The Tim Foley Cup commemorates a stalwart of the Mid Cork region whose untimely passing in the millennium year left a big void in bowling circles. The imposing trophy that bears his name is the prize for the winner of an intermediate tournament hosted at regular intervals by Templemartin Bowling club. The latest instalment had the grades newest incumbent, 2020 junior A champion from Dromahane, Andrew O’Callaghan, pitted against City’s Wayne Callanan in what was a repeat of a recent Paddy Barry Cup first rounder at Rosscarbery. It ended in similar fashion with the man from Farranree in the ascendancy to the tune of a bowl of odds. O’Callaghan, whose father Andy was one of many the late Tim engaged with in his heyday, gave it everything and it was an absorbing contest right to the ‘pub corner’ where, with the line in sight and a big throw of odds in arrears, the north Cork challenger was finally forced to concede. For a €3,500 total, they went practically level to ‘Slynne’s corner’ in five, Callanan in front at all points. The City man made a big statement with his sixth shot beating a superb effort of O’Callaghan’s by forty metres and it catapulted him into a lead of almost a bowl in ten and eleven to the ‘school house cross’. Ill luck dogged O’Callaghan as he attempted to close the gap when his well-played drive at ‘Buttimer’s’ slashed off the play, but he still pulled it back to fifteen metres in the shots past the ‘monument’. Callanan’s experience showed in a mighty cast from here and it proved decisive as it restored his earlier advantage. He joins Edmund Sexton in the last four after this victory. Back the road at Templemartin, Jim Coffey (Jun) got the better of Declan O’Donovan (K), one bowl, for €4,400.
Two men who will be international teammates in Germany in May took issue for a €4,540 total at Carrignavar on Saturday and it was a contest that produced an unexpected finale. Seamus Sexton and Eamonn Bowen have had frequent encounters over the years with little separating them in overall standings. Bowen, on the back of a few competent performances when defeating Michael Bohane at Whitechurch and in partnership with Martin Coppinger at Peake on Sunday week was well fancied and duly took charge rising good odds with a super throw at ‘the doctor’s’. Still throwing odds after seven, he rose the full shot with a magnificent cast away from the ‘creamery cross’. With three to go he looked unassailable but from nowhere, Sexton, found a piledriver that made big inroads. When Bowen missed the finish line from a good stand it was in the melting pot and Sexton’s last snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. There was an interesting tussle back Carrignavar as two returning juniors with plenty to offer engaged. Denis Cooney, an All-Ireland junior A winner in the nineties, just edged out Stephen Desmond, a Mid Cork contender this year, in the last shot of a good score. Also, in the north-east, Martin Coppinger’s good run ended with defeat to All-Ireland champion, Arthur McDonagh. Their clash at Corrin near Fermoy carried a €4,400 total and hinged on a dead bowl from the Bantry native at the half-way point. At Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday Ger Connolly and Jim Coffey renewed hostilities. As in Castletownbere and Ballygurteen it was Shannonvale man, Connolly, who prevailed. There was a €4,000 stake at issue and Connolly’s latest winning margin was two bowls. Back here, Darragh Kiely from North Cork defeated Carbery’s Patrick Crowley, last shot, for €2,500. In the Mid Cork 2022 novice D championship at Ballinacurra, Michael Waugh defeated Michael O’Riordan.
Storm Franklin made its mark on Sunday resulting in the cancellation of many fixtures throughout the county. A big casualty was the international fund-raiser scheduled for Shannonvale between Gary Daly and Aidan Murphy. Nonetheless, a score of significance did go ahead at Shannonvale when John Cahalane and Jim Coffey enjoined for an €8,000 total. They mixed the good and the bad in a score where the ‘called’ bowl was a feature on a few occasions. Cahalane rose a bowl in the shots to the ‘quarry’ and held it for the score’s duration. Beal na mBlath drove on as well on Sunday afternoon with a three-way novice B shoot-out. It was James Kelleher from nearby Newcestown who triumphed here getting away to a good start that gave him leeway enough to deny David Crowley and Darren Kelly. For a €2,210 total with all three well backed, it was a closely contested affair for most of the way. Kelly was ahead at ‘Bradfield’s cross’ and all were in with a shout with three to go. Kelleher then fired the score winning shot, a thundering drive from the point known as the ‘bull’s gate’ to full sight at the last corner. It put him a bowl clear and into round two. There was a double for the home men at Beal na Morrive as David Hubbard and Conor Lucey gained wins from Alex O’Donovan and John Connolly. The feature junior A joust between Hubbard and O’Donovan was the latest in a well-contested rivalry. A strong finish by Hubbard secured the win and the €6,000 total stake on this occasion. Conor Lucey, on Bol Chumann’s youths’ team for Meldorf, defeated John Connolly in the return for a €5,300 total.
There was a scarcity of U14 boys for the under-age team trials at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday morning last. Skibb’s Tom McCarthy is assured of his place for the Dublin national finals on March 5, but, with the intention of finding a strong quartet to compete against Ulster, Connaught and Leinster selections, a second trial session has been arranged for U14 boys on Sunday morning next at 10.00am again at Castletownkenneigh. There was a fine turn-out in the remaining three categories boys U12 and girls U12 and U14. Mid Cork’s Tadg Hickey was in scintillating form in boys U12 topping the listings with a figure of 1,031 metres for his ten throws and firing some incredible shots in the process. His place on the team well secured he is joined by a trio of fine exponents Gaeltacht’s Ross O’Brien, City’s Myles Connors and Jack Allen also from the Mid Cork division. The good work being done in nurturing the sport in the girls under-age sector was evident in a great show of talent across the U12 and U14 sector. Chloe Hubbard was the star in U12 hitting 792.4 for her ten shots and will lead the charge in that category in Dublin. Chloe has a strong trio in support as North East’s Abbie McDonell, Lily Twomey also from the North division and Mid Cork’s Anna Deane make up a formidable foursome. Inevitably a Sexton sister made her mark and Laura, the youngest of the famed Timoleague clan posted 768 to lead the way in the U14 trials. Carbery’s young champion, Niamh O’Sullivan, Ballygurteen, wasn’t far behind on 766.2 and Darcy O’Brien, Gaeltacht and Mid’s Sophie Murphy played splendidly too to complete Cork’s quartet.
Bol Chumann’s North Cork division has swelled its ranks in terms of club and player affiliations in recent years and 2022 marks another upsurge in playing numbers. Completion of Covid interrupted 2021 championships remains a priority and on Sunday week the junior ladies’ decider was played out at Gortroe. Emer Galvin had experience on her side against newcomer, Rebecca Wall, and duly won by a bowl of odds. Emer, a county runner-up to Togher Cross champion, Aileen Murphy, in the 2012 junior county, hit an exceptional opening brace to the ‘piers’, and stayed in control thereafter. The North 2022 novice D championships are underway and at Beal na Morrive, Shane Kelleher won from Adrian O’Connor; Paul O’Sullivan won from Jerry Hubbard; Robin O’Flynn won from Alan McMahon; Clifford O’Flynn won from Stephen Spillane; Denis Murphy won from Thomas Barrett; Mickey McAuliffe won from Joe Murphy; Michael Casey won from Gary Murphy; Martin McSweeney won from Paul Burke and Luke Philpott won from Paul Twomey. Those defeated in the opening round of the North novice D championships has a second chance in a newly introduced backdoor system.
There is a fund-raiser weekend on the Knappagh road, Co. Armagh this weekend involving several Cork participants. Entitled ‘Aaron mission to walk Charity weekend’ the feature score starts at Drumsallan school on Saturday at 2.00pm when Thomas Mackle and Aidan Murphy clash. Other scores include Wayne Parkes v Aaron Hughes on Saturday at 10.00am and a doubles contest on Sunday involving Gary Daly and Patrick Flood against Paul and Bryan O’Reilly.