Tim Young’s roller-coaster run continues as another near faultless display at Bantry on Saturday won him the imposing Mick Eoin Cup from a game Wayne Parkes. A downpour around the 1 o’clock appointed start-time resulted in a two-hour delay and when proceedings got underway, it was Young, with a perfect touch off the left, who had early momentum. Another big one and he was close to a bowl of odds up but a rare blip, when his third crossed right, gave Parkes a chance to narrow the gap. The Clon man didn’t make the most of that opportunity but stayed well in contention when following a majestic fourth from Young. Another half-chance came when Young caught the grass at ‘Cronin’s’ but he compensated with a sublime seventh and now a bowl of odds separated them. The next exchanges were top-drawer as Parkes lined three exceptional efforts that might, on an another day, have brought him level. Young was not for turning and followed each with confidence and style. His lead stayed intact to the end. Pat Buttimer of Bantry bowling Club and Finbarr McCarthy, son of the late and fondly remembered Mick Eoin McCarthy, Kealanine, congratulated both finalists on their displays. Previous winners, when the tournament was organised as a doubles competition, were J C Desmond and Patie O’Sullivan. The stake at Bantry on Saturday amounted to €3,400 and Young and Parkes re-engage at Templemartin on this weekend when they play for the Tim Foley Cup.
There were wins in Mid Cork for John Young, Denis Wilmot and Noel O’Regan. Drinagh man, Young, scored a last shot victory over recent Marsh Road winner, Ger Connolly, at Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday. For a €5,600 total, this one was going Connolly’s way after big efforts down past ‘Perrott’s’ gave him a commanding lead. Young levelled and led with good responses in the bowling to ‘Innishannon cross’ but Connolly regained the fore bowl at the ‘novice line’. It stayed close to the finish as Young got back in front and beat a good last shot for the victory. Back the road, Tim Cahalane defeated Michael O’Leary last shot, for €1,600. On Sunday at Ballinacurra, Denis Wilmot defeated Dan O’Halloran by a bowl of odds for a €2,200 total. At Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday Noel O’Regan, Togher Cross qualified for the tournament final there with a last shot win over Paul Murphy. For a €500 total, a close contest was decided when O’Regan’s last shot piledriver passed the finish line denying Murphy a final chance. Noel O’Regan plays another of the Murphy clan, City based Declan in the upcoming Jagoe’s Mills decider.
The Fearghal Beamish Cup progressed at The Pike. Johnny O’Driscoll was in impressive form in a big bowl of odds win over Muiris Buttimer. Going for a €900 total O’Driscoll’s five to ‘White’s cross’ represented excellent bowling for the road and yielded a two-bowl cushion for the score favourite. Buttimer rallied well in the next exchanges and had the odds halved by ‘Draper’s’ but that was as good as it got for the Bantry man as O’Driscoll produced a big finish again to ensure victory. In the junior tournament at Curraheen, Trevor O’Meara defeated Mick Hurley by a bowl of odds. At Beal na Morrive, Mickey McAuliffe won two from two with Michael Desmond, both last shot for stakes of €1,400 and €1,600. In a tournament score at Terelton a close finish saw James O’Leary just edge Denis Paul Bradley in the last shot for an €800 total.
Meabh Cuinnea and Shauna O’Driscoll battled wet conditions to deliver an absorbing U12 county final at Timoleague on Monday last. Drimoleague girl, Shauna, the West Cork regional champion, was first away and hit a wonderful opener that gave her early leeway. Meabh, from Rossscarbery and representing the Carbery division, was quickly into her groove and levelled the contest with super second and third shots. The Carbery champion went a bowl clear thanks to a well-delivered sixth to ‘Cleary’s’ but could not shake off her competitive rival. Shauna showed intent with a massive tenth to ‘Barryshall cross that looked to level the contest, but Meabh was equally focused and came close enough to maintain a good advantage. It was still all to play for in the shots on the rise to the ‘monument cross’ before Meabh finally saw off her rival’s game challenge with a splendid second last that brought her within sight of the line. Bol Chumann chair, Michael Brennan, praised both finalists for delivering an excellent contest in difficult circumstances and thanked parents and supporters and the Timoleague Bowling club for their commitment.
The vintage grade produced some exciting fare at the weekend, none moreso than at Castletownkenneigh on Saturday where, in section B west, James O’Driscoll, with his only fore bowl of the score, denied Michael Harrington, Ring. The South-West man held a bowl lead around the half-way point and still looked good with a sixty-metre advantage for the last shots. O’Driscoll’s huge last throw pulled it out of the fire. They played for a total of €500. Another good contest at Castletown saw John Tringle edge Gene O’Callaghan by almost a bowl. Former senior champion, Mickey ‘locks’ O’Driscoll is still giving it a go and took on Grenagh’s Joe Walsh in section B (East) at Firmount. After a good battle, Walsh emerged the winner by a bowl of odds. At The Pike, in B (west), Mick Murphy, Innishannon, overcame a testing hurdle when accounting for Patsy O’Sullivan, Kealkil, by two bowls, for €1,200 and here too in section C, P J Hegarty advanced with a two-bowl win over Teddy Murphy for a €320 total. Also in section C, there was a cracker at Ballinacarriga when Jerome O’Mahony and Brendan O’Sullivan engaged. A desperately close affair ended with O’Mahony beating a big last shot of O’Sullivan’s. Here too, Jim O’Neill got the better of Jerry Connolly. There was a double for the Donoughmore Murphy, brothers, at The Bog Road. In section C (East), Thade Murphy won from Leo Hegarty and Mick defeated Willie O’Donoghue. At Grenagh in Section B, Paddy Kinsella defeated Pat Gould.
Gaeltacht’s novice E competition had scores at Clondrohid and Terelton. A couple of quarterfinals at the former venue saw Joe Warren defeat Niall Kelly and Homer O’Connell get the better of Ronan Lynch. In a desperately close contest at Terelton, Charles Keneally won by a mere metre from an unlucky Darragh O’Leary. Keneally led by two at one stage but just held on as O’Leary’s fightback made for an exciting finish. They played for a €1840 total. In a correction to last week’s results, it was Shane Foley who won the Ballyvourney contest with Cathal Roche.
Regional AGM’S have been ongoing with annual reviews showing progress and success on several fronts. Gaeltacht clubs met at the Abbey Hotel, Ballyvourney, on Tuesday 25 and reflected on an outstanding year for the region. Membership reached an all-time high and new Honorary Secretary, Micheal Masters, capably filling the role of the late and fondly remembered Brendan O’Callaghan, reported on championship successes across a range of grades. John Creedon won county and All-Ireland junior A, Tim Kelleher likewise in veteran, and Darren Kelly won county novice B while in the under-age sector, Liam Murphy and Ross O’Brien were crowned county and All-Ireland winners in U16 and U14 respectively. Sitting officers were returned with Eamonn McSweeney filling the role of Chairman and Treasurer; Micheal Masters, Honorary Secretary, Mary Browne, Assistant Secretary and Niall Murphy, Safety Officer. Adrian O’Driscoll and Teddy Bradley are Youth Officers. Michael Brennan and Micheal O’Céallacháin attended on behalf of Bol Chumann. On the same evening the West Cork division held their AGM at the Drimoleague Inn with full attendance from all clubs. Rachel Kingston’s dual success in winning Gold at the European Championships and County and All-Ireland glory in U18 and Daniel O’Sullivan’s county U14 win were regional highlights as was Donal O’Riordan’s great run to the county final in the intermediate grade and Brian Horgan’s U16 campaign. All eighteen regional championships were completed with good numbers contesting in each category. Officers returned to serve again for 2023, were Chairman, Christy O’Donovan, Honorary Secretary, Paudie Hurley, Treasurer, John Murphy, Fixtures, Martin O’Donovan while Donal O’Mahony replaces Jack Hickey as P.R.O. James O’Driscoll attended on behalf of Bol Chumann.
The passing of Neilus Ahern, Bishopstown, leaves memories of a top-class junior/intermediate bowler who mixed it with the best in the seventies and eighties. Neilus bowled at venues all over the county always accompanied by City domiciled, Drinagh native, Ted Keohane, who was his road-shower and mentor. Injury curtailed his bowling in the mid eighties, but he was still good enough to win a City veterans championship in his later years. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.