Wayne Parkes returned to form with a two-bowl victory over Tim Young in the Tim Foley Cup decider at Templemartin on Sunday. It was an unexpected result given that the Bantry man had taken the spoils with an equally comprehensive win in their pre-Christmas Mick Eoin Cup clash. Parkes decisively turned the tables from the mid-way point of their latest engagement and, when he lined an impeccable eleventh down to the ‘stonefield bend’, any hopes of an exciting climax were banished in what was, overall, a disappointing final. Tim Young’s opening shot perhaps gave an indicator that it would not be his day. It caught the left too soon and Parkes was away to a bowl lead after two good efforts on the rise. To his credit, Young dug himself out with a splendid fourth and it was the catalyst for a resurgence as, after enjoying a shade of good luck with his sixth, he took an unexpected thirty metre lead when Parkes form dipped. It would be momentarily as the Clon man fired a massive seventh that also had an element of luck on its trajectory, but it restored his lead at a crucial point. Parkes ninth and tenth to the ‘schoolhouse cross’ were perfect and, when he followed up with that expertly delivered eleventh, a narrow five metre lead three shots previously was now transformed into an unassailable advantage that bordered on two bowls of odds. Not a lot went right for Young in the ensuing exchanges and Wayne Parkes was declared the fifth Tim Foley Cup winner well short of the appointed finish. The cup commemorating the late and fondly remembered Tim Foley, an intermediate standard-bearer of high standing, has long been a staple of Templemartin Bowling Club and previous winners have been David Murphy, Sean Murphy, Gavin Twohig and James O’Donovan. The stakemoney at Templemartin amounted to €3,900.
There were some similarities with Templemartin at the other tournament final completed at the weekend at Bottlehill. The first Jerry O’Donovan Memorial doubles decider was won in convincing fashion by the partnership of Maurice Connolly and Simon Buckley who were almost three bowls too good for opponents Padraigh Scanlon and Billy Cahill. Glanmire man, Connolly, and the indefatigable Buckley, an All-Ireland junior A champion all of forty-five years ago, were never led in a masterful display. They played for a total of €3,800. The tournament commemorates the memory of the late Jerry O’Donovan, a former chairman of the North East division, who passed away suddenly in March 2020.
In other tournament action, Gavin Twohig followed up his Ballygurteen win of the previous weekend with a solid performance at Ballinacurra, Upton where he got the better of City campaigner, Trevor O’Meara. For a €4,100 total, it was an even joust with O’Meara shading tips in top-class bowling to the GAA entrance. Twohig edged ahead in the exchanges past ‘Innishannon cross’ and two big ones from ‘Cronin’s avenue’ gave him a bowl of odds lead which he held to the finish. At Ballygurteen, Patrick Stokes defeated David Shannon, last shot, for €2,600. Shannon led this one at ‘O’Donovan’s corner’ but Stokes turned it around with a big cast from here. At Grange on Sunday morning the third qualifier for a three-way mini tournament saw Johnny O’Driscoll defeat City opponent, James O’Sullivan, by a bowl for a €2,600 total. Johnny plays Noel O’Regan and David Hegarty in the upcoming decider.
Ahead of a weekend when the men’s senior championship gets underway, the women’s intermediate group stages advanced with a score at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday morning when Chloe O’Halloran and Margaret Sexton took issue in group B contest. The more experienced Chloe, a county runner-up in the grade in 2019, won this one defeating last year’s junior champion by a bowl of odds. The senior championship starts with two intriguing ties on this holiday weekend. Ballincurrig on Sunday hosts Arthur McDonagh versus Michael Harrington. 2020 All-Ireland winner, McDonagh will look to bounce back from his Bol Fada defeat to Thomas Mackle and book a quarterfinal spot. Their last championship engagement was a 2018 semi-final joust at Ballinagree when McDonagh narrowly won. Lyre on Sunday afternoon will draw the crowds for the Michael Bohane/David Murphy clash. Defending champion, Bohane has a tough assignment, but it is on the road where he won his county title and he has confidence and good form coming in following a recent Bantry tournament semi-final win. Murphy, a four times county winner, will be formidable and, even in a loss to Martin Coppinger in a recent outing at Shannonvale, showed flashes of his old form.
In the second score in the South-West junior A championship, played at The Pike on Saturday evening, Jimmy O’Driscoll and Alex O’Donovan clashed and produced one of the scores of the weekend. O’Driscoll, following his narrow defeat to Denis O’Sullivan, needed to win this one and did so after an enthralling contest that saw O’Donovan dig himself out time and again when his hopes looked forlorn. O’Driscoll seemed certain to take a bowl lead to the no-play line but his Shannonvale rival kept it level with a tremendous fifth. O’Donovan rallied when well in arrears as they played to ‘Draper’s’ and again with a super cast to the novice line where he came ahead. O’Driscoll stayed the course well and won the vital last exchange. They played for a €1,500 total. In a high-profile South-West novice B championship score at Timoleague on Monday, Shannonvale’s John Connolly defeated Ivan Buchannon last shot for €2,200. Connolly’s big brace to the top of the hill gave him good leeway which he held to the finish. South-West’s novice veteran championship is progressing with scores almost nightly at Fisher’s Cross. On Saturday evening in the second of the round-robin series for the higher ranked novices, Joe Tyner pulled out the stops to win a cracking three-way with Donal Desmond, last shot and Ger Fitzpatrick, almost a bowl. Fitzpatrick won the first encounter, and the trio must play again to decide the eventual winner. In the lower section there was continued success for Ballygurteen clubmen. On Monday in a quarterfinal, Timmie O’Brien defeated Gerry Connolly and, in another last eight clash on Thursday, Vincent Dullea defeated Toss Ahern. In the novice D grade at Timoleague, Brian Harrington defeated Joseph Hennessy by a bowl for €500. In novice D at Grange, Ger Shanahan defeated Liam O’Brien. In the same grade at The Pike on Sunday, Richie Lawton defeated Eamonn Lyons and at Timoleague, Paudie Footman defeated Sean Quirke, by a bowl, for €700.
West Cork’s championships progressed with scores at Drinagh on Friday. The novice C battle here, between Garoid Cronin and Brendan Burke was a humdinger. Both men were in the peak of form with lengthy exchanges giving each the ascendancy at different junctures. Burke, former regional D winner, looked to have won it with a big last shot but Cronin was equal to the task beating a huge tip for a thrilling win. In novice veteran here, John Murphy defeated Con McCarthy. In West Cork novice D at Bantry, Peter Hickey won from Tommy Walsh and in the novice veteran championship at Kealkil, Durrus campaigner, Donal O’Mahony defeated Seamus O’Sullivan by a bowl for €500. In U16 boys at Derrinasafa, Brian O’Driscoll won from Davin Ross. At Durrus on novice D, Kieran O’Driscoll defeated Rickard O’Donovan by a bowl for €1,000 and in novice veteran here, Damien Hurley defeated Denis J Nyhan. At Ballinacarriga in novice C, Joseph Cato defeated Cornelius O’Mahony by a bowl for €1,000 and, at Bantry in the same grade, Mark Deane defeated John O’Regan by a bowl for €1,200. John Murphy has forwarded the results of the semi-finals of his Togher Cross U10 tournament. Two great scores saw Charlie O’Leary edged out Adam Hurley and Brian Murphy win from recent Ted Hegarty U8 champion, Tommy Coppinger.
Mid Cork’s U18 championship has been completed and new champion is Roisin Allen. The round-robin format had some terrific scores, and the final was no exception. Roisin and Sophie Murphy played a cracker at Templemartin on Thursday. Roisin took the spoils with a big finish. In U16, Anna Deane won from Katie Rose Broderick. In novice B at Castletownkennigh another hard-fought battle saw the lead change hands a few times. Ronan O’Donovan and John Hickey played for a €1,520 total stake and it was nip and tuck until O’Donovan rose a bowl of odds with three to go. It was enough for victory. In a clash of two likely novice C contenders at Newcestown, Sean Nyhan prevailed against Shane Healy. In the same grade at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday, Paudie McSweeney defeated Martin Desmond. A good novice D championship score took place prior to the Tim Foley Cup decider at Templemartin on Sunday. Here Thomas Maloney defeated Mark Courtney, last shot, for €1,000.
Although tidier in numbers compared to previous hostings at Dunderrow and Rosscarbery, Bol Chumann’s lady’s committee’s third and final open day of the current run provided another enjoyable morning’s bowling on the Coolea road on Saturday morning last. Ably assisted by Gaeltacht regional officers, Caroline O’Leary and colleagues oversaw a competitive three-way team event after which an individual age-graded long shot competition brought proceedings to a close. Shots of prodigious length on the ideal surface were the order in the opening contest where intermediate contender, Ciara Buckley, and Gaeltacht’s rising star Darcy O’Brien were on opposite sides. Ciara’s team also consisted of newly crowned Mid Cork U18 champion, Roisin Allen who brought her best form also and Ciara’s five-year-old niece, Amelia Buckley. Their combined total of 724.7 metres represented excellent figures for the road and garnered them first place in overall standings. Darcy’s excellent showing was rewarded with third place, and she was ably assisted by two other youthful exponents from the Gaeltacht, Kayla Healy, a regional U14 winner and a great performance by first-time thrower, Etain Hayes. Their total was 626.3. In between in second place, were a trio comprised of Orla Murphy (Gaeltacht) Jenna Healy (North) and Emma Murphy (West). All contributed big shots at different junctures, and they took the runner-up spot with a tally of 641.14. Closing in on the top three, were the trio of Ailbhe O’Shea, a recent winner at The Phale Road tournaments and Amy and Aoibhe Deane. In the individual long-shot competitions there were wins for Emma Murphy in U10, Orla Murphy in U14, Etain Hayes in U16, and Ciara Buckley adult/U18. Lady’s chair, Caroline thanked all who participated and those who helped with organising. She looked forward to a resumption of the open day series in October. Ted Hegarty completed two girls’ finals at The Phale Road on Sunday. In U14, Laura Sexton won a thrilling three-way encounter with county champion, Emma Hurley and Niamh O’Connell while in U12 Rosscarbery’s Meabh Cuinnea brought her championship form to a competitive set-to with Saoirse O’Neill and Grace O’Sullivan.
There is a real championship fervour in the Gaeltacht novice veteran grade. Among the likely contenders, Michéal O’Callaghan outright vintage winner in 2022, Kerry based Noel Murphy a stalwart junior A standard bearer of over a decade ago, Paudie Murphy novice veteran county winner 2019 and current All-Ireland overall veteran champion, Tim Kelleher. The clash of O’Callaghan and Murphy at Ballyvourney on Thursday was a finely balanced shoot-out that went to the wire. The former vintage champion won that vital exchange and now has a match-up with Paudie Murphy who bowled excellently at Inchigeelagh on Sunday to dethrone Tim Kelleher. For a €700 total stake Murphy was up a bowl after five and doubled his lead at ‘the grotto’ with his seventh shot. In the return U18 score, Cillian Kelleher, son of Tim, kept his defence of his regional title intact with a hard-earned win from his near relative, Evan. On a busy day for the new club, two junior B contests filled the afternoon. In the first Frank Kiely defeated Conor Creedon for a €3,500 total. In mixed bowling Kiely rose his winning odds after seven. Back in, in a stakeless contest, Terry Mallon defeated Jim Coffey in the last shot. Armagh native but Kerry based Mallon, who won an All-Ireland representing Cork in the grade in 2017, was behind by a bowl after Coffey’s opening shot piledriver. He recovered with some astute play and his big final effort over the line was enough for victory. Elsewhere in the Gaeltacht, in novice C at Clondrohid Dara Mickey Lynch defeated Shane Buttimer and Denis Paul Bradly defeated Niall Murphy. In the novice B championship at Cill na Martra, Stephen Crowley defeated Patrick Moynahin. In girls U18 at Clondrohid, Lauren O’Brien won from Tara Twomey.
In the City junior veteran championship at The Bog Road, Maurice Connolly defeated Martin Connolly in the last shot of a good score that carried a total stake of €1,600. Here too in the same grade, Noel Gould defeated Dave Mackey. A junior B contest at Curraheen had Thomas Boyle and Declan Murphy in opposition. For a €1,300 total it was the 2014 county champion in the grade, Boyle, who got the verdict by a bowl of odds. Murphy did have the satisfaction of winning the return score from Boyle, last shot, for €1,200. In novice veteran at Templemichael, Tom Connolly defeated Joe Lotty. In a return double here, Trevor O’Meara and Michael O’Driscoll (Blarney) defeated Craig Moynahin and Dean Mooney. In the City novice veteran at Whitechurch, Declan O’Leary defeated Denis Connolly. In the same grade at The Bog Road, Birol Kat defeated Pat Gould. Dean Mooney won his novice C contest with Dave Sugrue at The Bog Road.
Edmund Sexton made a winning championship return to junior A when taking the spoils from his three-way North Cork junior A shoot-out at Beal na Morrive with David Hubbard and Mark Bourke. They played for a total of €2,250. In North Cork’s championship, novice D on Monday at Kilcorney, Damien McMahon defeated Bill Casey by a bowl for €940 and back the road, Jack Oldham defeated McMahon by a bowl. At Kilcorney on Friday, Paul Walsh defeated Joe Murphy. In novice veteran at Ballinagree on Wednesday, Ned Kelleher defeated Eugene O’Sullivan. In the U12 grade at Bweeng on Wednesday, Sean Thomas O’Donoghue won from Donagh Murphy.
A significant result in the North East junior A championship saw Michael Murphy defeated last year’s county runner-up, Timmy McDonagh at Grenagh. Murphy’s big performance means McDonagh exits the championship. In junior B at Carrignavar, Liam Walsh defeated Alan O’Leary. In East Cork on Thursday, P J Cooney defeated Andrew O’Leary by a bowl for €1,200 and, in a return, Paul Butler defeated Sean O’Leary for €1,400. In a third score here, Timmy McDonagh defeated Willie O’Donnell by a bowl also for €1,400.