Aidan Murphy scored a long overdue win on Sunday last when his electric late charge saw him overcome Seamus Sexton at Lyre. This Mother Hegarty Cup semi-final shoot-out was a repeat of their dramatic championship encounter earlier in the year at Clondrohid, a contest Sexton won in his first appearance back after being crowned European Champion, and it lived up to its billing again. Going for a sizable €18,400, Sexton’s lightening start had him looking an all over winner at the half-way point. His opening brace made the ‘forest entrance’ yielding a fifty-metre lead and, when he followed with a ripping third his lead stretched to a bowl and odds. Murphy’s travails continued as his fifth went right and, although Sexton did not extend, he made ‘Crowley’s bend’ in three more where his lead was not a lot short of two bowls. Murphy hinted at a comeback with a well-delivered cast across the ‘double bends’, but Sexton responded with a smashing loft to still hold good odds with the bowl. It was the bare bowl after the next exchanges to ‘McCarthy’s corner’ but Sexton’s next caught the wall and Murphy’s piledriver to the ‘big tree’ put the Brinny man right back in the contest. Suddenly Sexton’s lead was back to metres and then came the game changer as Murphy produced the proverbial rocket on the rise to the line. That thirteenth shot was not too dissimilar to Sexton’s cast against Patrick Flood of a few weeks back and was again decisive. It gave Murphy the lead for the first time and the momentum to go on and win by a big fore bowl. David Murphy and Gary Daly meet in the second Mother Hegarty Cup semi.
There was a big turn-out on Sunday for the Mid Cork team bowling event at Templemartin on Sunday morning. Seven teams (Bandon, Jagoes Mills, Newcestown, Templemartin, Castletownkenneigh, Ballinacurra, Killeady) made for some excellent competition. The next team event will take place at Ballinacurra. It was a similar story at Drinagh for West Cork’s team bowling where twelve teams took part. They resume at Drinagh on Sunday next.
On a rain lashed Saturday afternoon bowl-players and their supporters were put through the wringer at several venues. The Jagoe’s Mills final went ahead and resulted in a win for the former Barr’s netminder, Declan Murphy, who led from the start against Noel O’Regan, Togher Cross. Despite the conditions, both carried good support in the €4,100 total stake and proceeded to deliver a competitive shoot-out that produced several passages of excellent bowling. Although ahead at all points, Murphy’s lead was never substantial. Fifty metres separated them at the ’kerbs’ in five and the Togher based Kinsale native followed a huge cast of O’Regan’s here to hold the lead. Nothing separated them after seven to ‘Lawton’s’. O’Regan kept the pressure up with a good effort from here, but Murphy responded well holding his ground and followed with a great throw to the ‘racecourse entrance’ where he increased his odds. The long-time leader stayed the course to the end scoring the line in twelve excellent shots. He was presented with the Paddy Mulcahy Cup by Jagoe’s tournament organiser, Tim Buckley.
Hannah Cronin and Denise Murphy braved the elements at Beal na mBlath to decide the destination of the intermediate women’s league winner’s prize. It was a score fought with championship fervour and indeed one where the Togher Cross challenger avenged her championship defeat to the All-Ireland intermediate champion. Carrying a €300 total, Hannah led for the opening three but, following a series of excellent exchanges, Denise forged in front by thirty metres after six. Exchanging the lead in the next sequence, both ladies sought to make a break and it came Hannah’s way with a super ninth to ‘O’Mahony’s avenue’. Ballinagree’s Denise knocked odds with big shots to the bend and on to the novice line and only ten metres separated them with two to go. The All-Ireland champion’s next did not run kindly and Hannah needed no second bidding to rise valuable odds and she claimed victory with splendid final cast.
In club scores on Sunday Johnny O’Driscoll defeated Ger D O’Driscoll in a good score at Newcestown, last shot, for €3,200 and at Ballygurteen, City’s Cian Boyle overcame U18 All-Ireland winner Paddy O’Donnell by a bowl of odds for a €2,400 total. At the City venue, Curraheen, Tom Allen defeated John Donnellan by a bowl for €1,000 and Paul Walsh defeated Noel Hegarty, by two bowls, for €700.
Bowling’s elder generation weren’t fazed either. Three in the vintage (over 60’s) championship went ahead on Saturday. At The Clubhouse, Skibb’s Liam O’Driscoll fired four of the best to sight at the ‘chips’ to open up a commanding lead in his section B battle with Christy Butler. The Bandon man looked to be facing a two-bowl deficit when he just missed this juncture in five but kept it to a bowl with a perfectly judged sixth from blind sight. A rare error by O’Driscoll at ‘Clon cross’ brought the margin between them closer and it needed a super second last from the Carbery man to stave off a determined Butler challenge. Even at that O’Driscoll had a handy tip to beat to win it and having done so now faces defending champion, MIcheal O’Callaghan in the section B semi-final. The stake between O’Driscoll and Butler amounted to €1,300. Back the road at The Clubhouse, Crookstown’s Kevin O’Sullivan ended the god run of P J Hegarty. This section C third round contest revolved around a massive opening cast delivered by the Crookstown man, one which put him a full shot clear. He repelled Hegarty’s best in the bowling past ‘Murray’s’ and doubled his lead with another big one to ‘O’Brien’s’. They played for a €1,000 total. O’Sullivan now meets the winner of Joe Mackey and Pat Scanlon in the section C semi-final. Martin Connolly took a big step in section A at Beal na Morrive when he defeated Mid Cork’s Jerry Murphy in the last shot. In a hard-fought duel, Connolly rose a bowl after five with two big ones to the point known as the ‘rock’. Three of the best from Murphy on the straight levelled it up and they stayed practically level for the last shots. Murphy narrowly missed the finish line, but Connolly beat it for a narrow victory. He plays either Ted Hegarty or Eugene O’Sullivan in the section A vintage decider. Donal Harnedy won the all Carbery section B vintage shoot-out at Caheragh on Sunday. Rosscarbery’s John Nagle rallied from an early deficit, but Skibb man Harnedy held out for a last shot win. At Ballinacurra, Upton on Sunday morning in section C, Jerome O’Mahony won from Jim O’Neill. Jerome plays the winner of the third round tie involving Jim Walsh and John Tringle in the C section semi-final.
Bol Chumann’s membership ratified its updated Code of Governance, Rules of Play and Constitution at a Special Convention held at The Copper Grove, Bandon, on Wednesday November 16th. Chair, Michael Brennan, welcomed close on one hundred club and regional delegates and outlined the business of the Special Convention. He said it was an historic evening for the Association as, under the rules of the Government and Sport Ireland who were charged with bringing in Government policy rules to sporting organizations, Bol Chumann was required to bring in a Code of Governance for our sport to maintain its funding. He continued that it was an opportune time to update our Constitution as the delegates had been asking for this at various Annual Conventions down through the years. The first Constitution was produced in 1954 and updated in 1994. This was well structured and formed the basis for the current body of work. In 2001/2002 an attempt was made to update the Constitution, but events overtook the process, and it was abandoned.
Finally, 28 years later, he said ‘we have reached a stage where we are able to achieve this’. Honorary Secretary, Micheál O’Céallachain, explained the need for a Special Convention. He said ‘Bol Chumann was a members-based organisation working for its members and this Convention was needed to give the documents legal status’. Jerome Casey of the working group who has experience of similar work with the LGFA, thanked all those involved in preparing the documents. He asked for proposers and seconders as he moved through each section of the 200-page transcript. These included amendments on the Constitution, Rules of Play, Organisational rules, Registration regulations, Disputes and Disciplinary, Arbitration Regulations, Child Welfare and Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct. All received unanimous approval. The Chairman thanked all the delegates for their attendance and said that the updated Code of Governance and Constitution/Rules of Play would come into effect from the November 21. The document can be viewed on Bol Chumann’s website www.irishroadbowling.ie .
Mid Cork’s AGM was held recently at St. Patrick’s Upton and reported on a productive year. All eighteen championships completed were competitive with good entries in all grades. Seventy-two started in novice D reflecting a solid membership. On the road, John A Murphy’s novice A county win, James O’Donovan’s bronze at the European Championships and David Murphy’s King of the Roads success were all highlights as indeed were the achievements of Denis Murphy and Jack O’Callaghan whose championship campaigns got them to the Junior C and Novice B county finals. Satisfaction was expressed with sitting officers and all were returned to serve again in 2023. Chairman is Martin Foley, Secretary, David Murphy, Treasurer, Denis Kelly, Registrar, Linda Kelly, Fixtures, John Murphy, Safety Officer, Eugene Desmond, Youths officers, David Murphy, Bernadette Murphy, Jimmy Hennessy, Finbarr Coughlan, Dan O’Donovan.
Bol Chumann extends its sympathies to the Wall family, Innishannon, on the tragic passing of Kevin. A valued member of the Mid Cork bowling region, Kevin, showed plenty potential as he partnered Newcestown’s James Kelleher to victory in the delayed 2020 U21 inter-regional doubles final played at Beal na mBlath earlier this year. Ar dheis De go raibh a Anam Dilis