A look ahead to the King & Queen of the Roads Festival ¦ A review of the scores from the week of the 12th to 18th September
Kelly Mallon’s withdrawal from this weekend’s Queen of the Roads deprives the tournament of one of its star performers but, on the upside, it means that three of Cork’s leading ladies can now contest for the prestigious prize. All-Ireland champion, Mallon, a record seven-time winner at Ballincurrig, is carrying an injury which means that both Cormican Cup qualifier finalists, Maria Nagle and Denise Murphy are into a semi-final-shoot-out in which they will have the onerous task of knocking defending Queen, Silke Tulk of The Netherlands off her pedestal. Following a flag raising ceremony at local Scoil Eoin, national school, the enticing three-way involving Tulk, Murphy and Nagle gets the 37th King and Queen festival of bowling underway at Ballincurrig on this Friday September 23rd. 10.30am is the appointed throw-off time. County champion, Hannah Sexton, will carry home hopes in the second Queen semi-final. She too faces Dutch opposition in the form of new European champion, Lindsay Leussink whose electric performance at Suderhastedt on the last Sunday in May is still recalled. German representative, Martina Goldenstein, who contested last year, will also be a formidable opponent in this three-way, but if Hannah can reproduce her county final winning form, she has every chance of making it through to Sunday’s final. New sponsor of the Queen of the Roads competition is Kingston New Holmes.
Saturday’s programme is dominated by the Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-finals. Both promise riveting clashes. In semi-final 1 timed for 9.30am, County champion, Michael Bohane will again be looking to defy the odds when he takes on defending champion, David Murphy whose inaction through injury in recent months will lead to speculation as to how close he is to his best while the formidable German, Ralf Look, is perfectly capable of putting a spanner in the works and was a finalist previously in 2016. In semi-final 2 in the afternoon, a north-south battle will surely rage when Thomas Mackle, four-time winner and fresh from his Acorn Cup triumph in Castletownbere, clashes with Mick Barry Cup qualifier, James O’Donovan, who has been delivering some explosive performances enroute. Dutch champion, Bas Senger, is an experienced performer with the ‘28’ and veteran of several European Championships but will have his work cut to stay with the Irish duo. All the support scores will have their own attraction with leading names from the All-Ireland and provincial series all keen to show their paces. Bantry pair, Donal O’Riordan and Tim Young meet in the Cork Jim O’Driscoll Cup with the winner playing Ethan Rafferty in the overall decider on Sunday. The Proto-Mark Technologies Youths International triple-Crown is a real highlight with All-Ireland champions, Paddy O’Donnell and Rachel Kingston taking on the best in the under-age sector from Germany and Holland. This score has an 11.30am start on Sunday.
The full programme for the 37th King and Queen festival is:
Friday September 23rd at 9.30am, Flag-raising ceremony at Scoil Eoin:
10.00am Kingston New Homes Queen of the Roads semi-final 1
Silke Tulk v Denise Murphy v Maria Nagle:
12.30 BH Tree Services challenge: Sophie Koebrugge (The Netherlands) v Caoimhe Rafferty (Ulster):
2.00pm, Kingston New Homes Queen of the Roads semi-final 2
Hannah Sexton v Lindsay Leussink v Martina Goldenstein.
3.30pm Jim O’Driscoll Cup Cork final; Donal O’Riordan v Tim Young.
Saturday September 24th at 9.30am:
Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads Semi-final 1
Michael Bohane v David Murphy v Ralf Look:
11.30am Charlie McCarthy Cup (McCarthy Insurances Group)
Aaron Hughes (Ulster) v Denis O’Sullivan (Munster).
1.30pm, Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-final 2
Thomas Mackle v James O’Donovan v Bas Senger:
3.00pm Dairypower double
Brendan Rafferty/Frank Oliver (Ulster) v David Hegarty/Paul O’Brien (Munster):
Sunday September 25:
9.30am Jim O’Driscoll Cup final:
Ethan Rafferty (Ulster) v Cork winner.
11.30am Proto-Mark Technologies Youths International Triple-Crown
Paddy O’Donnell/Rachel Kingston (Ireland) v Tim Hendricks/Britt Rolink (The Netherlands) v Aaron Heinin/Imke Hiljegerdres (Germany):
1.30pm Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads final:
3.30pm Kingston New Homes Queen of the Roads final:
5.00 Victory march King and Queen of the Roads 2022 led by Lone Piper, Padraigh O’Brien: Presentation Ceremony at School Car Park.
The Ballincurrig build-up continued last weekend with both Cork Jim O’Driscoll Cup semi-finals at the East Cork venue. A Bantry double resulted from the Saturday scores with Donal O’Riordan accounting for Andrew O’Callaghan and Tim Young, with a faultless display, getting the better of Paul Buckley. County championship runner-up, O’Riordan had an exciting duel with North Cork’s O’Callaghan and this transpired after the Bantry man lost the bowl of odds lead he took to the ‘big turn’ to a brilliant sequence from O’Callaghan in the shots past the ‘sycamores’. Just a metre separated them with two to go but O’Riordan held fast to his long-time lead and won those last two vital exchanges. They played for a €4,000 total. Tim Young’s form since his voluntary elevation to intermediate ranks has been a revelation. Only a rare defeat to friend and clubmate, Donal O’Riordan, in the championship semi-final, blurs a long sequence of wins over opposition north and south and there is also his selection and contribution to Bol Chumann’s men’s team at the Germany European Championships. Young delivered a spectacular performance in a two-bowl win over Paul Buckley in the second of Saturday’s O’Driscoll Cup semi-finals. He rose a hundred metres with his opening shot and was past the no-play lines in five still holding that odds as Buckley fought gamely to close the gap. In a relentless showing, Young rose a bowl of odds on the ‘short straight’ and came close to the line in fifteen a clear winner. A repeat set-to with O’Riordan is now on the cards for Friday. The stake total in the Young-Buckley clash amounted to €4,300.
Ted Hegarty was in sublime form as the vintage (over 60’s) championship progressed. Playing Ballydehob’s John O’Brien at Drinagh on Saturday, the 2018 outright winner hit four explosive openers from the start line at ‘Young’s cross’ to sight at ‘the church’. O’Brien was not doing a lot wrong but fell a shot adrift here and, despite knocking odds with a great effort to ‘the blacksticks’, could not match Hegarty’s ten shots to the ‘pond’. They played for a €1,000 total. Ted joins Jerry Murphy in the A section semi-final draw. Also, at Drinagh on Saturday in section C, John Tringle, runner-up in 2020, came through against the peerless Rossmore man, Finbarr Fitzpatrick. In section B former two-time winner, Mick Murphy, Innishannon, advanced with a win from Ger Hegarty.
Denise Murphy captured the Gretta Cormican Cup for the Queen of the Roads qualifier competition at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday just holding off Maria Nagle’s late rally to take a last shot victory. For a €1,260 total, Denise held a bowl lead after eight, but was pegged back in the latter stages. They meet again this Friday at Ballincurrig with Silke Tulk also in the mix for a place in the Queen decider on Sunday next. Drinagh have a new county champion. Emma Hurley, daughter of Drinagh Rangers stalwart, J.J. took the spoils from a gallant Chloe Hubbard of Beal na Morrive as the 2022 U14 championship came to its conclusion at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday. Very close in the early stages, Emma took control with a big seventh shot and won by a bowl. In junior ladies Emer Galvin won the North Cork junior ladies final at Peake, last shot, from, Rebecca Wall. Emer now plays Carbery champion, Nicola O’Sullivan in a preliminary county round score at Clondrohid.
Senior champion, Michael Bohane got in the winning groove ahead of his King of the Roads bid when defeating the grades newest incumbent, Patrick Flood at Bantry on Sunday. It needed a spirited comeback as, for a stake of €5,000, Flood took an early bowl lead. Bohane led for the first time after ten and rose a shot of odds himself in the next exchanges. It was enough for victory. In a second senior contest at the West Cork venue, the Fermoy contingent, were on the winning side. Gary Daly and Seamus Sexton went head-to-head for a combined €16,300 and it was the European Champion who led by almost a bowl after the opening exchanges. Daly stormed back to lead at the three-quarter stage and took the victory after an exciting finale. In the Fearghal Beamish Cup at The Pike, Johnny O’Driscoll advanced with a win from Peter Murray, one bowl, for €2,100. At Derrinasafa, David Horgan and Finbarr Coughlan shared the spoils in two good scores. Horgan won the tournament fixture by almost two bowls for a €1,000, but Coughlan reversed that result in the return for the same stake. At Durrus, Michael A Cronin won from Derrick Jagoe, last shot for €500.
Derrinasafa Bowling Club along with chief organiser, Aidan Murphy, raised a sum of €9,600 from their ‘Make Dunmanway Autism Friendly Weekend’ fund-raisers held on August 27/28. AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, launched its ‘Same Chance’ Campaign in March. Aidan and Dick White, AsIAm fund-raising manager, thanked the bowling community for their exceptional effort.