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Bowling Report - Week ending 24th March


Team and individual prizes were up for grabs as the inter-provincial under 12 and 14 play-offs went ahead at the second attempt at Newcastle, Co. Dublin. Deferred due to arctic conditions in the capital on March 3rd, a more benign weather picture on Saturday last greeted the many who had travelled very long distances to compete and it was a worthwhile venture for all with four separate competitions showcasing bowling’s upcoming talent in its best light. Although minus a Connaught representation, who did not make it across the Shannon on this occasion having been centrally involved in 2023, the inter-provincials were a straight shoot-out between the game’s strongholds north and south and it was the Cork based Munster teams who captured the team laurels in three of the four play-offs. The commitment of players, parents and mentors in ensuring all eight teams had their full complement was commendable and made for some riveting exchanges on Lyon’s road. First away were the boys U14’s and the Cork camp were given a great start when Bantry’s Conor Hourihane carded 1,074.7 metres for his ten shots. Luke Barry followed with a fine display and Ross O’Brien excelled with a super individual score of 1,176 to better All-Ireland champion Jack O’Reilly of Armagh. Cork’s Jack Allen was superb, but Ulster’s Caolan Carr blitzed the road and bettered Ross O’Brien’s tally by less than a metre for the individual prize. Cork (Munster) were top team but only by less than fifteen metres, 4,034.6 to 4,009.8.

Cork (Jayden Crowley, Eoghan Kelly, James Murphy, Kieran Hickey) were a crack outfit in U12 and won by over 300 metres form their Ulster counterparts (Daithi Cahill, Emmet O’Rourke, Kiegan Fullerton, Keilan Fullerton) 3,542.5 to 3.230.7. Inchigeela boy, Kelly, was in sparkling form carding a total of 1.033.8 for his ten shots, an accumulation that won him the individual prize.

Girls U14 delivered another first for Cork. Powered by North Cork’s U12 and U14 county winners, Chloe Hubbard and Jena Healy and ably supported by City’s Caoilinn Callanan and Mid Cork’s Anna Deane a fine total of 3,027 was amassed when their final score was tallied and it was enough for team victory over a determined Ulster quartet who had Ellie May Murphy, Connie Mallon, Cliodhna Donnelly and Sarah Duffy in their ranks. Similar to last year, Chloe Hubbard whose star continues to rise, achieved individual honours claiming top spot in her category as her 888.4 total remained unsurpassed.

Cork’s girls U12 team had a wonderful mix of talent from across the county. Aoibhe Deane, Enniskeane, Aimee McCarthy, Drimoleague, Cait Young, Bantry and Lily Scannell, Ballyvourney, all contributed handsomely to a fine 2.304.8 total, but it was not quite enough for team honours as Ulster’s Lucy Lennon, Anna Corrigan, Anna Toal, Eva Mallon were also in splendid form and took the team prize with 2,508.7. Lucy Lennon’s 726.5 was good enough for the individual prize. Bol Chumann were represented by Chairman, Willie Murphy, by James O’Driscoll and David Murphy all of whom professed the

event a resounding success. Our thanks to Barry O’Reilly, James O’Driscoll and David Murphy for updates and details.


The rain returned for Castletownkenneigh on Sunday morning but with the 10.00am throw-off time adhered to, the inter-regional team bowling finals involving eighteen teams of three was completed within a four-hour timeframe. The popularity of the competition is very evident in the participation of so many from different age spectrums and in the enjoyment derived from the team aspect of bowling. There was quality bowling on offer too particularly from those in the novice C ranks many of whom showed ability far above their current status. First away on Sunday were Mid Cork’s representatives, Ballinacurra (Padraigh McSweeney, Padraigh Keohane, Finbarr Lucey) who set a good early target of 1,105 metres for their ten shots. Carbery’s Ballydehob trio of Shane Crowley, Shane O’Mahony, Bryan Regan had 1,114 in the second score out to take the lead. Then Kilcorney’s (Martin Kelleher, Alan Sexton, James Collins) went ahead with 1,137. This was a big target that would eventually give them second place. Next up were eventual winners, Mid Cork’s second representatives, Jagoe’s Mills (Dan O’Donovan, Derek Murphy, Colm O’Regan) who steered ahead with a superb 1,158.3 and it would stand the test of the day. O’Regan put in a blinding closing sequence here as they scorched around the bend by ‘O’Leary’s’ with their tenth throw. Playing in the next match were last year’s winners West Cork’s Ardcahan (Ian O’Sullivan, Danny O’Donovan, Padraigh Duggan) and they stayed well in the mix with their total of 1,132.7 putting them into third place. There was quite bit to go, and late threats came from Carrignavar (Dillon McDonald, Ted O’Donovan, Eddie Barry) 1.060.6 and Conna (Dylan Beecher, Pat Lee, Daithi Whealan) 1,008. At the Sliabh Ban presentation in ‘Cookies Bar, Castletownkenneigh), Association chair thanked the many volunteers who travelled to ensure a smooth-running event. He thanked the players who participated and the host club for their hospitality.


Taking top billing over the Easter weekend is the annual Bol Fada festival on the Keady-Tassagh road in south Armagh. For close on three decades this popular Easter time festival has attracted players of the highest calibre and accommodated bowlers from all age groups, male and female. This year’s hosting is no exception. As always, the culmination of the weekend’s bowling is the battle for the Joe McVeigh Cup. Starting at Tassagh Bridge at 4.00pm on Sunday evening, Thomas Mackle, the current holder following his victory over Arthur McDonagh, last year, will defend against Aidan Murphy. It’s their third meeting of the current season and, while Mackle dominated in the Bol Chumann Uladh youth’s fund-raisers meeting at Madden in February, Murphy turned the tables in splendid style winning a classic contest at Castletownkenneigh two weeks later. Both are in training for the European Championships and another humdinger is expected. Bol Fada gives youth its fling on Friday when a doubles contest features a quartet of bowling’s brightest. Ulster’s All-Ireland U12 champion, Jack O’Reilly combines with the province’s U18 titleholder and Germany bound, Michaela Green for an intriguing set-to with Cork county U12 winner, Durrus boy Eoghan Hickey who is partnered by the formidable, Ellen Sexton, 2023 U18 All-Ireland winner and, of course, also on Bol Chumann’s youth’s team for the forthcoming European Championships. Their contest opens proceedings on Good Friday and is followed by Mark Toal v Wayne Parkes and Barry O’Reilly v Shane Collins, the latter a repeat of that pulsating All-Ireland junior C semi-final at Fenor last year. Saturday has four more, north-south confrontations while Mackle-Murphy on Sunday is preceded by a contest between seniors Paul O’Reilly and Brian Wilmot and another intriguing mixed doubles match-up involving, on the northern side, All-Ireland intermediate champion, Aoife Trainor with Anthony McVeigh against the Cork duo of Shane Crowley and Ciara Buckley.

The full 2024 Bol Fada programme for Easter weekend is; Good Friday at 1.00pm, Jack O’Reilly/Michaela Greene (Armagh) v Eoghan Hickey/Ellen Sexton (Cork); 2.30pm, Mark Toal (Armagh) v Wayne Parkes (Cork); 4.00pm, Barry O’Reilly (Armagh) v Shane Collins (Cork): Easter Saturday March 30th, 10.30am Pete Carr (Armagh) v Gavin Twohig (Cork); 1.00pm, Gene McVeigh (Armagh) v Eamonn Bowen (Cork); 2.30pm, Colm Rafferty (Armagh) v Gary Daly (Cork); 4.00pm, Jake Cullen (Armagh) v Noel O’Donovan (Cork): Easter Sunday Mar 31st, 11.00am Paul O’Reilly (Armagh) v Brian Wilmot (Cork); 1.00pm, Aoife Trainor/Anthony McVeigh (Armagh) v Ciara Buckley/Shane Crowley (Cork).


Regional championship scores will take place in all divisions over Easter while the annual South-West/Carbery fund-raisers also on the go for almost three decades, will have a host of scores at the scenic Fisher’s cross venue. Among the line-up here is the meeting of Eric (South West) and Gavin Harrington (Carbery) and an interesting re-match of Jack O’Callaghan and Darren Kelly. Clashing too in a doubles tie are Leaps David and Cian Minihane and the pairing of Shane Nugent and Richie Lawton.


A big tournament clash on Sunday took place at Grange when, for the second time in seven days, Wayne Parkes and Tim Young went head-to-head. Young was the master at Shannonvale on Monday 18th in their international fund raiser but, in their latest clash, a Champy Deasy Cup semi-final, it was Parkes who emerged the victor. Chances went a begging as both were off the play with their opening three. Parkes lined a good fourth to the ‘stud farm’ and Young looked in trouble when he missed sight. The Bantry man dug himself out with a super fifth to ‘Holland’s wall’ and they stayed shot for shot in nine each to the ‘school cross’ by ‘Hegarty’s’. Both played well to ‘Hodnett’s’ where they stayed locked together. Young then took a handy fifty metre lead in the next exchange but a misplay with his next would have a vital bearing. Parkes regained the front and rejuvenated, finished strongly to win by a bowl of odds. They played for a total of €18,800. The Deasy Cup is a junior tournament interrupted by Covid and Parkes will now play, Bandon’s Denis Wilmot in the decider.


At Shannonvale on Saturday, Johnny O’Driscoll was in fine form. In defeating West Cork’s Peter Murray by almost two, O’Driscoll’s seven to ‘Desmond’s cross’ represented excellent bowling for the road. They played for a total of €3,300. On Sunday at Shannonvale, Kieran Corrigan bowled a fine score in defeating Gaeltacht’s rising talent, Cathal Creedon in the last shot, for €1,900.


It was a big weekend of championship action in Mid Cork. Their junior A championship had six starters, whittled to four now after weekend quarterfinals at Newcestown and Templemartin. It was the Murphy cousins, Kieran and Sean, both previous winners, who emerged triumphant and go the semi-final draw with Denis Wilmot and Noel O’Donovan. Kieran Murphy defeated Ger O’Driscoll at Newcestown on Saturday. Going for a €4,500 total, Murphy hit a good sequence on the incline by ‘Desmond’s’ and it gave him the impetus to make the cross by ‘O’Brien’s’ in a shot less than his opponent. Almost a bowl ahead now Murphy held on for the win. At Templemartin on Sunday, Sean Murphy got over a hesitant start to line big third and fourth shots which yielded a bowl advantage on David O’Mahony. It stayed competitive with O’Mahony making stern efforts to make inroads and the Fivemilebridge man succeeded in taking an unlikely lead with a great throw to the ‘monument’. Murphy regained the initiative with two big shots to the ‘pub corner’ and, this time held his ground. They played for a total of €400. In Mid Cork junior B at Newcestown, Bryan O’Halloran and Brendan O’Neill had an engaging duel for an €3,600 total. It went right to the wire with O’Halloran winning the last crucial exchange and book a semi-final spot against Kenneth Murphy.

There was a good win for Craig Moynahin in the City junior A round-robin. He accounted for Paddy Stokes at Templemichael for a combined stake of €700. Shot for shot it went before from a metre hind for the final exchanges, Moynahin lined the winner. In novice veteran at The Bog Road, Declan O’Leary defeated Stephen Bowen and Denis Connolly came through at the expense of Tony Dunlea. In the South West novice D at Grange, Sean Quirke defeated Paul Butler.

In the West Cork championship, a good novice veteran clash at The Clubhouse saw Jim Cronin get the better of home clubman, John Tringle, last shot, for €200. Two scores in Bantry had players at opposite end of the age groupings. In U14 Joe O’Donovan won from Leo Arundle while in novice veteran, Seamus O’Sullivan got the better of Anthony O’Connell. At Inch, Dunmanway, in U18 Ardcahan’s Daniel O’Sullivan, county winner in U14 two years ago, came through a tough battle with David Russell and here too in novice veteran, Sean Sheehan won from Connie O’Driscoll.

In North Cork championships there was progress for Jim Martin in the novice D grade after a hard won victory over newcomer, Kieran Buckley at Bweeng. At Ballinagree, Joe Freely won from Kieran Doody and also in D, Pat Fitzgibbon defeated Anthony Cullinane. A cracking novice C championship score at Beal na Morrive had John MacSullivan and Paul Twomey in opposition. Twomey, in arrears early on, stormed home a winner by almost a bowl for a €2,500 total. Back here, Damien Burns kept a good run going with a win over Simon O’Connell, one bowl, for €1,700. In Gaeltacht championships, at Macroom, Novice D, Darren O’Brien won from Kevin Lynch


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