A look back
on all the action that took place throughout the festive season including bowling from Grange, Ballinacurra & Castletownbere
Exhibiting awesome power in many of his deliveries, Martin Coppinger, ruled the roost at Grange on St. Stephen’s Day winning his big clash with James O’Donovan by almost a bowl of odds. A rocket-like second gave him a bowl lead before a purple patch by O’Donovan cut the margin to sixty metres at the half-way point. It was as close as it got with Coppinger, yielding no more whilst matching his Bandon rival’s best efforts from there to the finish. An exceptionally busy Christmas-New Year period had the bowling public entertained on a daily basis as many of the game’s leading exponents produced performances of exceptional quality. Tom O’Donovan was one of these excelling in a magnificent showing at Ballinacurra, Upton where he avenged a county junior B final defeat to Wayne Parkes. O’Donovan’s fourteen to the line included an incredible brace from the ‘main road’. Denis Wilmot and Kenneth Murphy are O’Donovan’s final opponents in the upcoming Ballinacurra decider. James O’Donovan was at the receiving end too at Castletownbere where in Tuesday’s RNLI feature, Aidan Murphy hit top form firing six opening shots of prodigious length on his way to gaining recompense for a few recent defeats to the Bandonian.
In Gaeltacht championship scores over the Christmas/New Year period, Colm McLoughlin, All-Ireland U18 winner in 2018, showed his wares in adult grades when winning the regional Jun C/Novice A championship final at Terelton from Danny Twomey. Peter Burns won the novice C final at Clondrohid from Liam Kearney and Ross O’Brien won U12 at Ballyvourney. In the vintage section C, category Lisbealad’s John Tringle and Joe Walsh emerged victorious from semi-final contests at Clondrohid and Ballinagree and will contest the sectional decider at Jagoe’s Mills (upper road) on this Saturday January 8.
On a sad note, the passing of Teresa Brennan, wife of Bol Chumann chair, Michael, on Sunday January 2 came as a shock to the bowling fraternity. The thoughts and prayers of all are with the Brennan family at this difficult time. Deepest sympathies are extended to Michael, to Micheál, Noelle, and extended Brennan and O’Donovan families. Rest in Peace.
Togher Cross: Christmas Eve, Shane Shannon defeated Conor Creedon, two bowls, for €6,200; Sidney Shannon defeated Darren Kelly, one bowl, for €4,000; Danny Twomey defeated Peter Kelly, last shot, for €4,500; David O’Brien defeated James Hurley, one bowl, for €2,600.
Lyre: Christmas Eve, Seamus Hayes defeated Patrick Buttimer, one bowl, for €700; Eoin Deasy defeated Paul Walsh, last shot, for, €880; Monday 27, Novice D tournament final, Timmie O’Sullivan defeated Corneilus O’Mahony, last shot, for €3,000; return, Mick O’Callaghan defeated Sean O’Neill, last shot, for €1,000; Junior, James Cooney defeated Jordan O’Sullivan, one bowl, for €2,000.
Ballinacurra, Upton: Christmas Eve, Kenneth Murphy defeated John Shorten, last shot, and Andrew O’Callaghan, one bowl, for €6,000; David Crowley defeated Sean O’Leary, last shot, for €3,800. St. Stephen’s Day, Denis Wilmot defeated David Hubbard and Dan O’Halloran both one bowl for €8,100; Bryan O’Halloran defeated Jim Coffey, one bowl, for €4,000; Monday 27, Tom O’Donovan defeated Wayne Parkes, one bowl, for €6,800; Fri 31, Frank Kiely defeated Denis Murphy, two bowls, for €7,000; Jim Coffey defeated Patrick Flood, one bowl, for €1,000; Tom Reeney defeated Adrian Cronin, last shot, for €5,000; Sat 1, Declan O’Mahony defeated Tim Cahalane, one bowl, for €1,000; Johnny Byrnes defeated Paul Walsh, last shot, for €2,000.
Terelton: Christmas Eve, Gaeltacht 2021 Jun C/Novice A championship final, Colm McLoughlin defeated Danny Twomey, one bowl, for €1,000.
Clondrohid: Gaeltacht novice C final, Peter Burnes defeated Liam Kearney, last shot, for €5,400; Vintage Section C semi-final, John Tringle defeated Willie O’Donoghue by two bowls.
Grange: St. Stephen’s Day, Martin Coppinger defeated James O’Donovan, last shot, for €14,200; Dec O’Donovan defeated Jim Coffey, one bowl, for €9,200.
The Bog Road: City junior B final, Martin Connolly defeated Richard Murphy.
Firmount Monday Jan 3, Paul O’Sullivan defeated Adrian O’Connor, last shot, for €700; Willie Murphy defeated Trevor O’Sullivan, one bowl, for €400; Adrian O’Brien defeated Cathal O’Hanlon, last shot, for €400; Willie Murphy/Cathal O’Hanlon defeated Trevor O’Sullivan/Aidan O’Brien, last shot.
Ballinagree: Dec 2. Vintage Section C semi-final, Joe Walsh defeated Teddy Murphy, one bowl, for €400.
Drimoleague: Monday 27, Paul Walsh defeated Timmie Roberts, last shot, for €1,200; John O’Regan defeated Martin O’Donovan, last shot, for €2,400; doubles, John O’Regan/Joseph O’Mahony defeated Alan Keane/Con McCarthy, last shot for €1,600.
Castletownbere: Tuesday 28, Christy Mullins defeated Trevor O’Meara, one bowl, for €5,100; Ger Connolly defeated Jim Coffey, one bowl, for €21,000; Aidan Murphy defeated James O’Donovan, one bowl, for €70,000; Anthony Gould defeated Kenneth Murphy, one bowl, for €34,000. Wednesday 29, Patrick Flood defeated Tim Young, two bowls, for €26,000; Jim Coffey defeated Flor Crowley, two bowls, for €30,000; Gary Daly defeated Seamus Sexton, one bowl, for €22,700; Jim O’Brien defeated Sidney Shannon, one bowl, for €16,000.
Ballyvourney: Monday 27, Gaeltacht championship, Frank Kiely defeated Conor Creedon, last shot, for €1,400; Niall Healy defeated Aaron O’Riordan; U14, Daniel O’Riordan won from Ian O’Donoghue; Sean O’Sullivan won from Ger Lynch; Jan 1, U16, Liam Murphy won from Cillian Kelleher; Evan Kelleher won from Cathal Creedon; U12 final, Ross O’Brien won from Eoghan Kelly; Monday Jan 3, Novice D final, Mattie McDonagh defeated Shane Keane, last shot, for €4,300.
Ballinacarriga: Tuesday 28, Kevin Murphy defeated Kevin O’Sullivan, two bowls, for €1,360; David Horgan defeated Padraigh O’Sullivan, last shot, for €2,200.
Beal na mBlath: Wed 29, Tim Allen defeated Michael O’Driscoll, one bowl, for €1,200; Shane Healy defeated Ryan Hayes, one bowl, for €1,600.
Cill na Martra: Novice B semi-final, Darren Kelly defeated Donal Og O’Leary.
Paddoes: Jan 1 Novice B final, John Linehan defeated Kieran McCarthy, two bowls, for €2,100; Jan 2 Novice D final, Noel Hegarty defeated Richard Murphy, two bowls, for €1,100.
Newcestown: Mid U12 final Jan 2, Jack Allen won from Tadg Hickey.
Derrinasafa: Sunday 1, Kevin Murphy defeated David Hourihane, last shot for €1,400; Owen McCarthy defeated Adrian Cronin, one bowl, for €1,200; Gareth Crowley defeated Peter Kelly, last shot, for €1,400; Dec 2, Ethan De Burca defeated Alan Brickley, last shot, for €1,040; Timmie Roberts defeated Calem DeBurca, one bowl, for €400; Monday Jan 3, Alan Sheehan defeated James Lordan, last shot, for, €2,600; Alan Brickley defeated Peter Kelly, two bowls, for €1,800.
Ballygurteen: Sunday Jan 2, Ger O’Driscoll defeated Micheal O’Sullivan, last shot, for €1,800; Flor O’Sullivan defeated James Kelleher, two bowls, for €1,450.
Brendan O’Callaghan was one of those playing a key role in the organisation and promotion of bowl-playing. He was the Gaeltacht regional secretary with whom the buck stopped when it came to running a 200 score yearly schedule. His passing in the week before Christmas represents a huge loss to the bowling game. Brendan was a devoted family man for whom the welfare of those nearest and dearest remained a priority throughout his life. From a large family himself, Brendan was guided by the principles of hard work and integrity and, with a bowling tradition going a long way back firmly entrenched in his consciousness, it was inevitable that the old game would form a large part of his life. Dedication and commitment over a prolonged period of time was recognised at Bol Chumann’s presentation night 2019 when, at his local Abbey Hotel, he was presented with the Association’s Personality of the Year Award. Brendan had been an integral part of the workings of his region for many years showing patience and firmness when required as he oversaw the completion of countless championships. His sterling work was seen by a wider audience in 2019 as a superb All-Ireland series unfolded at Ballyvourney. Brendan was the go-to man in many instances when organisational snags needed to be ironed out and his efforts along with a strong team of regional officers bore fruit on that wonderful weekend in July. He comes, of course, from a family with a long tradition in the game, a family who have promoted and encouraged bowling here in Ireland and in far flung places. Brendan’s brother, Michéal has just been appointed Bol Chumann, Honorary Secretary while his other sibling Connie, based in Boston, has been a mainstay of the North America region since its inception. Another brother, Paddy was an All-Ireland junior C winner in 2006. Brendan himself was a bowlplayer of distinction, a regular participant in the championships he organised and indeed in 2019 had the rare achievement of winning both junior C and Junior Veteran in his division. Brendan’s funeral services were visited by large numbers from the bowling community and his colleagues from Gaeltacht bowling clubs shouldered his remains to his final resting place in St. Gobnait’s Cemetery.
Brendan O' Callaghan, RIP
Bol Chumann extends it deepest sympathies to his wife Nora, to Jonathan, Laura, Michael and Ciara, to his brothers, extended family and wide circle of friends. May he Rest in Peace.
For a generation, Eamonn Bowen of Carrignavar was one of the biggest names in senior bowling. His passing on Tuesday 14 will be mourned most of all by his nearest and dearest but also by the bowling community at large. Eamonn had a chequered career. A supremely talented bowl-player who didn’t always fulfil his true potential, he could spin a bowl like no other and was almost equally as good with his left hand as his right. The top prizes didn’t always come his way, but he won a lot and came very close. His talents shone early when he won the All-Ireland U16 championship of 1969, and it was a straight promotion to senior ranks on entering adult competition. He remained there throughout his bowling career until entering vintage category in his later years. At his prime, he battled with the best defeating Denis Scully in a memorable contest at Clogheen, jousting with Bill Daly when he Leap man was at the height of his powers, and had great scores with Donie Coveney, Michael Buckley, Seamus Sexton and Mickie O’Driscoll. Eamonn was runner-up to Bill in the county senior championships of ’84 and’85 and lost out to him again in the King of the Roads final of 2000. On the European stage, Eamonn was a big success. A key member of the 1977 senior men’s team at the home international of 1977, Eamonn took the silver medal on in the Road discipline behind Seamus Sexton who won gold and ahead of Jerry O’Driscoll, bronze, as the team swept the boards against the Germans and Dutch. Eamonn was one of those selected to Loft the Viaduct in 1985 and succeeded in putting a 16oz bowl over the famed Chetwynd structure. He leaves many memories. Eamonn’s funeral Mass was celebrated at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Carrignavar on Saturday last. His coffin bore the Bol Chumann emblem and his many friends form the bowling game formed a guard of honour on his final journey. Sympathies are extended to the Bowen family.
Noel O’Regan won the big one in Carbery on Sunday last taking the Mikie Hourihane Cup to Togher Cross after a dramatic last shot victory over a gallant David Hegarty at Bauravilla. Local contender, Michael Crowley, was in the frame for much of the way but finished a bowl further back after a well contested decider. In a final in keeping with the qualifiers, the bowling was first class for much of the way. Crowley did not make the best of starts as his opening shot left him too far back for the kerbside touch, but he battled back and was well in the frame in the shots from ‘the rock’. Lyre youth, Hegarty, blazed to the ‘netting’ in four, a brilliant sequence that had him a bowl up on Crowley and close on that on O’Regan. The eventual winner evened it up with the early leader by the half-way point before unleashing two brilliant bowls to the ‘bridge’ which gave him a commanding lead on Hegarty and virtually eliminating the local challenge. The Lyre man wasn’t finished and fired an exceptional last shot that gave O’Regan a testing tip to beat. In a pressure situation, the Togher Cross man held his nerve and beat the target by ten metres.