DEMPSEY SHOWED FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE IN HIS WIN OVER O'CALLAGHAN AT LYRE
Darragh Dempsey scored a win over Andrew O’Callaghan in a Lyre tournament contest on Sunday, coming with a late surge to compensate for a few mid-score lapses when he lost a commanding early lead. It was a score of mixed bowling, both at their best at times but also, frequently, showing a marked level of inconsistency. Having fired a big opener, Dempsey missed a chance of rising odds with his second and was on the hindfoot then when O’Callaghan lined a big fourth shot. The Skibb man’s response was electric as he delivered two shots of exceptional power and precision, a brace that not only wiped out O’Callaghan’s lead but secured a full bowl of odds advantage at a vital juncture. Negotiating bends present challenges of a different kind and, it the next segment, it was O’Callaghan who showed the greater expertise. Dempsey’s ninth was of the short variety and the Mallow man lost no time in levelling the score. When he followed with well-judged effort to ‘McCarthy’s bend’ he was back in front holding vital law heading for the home straight. But there was another twist as Dempsey found his groove again to fire an excellent twelfth that regained the lead after O’Callaghan failed to get traction with his reply. The North Cork man’s next went right and this time Carbery’s rising star made no mistake in consolidating his lead. He won eventually by a bowl of odds. The stake money amounted to €4,000. Back Lyre, City’s James O’Sullivan was in inspired form in a two-bowl win over Thomas O’Callaghan of Glenville. For a €7,400 total, O’Sullivan scorched to a bowl lead in three to ‘McCarthy’s bend’ and doubled his margin after two more to ‘Crowley’s’. On a busy day at the South-West venue, Pat O’Sullivan, Shannonvale, defeated Donal O’Sullivan, The Pike in a novice tournament semi-final, two-bowls, for €600 and John Madden defeated Stephen Murphy, by a bowl also for €600.
O'DRISCOLL'S WINNING RUN CONTINUES AT TEMPLEMARTIN. In club action at Templemartin, Johnny O’Driscoll followed up his recent tournament win at Grange with a fine three-way win over Noel O’Donovan and Adrian Buttimer. For a combined €3,000 total, all three fired big openers, O’Donovan ahead, but it was a brief pause before O’Driscoll exerted dominance. A massive third shot set the Clon man on his way enabling his make sight at ‘Slynne’s’ in four a big bowl of odds clear of both rivals. There was no stopping him on the rise, six to ‘O’Riordan’s’ doubling his lead and he was a comprehensive winner having thrown eleven almost to the ‘stonefield bend’. It was the third of the three-way qualifiers in the Templemartin tournament and the outcome sets up an intriguing decider when O’Driscoll pitches up against Shane Shannon and Timmie Murphy.
BOL CHUMANN PRESENTATION NIGHT HONOURS ITS PLAYERS. Brian Wilmot and Ciara Buckley received Player of the Year Awards at Bol Chumann’s presentation night at The Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway on Saturday night last. Intermediate champion, Wilmot, after almost two decades in the upper echelons, enjoyed his most successful year to date with a string of victories bringing him championship glory and winners prizes in prestigious tournaments at Rosscarbery and at the King and Queen festival in Ballincurrig. His citation read, ‘He is an exemplary sportsman who has embraced the international part of our sport and has been a valued member of Bol Chumann teams at Ootmarsum and Meldorf. He is very much in the frame for selection again for the forthcoming championships in Germany next May’.
Ciara Buckley’s award comes on the back of a brilliant county final winning performance at Whitechurch when she too won at intermediate level. A former U16 All-Ireland winner and U18 county champion, Ciara, made it third time lucky when she claimed the John Harrington Cup in July at the City venue. The Mallow lady has proved herself an outstanding ambassador for bowling and has been part of youths and adult teams at European Championships since 2012. The prestigious Hall of Fame Award for 2023 was awarded to David Murphy, Brinny. Ahead of the 17th European games in 2024, the award recognises the Mid Cork man’s exceptional performances in winning individual gold on the road in three successive championships. In defeating fifty opponents on each occasion, Bandon road, (2008), Pesaro, Italy (2012) and Ootmarsum, Holland (2016), as well as securing Moors Gold and German Loft, silver, at youths in 2000, Murphy enters the record books as one of the championships all-time great performers. He is a three-time All-Ireland senior champion, five-time and current county senior champion and a six-time winner at the King of the Roads festival. The administrative roles he plays within Bol Chumann were also highlighted in his citation. ‘Tonight’s Hall of Fame award winner is an effective secretary of a busy Mid Cork region and has successfully filled the void left by Dan McCarthy when assuming the role of Association’s Youth Officer in 2020’. The Personality of the Year for 2023 went to Kevin O’Donoghue, Secretary, of Killea Club in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. Kevin was the chief co-ordinator of a massively successfully All-Ireland junior C and novice finals hosting on the first weekend of September. He had liaised with Bol Chumann officers in calm and positive exchanges and showed understated leadership in delegation and execution of the hectic workload the organisation of an All-Ireland series entails. From programme production, signage and safety, multiple stewardship roles, road diversions and presentation arenas Kevin played a captain’s part in ensuring the feel-good factor was felt long after one of the great weekends of the summer. Former chairperson, Susan Greene, Hall of Fame winner for 2022, was also presented with her award.
The West Cork region were hosts of Saturday nights end of season celebration which was dignified by the attendance of Cllr, Joe Carroll, deputising as County Mayor, Cllr’s Deirdre Kelly and Declan Hurley. Present too in support of the Sexton family, Timoleague, was family friend, Pearl Gleeson who celebrated her 100th birthday just a few weeks ago. The large attendance heard praise for Cork County Council for their continue support for bowl-playing. Bol Chumann vice-chair, Willie Murphy thanked clubs and regional personnel for their work in ensuring an extensive championship programme was completed. Finalist in twenty-five separate categories received a photographic collage in recognition of their championship success. Recipients were, Senior women, Geraldine Curtin, Denise Murphy; intermediate, Ciara Buckley, Chloe O’Halloran; junior Albhie O’Shea, Siobhan Kelleher; U18, Ellen Sexton, Rosin Allen; U16, Emma Hurley, Laura Sexton; U14, Jena Healy, Grace Ahern; U12, Chloe Hubbard, Lily Scannell: Senior men; David Murphy, Martin Coppinger; Intermediate, Brian Wilmot, Donal O’Riordan; Junior A, Denis O’Sullivan, Paddy O’Donnell; Junior B, Noel O’Regan, Noel O’Donovan; Junior C, Shane Collins, Jimmy Quilligan; Novice A, Brian O’Driscoll, Michael Ahern; Novice B, David O’Brien, Liam Murphy; Novice C, David Desmond, Gavin Crowley; Novice D, Michael O’Driscoll, Paul Twomey; junior veteran, Philip O’Donovan, Noel Gould; Novice veteran, Paul Butler, Michéal O’Céallacháin; Vintage, Christy Mullins, David Walsh, Jack Cahalane; Boys U18, Tommy O’Sullivan; Conor O’Donovan; U16, John O’Donoghue, Ben Cooney; U14, Tommy O’Donoghue, Jack Allen; U12, Eoghan Hickey, Brian Harrington.
A STEADY PERFORMANCE FROM WILMOT WINS AT BALLYGURTEEN. Bandon’s Denis Wilmot and Noel O’Regan, Togher Cross, engaged in a second-round junior tournament clash at Ballygurteen on Saturday and produced a good contest the outcome of which was, unfortunately for the county junior B champion, O’Regan, majorly influenced by an accidental slip-up of his when throwing his eleventh on the straight. A level score then was turned very much in Wilmot’s favour but not in the way he would have wanted after O’Regan’s unintentional release of the bowl resulted in an extremely short mark down. That said, Wilmot’s overall showing was one of his best in a while with a closing surge that saw him out at ‘O’Donovan’s bend’ in thirteen, followed by an excellent brace up to and past ‘Burke’s’ giving him a deserved bowl of odds win. O’Regan played his part too when after having fallen seventy metres down to Wilmot’s trio past the ‘women’s lane’, he regained ground with a couple of piledrivers of his own to ‘Oakmount avenue’. Although trying to the end his challenge was an uphill one after the fateful eleventh. They played for a total of €4,800.
O'CONNELL WINS "TIGH UI LAOIRE CUP". It was tournament final day at Beal na Morrive on Saturday, when Coachford men, Simon O’Connell and Eamonn Murphy engaged in a tremendous battle for the Tigh O’Laoire Cup. For a €900 total, Murphy had early leeway, but his margin was slim as they traded it shot for shot to the ‘railings’. The nip and tuck continued to the end of the straight by which point O’Connell had come in front by less than a metre. Five metres separated them for the last shots, O’Connell still ahead before the pair produced a fitting finale to a great score. Murphy lined a big one that looked to give him victory, but O’Connell stayed steady and beat a formidable mark by less than a metre. Back the road there was a good tussle too between Kevin Manning and Darren Kelly. Ballinagree man, Manning took the spoils here by a bowl of odds for a €1,600 total.
At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday, Macroom’s Eoin O’Riordan defeated North Cork’s Mark Burke for €2,800 and there was a Gaeltacht double here when Damien Burns defeated Finbarr Coomey (Jun), last shot, for €1,600.
A four-score programme at Newcestown on Saturday included plenty of exciting fare. In the first of these, local, Donnacha O’Driscoll edged out Bandon’s Paul Twomey, last shot, for €1,000 and this was followed by another Newcestown victory when Tim Allen defeated Paud Keohane for €600. The afternoon scores saw Shane Desmond win from Ronan Hoey for €800 and Bernard O’Callaghan take the spoils from Thomas Maloney for €1,000.
At new road, Ballyhooley, Timmie Murphy defeated Andrew O’Leary, one bowl, for €1,400 and back here, Tom Allen won from Pat Bowles, one bowl, for €600. Also, in the North East, at Carrignavar, Jeremy Downey defeated Birol Kat, one bowl, for €1,200; Michael Morley defeated Alan O’Donovan, one bowl, for €1,460; Jeremy Downey defeated Johnny Byrnes, one bowl, for €1,800.
NOVICE E AT THE GAELTACHT Gaeltacht’s novice E competition continues to provide plenty of end of season action. At Clondrohid on Saturday, Eanna Dineen and Ronan O’Callaghan battled it out for a €1,200 total. Dineen made a storming start and led by a bowl at the ‘black house’. KIlmichael’s O’Callaghan held it to that in good bowling to the ‘Bell Inn’ but could not make inroads on Dineen’s lead. The Kilnamartyra man won by the bowl. Back here, Finbarr Buckley defeated Ron Lynch for €740. At Terelton on Sunday, Kevin Healy won from Timothy Scannell. In North Cork on Sunday, in novice E, Kieran Buckley defeated David Harrington, last shot, for €1,000.