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Bowling Report - Week ending 26th May


The first of the men’s intermediate quarterfinals went ahead at Newcestown on Sunday and through to the last four after an unexpectedly easy passage, is City contender, Wayne Callanan. Bantry’s Tim Young was the opposition at the Mid Cork venue and it was a day when virtually nothing went right after a well-played second shot kicked off the play resulting in a very short effort. Callanan was assured lining big third and fourth shots to rise a bowl of odds. He showed his paces again with a smashing fifth to ‘Mac’s cross’ and, when Young missed that mark in seven, two bowls separated them. Young tried hard with a big eighth on the rise to ‘Allen’s lane’, but Callanan beat that too to hold his odds and that exchange set the tempo for the remainder of the score. The City man countered the best Young could offer and, when a massive fifteenth to ‘O’Brien’s corner’ increased the odds, the contest was over.


In a second-round score at Firmount on Friday, Paul Buckley overcame Billy McAuliffe for an €800 total. Glanworth man, McAuliffe did not make the best of starts with his opening throw catching a ‘rut’ and Buckley was away to a hundred metre lead after four. McAuliffe knocked that and led with a monster fifth shot, but Buckley was back in the ascendancy after seven. The Crossbarry man’s eight looked like giving him winning odds only for McAuliffe to close to within thirty by the three-quarter point. A tight finish looked in prospect before another high-quality exchange at the novice line saw Buckley beat by a big margin a tremendous effort of McAuliffe’s’. It was enough for the Mid Cork man to advance to a quarter final meeting with Patrick Stokes at Conna. Andrew O’Callaghan v Wayne Parkes was rained off at Baile Bhuirne on Saturday.


Senior ladies Ciara Buckley and Maria Nagle braved the elements at Macroom on Saturday to fulfil their group B senior championship fixture. It was a wonderfully competitive joust between the Mallow and Rosscarbery contenders with the lead changing on numerous occasions. Ciara just edged it in the last shot. Catriona Kidney and Hannah Sexton are also in this evenly matched grouping.


The inter-regional rounds of the 2024 U18 boys championship promise a feast of lively encounters and very much in keeping was the opening preliminary fixture between Carbery and City champions which took place at Ballinacurra, Upton, on Wednesday last week. Shane Crowley, unlucky in his U16 bid last year, is the Carbery standard-bearer in the higher age-group, and he took on the City’s Anthony Crowley, a towering performer on Bol Chumann’s youths teams in Germany a few weeks back. They delivered a superb contest that ebbed and flowed to the final exchanges. The City champion’s narrow, early lead was reeled in by his Carbery rival by the half-way point. Anthony Crowley edged away again amid a flurry of top-class exchanges and held a forty-metre lead for the last shots. In a dramatic finale, Schull based Shane unleashed the proverbial ‘rocket’ and it won the day by forty metres in spectacular style. The interest in this one was reflected in the €11,000 total stake the contest went for. There was further Carbery success in the corresponding U14 tie between the regions played back in. Carbery’s Darragh Crowley trailed by a bowl to City’s Jay Quilligan after two shots but upped his game considerably and finished with five excellent shots to win by a bowl and advance to the quarterfinals. Big hurdles have been overcome but it is tough road to county glory and next up for the Carbery champions is a meeting with North East’s rising talent that include Bernie McDonagh U18.

In girls U18 Carbery’s Abbey Caverley made it a hat-tick of wins over City rivals with a hard-earned last shot win over Dilly Barry-Twohig.


West Cork’s junior C championship had quarterfinal round fixtures mid-week. At Ballinacarriga on Wednesday, Bantry’s Kieran Hourihane overcame Neil Crowley, Togher Cross in the last shot for a €1,500 total. It was a score that produced a big turnaround after, Hourihane, thanks to a massive opening shot rose at two-bowl lead at ‘Finn’s’. Crowley, a county U16 winner at Reenascreena back in 2011, whittled away at the deficit and brought the contest to the last shot. Hourihane had a bit to do to win it but stayed the course to book a semi-final spot. At Kealkil on Thursday, Diarmuid Hurley and Sean O’Regan engaged in the same championship. Hurley just got the verdict here in the last shot. Also, in Kealkil in U16, Daniel O’Sullivan won from Shane Coughlan. In Ardcahan in novice D, Alan O’Sullivan defeated Ian Crowley by a bowl, for €1,000. In novice A at Derrinasafa, Bantry’s Liam Young turned in a big performance in getting the better of Mark Deane. Elsewhere in the West Cork championships in novice C at Drinagh, Eoin Hurley (K) won from Garoid Cronin and in E, here, Jack Forbes won from James O’Drisoll. There was a turn-up at The Clubhouse in novice C when Joe O’Mahony, Schull, eliminated Jonathan Deane for an €800 total. In total contrast to Drinagh on Sunday last where Deane annexed the U18 championship in impressive style, this was not one of his better days. A tendency to drop a few cost him in the bowling to ‘Clon cross’ and O’Mahony was consistent enough to take advantage. Back to Ballinacarriga for a novice B championship clash on Sunday and here Kevin Murphy won from Seamus O’Sullivan, last shot, for €300. In the novice B championship at Togher Cross, Brian Horgan defeated Con Collins by two bowls.


The 2024 Mid Cork junior A final was on at Ballinacurra on Wednesday and vying for honours here were cousins and former champions, Kieran and Sean Murphy. Playing for the Dan Joe Holland Cup, the pair had a competitive joust that went the last shots. The odds at any stage never stretched to more than forty-fifty metres as the lead changed at several points. Kieran Murphy took it in the last shot and will be a force in the county rounds where he comes up against the East Cork champion in a quarterfinal fixture at Whitechurch.


There was a Murphy victory too in junior veteran on the previous weekend at Castletownkinneigh. An All-Ireland winner in the grade in 2004, Jerry Murphy put in a big finish to deny John Shorten. In other championship action in Mid Cork Donnacha O’Driscoll defeated Cian Healy in Novice D at Castletownkinneigh; Kieran Kelly defeated Tom O’Donovan at Jagoes and Mark Cahalane defeated Eoin O’Callaghan at Newcestown. In novice C at Ballinacurra, Sean Nyhan defeated Martin O’Donovan. At Newcestown, in D, Chris Hayes won from John O’Callaghan. Newcestown were also hosts for the girls U18 semi-finals and here defending champion, Rosin Allen came through a tough battle with Lelia Foley and will play Sophie Murphy who won from Ciara Allen. In championship scores at Templemartin, Dylan Galvin defeated Ryan Hayes in the C grade while in D, Damien Healy defeated Batty Foley.


David Hegarty annexed the 2024 South-West junior B crown with a bowl of odds victory over Alex O’Donovan at Ballygurteen on Friday. Going for a €2,000 total, the Lyre man’s opening three were the finest going past ‘Dullea’s house’ and holding a lead that bordered on a bowl of odds. He rose the shot in the next exchanges to the ‘women’s lane’ but form dipped and O’Donovan lost no time in closing the gap. Hegarty’s slump continued and soon O’Donovan took the lead but, in an instant reawakening, Hegarty lined two brilliant shots to ‘O’Donovan’s corner’ to take control again. With a finishing surge in keeping with his opening salvo, Hegarty closed it out with another fine brace past the line at ‘Burke’s’ to win by the shot. He plays the City champion in the county rounds quarterfinal at Ballyvourney. In a good contest in the novice veteran section B play-off at Lyre, David Nixon overcame Brendan O’Sullivan, by a bowl, for €1,100 total. In South West U18 at Timoleague, Rossmore’s Cillian Twohig won from Cillian Harrington, Kilbrittain and Eoin Fitzpatrick won from C J O’Brien. The final was on then at Shannonvale on Sunday morning and it is Cillian Twohig, an All-Ireland winner in U14 in 2020 who is the new champion, defeating Eoin by a bowl of odds. At Fisher’s Cross on Sunday evening, in novice A, Eoin McCarthy defeated Gary Lombard, last shot, for €800.


Gaeltacht’s U18 final at Macroom on Tuesday held keen interest involving as it did the regions star performers on the European stage, neighbours and clubmates, Liam Murphy and Cathal Creedon. They didn’t mind a punt either as a €3,300 total was made up by confident supporters. Both opening shots were of the short variety, but they quickly settled down and it was Murphy who made the break with a nice touch to sight with his second. A mistake then by Liam left it level after four but he compensated with a big cast to the ‘flyover’ that left him ninety metres ahead. It was the start of a period of dominance by the Gold Medal winner and, with superb play over the next phase, he quickly rose a bowl of odds and soon doubled that advantage. Creedon played a great shot to ‘Dinny Paul’s’ but Murphy held his ground over the line in thirteen shots and a convincing winner. He will be a formidable force in the county rounds, but this is a fiercely competitive series this year and the first obstacle is a quarterfinal meeting with fellow international panellist, Daniel Wilmot, the Mid Cork champion. Ballinagree is the venue for their clash. The Gaeltacht U14 final was on at Ballyvourney on Sunday and here, Ross O’Brien, a boy no stranger to the winner’s enclosure having won at U12 in 2022, is the new champion. Dylan O’Shea made a good score of it, but it is Ross who carries the regions banner in the county rounds. Elsewhere in the Gaeltacht at Ballyvourney, regional sec, Michael Masters, won his novice D encounter with Donal O’Shea and in the C grade here, Brian Corcoran defeated Martin Cotter.

Mark Bourke is the North Cork junior A champion after defeating Dean Sexton in the play-off at Firmount on Sunday evening. For a €1,020 total it was a close well-contested joust although the winner had the better of it at most tips. Sexton overhauled an eighty-metre deficit at the three-quarter point leaving only twenty metres in it with three to go. Luck didn’t favour Sexton in the next exchange and Bourke extended his margin enough for a big last shot victory. He will play the North-East winner, Michael Murphy in the county quarterfinal at Templemichael. Rihanna Collins won the North girls U18 final played at Ballinagree on Monday. Rihanna bowled well in a narrow victory over Rachel Lucey and Kaitlyn Bradley. In novice D at Beal na Morrive, Barry Murphy defeated Aidan O’Sullivan. The boys U14 final at Firmount on Wednesday, a three-way play-off, went the way of Culann Bourke who just got the better Jayden Crowley and Donagh Murphy. At the same venue, in novice C, Dan O’Regan defeated Tony Hickey. At Bweeng in novice C, Stephen Spillane won from Martin Kelleher.

In the City junior B at Whitechurch, Jimmy Quilligan defeated Andrew O’Leary for €2,900 and James O’Sullivan defeated Shane Lotty, for €3,200.

In the East Cork/Waterford junior B semi-final at Ballincurrig, Michael Wall advanced after P J Cooney was forced out injured.

Club and tournament scores are going in tandem.

At Whitechurch on Friday evening youthful exponents Patrick Flood and Tommy O’Sullivan had a good battle for a €10,000 total stake. It went to the wire with Flood taking it in the last shot.


At Shannonvale on Sunday the latest instalment in the Martin Coppinger-David Murphy rivalry took place. A Noel Phair Cup score that carried an €10,400 total had Murphy leading for the first three before Coppinger, with two deftly executed efforts around the ‘quarry bend’, took what looked like a valuable forty metres advantage. Murphy’s sixth and seventh swung this contest right back in his favour. The latter, brilliantly swept away, made light at ‘Desmond’s’ and it yielded commanding odds as they played up the rise to ‘the flat’. Murphy rose a bowl of odds at ‘Kingston’s’ and increased his margin with a big effort to ‘Tobin’s’. Hard as he tried, Coppinger could not make inroads in the bowling from ‘Campbell’s’ and Murphy won by a big bowl of odds.


London Bowling region are pulling out all the stops for this June Bank Holiday weekend. The ever-popular Pat Kiely Shield is now a hardy annual always producing a big day’s bowling at its chosen venue. It’s Dunderrow on Saturday June 1st for the 20th hosting, a venue close to the home place of the late Pat who was such a stalwart member of London bowling for many decades. Then on Sunday June 2nd, London move to their All-Ireland junior C/Novice venue at Courtmacsherry for a series of regional fund-raisers. Scores are from ‘O’Donovan’s Blue Farmhouse to ‘The Gub’/Broadstrand Cross’. Jerome Casey and his team have been busy finalising fixtures, with a contest between old rivals, John Cahalane and Jim Coffey among those pencilled in. This is followed by an interesting double involving London’s Colin O’Donovan partnered by Drimoleague’s All-Ireland novice A winner, Brian O’Driscoll against the Clon duo of Johnny and Dylan O’Driscoll. London region welcomes all and sundry to a venue that was once a popular bowling road in the South West division. There will be prizes for the longest shot, Player of the Day and medals for all players. London get their weekend underway on Friday evening May 31st at Ballincurrig when their U16 champion, Callum O’Donovan plays his North-East counterpart in a preliminary county round contest.


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