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Bowling Report - Week ending 30th April


Success for Bol Chumann at the forthcoming European Championships will largely depend on results achieved in our own Road Bowling discipline. To this end well-prepared teams have been given every opportunity to give of their best, but the task is a big one and the athleticism the Germans and Dutch bring to these games present serious challenges. Road Bowling is hugely popular among the continental associations and the scores on May 11th will draw large audiences and generate unprecedented interest. The battle for medals will be enthralling. Technique may do it for the Irish. The Germans and Dutch and some Italians too will match our players for sheer power but precise execution of delivery in the crucial shots will gain podium places. Seamus Sexton, James O’Donovan, Darragh Dempsey and Rachel Kingston showed them how in Meldorf two years ago; the Murphy’s David and Aidan in 2016. However, the latest bulletin from those in charge of monitoring road trials and team selections give a stark indicator that extra effort will be required. Aidan Murphy’s withdrawal due to family commitments has been already flagged. Kelly Mallon’s allegiance to Armagh senior football team has seen her pull out of Bol Chumann’s women’s panel. The positives are the form and track record of Seamus Sexton, James O’Donovan and Martin Coppinger, should he replicate his outstanding showing at the 2019 anniversary event. Thomas Mackle, seventh in Meldorf, Hannah Sexton, fifth, Gary Daly, Michael Bohane, Tim Young, are all capable of producing big-time on the day.

The Dutch Moors discipline, on opening day, Friday, has often been mined for medals by the Irish and hopes are high again with many strong contenders none less than bronze winner in 2022, Martin Coppinger, while the Sunday’s German Loft will be dominated by the two German associations. A bronze team place here ahead of the Dutch is the Irish prerogative.

Events on Saturday will make or break. The girls U18 road team lead off the day and Irelands individual record here is good with Meghan Collins (2012), Maria Nagle (2016) and Rachel Kingston (2022) all winning gold. There will be hopes that Michaela Greene, Ellen Sexton, and Laura Sexton can emulate their predecessors.


Veronica O’Mahony secured her second group A win as the women’s senior championship progressed mid-week. In joining defending champion, Geraldine Curtin at the head of the group, Veronica also dealt a blow to Meghan Collins’ aspirations as it was her second loss. Meghan will now need a combination of results to go her way if she is to progress. The North Cork lady, who will be making her European Championship bow in a few weeks’ time, had to work hard for her victory over her Crossbarry rival. Played at Clondrohid on Wednesday evening for a €600 total, little separated them at most points although the ascendancy stayed with Veronica throughout. She eventually rose a bowl of odds with four to go and won by that margin.


The first score in the 2024 men’s intermediate championship took place at Newcestwon on Saturday and it proved an interesting joust between the youthful Tommy O’Sullivan and long-time campaigner, Eamonn Bowen. Stakeless and a much tighter affair that many predicted, they toyed with each other over the first quarter. The bowling was good to ‘Allen’s lane’ before O’Sullivan made a big break with a huge cast to the ‘shed’s’. Bowen responded well here with a cracking drive to sight at ‘O’Brien’s’ to keep the contest level. In an exciting finish, O’Sullivan prevailed in the last shot.


On busy week of tournament action, the Dan Riordan Cup had a high-profile first rounder at Bantry on Saturday. Martin Coppinger and Aidan Murphy were the protagonists and, perhaps timely with a fortnight to go ahead of the Euros, the score marked a return to winning ways for the Bantry man who produced form at times that indicated a renewed confidence. For a €7,000 total they went level in seven to ‘Cronin’s avenue’, but from there, Coppinger more or less took over. Two super casts, his eighth and ninth, gave him commanding odds. Murphy did well to hold off the bowl deficit by beating another big one, but Coppinger eventually rose the shot with five to go. Hard as Murphy tried, he could close no further and Coppinger came home a bowl of odds winner.


The revival of the Jerry Desmond Cup has given extra competition to junior A players who may have been eliminated from championship activity. Run by the South-West division, a first-round clash at Grange on Wednesday evening was one such involving as it did, Gavin Twohig and Ger D O’Driscoll. Twohig suffered a rare northern defeat at Bol Fada and showed indifferent form in exiting the championship at the hands of Johnny O’Driscoll in recent weeks but rebounded to post a good victory over his Newcestown rival who had recorded a few good wins as well as championship elimination in Mid Cork. For a €4,000 total, Twohig’s big second looked like rising good odds, but O’Driscoll held off any deficit with a smashing fourth to ‘Holland’s wall’. Twohig edged away again in the shots to ‘De Barra’s’ and enjoyed that vital element of luck in the exchanges on the downward stretch to ‘Hegarty’s’. The upshot of these was that the South-West man rose a bowl of odds. O’Driscoll knocked it with a big ninth to ‘Hodnett’s’ but it was Twohig who was assured over the closing third winning by that shot of odds.


Still on tournament action in the South-West a Friday evening Fearghal Beamish Cup junior B contest at The Pike resulted in a rather one-sided win for Gaeltacht’s Conor Creedon. Playing Adrian Buttimer for a €4,000 stake, Creedon took advantage of some uncharacteristic errors by his Gloun rival and rose unassailable odds by the three-quarter stage at ‘Draper’s’.

In tournament action at Lyre on Sunday, in the intermediate competition, Paul Buckley thanks to a big cast at ‘the crossover’ defeated John O’Rourke by a bowl of odds for €6,900.

The third running of the Jerh Cotter Cup, ongoing at Tarleton, has been covid interrupted but Connie Lehane and his team have overcome fixture difficulties and are now down to the decider after Niall Murphy’s comprehensive semi-final win over Paul Twomey on Sunday week. Murphy, from, Clondrohid, choose the day to produce one of him most electrifying performances and denied the 2023 county D runner-up any chance of making an impact. For a €2,000 total, Murphy led from the off and was a shot and odds in front in seven excellent shots to the ‘garage’. He gave nothing away in the latter half and will play Liam Kearney in the Cotter Cup final. Back the road in a doubles, Ardrian O’Driscoll combined with Brendan O’Callaghan to defeat Con O’Sullivan/Mark McCarthy, last shot, for €1,100. In Gaeltacht novice D at Terelton, Michael Masters overcame 2023 E winner, Sam Pickering.

In Beal na Morrive in the Tigh O’Laoire Cup a quarterfinal fixture had Liam McCarthy and Con O’Sullivan in opposition. For a €1,200 total, McCarthy took control and led by a bowl after six. His Kilmichael rival could not make inroads and it is McCarthy who is through to the semi-final. On the way back, David Crowley inflicted a rare defeat on Eoin McCarthy, defeating the Ballineen man by almost a bowl, for €1,200.

In the West Cork novice C grade at Kealkil, Danny O’Donovan defeated Ketih Jagoe by a bowl for €400 and in the same grade at Durrus, John O’Brien produced a near record-equalling display in defeating Eoin Hurley (Drinagh). Eoin Hurley (K) is through as well in novice C having defeated Con McCarthy by two bowls for €700 at Durrus. Still in West Cork championships Jonathan Deane advanced in U18 with a win over Drinagh’s Eoin Hurley at Drinagh mid-week. The Germany bound, Jonathan, made a great start and, while Eoin, might have levelled with a better effort to ‘the blacksticks’, a good contest ended with the Dunmanway player through to the last four where he meets Eoin Hurley (Kilronan).


The second Mid Cork junior A championship semi-final went ahead at Newcestown on Sunday evening. It was a cliff-hanger won by Sean Murphy who defeated Champy Deasy Cup winner, Denis Wilmot, in the last shot for a €3,700 total stake. Sean Murphy plays his cousin, Kieran Murphy in the Mid Cork junior A final

In the Gaeltacht junior veterans final, Denis Cooney defeated Jim Coffey.

There will be plenty of interest in Shane Collins progress in the 2024 junior B championship. The Mallow man was an impressive junior C county winner in 2023 and has added a few strings to his bow with a succession of wins since then. He got over his first regional hurdle when defeating Derry Cooney in the semi-final of the North Cork championship on Sunday. Collins rose a bowl of odds with big fourth and fifth shots and it gave him momentum for a place in the final.


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