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Bowling Report - Week ending 28th May


Beal na Morrive bowling club had a number of high-profile championship scores over the weekend. In the senior shoot-out on Sunday, James O’Donovan made a winning return with a last victory over one of the championship favourites Arthur McDonagh. Facing an adversary who had defeated him in a highly charged county final at Ballyvourney in 2020, this was daunting assignment for the Bandon man, but he started with intent staying level with his rival in two good opening exchanges before unleashing a ferocious third that yielded a hundred metre lead. A very poor sixth from McDonagh left O’Donovan a bowl of odds up and it was in general an untypical display from the former champion whose accuracy left him down on several occasions. O’Donovan extended his lead to eighty metres with the bowl and looked like rising two as they played to the ‘wood entrance’. It was the Bandon man’s turn to show a lack of consistency as he failed to consolidate his lead and the margin was under the bowl in fourteen and fifteen at the junior line. O’Donovan’s fifteenth was short but he got a reprieve when McDonagh failed to take advantage. That proved to be the last opportunity for the North East man to rescue his championship hopes as O’Donovan comfortably beat the line to secure a place in Wednesday’s semi-final draw. They played for a total of €6,000 with McDonagh the punters favourite. In Ulster Colm Rafferty levelled his best of five series with Thomas Mackle when defeating the All-Ireland champion by a bowl of odds at Knappagh. They stand at one win each ahead of the next contest on June 10.


At Beal na Morrive on Saturday City’s Noel Gould kept a two-pronged county bid on course when winning a second preliminary round score. Taking on Jim Coffey, representing the Gaeltacht, in a stakeless junior veteran contest, the City man beat a big opening tip and virtually nothing separated them over the first five. Gould made a break with a big sixth and, when followed an excellent ninth of Coffey’s to hold his advantage, he had the momentum for a quarterfinal spot. He will play the Carbery winner, either Jimmy Collins or J C Desmond in the last eight at Lyre. In the county novice veteran East Cork’s Paul Butler is through to a quarterfinal meeting with Mid’s Mick Murphy.


The county rounds have commenced in the under-age grades. In U12, South-West’s Fionan Twohig won a cracking score with North-East’s Tom O’Callaghan at Templemartin on Friday. Fionan will play the Carbery winner in the quarterfinal at The Clubhouse.

Regional junior A action held interest ahead of the commencement of county rounds and the later August All-Ireland’s at Eglish, Co. Tyrone. Mark Burke is another who will contest on two fronts in the county series. Burke won the North Cork junior A final also at Beal na Morrive on Saturday defeating former senior champion, Edmund Sexton by a bowl of odds for a €2,970 total. After Sexton won the opening exchanges, Burke’s fifth over the brow raised big odds but Sexton fired a perfect seventh to knock it back to five metres as the high-quality exchanges continued. The decisive turn came at the vintage line where Burke’s tenth gave him leeway enough to make sight with his eleventh and rise a bowl of odds. Sexton fought it well in the ensuing exchanges and succeeded in bringing it under the bowl, but Burke held enough to secure the regional title and a quarterfinal county round slot against either Denis Wilmot or David O’Mahony who contest in Mid Cork. Burke has a county junior veteran quarterfinal meeting with Mid’s John Shorten at Inchigeelagh. David Shannon won the Carbery junior A final from Darragh Dempsey at The Marsh Road, last shot, for €21,200. In the North East junior A at Grenagh on Saturday, John O’Donoghue defeated Michael Murphy for a €1,200 total and will play Paddy O’Donnell, last year’s All-Ireland U18 winner in that regional decider. O’Donnell defeated Paddy Hogan in a mid-week penultimate round score. In the East Cork junior A championship at Conna, James Cooney defeated Willie O’Donovan. In other junior A action, Patrick O’Driscoll, formerly of The Glen, won the London play-off with Colin O’Donovan and Gene McVeigh won the Ulster junior A semi-final from Bryan O’Reilly at Eglish.


There was a thriller at Clondrohid in the county quarterfinal round of the girls U16 championship. West Cork’s Emma Hurley and North’s Jena Healy are two of the games outstanding prospects and showed their paces in a terrific contest. Jena had the better of it for much of the way. The Kilcorney girl held a seventy-metre lead by The Bell Inn but her Drinagh rival closed to within five with two to go. Emma reserved her best for the last shots and fired a magnificent final effort that the unlucky Jena missed despite a brave attempt. Emma will play Mid Cork’s dual champion, Rosin Allen in the county semi-final. The last of the intermediate quarterfinals was played at Ballinacurra, Upton on Sunday morning. Donoughmore’s Juliette Murphy, runner-up last year and a former champion in the grade, won from South West’s Lisa Hegarty for a stake of €440. Both started well and were on even tips after two. Lisa’s third did not run kindly and Juliette forged a shot in front by the ‘main road crossing’. Juliette’s consistency was a factor in her coming close to doubling her lead before Lisa rallied to halve the margin. The Lyre lady could get no closer and it is Juliette who moves to a quarterfinal meeting with Chloe O’Halloran.


Two tournament finals took place during the past week. Lyre hosted its novice C decider on Wednesday, and it produced unbelievable drama in the closing stages. David Desmond, Kilbrittain, and teenage Eoin McCarthy, Ballineen were the protagonists for a €2,620 total stake. The youthful McCarthy made a searing start going sight at the first bend with three big openers and then getting the vital touch on the downward stretch from the ‘mason’s’ all of which gave him a lead that bordered on two bowls of odds. Desmond made a valiant attempt to stem the tide with a huge throw from ‘Knockskeagh school’ and succeeded in bringing the margin under the bowl but his cause seemed surely lost when McCarthy regained those odds with a smashing effort at ‘Ballycummar creamery’. One last do or die effort from Desmond produced a shot for the ages. From an impossible stand behind the brow, the Kilbrittain man unleashed a ferocious drive that raced past ‘Ballinascarthy cross’ and scored out the finish line. McCarthy missed in two losing the lead for the first time at the most crucial juncture. For Desmond it was one of the great comeback wins and reward for never giving up the ghost.


Ardcahan bowling club had the final of the John Murray Cup on Sunday. This all Togher Cross shoot-out had Michael A Cronin and Michael Murphy in opposition. Cronin started in a blaze firing four exceptional opening shots that had him a bowl up at ‘Croke’s house’. Murphy fought it well, but Cronin held his odds and won by nearly two in an inspired display. Oisin Murray, a regional U12 champion, presented the imposing cup honouring his late grandfather to the tournament winner. At Lyre on Sunday evening Adrian Buttimer put in a strong finish to deny local, David Hegarty by a bowl of odds for €2,600. In a club score at Whitechurch, Michael O’Donoghue defeated Trevor O’Meara, last shot, for €2,200 and at Curraheen, Kieran Corrigan kept a good run going with a win over Darren Kelly, last shot for €1,800. In tournament action at Jagoe’s Mills, Eoin McCarthy put his galling Lyre mid-week defeat firmly behind him when winning a cracking score with Ronan O’Donovan for a €1,340 stake and back here, Paul Kelleher defeated Tommy Maloney, last shot, for €1,500.


Muiris Buttimer won his West Cork junior A contest with Peter Murray at Bantry on Friday evening. It was the first of a best of three between the pair and the local man took the spoils in the last shot of hard-fought contest. They played for a €1,400 stake. They re-engage at Togher Cross in a fortnights time. Back the road here, in the novice D championship, Peter Hickey defeated Kevin O’Donovan, last shot, for €1,400. Bantry hosted the West Cork boys and girls U12 finals mid-week. Eoghan Hickey is champion after a great battle with Tadg O’Farrell. Eoghan’s ten over the line represented a very consistent performance. Ballinacarriga’s Grace O’Sullivan won from Cait Young in the girls U12 decider. Cait will have another year at this level while Grace was in outstanding form on the evening. Fittingly, the family of the recently deceased Pat Buttimer, his wife, Kay and son Muiris, were at hand to present the prizes. Pat was very involved in encouraging youth bowling in Bantry and surrounds. Still in Bantry in novice C, James Russell defeated Garoid Cronin for a €640 total.


At Durrus in U14, Timmie Gibbons won from James McCarthy. Up the age scale, Connie Connolly is a West Cork champion once again having got the better of Bantry’s Damien Hurley who had enjoyed a stream of wins in the lower section, in a competitive novice veteran play-off at Durrus on Monday. Their contest carried an €800 total stake. Justin Cremin (Jun) presented the memorial Cup which honours his late father also Justin, one of the former greats of West Cork bowling. Dan O’Regan, the North Cork champion, is next up for Connie in a county quarterfinal clash at Ballyvourney. It’s been a good week for defending U18 champion Mark Deane who got the better of one of his biggest challengers, last year’s county U16 runner-up, Brian Horgan, before a big gathering at Togher Cross on Tuesday. Despite a wayward second Deane powered to the ‘chips’ in six and kept winning odds to the end. At Ballinacarriga on Saturday in novice C, he defeated another likely contender in that grade when overcoming Sam Kingston, by a bowl of odds for a €2,400 total stake. Three massive shots on the straight to Manch bridge were instrumental to this win. On the same evening in Ballinacarriga in a novice B championship shoot-out, Seamus O’Regan defeated J J Hurley for €1,400. Two big battles went ahead at Ardcahan on Sunday morning. In novice B here, David O’Brien defeated Steve Hurley in the last shot of a tight contest that carried a €1,520 stake and, in the return, Brian Horgan kept on track in novice C with victory over Joseph Cato, two bowls, for €720. At Kealkil on Sunday evening in the junior C championship, an all Togher Cross clash, Neil Crowley defeated Diarmuid Hurley, last shot.


In the South West junior C championship at Ballygurteen on Friday, Kieran O’Driscoll had a two bowl win over John O’Driscoll. At the same venue on Sunday, in the novice D championship, Timoleague’s Richie Lawton defeated Ger Shanahan by almost a bowl for €1,400. The South-West novice C championship progressed at Lyre on Tuesday. Here, Alan Murphy bowled well to advance at the expense of Pat O’Mahony, one bowl, for €480 and Ballygurteen’s Garoid McCarthy won from Conor Sheehy, one bowl, for €680. At Shannonvale on Thursday, in novice A, Stephen O’Connell defeated Brian Daly and in D, Jack O’Driscoll defeated Seamus White. In the boys U18 championship at The Pike, Cillian Twohig won from Eoin Fitzpatrick and Mark O’Donovan.


Jack Allen is Mid Cork U12 champion after a great score at Newcestown with Tadg Hickey. Jack will play Gaeltacht’s Eoin Kelly in the county rounds at Bweeng. In the Mid Cork novice B championship at Dunderrow Innishannon’s Kevin O’Crualaoi got the better of Declan O’Donovan, Kinsale, two bowls, for €640. A mid novice D championship score at Templemartin saw Brian Crowley come in ahead of Kieran Kelly in the last shot of a cracking contest played for a €1,100 total and in the same grade at Castletownkenneigh, Finbarr O’Sullivan defeated Graham Geasley. Back at Templemartin in D on Saturday, Ger O’Leary defeated Damien Healy. In novice D at Jagoe’s Donnacha O’Donovan defeated Fionn Dwyer last shot for €2,000.


Declan O’Leary is City novice veteran champion after his victory over Kieran McCarthy at Paddoes on Sunday morning. Declan plays Gaeltacht’s Michael O’Callaghan in the county quarterfinal at Kilcorney. Back the road at Paddoes, Pat Gould and Birol Kat defeated Bernard O’Donovan and Jeremy Downey, last shot, for €800. In the City novice A semi-final at Whitechurch, Mark Long defeated Cellie Spillane in the last shot for €600. In City novice veteran at Paddoes a semi-final score, Declan O’Leary defeated Bernard O’Donovan in the last shot. A doubles score back here saw James Connors/Ryan Buckley defeat Declan O’Leary/Bernard O’Donovan, last shot, for €1,600.


Tara Twomey and Cathal Creedon won Gaeltacht U16 championships during the week. In a thrilling contest at Baile Bhuirne on Tuesday, Tara edged last year’s county runner-up, Darcey O’Brien by twenty metres. Cathal Creedon, a county U12 winner in 2019 will be a force in the county rounds U16 after his regional win over Jack O’Sullivan also at Baile Bhuirne on Thursday. Kilmartyra’s O’Sullivan gave his all in a good contest, but the stylish Creedon had that little bit extra. The U12 final at the same venue on Sunday morning saw Eoin Kelly produce a brilliant performance in winning from Keelan Creedon. In mid-week semi-finals Eoin Kelly won from Cian Kelleher and Keelan Creedon won from Cathal Kelleher. In a busy week in the Gaeltacht, Martin O’Connor defeated Dara M Lynch in novice C and Paudie Lucey won from Jason McCarthy in D, both at Clondrohid on Monday week. In novice C at Inchigeelagh on Wednesday Adam McCarthy defeated Kevin Manning and in D, Darren O’Leary defeated Henry Browne. There were mixed fortunes for the Dromey’s in novice D scores at Macroom on Friday. Colm defeated Diarmuid Lucey, but D. D. McCarthy edged out Finbarr after a good contest. At Baile Bhuirne on Sunday evening in novice D, Michael Masters defeated Niall Kelly and Brendan O’Callaghan defeated Michael Murphy.


The North Cork division hosted another successful under-age night at Bweeng on Monday. Hosted by Tim Kelleher and with regional chair, Willie Murphy presenting medals to all, another fine turn-out saw the regions under-age brigade show their paces in fine style. In the novice C championship at Beal na Morrive on Tuesday, Stephen Spillane came from almost a bowl down to defeat Tony Hickey in the last shot for €540. In a return here, Will Harrington defeated Mickey McAuliffe by a bowl for €1,100. In D at Ballinagree on Wednesday Tadg Twomey won by a bowl from Ryan Long for €800. In a doubles contest back here, Ross Lynch and Kieran Buckley defeated Trevor Ahern and Oisin Foley, last shot. At Ballinagree on Sunday in the novice D championship, Paul Wash, Donoughmore won from Damien McMahon, two bowls, for a €1,100 total.


The North-East regional junior B final was a tight affair at Corrin on Friday. Timmie Murphy just edged Tom O’Callaghan. For a €3,840 total, Murphy came through in a last shot finish and will play West Cork’s Noel O’Regan in the county quarterfinal at Castletownkenneigh this weekend. Elsewhere in North East in novice D at Corrin, Vincent O’Leary defeated Ryan Delaney, last shot, for €600 and Shane Cahill defeated Patrick Daly, last shot.


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