Including reports from Mid-Corks Junior A Championships, West Corks Junior Veteran Final, the South-West Junior B Final along with many more
The focus shifts to regional championships, tournament action, youth’s and team events and international trials as 2021 winds to a close. Regional AGM’s, the first in two years will command interest and will be an indicator of the game’s well-being in the various divisions while Bol Chumann’s AGM (2020/21) will take place at the Munster Arms Hotel, Bandon on Tuesday, November 30 at 7.30pm. All regional secretaries have been informed regarding procedures and registration.
On the road, the Mid Cork junior A for 2021 is down to the final. Aidan Desmond, Ballincollig, will contest here with John Shorten Kilmurry. Desmond booked his place on Bank Holiday Monday with a narrow victory over Tom O’Donovan, Belgooly. A score of swaying fortunes played for a €5,200 total, saw the youthful O’Donovan, junior B champion in the region in 2020, make a blistering start crossing the ‘main road’ with three big openers and going on to rise a bowl and thirty metres in six excellent shots past ‘Perrot’s’. Unfortunately for him, a poor sequence followed, and Desmond was back in the frame with a huge bowl past the ‘G.A.A. pitch’. Having knocked the bowl, Desmond continued to close and eventually led at ‘Cronin’s avenue’. He too missed chances and it was O’Donovan who had the better of the mixed exchanges over the closing quarter and was back in front for the last shots. From here, Desmond lined the winner with a big last effort taking him through by ten metres.
At Templemartin on Saturday last, two men whose sporting rivalry has enriched the bowling game for many decades met again in the penultimate round of the 2021 Mid junior A series. John Shorten and Dan O’Halloran have contested and won their share in grades from senior to junior and this year is no exception. Shorten won their latest duel in the last shot of a contest where no more than thirty metres separated them at any point. Going for a €1,300 total, the Kilmurry man did have a chance of gaining big leeway with a better third, but it stayed close as the lead changed on numerous occasions. Shorten edged in front at the ‘pub cross’ and held his advantage to the finish.
Elsewhere in Mid-Cork one of the best of the delayed championship season took place at Newcestown on Saturday Oct 23 when David Walsh and Jack O’Callaghan took issue in a novice B semi-final. For a €2,000 total, the bowling was top-notch before Walsh’s storming finish eventually shaded it. In a novice D semi-final at Ballinacurra, Michael Hickey, with a big second last, defeated Tom O’Donovan, Crossbarry, last shot for a combined €1,600. Fionn Dwyer and Kevin O’Sullivan meet in the second semi at Dunderrow. Sean Nyhan won his novice C semi-final at Beal na mBlath on Sunday defeating Barry Coughlan in the last shot. For a €3,400 total, this was a cracking contest with Coughlan countering Nyhan’s massive second shot with a series of piledrivers of his own. Nyhan beat a monstrous third last from Coughlan to stay in front. Sean meets Dylan Galvin in the C final. John A Murphy and Eoin O’Donovan meet in the novice A final at Beal na mBlath while in novice veteran it’s down to the last four, Dan O’Donovan v Michael Desmond and John Murphy v Pat Broderick. O’Donovan won a good battle with Deccie O’Mahony in a quarterfinal fixture at Templemartin. The junior C final between Alan Butler and Trevor O’Sullivan will be played at Newcestown.
The West Cork junior veteran’s final at Kealkil was won by Chris O’Donovan who had almost bowl to spare on old rival, Mick Young. Playing away from Carriganass castle for a combined €1,700, it was Bantry based Mick who had the better of it in the opening third as a sweeping third past the ‘old barrack’ gave him an eighty-metre lead. O’Donovan countered well and had it level beyond half-way. In a hard-fought finish it was Ballineen man, O’Donovan, who surged ahead to take the title with a bit to spare. In West Cork novice A, James O’Driscoll, Ahakeera, hit top form at Ardcahan on Bank Holiday Monday when accounting for Frankie Arundel, Durrus. For a €1,200 total, O’Driscoll was accurate throughout in a two-bowl win. In novice veteran at Derrinasafa, Mike McCarthy defeated Pat Lordan and in U18 at Ballinacarriga, Garoid Cronin won from Brian Horgan. In junior lady’s at Drinagh, Rachel Kingston defeated Susan McCarthy by a bowl and in U16 at The Clubhouse Sean Cronin advanced with a narrow win over Paudie Crowley. In novice B at Durrus, Gareth Crowley kept a good run going with a win over Vincent Healy, one bowl, for €700. In a second junior lady’s score at Drinagh, Marie Russell thanks to an excellent start got the better of last year’s runner-up, Deirdre Crowley. In scores at The Clubhouse, Ballinacarriga’s Padraigh O’Sullivan was in top form in his U18 championship victory over Garoid Cronin. Four brilliant bowls from ‘Dineen’s lane’ were the catalyst for this win. On Bank Holiday Monday in novice veteran, Patsy O’Sullivan defeated Finbarr Lynch in the last shot. West Cork’s U12 championship progressed at Bantry. Here Conor Hourihane won from Kieran Crowley; Oisin Murray won from Oisin Wiseman; Shane Coughlan won from Kevin Courtney; Patrick Crowley won from Darragh O’Sullivan.
Conor O’Sullivan won the South-West junior B final at Grange on Saturday defeating Ger Connolly in the last shot. A monstrous opening shot gave O’Sullivan commanding odds which he increased with two more big ones to ‘Hodnett’s’. Connolly fought back strongly and had the margin down to five metres as they played by ‘De Barra’s’. Crucially, the Shannonvale man could not get ahead, and O’Sullivan took the title in the last shot. David Hubbard was the big winner in north Cork. A blistering performance at Gortroe saw him win his junior A semi-final fixture with Derry Cooney by two bowls for a €3,820 total. In the north Cork novice A final at Firmount, Kevin Ruby defeated Denis O’Sullivan by a bowl. In north Cork finals played at Gortroe, Patrick Sexton won U16 after a tight contest with Dan Twomey while Shane Dennehy’s star continues to rise as he captured U14 from a game Jonathan O’Callaghan.
A couple of scores progressed a slow-moving vintage championship. Carbery campaigners had a double success in these. Donal Harnedy was consistent in his win over Jerome O’Mahony at Lyre scoring a bowl of odds win over the Fivemilebridge man for a €500 total while at Timoleague, Pat Joe Connolly made a stirring start against Brendan O’Sullivan rising big odds after four which he held to the finish. There was an €800 stake at issue here. Conditions were sticky at Diarmuid O’Mathuna’s second pitch on a showery Sunday morning for the last of the Moors and German Loft trials. A good turn-out included Martin Coppinger, Gary Daly, Seamus Sexton, Aidan Desmond, David Hubbard and Eamonn Bowen among the senior men, Hannah Sexton, Hannah Cronin and Ciara Buckley, senior women and youths Conor Lucey, James O’Sullivan, James Kelleher, Rachel Kingston, Emer O’Connell, Ellen and Margaret Sexton. Road trials, also at Castletownkenneigh, will take place on November 14, 21 and 28.
Many clubs are completing tournaments. Templemartin are running a local family fund-raiser next Sunday. Pencilled in are Aidan Murphy v James O’Donovan, Shane Healy v Declan O’Mahony and Denis Wilmot v Vincent Kiely. All-Ireland venue Cuil Aodha had four scores at the weekend. The locals inflicted defeats on Mid Cork opposition when Paudie Murphy defeated John Hickey, last shot, for €2,200 and Darren Kelly defeated Jack O’Callaghan, last shot, for €3,000. Here too, Shane Buttimer defeated Shane Healy for €2,400 and Michael Desmond defeated John Hickey for €4,000. At Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday, Aidan Desmond kept a winning run going with a dramatic last shot victory over Wayne Parkes. The U18 and junior B county winner looked to have this one sewn up holding a hundred metre lead past the novice line but an error and a strong finish from the Ballincollig man swung it around. They played for a €2,300 total. Also, at Ballinacurra, Declan O’Donovan (Kinsale) defeated Gavin Harrington, two bowls, for €900; Jerry Murphy defeated Muiris Buttimer, two bowls, for €2,000; Martin Desmond defeated Deccie O’Mahony, two bowls, for €800. Timmie O’Sullivan, Ross, scored a win over Michael Brennan in the Lyre tournament and at Peake, Gaeltacht’s Danny Twomey defeated David Crowley by a bowl for €1,800.
West Cork’s AGM, held at the Drimoleague Inn on October 18, reviewed the regions activities over the 2020/21 seasons. Satisfaction was expressed with the completion of all 2020 championships despite the Covid interruptions and with the progress made in current competitions. Re-elected for 2022 were regional chair, Christy O’Donovan, Secretary, Paudie Hurley and treasurer, John Murphy. John Coveney is the new vice-chairman. Helping out with youth’s competitions are Donal O’Mahony, Christy O’Donovan, John Murphy, Pat Daly and Jim Cronin. The meeting was attended by Association chairman, Michael Brennan.
The Emmett Hotel, Clonakilty, was the venue for the South-West regional AGM on October 25. The completion of the 2020 championships brought a host of honours to the divisions under-age stars. All-Ireland victories for U18’s Hannah Sexton and Wayne Parkes, U16, Tom O’Sullivan, U14, Cillian Twohig and county titles in adult grades for Hannah (intermediate) and Wayne (junior B), Ellen Sexton (U16 and U14) and Laura Sexton (U12) were acknowledged. The 2021 regional championships were close to completion. The top-table in South-West shows one significant change. Eugene O’Gorman has retired from the role of treasurer after an eleven-year tenure and is replaced by Fisher’s Cross woman, Bernie O’Donovan. Eugene was thanked for his dedicated work with the region’s finances over a long period while Bernie, daughter of the late and great Denis Jer, was warmly welcomed as his successor. Re-elected to serve for 2022 were, chairman, John O’Leary, and secretary, Gretta Cormican. Richie Lawton, Timoleague is new vice-chair while Ted Hegarty remains at the helm for the youth’s sector. Association chair, Michael Brennan, was in attendance.