Reaction from the O' Connell/Dullea Cup, Wayne Parks win over Christy Mullins, Finals in the West Cork Division, Lyre's hosting of the international fund score along with all the other action throughout the weekend
That form is often fickle in the sporting world was never better demonstrated than at Ballygurteen on Saturday last where Michael Bohane upset the odds when capturing the O’Connell/Dullea Cup in some style. On the back of towering performances at Castletownbere against Seamus Sexton and more recently in overcoming Aidan Murphy at Bantry, Gary Daly was the overwhelming favourite to become the first major tournament winner of 2022, but Bohane hadn’t read the script and was perfectly poised to take advantage of any glitches in the Fermoy man’s easy flowing style. For a modest €1,240, Daly fired a big opener but then took three to the first bend where Bohane led for the first time. The Caheragh native gave a hint of what was to come with a sweeping cast by the ‘women’s lane’ to open a forty-metre gap. In the subsequent exchanges it was evident little was gong right for the hot favourite as his seventh, eight and ninth, all failed to run. Bohane extended his lead to almost a bowl after eleven shots. The expected Daly rally materialised in the shots around ‘O’Donovan’s corner’ and, with Bohane now misplaying a few, the margin was down to forty metres facing ‘Burke’s’. Daly’s comeback was stalled when he hit a very poor fourteenth and Bohane lost no time in regaining his earlier advantage of almost a bowl of odds. A big one past the junior line consolidated his lead and there was no catching him in the remaining exchanges. A junior contest of significance was played at Ballygurteen on Sunday when players from the opposite ends of the age spectrum engaged for a €9,000 total. Youth had its fling in a convincing win for Wayne Parkes over Christy Mullins with Clon’s U18 champion dominating from the off.
Finals in the West Cork division saw wins for Sean O’Leary, Adrian Buttimer, Alan Brickley, and, on Sunday week, for Brian Horgan. Drinagh on Saturday hosted the novice B decider and here, Whiddy Islander, O’Leary, showed his paces with a finishing surge that proved decisive in an absorbing contest with Dunmanway’s David O’Brien. The pair produced bowling of a high order for much of the way. O’Brien countered O’Leary’s super opener with an excellent reply and proceeded to take charge with two brilliant efforts to ‘the church’. O’Brien still held sway with a fine cast from ‘Shandrum cross’ to the ‘blacksticks’, but the always dangerous O’Leary was hovering close. A well-played effort was unlucky as it drifted left by the ‘pond’ but it levelled matters as O’Brien hit a slack patch with his tenth and eleventh. The force was with O’Leary as he hit the front only for the second time with three to go and there would be no denying him the winner’s prize as he blazed to a big fore bowl win. They played for a total of €5,400. Adrian Buttimer is West Cork junior B champion for 2021 after Sunday’s Togher Cross victory over Drinagh’s John Young. Gloun man, Buttimer was on the back foot early as Young dominated the exchanges to ‘the chips’ at which point he held a nice lead after six shots. The next segment was to be the Drinagh man’s undoing as he lost his odds in the bowling to ‘Hurley’s’. Now level, Buttimer hit a screamer on long straight to the ‘old post office’ that put him firmly in the driving seat. Young made a brave effort to close the gap over the last quarter, but Buttimer had enough in hand to win by almost a bowl. The stakemoney at Togher amounted to €3,800. In the West Cork junior lady’s semi-final at Drinagh, Dunmanway’s Eireann O’Donovan overhauled Tegan Hurley’s lead over the closing stages and progresses to the decider.
Earlier on Saturday another of West Cork’s rising stars, Alan Brickley, won the novice C crown when he too produced a storming finish to deny a game Martin Murphy at Derrinasafa. For a €3,100 total, Murphy had the better of this one in the shots up past ‘Fax’s bridge’ but crucially did not a big advantage to ‘Nattie’s’. Brickley was back in it and led out ‘darkwood’, where a mistake by the Togher Cross player proved costly. Brickley was dominant in the shots up past ‘Walshe’s lane’ and duly won by a bowl of odds. Brian Horgan is emerging as real talent in West Cork bowling. He annexed his second U16 regional crown in successive seasons with a barnstorming display at Ballinacarriga on Sunday week. The Dunmanway youth had a worthy rival in Eoin Hurley, Drinagh, and a second half showing of the highest quality saw him complete the double in the grade. Hurley matched Horgan’s best over the opening quarter before a huge cast over the brow at the ‘four crosses’ gave the eventual winner big leeway. Horgan rose a bowl with two great shots to the wide road at ‘Manch’ before producing a monstrous effort on the straight to ‘Finn’s corner’ that put the issue beyond doubt.
In a correction to our report on Bantry bowling from the previous week, it was local player Muiris Buttimer, who defeated Ger O’Driscoll in Sunday’s third score not Adrian as we inadvertently stated.
In the Mid Cork U14 final at Jagoe’s Mills, Daniel Wilmot won a fine contest with Rhys Murphy. This was a thriller with Murphy rising odds over the opening segment only for Bandon boy, Wilmot, to unleash three magnificent shots in succession and come ahead at the finish line. At Castletownkenneigh in Mid Cork novice E, a grade that engages many, local contender, Eoghan O’Callaghan won his semi-final battle with Tony O’Connor, by just five metres and will play Cian Collins who edged out perennial campaigner, Gene O’Callaghan, by mere metres in last second semi at the same venue for an €800 stake. In the novice tournament final for the John O’Driscoll Cup at Jagoe’s Mills, Mark Coleman won in the last shot from John Paul O’Driscoll for a €2,200 total and back here, Paul Kelleher defeated Dinny Mangan, last shot, for €400. In tournament action in Mid Cork on Saturday, Trevor O’Meara defeated Kieran Murphy by a bowl of odds for €4,000.
Four finals were decided in the Gaeltacht division. At Cill na Martra, in novice A, the experienced Tim Kelleher got the better of Colm McLoughlin while in junior ladies, Kate Dromey won from Helen Browne. At Clondrohid in novice B, Michael Desmond defeated Darren Kelly by a bowl for €2,000 and in novice E, Joe Lynch defeated Ronan O’Callaghan by a bowl for €2,200.
The women’s winter league had a score on Sunday at Grange on Sunday week and here, Hannah Cronin had a two-bowl win from Helen Whyte. In the same competition on Sunday last at Lyre, Maria Nagle defeated Louise Collins, one bowl, for €200.
Lyre bowling club hosted an international fund score on Sunday week when Navan Road’s rising star Aaron Hughes visited for a meeting with Tommy O’Sullivan. It carried a €17,000 total and it was Hughes who made the better start and held a bowl lead after a brilliant sequence from the ‘forest entrance’. O’Sullivan stormed back and survived a last shot ‘called bowl’ to claim a dramatic victory. Back the road here, Anthony Broderick defeated newly crowned Mid Cork novice A champion, John A Murphy, last shot, for €4,000. In the Nancy Hubbard Cup at Beal na Marbh, Thomas Boyle defeated Liam Walsh, last shot for €3,000. Walsh rebounded with a win over Boyle in the return for the same stake. At Lyre on Sunday last Rosscarbery’s Micheal O’Sullivan and Shane Shannon, Durrus, had a stirring battle for a €3,600 total. O’Sullivan’s sweeping tenth across the double bends pushed him a bowl clear and he needed that cushion as Shannon staged a strong revival over the closing segment. From fifty behind for the last shots, Shannon gave O’Sullivan a testing tip to beat but the Ross man kept his focus for a narrow victory. There was victory for the western men in the return when Mark Shannon got the better of David Walsh, last shot, for €3,400. In the Champy Deasy Cup at Grange, James Nagle defeated Vincent Kiely, by a bowl for €1,800 and in the Fearghal Beamish Cup at The Pike, a blistering start by Brendan O’Neill gave him leeway enough to move to the next round at the expense of Ger Connolly. The stake in this one was also €1,800.
The bowling fraternity in Cork will remember Armagh powerhouse of the seventies and eighties, Gerry Boylan, of Keady who passed away at the weekend. Gerry won the All-Ireland senior championship final of 1980 at Ballyshonin after a thrilling contest with Cork kingpin at the time, the late Dermot O’Sullivan of Dunmanway. It was the popular Keady man’s only All-Ireland success but, big in stature and personality, he remained an influential figure in Ulster bowling right up to his passing.
Bol Chumann’s team finals, deferred due to Covid in March 2020, will go ahead at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning with a 9.30am throw-off. All nine regions have teams of four (maximum two teams per region) on the programme and regional secretaries have been informed of respective starting times. Referees and stewards are requested to attend to ensure a smooth-running event. The Sliabh Ban trophy is on offer for the winners. Also, on Sunday next the 2021 West Cork junior A final takes place at The Clubhouse at 1.30pm. Tim Young, Bantry, and Denis O’Driscoll, Drimoleague, are the protagonists here. The Gaeltacht novice veteran final is on Sunday 30 at Macroom. Paudie Murphy and Tim Kelleher go head-to-head here.