedon qualified for the regional junior B final by virtue of a bowl of odds win over Darren Oliver at Baile Bhurine on Monday. Conor rose a bowl lead at ‘Ui Scannell’ and although Oliver brought it under that the cushion was enough to set up his final meeting with Denis Cooney. Back the road, Diarmuid Lucey defeated Finbarr Buckley. On Tuesday at Clondrohid, Jonathan McCarthy and Kieran Doherty met with McCarthy winning and also here, Tony Healy won from Con Murphy. Back Clondrohid after the novice veteran county score on Wednesday, there was a doubles win for Niall Murphy and Donal O’Shea over Adrian O’Driscoll and Ailbhe O’Shea. Two scores in Baile Bhuirne on Thursday, saw Peter O’Sullivan defeat Evan O’Riordan and Aodh Lynch win from Kevin Kelleher. At Macroom on Friday, Andrew Kelleher defeated Conor Cotter. In a novice championship score at Baile Bhuirne on Sunday morning Liam Murphy defeated Tim Kelleher in novice A.

In North Cork, in a big money novice D quarterfinal score of swaying fortunes, Brendan Cotter came from arrears to deny Jerry Hubbard in the last shot for a €4,100 total. At Kilcorney on Tuesday, Jayden Crowley, so prominent at Ted Hegarty’s tournaments won the regional U12 final after a great three-way battle with Darragh Foley and Tim Murphy. In novice C at Ballinagree, Billy Healy defeated Stephen Spillane, last shot, for €1,400. On Saturday at Firmount in D, Alan Sexton won from Joe Freely. In a return here, Adrian O’Connor defeated Mickey McAuliffe, last shot, for €340. Back Ballinagree after the junior A semi, Sonny O’Brien defeated Kevin Manning, last shot, for €3,000. A big tournament shoot-out in North Cork had Drinagh’s John Young and Kilmurry’s John Shorten in opposition in the Nancy Hubbard Cup semi-final at Beal na Morrive on Sunday. Going for a €3,700 total, Shorten won all the early shots but not by a significant margin. Young turned the score on its head with a big sequence from ‘the hedge’ and was clear to the tune of a bowl of odds and twenty metres. When he rose a two-bowl lead at the novice line there was no way back for the Mid Cork man. John O’Rourke and Andrew O’Callaghan remain on the other side in the Nancy Hubbard Cup. Back the road here, Pat Fitzgibbon and Tom Reaney played for a €1,200 total. Fitzgibbon took the spoils here.


There was sadness among the bowling community at the news of the passing of North East bowling stalwart, Paddy O’Leary of Fermoy. From a family steeped in the sports traditions, Paddy was a major player in the seventies, eighties and nineties period, distinguishing himself on international expeditions as well as winning major honours on the domestic scene. Paddy was part of Bol Chumann’s team for the home European Championships in 1970, only the second in the series, and a vital cog too when they travelled to Garding, Germany for the third in 1972. As player he traded with the best. In 1983 he won the county junior A title defeating South West’s Tim O’Brien at Ballyshonin. He followed up a few weeks later with the All-Ireland at the same venue defeating Ulster Jim McCann. He copper-fastened his status with another memorable double in 1991 winning county intermediate from Mick Young at Beal na mBlath and going on again to capture the national crown defeating Harry Toal (Jun) on The Cathedral Road, Armagh. He contested county finals too in 1970, runner-up to Pat Murphy in junior A and in 1984 in intermediate to Neilus Hurley. His sons, Michael, John, Andrew, Vincent and Alan have all played to a high standard. Bol Chumann extends its sincere sympathies to the O’Leary family. Ar dheis De go raibh a Anam.


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