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Bowling Report - Week ending 21st April




The Mick Barry Cup King of the Road qualifiers at Ballincurrig at the weekend threw up a few interesting results. Arthur McDonagh and Martin Coppinger with David Murphy ominously absent carried the first contest out on Sunday morning and it was the Fermoy man, not part of the panel for Germany, who prevailed with a dominant performance. For a €3,400 total, McDonagh was away to a commanding lead with five excellent deliveries to the ‘no-play lines’. In a relentless display, McDonagh covered the road in fourteen shots, a three-bowl winner. The second Barry Cup qualifier was a seventeen-shot belter involving James O’Donovan and Gary Daly two vital cogs on Bol Chumann’s men’s team and Aidan Murphy, also selected but unable to travel. They traded it shot for shot throughout, all three holding marginal leads at different junctures. Daly was hind facing the line having come back into a great score, but his last drifted right. Murphy beat that mark, but it was O’Donovan who had the last say with a ripping final effort. Their contest carried a total €950 x 3 and €11,200 (Murphy-Daly).

Thomas Mackle is the reigning King. The All-Ireland champion gained the headlines for his actions at Lyre on the previous week. The impact they will have on team morale for the European Championships in Germany in May is questionable and there was not universal approval for his actions. Certainly, Lyre bowling club were denied a stand-out fixture in their hugely popular Mother Hegarty Cup tournament.

Saturday’s Jim O’Driscoll Cup qualifiers had four from bowling’s second tier who will have big roles to play in Germany as well as Ulster’s Colm Rafferty who operates in senior ranks in the north. The Grange clubman who has enjoyed recent successes against southern opposition took on Fermoy’s Patrick Flood in Saturday’s final score and duly turned in a polished performance in a comprehensive win. He was aided by an indifferent start by Flood whose opener was of the short variety. After Rafferty lined a fine fourth, another misplay by Flood with his fourth cost him a bowl of odds and two shots separated then when Rafferty hit the no-play lines in five. Flood stemmed the tide but was never in the hunt. Rafferty could have made the ‘big bend’ in nine and scored the line in seventeen impressive shots. They played for a €3,200 total. The day’s proceedings began when the well-bonded Tim Young and Billy McAuliffe played off for an €800 total stake. Both men have invested much in bowling’s international expeditions over the past decade, but friendships formed have not dulled a strong rivalry. Young took a handy lead to the ‘no-play lines’ only for McAuliffe’s super shot to ‘half-way’ to level it. Level again at the ‘big turn’ it looked to be going McAuliffe’s way until he cut his second last a shade too tightly and lost ground. Young snatched it in the last shot. Next up were Michael Murphy from junior ranks, a replacement in Germany for Aidan Murphy, and Mallow’s Andrew O’Callaghan. In a stakeless contest Murphy was sublime in this one hitting the ‘big turn’ in ten, his ninth and tenth exceptional. O’Callaghan put in a big finish, but Murphy won by almost a bowl.

Three tournament finals were down for decision in the South West division. Two at Grange saw wins for Association Hon Sec, Micheal O’Céallachain and Denis Wilmot. The novice 2 decider had O’Ceallachain in control after three against the redoubtable, Deccie O’Mahony. There was not much O’Mahony could do against an opponent who was on top of his game and a three-bowl margin came between them by the half-way point. They played for a total of €500. Darren Harrington overcame the tournament winner in a further score for a €1,700 total. The Champy Deasy Cup final again showed Denis Wilmot’s penchant for taking the winners prize against the odds. Having won the Bill Barrett Cup in March at Caheragh as the underdog, he was very much he outsider again against top Intermediate, Wayne Parkes, in the Deasy Cup final on Sunday. For a €1.400 total, consistency was Wilmot’s hallmark as he took advantage of Parkes early inaccuracy to rise a bowl of odds after three to the ‘stud farm’. He doubled his odds subsequently and, although Parkes steadied the ship and reduced the margin with good bowling in the middle third, here was no denying Wilmot the Deasy Cup as he finished strongly again.

Club scores at Ballinacurra, Upton, and Lyre resulted in wins for Noel O’Regan and Conor Creedon. West Cork junior A finalist, O’Regan put in a blinding finish to deny, David O’Mahony at the Mid Cork venue. For a €4,000 total, O’Regan needed to beat a massive tenth of O’Mahony’s at the ‘GAA pitch’ to hold a slender lead and he then fired the score winning shot past ‘Cronin’s avenue’. Conor Creedon, Ballyvourney won the third competition decider of the weekend at Lyre from Brendan O’Neill and James O’Sullivan, for a combined €4,200 total. O’Neill’s super fourteenth threatened a late rally here, but Creedon held on. At Grenagh, Eamonn Bowen defeated Phillip O’Donovan.

In a good group A Lowney’s Jewellers sponsored senior ladies championship battle at Baile Mhuirne on Wednesday, Veronica O’Mahony and Emma Fitzpatrick engaged. Veronica edged this one to join Geraldine Curtin at the head of the group.

Lisa Hegarty may have laid down a marker in the women’s intermediate championship with an excellent performance in her opening group A score with Ailbhe O’Shea at Ardcahan on Wednesday. For a €400 total, O’Shea shaded the opening exchanges before the Lyre lady found her groove with two brilliant shots to the ‘holly gap’. These had the effect of turning an even score into a convincing two-bowl win for Lisa who now heads this group with Hannah Cronin. In Ted Hegarty’s U12 tournament final at The Phale Road, Tadg Hickey won from Eoghan Kelly. In the U14 final, Gaeltacht’s Ross O’Brien won by a bowl from Culann Bourke.

On another busy week of championship action, Bryan O’Halloran overcame Kenneth Murphy at Ballinacurra, Upton, in the junior B semi-final. At Templemartin in novice D, Stephen Murphy defeated Tim Allen for €440. A West Cork junior A championship decimated by withdrawals and injuries is now down to the decider. Denis O’Driscoll was forced to concede his semi-final contest at Kealkil with Peter Murray. Murray plays clubmate Noel O’Regan in the decider. At Inch in novice D, Kevin O’Sullivan defeated Luke Cato, last shot, for €600. In Ardcahan in U14, Eoghan Hickey defeated Tadg O’Farrell. At The Clubhouse, in U16 boys, Kieran Crowley defeated Josh O’Farrell while in U14 Bantry’s Conor Hourihane continues to make waves having defeated last year’s county U12 winner, Eoghan Hickey in a cracking semi-final on the ‘creamery road’. In novice C at The Clubhouse, Kieran McKenna defeated Johnny Kelly by a bowl, for €1,600. In novice veteran at Ballinacarriga, Jim Cronin defeated Finny Kearney.

In other club action, junior B’s Adrian Buttimer and David Hubbard engaged at Ballinagree on Saturday. For a €3,400 total, the bowling was good over the opening phase. The breakthrough came when Buttimer hit an incredible sixth to the bottom of the hill to rise a bowl of odds. It would be his winning margin at the end. Back the road, Eamonn Murphy and Damien Burns played a cracker for €2,400. Murphy came from arrears to win this one in the last shot. In a score back Baile Bhuirne after the senior contest on Monday, Freddie Scannell won from Kieran Corrigan, just twenty metres for €400.

On another busy week of championship action, Bryan O’Halloran overcame Kenneth Murphy at Ballinacurra, Upton, in the junior B semi-final. At Templemartin in novice D, Stephen Murphy defeated Tim Allen for €440. A West Cork junior A championship decimated by withdrawals and injuries is now down to the decider. Denis O’Driscoll was forced to concede his semi-final contest at Kealkil with Peter Murray. Murray plays clubmate Noel O’Regan in the decider. At Inch in novice D, Kevin O’Sullivan defeated Luke Cato, last shot, for €600. In Ardcahan in U14, Eoghan Hickey defeated Tadg O’Farrell.

The South-West championships had a hard-fought novice A set-to at Fisher’s Cross. Here Eoin McCarthy kept a winning run going with a win over John Connolly. In novice veteran at Lyre, Brendan O’Sullivan defeated Pat Joe Sheehy. Also, in novice veteran in South West, old rivals, Joe Tyner and Ger Fitzpatrick engaged at Lyre. Woodfield man, Tyner, was the master on this occasion, winning by two for €1,400.

Another good omen for Germany was the performance of Anthony Crowley in winning the City U18 final with Paddy McCarthy at Templemichael. In a shot for shot duel, Crowley beat big shots of McCarthy’s to take the title.

In North Cork U14 at Firmount, Ted Hegarty tournament winner, Jayden Crowley, advanced with a win over, Darragh Foley

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