Irish Road Bowling Association
  Bol Chumann na hEireann

About Us

European Championships
Road Bowling Arena
Photo Gallery
Contact Us

Latest News

European Championships Announced
Read More (click here)

February Results
Read More (click here)

February News Christy Vaughan Cup
Read More (click here)

Visit our Updated Photo Gallery
View Photos (click here)

News Archive

February 2007
January 2007

December 2006
November 2006
Octoober 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
Jan 2006

December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005


Bowling News 12th Feb 2007
The under-age inter-regional team finals at the Phale Road, Ballineen, on Sunday morning last brought together a county-wide selection of the best of bowlings upcoming talent and there was enthusiasm and skill in abundance from the youthful exponents as they vied for outright honours. Teams of three, boys and girls, from eight of the Association’s nine divisions competed and it was only in the concluding stages, after some terrific performances throughout the morning, that the winners wee declared. Mid Cork boys and West Cork girls achieved the greatest accumulated distances in their respective categories and accepted the winner’s prizes from chairperson Susan Greene. The boy’s event was exceptionally close with just over eighty metres separating the top four. Mid Cork were backboned by 2005 All-Ireland U12 champion, Kieran Murphy, who was ably supported by his brother Christopher and the very effective Newcestown boy James Courtney. The had fifty metres to spare on long time leaders Carbery who had the Shannon brothers from Durrus, Darren and Shane, and Rosscarbery’s Thomas O’Rourke, a runner-up in last years Munster U12 decider, all in fine form. Just twenty metres further back were a highly impressive City outfit of John Bowen, Liam O’Keefe and Jamie Bowen. There was no doubting the girl’s winners as the Togher backed West Cork selection of Lorraine Hurley, who has U12 and U14 Munster titles to her credit, and the sisters Aileen (current U12 champion) and Cathriona Murphy delivered a classy showing that brought them in ninety metres ahead of their nearest rivals. A very good Gealtacht team were second with Laura Creedon, Aine Cooney and Aoibhin O’Connell all showing flashes of skill at different stages. Mid Cork were just eight metres further back in third place. Susan Green had words of praise for all competitors and thanked in particular youth’s officer, Dan McCarthy, for his ongoing work in promoting the sport at under-age level. She thanked too the parents and everybody who helped in refereeing and marking the events. In the programme notes she stated that since its inception in 2002, the annual youth’s competition has continued to be an integral part of Bol Chumann’s calendar of events. She said it had gone form strength to strength and was a healthy reflection of the popularity of the sport among an up and coming generation of bowlplayers. ‘This interest’ she said, ‘is testimony to the sterling efforts and dedication of our clubs, regions, youth’s officers and unquestionably the parents who have distilled this passionate interest in the young boys and girls’. The final results table read: Boy’s competition; 1 Mid Cork, (U14 Kieran Murphy, U12 Christopher Murphy, U10 James Courtney) 1,408 metres; 2 Carbery (Darren Shannon, Thomas O’Rourke, Shane Shannon) 1,358; 3 City (John Bowen, Liam O’Keefe, Jamie Bowen) 1,347; West Cork (Kevin Cotter, James Lordan, Sean O’Leary) 1,327; North East (Joseph Murphy, Patrick Cremin, Evan Murphy) 1,273; Gaeltacht (Connie O’Callaghan, Dave McLoughlin, Gearoid Lucey) 1,268; North Cork (Andy O’Callaghan, Daniel O’Sullivan, Sean Kiely) 1,238; South West (Raymond Ryan, John O’Sullivan, Damien O’Gorman) 1,227. Girl’s competition: 1 West Cork (U16, Lorraine Hurley, U14 Cathriona Murphy, U12 Aileen Murphy) 1,314 metres; 2 Gaeltacht (Aoibhinn O’Connell, Aine Cooney, Laura Creedon) 1,225; 3 Mid Cork (Collette Wilmot, Evelyn Foley, Maria Kelleher) 1,217; South West (Marie O’Donovan, Claire Cormican, Lisa Hegarty) 1,159; Carbery (Nicola O’Sullivan, Sharon Shannon, Fiona Nagle) 1,100; North East (Orlaith O’Sullivan, Joanne Murphy, Ciara Buckley) 1,038; North Cork (Rosin Healy, Edel O’Connell, Aisling Sexton) 853.

A busy February executive meeting on Wednesday night last unveiled the group placings, fixtures and venues for the forthcoming Murphy’s Irish Stout 2007 senior championship. The format is similar to last year with four groups of four fighting it out on a round-robin basis through the preliminary stages. The top two in each pool, based on one point for a win, will advance to the quarterfinal draw. The major new inclusions are promoted intermediate champion, Aidan Murphy and the returning former champion, Bill Daly. Kieran Gould remains suspended and is ineligible to compete. The seeded players who top the groupings are David Murphy, Phillip O’Donovan, John Creedon and Eamonn Bowen. Pool 1 consists of David Murphy, Anthony Gould, Donal O’Riordan and John O’Drsicoll. The fixture line-up reads: David Murphy v Anthony Gould at Macroom; David Murphy v Donal O’Riordan at Rosscarbery; David Murphy v John O’Driscoll at Gortroe; Anthony Gould v Donal O’Riordan at Templemartin; Anthony Gould v John O’Driscoll at Whitechurch; John O’Driscoll v Donal O’Riordan at Newcestown. Pool 2 consists of Phillip O’Donovan, Jerry Hegarty, John Shorten and Christy Mullins. Their fixture list is: Phillip O’Donovan v Jerry Hegarty at Kilumney; Phillip O’Donovan v John Shorten at Waterfall; Phillip O’Donovan v Christy Mullins at Kilcorney; Jerry Hegarty v John Shorten at Grange; Jerry Hegarty v Christy Mullins at Lyre; John Shorten v Christy Mullins at Bauravilla. Pool 3 consists of John Creedon, Pat Butler, Bill Daly and Gavin Twohig. The fixture line-up is: John Creedon v Bill Daly at Beal na mBlath; John Creedon v Pat Butler at Bweeng; John Creedon v Gavin Twohig at the Clubhouse; Bill Daly v Pat Butler at Ballyvolane; Bill Daly v Gavin Twohig at Derrinasafa; Pat butler v Gavin Twohig at Castletownkenneigh. Pool 4 contains Eamonn Bowen, Edmund Sexton, Aidan Murphy and James Buckley. The fixture list for pool 4 is; Eamonn Bowen v James Buckley at Clashmore; Eamonn Bowen v Aidan Murphy at Ballincurrig; Eamonn Bowen v Edmund Sexton at Ballyvourney; James Buckley v Aidan Murphy at Carignavar; James Buckley v Edmund Sexton at Ballyclough; Aidan Murphy v Edmund Sexton at Ballingeary.

Murphy’s Irish Stout are also the sponsors of the Munster intermediate championship and, with twenty starters, a lively campaign is anticipated. A trio of new inclusions will enhance the competition. Mick Gould automatically upgraded as Munster junior champion, Carbery’s diminutive stylist Liam O’Sullivan and Bandon’s Martin Connolly, always a forceful competitor, are contenders this year and will go a good way in making up any deficit incurred by those demoted to junior ranks. The first and second round draws for the intermediate grade were also announced on Wednesday night. Round 1; (A) Jimmy O’Donoghue v Eamonn Bowen (Jun) at Cobh; (B) Noel Gould v Martin Connolly at Carrigaline; (C) Andrew O’Leary v Liam O’Sullivan at Ballinacurra; (D) Richard Murphy v Patrick O’Donoghue at Donoughmore. Round 2; Mick Gould v Martin Coppinger at Ballygurteen; ‘D’ winner v P J Cooney at Kilumney; Brian O’Donovan v Tim Pat O’Donovan at Whitechurch; Mick O’Driscoll (B) v Seamus Sexton (Sen) at Doneraile; Nicholas Carey v Michael O’Leary at Jagoe’s Mills; Seamus Sexton (Jun) v (B) winner at Clondrohid; (C) winner v (A) winner at Glanworth or Monorone; Willie O’Donovan v Trevor O’Meara at Enniskeane.

The 2006 post-primary schools competition were held at the Marsh Road on Wednesday last. Deferred twice from the November and December dates due to weather conditions, the jinx hit again, but, on this occasion, over a hundred valiant young bowl-players braved it out in determined fashion to complete a momentous days bowling. Dunmanway’s Maria Immaculata stole the show as their top teams, packed with champions from various under-age grades, captured senior and junior boy’s events and also the junior girl’s classification. Only Mount St. Michael’s Rosscarbery in the senior girl’s category prevented a clean sweep for the Doheny school. The incessant rain certainly spoiled the proceedings and the heavier than usual traffic disruptive to an extent, but there was a stoic acceptance by all involved of the hardships of the day and, by the end, a host of top-class performances were recorded. The upsurge in interest with new entrants from Bantry contributing much and a total of thirty five teams of three in all, was a source of satisfaction to the organisers from Bol Chumann who worked so diligently in staging the event. The winning senior boys selection from Scoil Maria Immaculata, Dunmanway, was Aidan Hurley, David Cotter and Kieran O’Brien. In second place were St Fachtna’s De La Salle (Kieran Shannon, Donie Harnedy, Sean McCarthy). In third place were Colaiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhuirne, (Paidi O’Luasa, Seanashain O’Laoinsigh, Conchuir O’Laoinsigh). The Maria Immaculata junior boys winning team was comprised of Ciaran Nyhan, Kevin Cotter and Liam Hurley. In third place were Colaiste Ghobnatan (Dara O’Ealaithe, Eoghan Macloughlin, Aidan Mochain). Mount St Michael’s Rosscarbery girls senior winners were; Emma Fitzpatrick, Nicola O’Sullivan and Katie O’Sullivan. Second in the senior girls section were Colaiste Ghobnatan (Maighread Ni Luasa, Michelle Ni Riordan, Clionadha Ni Laoighre). Maria Immaculata junior girls winning team were Lorraine Hurley, Catriona Murphy and Eilis Murray. Second and third here were Colaiste Ghobnatan team 1 (Aoibhinn Ni Chonaill, Adriana Ni Chriodan, Katie Ni Dineen); team 2 (Louise Ni Dheasuna, Hansie Ni Cheilleachair, Clionadha Ni Mhurchu). Competing schools were Mount St Michael’s Rosscarbery, Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunamnway, St Fachtna’s De la Salle, Skibbereen St Gobans College, Bantry, Scoil Mhuire, Beal Atha’n Ghaorthaidh, and Colaiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhuirne.
The annual Ard Comhairle meeting between Bol Chumann delegations from Cork and Armagh, held at the Doughcloyne Inn on Saturday, revealed one important announcement in that this years All-Ireland series (August 4 and 5) will be hosted on the Newtown Road, the home, of course, of the hugely popular Bol Fada festival. The starting point will be O’Toole’s with the finish line adjacent to Corrin cross.

The Jerry Desmond Cup made significant progress with three second round fixtures at Ballygurteen, Kildee and Grange. Bandon’s James O’Donovan returned to the scene of his Champy Deasy Cup defeat of Sunday week last to up his game considerably and record a thrilling victory over his experienced fellow Mid Cork junior A rival Jerry Murphy, Templemartin. This was a gutsy and fiercely determined performance by O’Donovan who was forced to beat a big last tip to hold his grip on a score that he dominated for the most part. Playing out for a combined tally of €5,400 both hit massive opening drives down with O’Donovan shading the fore. O’Donovan’s second and third were equally good and they propelled him into a fifty metre lead and, more importantly, gave him the impetus to go sight at ‘Hegarty’s’ in six where he had the bones of a bowl. The shot was up in the bowling up the hill before the score took a dramatic turn when Murphy’s speedy attempt brushed perfectly off ‘Moynahin’s wall’ to go fully clear at the ‘stud farm corner’. O’Donovan saw his big lead dwindle to mere metres after that amazing throw and he had to follow another big effort towards the line to stay in front. In a tense finale O’Donovan again thwarted Murphy after the Templemartin man threw a lengthy last on towards Lislevane. The son of the former senior champion, Declan, showed his mettle in matching and beating his opponents fine effort to qualify for a Desmond Cup quarter final joust with Johnny Murphy (BNB) in Lyre. Johnny Murphy indeed had the narrowest of victories from Mark burke in their second round battle in Ballygurteen on Saturday last. Playing of for a total of €2,100, it was close for most of its duration even if the standard flagged at times. Burke had the best of the chances in the bowling to the ‘women’s lane’ but did gain ground. It stayed level right to last shots with Murphy just hind. The Beal na mBlath man fired a good shot which turned out the winner as Burke missed by three metres. Dec O’Donovan of Leap put a couple of Saturday defeats to Denis Wilmot at Ballinacurra behind him to deliver atop drawer performance at Kildee that overwhelmed recent Deasy Cup winner Mark Crean. Despite an average opener, O’Donovan cast a sequence of brilliant throws especially his second and fifth that enabled him to go sight at Ballygurteen cross in eight where he had a two bowl lead. There was little Crean could do with an in form opponent and hard as he tried he was forced two concede two shots further on as the margin increased. The stake at issue was €1,100. Next up for O’Donovan in the Desmond Cup is a quarterfinal clash at Shanonvale with either Dan O’Connor or Dan Joe Holland. The Christy Coleman Cup at Ballincurrig did not go ahead at Ballincurrig due to the unavailability of finalist Vinny O’Rourke. In it’s stead a doubles score saw the other final contender, John Paul Rohan, join up with Patrick Butler to defeat Dave Dennis and Terry Sexton by two bowls for €600. Butler defeated Dennis in a return challenge singles played for €800 and in a further score Moss Twomey defeated Peter Conneally last shot.
Drinagh’s John Young continued his good run at Ballyvolane with a Tony Murray cup quarterfinal win over Dan Joe Holland on Saturday last. Young made his customary good start taking almost a bowl out ‘Kate’s corner’ before throwing a score winning drive up from ‘Dill’s wicket’ where he rose the bowl. Holland kept it at that but could not make inroads and young moves to a semi-final fixture with either of the formidable duo of Seamus Sexton (Jun) or Aidan Murphy. At Jagoe’s Mills North Cork’s David Hubbert and Mid’s Tony O’Donovan had one apiece both in the last shot for sums of €3,000 and €2,600. In nearby Dunderrow John Coveney announced his return to action with two good scores with Kinsale’s Donal O’Donovan. O’Donovan won the first out for €1,600, winning by the fore bowl before Coveney avenged that result with a two victory in the return for €1,400. Coveney’s massive third on the inward route swung this one. Still at Dunderrow an interesting novice 2 tournament final between Newcestown’s Con O’Donovan and Inishannon’s Sean O’Donoghue is down for decision on this coming Sunday. At Beal na mBlath there was a double for the visitors from the Kinsale side when Brendan O’Sullivan just got the verdict from local, Sean O’Donovan, in the last shot of a great score played for €1,200. On the way back, Leo Carroll defeated Anthony Crowley two bowls for €800. Back to Grange and old adversaries Dinny Nyhan and Billy Coomey played no less than three times. Nyhan won the tournament fixture out in the last shot for €1,200 before Coomey got his revenge with an exciting last win in the return for a similar sum. After the Desmond Cup score they enjoined again with Nyhan winning this one with a sublime display. It was a busy weekend at Drinagh with action on Saturday and Sunday. Juniors Gerry Gibbons and Neilus Hurley played a cracker for a sum of €2,300. It went shot for shot with the Bantry man avenging a recent defeat by the Ring player at Ballineen in the very last shot. Also on Saturday Tim Young scored a notable victory over the more fancied City man Thomas Boyle. It was a junior tournament semi-final played for a combined total of €400 and young won in the last shot. His reward is a daunting but, given his ability, not insurmountable engagement in the decider with newly promoted senior Aidan Murphy. Eugie Daly snatched an unlikely last shot win from Willie McCarthy in a thhrid score at Drinagh on Saturday. No less busy on Sunday, Teddy Arundel bowled impeccably to defeat Patsy O’Sullivan (K) by two bowls for €600 followed by a novice D championship win for Mike O’Donovan Gloun over Declan O’Sullivan al in the forenoon. Later in a Paddy O’Donovan Cup first rounder Joe Tyner held off the stern challenge of Pat Joe Connolly to win by a bowl for €3,200 and in a novice C tournament fixture Johnny Hurihane defeated Kieran O’Brien last shot for €2,400. The West Cork championship season has indeed got under way and, as well as Drinagh, there was a marvellous battle at Kilcrohane where Bantry’s Harry Johnson just got the better of Mike O’Donoghue of Borlin in novice C and, at Corran, in the same grade, Seamus O’Sullivan (M) won from Brendan Murphy. At Whitechurch Willie O’Donovan defeated Brian Daly by two bowls for €4, 400 and at Donoughmore, Paddy Kinsella defeated Celly Spillane by two bowls for €2,200.
Kieran Harrington has furnished the first round draws for the Mid Cork regions three junior championships for 2007 plus the novice veteran grade, all of which promise an interesting mix of top-class clashes at the divisions different venues over the coming months. With ten worthy contenders in the junior A section and Templemartin the central venue for all fixtures in the competition, two first round scores were required to provide the last eight line-up. The draw reads: First round; (A) Jerry Murphy v Jimmy Cowhig; (B) Paul Buckley v Trevor McCarthy. Quarterfinals; Brian Wilmot v James O’Donovan; David O’Mahony v Johnny Murphy (BNB); Dan O’Halloran v (A) winner; Tommy Butler v (B) winner. Junior B championship; First round: (A) Denis Wilmot v Paddy O’Driscoll at Monorone. Quarterfinals: John Murphy (T) v Kevin O’Donovan at Enniskeane; Danny Connolly v Michael O’Mahony at Newcestown; Sean Murphy v Tony O’Donovan at Templemartin; Killian O’Sullivan v (A) winner at Ballinacurra. Junior C championship: Brendan O’Neill v John O’Mahony (K); Pat Broderick v John A Murphy; Christy butler v Mick Murphy (I); Bye to Trevor O’Mahony. Venues not yet finalised. Nineteen go to post in the Mid Cork novice veteran’s championship. The central venue for the entire championship is Castletownkenneigh. First round (A) Owen McCarthy v Pat O’Neill (E); (B) Tom O’Donovan v Pat O’Mahony: (C) Pascal Buckley v Dinny O’Sullivan. Second round: Martin Duggan v (A) winner; Mick Minihane v (B) winner; Tom Collins v (C) winner; Brendan Hayes v Michael Brennan (Sen); Sean Holland v Jerry O’Driscoll; Billy Coomey v Donie O’Donovan; Pat Kelly v Noel Cronin; Martin Desmond (B) v Jerome O’Mahony.
The West Cork regional championships have also commenced. The boys U18 grade is up and running and among an attractive first round selection are: Michael Hurley v Cathal O’Sullivan at Corran; Jack Ward v Niall Murray at Bantry; Christopher Murray v Kevin Daly at Drinagh; Muiris Buttimer v Aidan Murphy at Durrus; Kevin Cotter v David O’Mahony at Kealkil; Kieran Doherty v Alan Sheehan at the Clubhouse; Daniel O’Mahony v Colin Kingston at Derrinasafa; Brian O’Sullivan v David O’Leary at Kilcrohane; Clive Sweetnam v Niall Cotter at Togher; Kieran O’Brien v John Collins at Phale Road; Ciaran Nyhan v Peter Kelly at Gluon; Liam Hurley v Sean O’Riordan at Drimoleague.

Bowling news Feb 5th 2007
Mark Crean captured the Champy Deasy Cup in fine style from fellow Bandonian, James O'Donovan, on an idyllic Sunday afternoon last at Grange. The winner had to overcome a hesitant start, but, once in his stride after a magnificent sixth shot, there was no holding him as he stormed to a two bowl victory. O'Donovan was the punters favourite in the combined €2,400 stake and he made an early impact too with fast first and second shots to the ‘white wall' giving him a handy eighty metre lead. Crean looked sluggish in the opening exchanges but tracked a superb third to ‘Hodnett's' that O'Donovan did well to beat but the odds were now down to mere metres. The right hand brow on the downward run to the ‘school cross' was generous to both players, yielding good rubs as O'Donovan held the lead for the next two. He might indeed have more ground with his fifth which cracked left at an early stage and paid a big price when his opponent hit a prodigious effort right around ‘O'Sullivan's bend'. That fine effort brought Crean his first lead and it close to the bowl in his favour when O'Donovan cut too tightly in attempting to ‘make' the ‘cross' in seven from well back The bowl was up after the next exchange and Crean increased his margin with a mighty ninth up the hill to ‘DeBarra's'. Although a hand injury hampered him to an extent, O'Donovan still carried serious speed in his bowls and he utilised it to the full with a thundering twelfth shot from an improbable stand that almost got sight at ‘Holland's wall'. Crean, though, had the perfect response with a well-drilled reply that not only beat O'Donovan's tip but wound right around the corner to copperfasten his lead. It was the shot that effectively sealed it. Still battling, O'Donovan, a possessor of an impressive loft as he demonstrated at Westerstede in the 2004 Euro U18 championships, tried for too much and left his next inside the fence. He made it with his re-thrown attempt but was now two bowls down. Crean, the current South West regional junior B champion, played the final shots with precision and was a deserving winner of the prestigious cup dedicated to one of bowlings great players and characters. The late Champy Deasy hailed from Coolbawn, Courtmacsherry, incidentally a mere stones throw from that other great bowling dynasty from the locality, the O'Donovan's, of whom Sunday's finalist, James is a member. Champy Deasy duelled with the best in the heyday of London bowling at their Launder's lane venue and, for many decades, on the roads of his native county as well. His immediate family and friends were there in numbers for the after score presentation in the Grange tavern. Mark Crean received the winner's cup and €600 first prize from James Barry of the Grange club and, of course, South West regional chairman. James O'Donovan as runner-up in the sixteen man competition received a plaque and €400 for his efforts.

Still in South West, their February meeting announced the quarterfinal draw for the Jerry Desmond Cup. Although quite a few imponderables remain in the equation, the closing stages of the thirty- two man competition is beginning to take shape. The line-up reads: (1) Dec O'Donovan or Mark Crean v Dan O'Connor or Dan Joe Holland at Shannonvale; (2) Denis O'Driscoll or Olan Noonan v Jim Coffey/John Young or Michael Crowley; (3) Mark Burke or Johnny Murphy (BnB) v Jerry Murphy or James O'Donovan; (4) Ted Hegarty v Vincent Kiely at Ballygurteen. On Wednesday this week the annual schools competitions go ahead at the Marsh Road , Skibbereen while on Sunday next at the Phale Road , Ballineen, at 11.30 the youths inter-regional team bowling events takes place.

Edmund Sexton defeated David Murphy in the Carrignavar senior tournament semi-final on Sunday afternoon last. Playing for a total of €6,000, it was Sexton's massive seventh to the ‘creamery cross' that put the first major distance between them. It had been even enough until then, but that lengthy effort, which resulted in him going a bowl in front, was the precursor to a period of dominance by the North Cork man. He built on his lead and soon doubled it with two big throws along the straight. It was far from over though as Murphy started a rally that yielded big dividends. He was aided by some errors by Sexton who saw his big lead eroded in double quick time. No more than twenty metres separated them as the finish loomed but Sexton held on to qualify for the tournament decider when he will play local clubman, Eamonn Bowen (Sen). There was a big swing around too in a morning fixture at Carrignavar when Nicholas Carey lost a seemingly unassailable lead to Eamonn Bowen (Jun). The Carrigtwohill youth seemed to have it wrapped up holding a lead of well over two bowls approaching half-way. He lost his way however as Bowen cast a few monstrous attempts along the straight to level it. It was Bowen in the end who ran out a winner by nearly two for a stake of €6,400. On Saturday at Carrignavar Martin Daly and Mick Gould exchanged victories in two scores, both last shot for sums of €2,600 and €4,000.

The Ballinacura, Upton, club completed a junior B tournament on Saturday last. This decider turned out to be a family affair as North Cork 's John O'Rourke of Rylane, the World U18 winner at the Marsh Road in 2005, emerged to contest against his uncle John Murphy, Brinny. The more youthful exponent won a good score by a bowl, passing the line in fifteen shots, a commendable figure for the Mid Cork venue. O'Rourke led all the way but never by a big margin. Having won the first two exchanges by twenty metres, it was the Rylane players big fifth to ‘Foley's' that opened up a half bowl lead. It was still that in seven to ‘Perrot's' before Murphy's persistence paid off when he narrowed it to thirty metres on the straight coming up to the last quarter. O'Rourke yielded no more and a big second last pushed out the margin to a bowl at the finish. O'Rourke received the €1,000 first prize plus a glass decanter with Murphy as runner-up and semi-finalists Gerry Gibbons and Ted Hegarty also in the monetary prizes. Bandon's Trevor McCarthy engaged with Gibbons in a first round junior tournament also played out the road at Ballinacurra on Saturday last. Played for a combined sum of €6,000 it produced a humdinger of a finish before the Bandon man, McCarthy, won it with a big last shot. McCarthy made the early running and had handy law after five but quickly lost it when Gibbons led at ‘Perrot's'. The Bantry man looked good to make a breakaway with big shots to the GAA pitch but undid his good work when missing across the bridge as he played too far to the left. McCarthy led the score past the junior C line but came hind again when Gibbons resurrected his hopes a brilliant second last. Not to be outdone the Bandon unleashed a terrific last shot that won the day and booked a second round place. Also at Ballinacurra Paul Walsh recorded a pair of victories over the Kinsale man Pat Broderick, winning out by less than a bowl for €2,600 and back by almost two for €2,800.

In form senior women contenders, Emma Fitzpatrick and Louise Collins met at Ballygurteen in the league competition on Saturday last. Both carried plenty of support in the good sized crowd, unsurprising given that both had recorded a number of impressive victories in the recent past. Collins won the early shots before the Rosscarbery girl took charge with a good third to sight at the first bend. A spirited battle ensued along the straight with Fitzpatrick gamely holding on a thirty metre lead despite Collins' worthy attempts to level it. Luck wasn't on the Castletown girl's side either as her well thrown shot for sight at the ‘cottage' picked off when it seemed sure to restore parity. Fitzpatrick went well around with a perfect drive and followed up with a brilliant bowl to ‘Burke's'. She now had the impetus to go on to win the contest by a bowl and secure her second point in the competition. The stake at issue was €3,200. There was no joy either for the Castletown contingent in a return contest when Freddie Scannell defeated recent Togher Cross tournament winner, Michael O'Sullivan, by a bowl for €1,800. The women's contest augers well for a mixed doubles final at Lyre on Sunday next when Fitzpatrick and Collins again cross swords. Contesting here will be Jimmy Nyhan and Louise Collins versus Jeremiah and Emma Fitzpatrick

Killian O'Sullivan, Templemartin, rebounded from a galling tournament defeat at Ballinacurra, to score a notable double at the Half-Way venue on Sunday last. Playing the formidable, Patsy Hogan, he survived a few late scares to take a last shot victory on the outward route for a total of €880 and repeated the dose on the way back by a similar margin and for a similar sum. The Ovens veteran champion, Dan Joe Holland, continues to mix it with the best in the junior grade. He took a profitable pair of victories from his sortie into North Cork territory on Sunday last. At Gortroe, pitted against Thomas Boyle and Mark Burke, Holland took the verdict in two contests both by the last shot. The combined tally in each of the three-way contests was €3,600. In the Tony Murray Cup at Ballyvolane, under-age champion Thomas Buckley had too much in hand for Andy O'Callaghan while down in West Waterford , in Clashmore Oliver Searls played a fine score in defeating Liam Barry by a bowl for €800. A few errors by Barry up the rise contributed to his downfall but Searls' overall display would be hard to match. Still in East Cork the Christy Coleman Cup final is down for decision at Ballincurrig on Sunday next when Vinny O'Rourke and John Paul Rohan do battle

As expected Martin Coppinger qualified for the Togher Cross junior tournament final with a big fore bowl win over Jerry Murphy, Templemartin. Coppinger was the hot favourite in the stakeless contest but was given a good run for it by the returning Murphy who has been out of action through injury for some time. Murphy won the first shot and was well in touch as they both made just short of the ‘chips' corner in five. He led again throwing across the bend but Coppinger's big break off the ‘wall' gave him important leeway. The Bantry man had a valuable thirty metres at ‘Cronin's garage' and it was vital in allowing him to ‘make' the ‘post office' in two and carry most of a bowl to the closing stages. Murphy did not give up the ghost and ran it to a last shot before Coppinger emerged to contest the competition decider with Johnny Murphy (BNB). On the way back Togher Cross the West Cork regional treasurer, John Murphy was in splendid form in defeating Seamus O'Sullivan one bowl for €880. In junior action at Ballineen, Vincent Kiely delivered a near record thirteen shot showing to oust Carbery's Michael Bohane from that clubs tournament. Playing for a total of €3,200 it was a superb fourth that put him on his way here. Kiely had a bowl after six to ‘O'Regan's' and held it despite Bohaane's best in four more to the ‘narrow road'. Trevor O'Meara and Andrew O'Leary had one apiece at Kilumney. O'Meara won by the bowl that he gained at ‘O'Shea's' on the outward route for €2,000 while O'Leary went a bowl up with his opening shot in the return and held it for a total of €1,200. At Berrings, Dave Mackey and Colm Noonan had one apiece from two well-contested scores. Mackey won out in the last shot for €2,200 before Noonan reversed it on the return by a like margin for €3,000. At Curraheen John O'Sullivan defeated Declan O'Leary last shot for €1,200 and Tom Fulham defeated Donsie O'Mahony last shot for €1,900. At Kilcorney Eoin O'Riordan and Willie Joe Leahy shared the victories last shot and a bowl of odds for €2,500 and €2,650. In a further result from Gortroe Kevin Ruby (Jun) of Dromahane beat John Walsh, Berrings, by a bowl for €1,000. A result from the Denis Horgan bowling club in Banteer reads a win for Thady and Mike Murphy from Tadg Sexton and Maurice Cashman with Donal Cashman and Dean Sexton third, last shot and a bowl of odds.

Bowling News January 1st 2007
Christy Mullins rounded off a remarkably successful twelve months on the bowling roads of the county with a notable double over the festive holiday period. The Bantry man, partnered with Gavin Twohig, won the annual Grange doubles challenge on St Stephen’s Day and then finished with aplomb to deny John Creedon in the feature event at Castletownbere on Thursday 28. The RNLI fund raiser at the far west venue produced a superb days bowling and was generously supported by followers of the sport from all quarters. Mullins’ twelve shot salvo over the line was highlighted by three tremendous last shots that brought him from forty metres hind to a comfortable fore bowl victory despite Creedons heroic last effort. The played off for the sizable sum of €20,000 just as the rain descended and Creedon drew first blood with fine drive up the right that beat Mullins’ good tip by thirty metres. Mullins whipped a splendid second to the top of the rise to take the lead. Creedon tended to cross his third and fourth as they played to the ‘filling station’ but the Bantry man, though still ahead, did not rise substantial odds. The Ballyvourney player unleashed a bullet like fifth to regain the lead but Mullins countered with a good sixth to go back in front. Creedon caught the left down the incline with his seventh by the ‘gametrigane sign’ before Mullins built a handy fifty metres in eight to ‘Rodeen cross’. It changed again when Creedon shot a brilliant ninth to take the fore once more only for his rival to respond with two exceptional blasts to within metres of the line. Creedon’s second last cracked right to leave him ninety metres adrift for the decisive throws. He made a valiant effort to rescue it with a tightly cut last but the leeway was too much and Mullins, with a well-drilled reply, sped past for victory. The second senior fixture played back in was another nip and tuck affair. Gavin Twohig was the slight favourite against Donal O’Riordan in the €8,800 stake but was fifty metres short of the Bantry man’s lengthy opener that brushed off the left. O’Riordan’s second was a monstrous effort travelling over three hundred metres on the rough rising surface and it gave him a full bowl cushion when Twohig missed well in three. That margin reduced rapidly when the leader cast two poor shots in succession and Twohig took the lead after five with a fine throw. He was aided too when O’Riordan stuck his sixth in the right. The Rossmore man had an opportunity with his seventh to gain some serious distance but that went a begging and they remained locked together to the last shots. With the shortened finish line looming O’Riordan found his groove again and, from just hind bowl, hit an accurate last effort that proved a winner when Twohig’s reply fell thirty metres back. On a day when the underdog shone Finbarr Cahalane teamed up with Patsy O’Sullivan (Kealkil) to win the opening score of the day at Castletownbere from Kieran Hourihane and Mark O’Sullivan. Hourihanes first didn’t run and, although he played particularly well subsequently, his side couldn’t catch up against the Cahalane/O’Sullivan partnership who were a model of consistency throughout. The stake in that one was €4,400. The second contest in the road was a single-hand joust between Pat Broderick, Kinsale and Freddie Scannell, The Pike and it produced a nail-biting climax. Broderick was a bowl up after one only to be immediately pegged back when Scannell shot a marvellous third. The Pike player would never lead despite coming tantalisingly close to it, but was always in touch as they fought it shot for shot. Broderick followed two mighty efforts from Scannell to defiantly hold a few metres advantage for the last shots. He was, however, a five to one outsider to pass Scannell’s last throw that rolled and rolled down the tarmac. With a steely response the Kinsale man tracked his reply perfectly and was rewarded with a sensational victory as his attempt ran past the formidable target. The stake at issue was €8,000. The senior events rounded off a day that was superbly marshalled by a dedicated local group that included Denis Hurley, Neally Minihane, Pat O’Neill and Kevin Sheehan. The Kealkil bowling club members were there in strength to aid the venture. There too to lend a hand was local resident and former Sherkin Island native, Kieran O’Driscoll, a skilful exponent in his day with a county veterans title to his credit. That particular honour came his way after a mighty tussle with Jackie Linehan in 1989 in Ballingeary. One of Kieran’s early memories is of playing the game with the sports founding chairman Flor Crowley, who holidayed regularly on Sherkin. Con O’Driscoll of Castletownbere RNLI thanked all who attended the days bowling and proclaimed the fund raising exercise a resounding success. The refreshments provided on the road and later in Twomey’s Bar plus the music of Nick Ryan brought the curtain down on a day to be remembered in the great traditions of bowling.

The Grange doubles challenge was a fraught affair at the end where the winners Christy Mullins and Gavin Twohig had an uncomfortably close call after holding considerable sway on Phillip and Tim Pat O’Donovan for almost the entire score. The St. Stephen’s Day challenge attracted its usual big gathering and was played for a sum of €13.400. The opening exchanges did not hint at what was to come. Mullins hit a good opener but Tim Pat of the O’Donovan’s came within thirty metres. The senior, Philip, miscued his shot and Gavin Twohig shot an amazing second down to peeping sight at the bottom of the hill. The bowl was up and, when Mullins played a spectacular third on the ‘Holland’s wall’, it was close to two. Mullins/Twohig ‘made’ ‘Hegarty’s garage’ in seven when they were two full shots clear and looking home and dry. Good bowling up the straight by the O’Donovan’s knocked the bowl and it stayed at odds with the shot coming up to the last bend. Mullins missed full sight here before Tim Pat O’Donovan hit a ferocious attempt right around to ‘Grange tavern’ to put serious pressure on the long time leaders. Gavin Twohig escaped with a few breaks to get close enough for his partner to beat the finish line. Mullins still had a bit to do and had to repeat the effort after his first attempt was ‘called’. With his opponents now just thirty metres from the line, Mullins kept his nerve and just beat the mark to stave off a last shoot out. Earlier in the day at Grange the exceptionally busy Pat Joe Connolly had Tadg Crowley as partner in a couple of doubles scores with the Bandon men, Tommy O’Sullivan and Billy Coomey. Billy Coomey beat a big last shot to win the outward joust for €4,000 while Connolly/Crowley took the verdict in the return by almost two for €5,600.

Mark Burke defeated Tommy Connolly in the Jerry Desmond Cup at the Mill Road, Ardfield on Wednesday 27. Playing out for a total of €1,800, Burke hit two big openers and went a bowl up. It stood to him even though Connolly did have a chance of levelling when throwing to the ‘creamery cross’. Burke got a good break here that, even after Connolly’s fine loft, still left a bowl between them. Burke held on to win by a good fore bowl.

The bowling game lost two esteemed patrons over the festive period. Connie ‘Killarney’ O’Sullivan’s brave battle with long term illness was finally ended on Thursday last. He was a man of many sporting interests with bowling and horse racing figuring most prominently Connie was a genial, unassuming and upright character. He was without question a universally popular figure with the rank and file of the bowling fraternity. Scarcely a bowling road in the county didn’t benefit from his presence in four decades of following the sport. They were there in their numbers too for his final journey from Bantry on Saturday evening and Kealkil on Sunday morning. Sunday’s bowling at Kealkil and the CoAction fund raising day at Kilcrohane were cancelled as a mark of respect. Pat Deasy of Clodagh, Timoleague, was another who bore a long illness with great faith and dignity. His passing on Friday last was mourned by all within the game as they recalled memories of a top class player who played against the best of his era. His titanic battles against players of the calibre of Jasper Coleman, the late Sean Leahy, Donal Hurley and Noel O’Brien were high points of a distinguished career on the bowing roads of the county. May they both rest in peace.

Tournament finals punctuated the long list of challenge and benefit fixtures around the county. At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday 30 Dan Joe Holland defied the years and a poor start to best David O’Mahony in a competition final. Playing for a total of €4,400 the youthful intermediate standard bearer, O’Mahony, was close to a shot clear after six before Holland unleashed an absolute ‘miler’ from ‘Foley’s gate’ right down to ‘Perrot’s’. That and another to near the ‘’GAA pitch’ turned the contest completely in the Ovens mans favour. Three more to the novice line and the winner’s trophy was his. Back the road at Ballinacurra Martin Desmond defeated Celly Spillane (Jun) one bowl for €1,000. The three-hand junior B tournament at Ballinacurra will be fought out between Killian O’Sullivan, Peter Nagle and Johnny O’Driscoll. O’Sullivan came from two bowls down to win an amazing score from Vincent Kiely on Tuesday 26 while Peter Nagle won his three-way from Kevin O’Donovan and Tony Carey on Wed 27. Johnny O’Driscoll completed the trio when he defeated Denis Wilmot on Thursday 28. Also at Ballinacurra Gerry Gibbons scored a win over David O’Mahony on Sat 23 (€540) but went under heavily to John O’Rourke (€5,600) on Friday 29. Brendan O’Callaghan was the surprise winner of the Macroom tournament on Friday 29. He claimed the €300 first prize ahead of Vincent Kiely fore bowl and the hot favourite Denis Murphy (B). In a double back the road Martin Kelleher/Connie Lehane defeated Dan Vaughan/Marie Noonan last shot for €1,200. In a Christmas Day fixture at Macroom Michael Kelleher defeated Joe Sexton one bowl for €4,000. In a tournament final at Berrings on Sat 30 Tony Flynn was in the wonners enclosure after his three-way victory over Tim O’Sullivan of the host club and Liam Linehan. Like wise at Lyre on the same day Bandon’s Tommy O’Sullivan took the three-way joust for the winner’s prize when he got the better of Tim Cahalane (L) and Leap’s Johnny McCarthy for a combined sum of €3,900. Declan white defeated Kevin McCarthy (L) in a return last shot for €2,400. Two good scores at Ballyvourney on Wed 27 saw honours even between Thomas Boyle and Olan Noonan. At Ballyclough on the same day a three-way tie resulted in Tommy O’Donoghue of Bweeng defeating Teddy Murphy, Grenagh, last shot and Niall O’Keefe by two bowls for a total of €1,500. O’Keefe came good in the return score here beating O’Donoghue last shot for €1,000. At Gortroe over Christmas Celly Spillane (Sen) won from Mick Murphy last shot for €3,000. Former county U18 runner-up, Thomas O’Callaghan, defeated Tom Fulham at Curraheen on St. Stephen’s Day and Noel Buckley won a score form Jerry Carroll. On Christmas Day at Macroom Willie Joe Leahy defeated Eoin O’Riordan, the 2004 All-Ireland novice 1 winner. They played for a total of €4,400 and Leahy’s winning margin in a score of average bowling was the last shot. Celly Spillane (Sen) defeated Freddie Scannell on the way back.

The New Year’s Eve fixture in the new Tadg O’Driscoll cup competition at Dunderrow was a top class score. The West Cork pairing of Teddy O’Driscoll and Louise Collins just came in ahead of East Cork’s Michael Wall and Catriona Kidney. The lead exchanged several times before Teddy O’Driscoll scored the finish to prevent their opponents of a last shot opportunity. The stake at issue was €720. On the way back the local partnership of Denis and Leo Carroll won a double from the westerners Alan Keane and Flor Crowley last shot for €1,200. At Grange on New Year’s Day Johnny O’Driscoll continued a productive Christmas when he defeated Mid Cork’s Killian O’Sullivan by one bowl for €4,600 and on the way back Donsie O’Mahony got the better of Timmie O’Brien last shot for €3,000. The year rang out in Donoughmore with a good double for Fermoy’s Gary Daly. He won two from two with the youthful David Hubbard one bowl for €2,200 and two bowls for €3,400.

December 11th 2006

Bol Chumann’s 2006 convention was held at the Association’s administrative headquarters, St. Finbarr’s GAA Pavilion, Togher, on Wed 6 and was, as expected, a low key affair. Delegates from the organisations nine regions attended though not in anything like the numbers that packed the venue twelve months ago when a number of electoral contests generated widespread interest among club and regional personnel. On that occasion a challenge to Susan Green’s leadership of the Association was overwhelmingly defeated by a margin of over three to one. It was a popular victory that would herald a busy and productive year for the bowling game, but one too that was also overshadowed by court injunctions that consumed a large portion of the time and energies of those charged with running the affairs of the sports governing body. Nevertheless much was achieved and delegates heard extensive reports from the leading officials coupled with promises to continue to promote the game in its most positive light for the coming twelve months. As is customary on convention night City secretary, Liam O’Keefe, welcomed everybody and this introduction was followed by secretary, Brendan Hayes’ adopting of the minutes from last years assembly. Chairperson, Susan Greene, in an expansive address outlined the successes and difficulties that marked the past twelve months. ‘After extremely busy years in 2004 and 2005’ she stated ‘we looked forward to the new season, a season where we could move forward and have the opportunity to look at and restructure if necessary, the club set-up, fixtures, youth bowling, social club development, championship structures etc, but unfortunately a lot of our time has been taken up in court proceedings. Being an officer of Bol Chumann na hEireann, you get to meet so many people on many roads, at many functions and in so many meeting rooms and AGM’s. We have also found ourselves in places not of our own choosing and being diverted from our core business. And lest we forget our core business is the promotion of bowl-playing’.

On a challenging note she said ‘we need to be less charitable and forgiving towards those who are trying to pull the sport down. To those who attempt to dictate to us how to run this Association for their own ends we must stand firm and move on to a brighter future for our game. ‘But’ she said ‘even in a difficult year we have lots of things to celebrate. The annual youth finals are fast becoming the starting point in the bowling year and once again the Phale Road, Ballineen, was the venue for a very successful event in January. The grading of players at the start of the year raised some eyebrows but the players who were graded upwards showed their capabilities by performing excellently in the championships. The senior championship was restructured after lengthy debate by the Executive and the changes were well received overall. It afforded the players the opportunity to play in more championship scores and gave more clubs the chance to host senior scores. The rest of the championships were concluded successfully during the year. In May the Association were invited to participate in a mini-international by the ABIS Association in Italy. It was another great opportunity for players to play at international level and I want to thank the clubs and regions for supporting all the players who travelled and congratulate Emma Fitzpatrick, Aidan Murphy and Thomas Buckley on wining individual honours in Pesaro. It is tremendous for Bol Chumann to see road bowling as the preferred discipline of the IBA. The weekend of the All-Irelands in the North East region was yet again an outstanding success. ‘The Doneraile club’ the chairperson stated ‘have set a high standard and can be really proud of their efforts over the past two years. In October James O’Driscoll announced important progress in the development of a bowling complex. It is a major venture for the sport and funding is currently being sought by means of the Sports Capital Grant. Also in October representatives from the FKV and VSHB associations in Germany, NKB Holland and AIBS from Italy travelled to Cork to finalise details of the 2008 European Championships. Venues have been selected and approved by the IBA. The sport of bowling was chosen by GMTV to feature in their ‘All in the Game’ series which was aired on Setanta Sports recently. This too was a great success and offered a chance to promote the game on TV’. The chairperson thanked the members of the Executive who attended each monthly meeting and paid special tribute to Edward O’Driscoll who continued to steer the Association in the right direction. Secretary, Brendan Hayes, outlined the various championship winners and runners-up and treasurer, James O’Driscoll detailed the outgoings and income during 2006. Mr O’Driscoll said that the good will and support he received from all quarters for the Arena initiative was heart warming. Importantly he sought sanction from the convention to seek finance for the further progress of the venture. This proposal was seconded by Pat O’Sullivan. PRO, Pat McCarthy, said the organisation of the major events in Doneraile and Ballincurrig reflected well on the Association and the excellent sportsmanship shown in the many thousands of scores played throughout the year was a tribute to the spirit and sense of fair play of those who played the game and contrasted sharply with the minority who attempted to undermine the sport. Legal Advisor Edward O’Driscoll spoke of his abiding interest in all aspects of Bol Chumann’s affairs and praised the sincerity and honest endeavour of its officers.

Bol Chumann’s team of officers for the coming year is as follows: President Michael McSweeney; Honorary Life Members, Michael T Bradley, Eamonn O’Carroll, Kieran Harrington; Chairperson, Susan Greene; Vice Chairman Pat O’Sullivan; Honorary Secretary, Brendan Hayes; Treasurer, James O’Drisco; Honorary Fixtures Secretary Harry Jennings; PRO, Pat McCarthy; Registrar, Liam Daly; Youths Officer, Dan McCarthy; Patrons Most Rev. Dr John Buckley, Auxiliary Bishop of Cork and Ross, Very Rev Fr. D J Burns, P.P., Bishop Paul Coulton Church of Ireland; Solicitor Edward O’Driscoll; Auditor Christy Noughton & Co.

Bol Chumann’s ‘Night at the Dogs’ is on at Curraheen Race Track on this Thursday 14 at 8 pm. The event is an important fundraiser for the 2008 European Championship which will be hosted in Cork, and everybody with the interests of the sport at heart is welcome to support the venture. On Sunday next at Templemartin the annual novice team events finals go ahead commencing at 11pm. All regions have completed their internal play-offs and all is in readiness for an exciting morning’s bowling at the Mid Cork venue.

Another rain lashed Sunday curtailed a good portion of the days bowling activities but nonetheless a number of high profile contests went ahead. The eagerly awaited Flor Crowley Cup semi-final between Nicholas Carey and Seamus Sexton (Jun) at Kilumney had to be deferred owing to a road accident on the route earlier in the day. Fixture arrangements allowing, it will go ahead on Sunday morning next. A Jerry Desmond Cup first round clash at The Pike resulted in an surprisingly easy victory for Mid Cork junior A champion, Trevor McCarthy, over the current Carbery B title holder, Michael Bohane. Playing for a total of €2,000 neither made an auspicious opening with the Carbery man missing an average first shot of McCarthy’s. Bohane never found his form in this one taking five to the ‘creamery’ where he was a bowl adrift of McCarthy who achieved a good level of consistency throughout the score. The odds continued to mount on Bohane as the Bandon man tracked a few good shots approaching the line at ‘White’s cross’. There was three between them at that juncture and, when Bohane failed to make inroads in the bowling towards ‘Draper’s’, the contest was terminated leaving McCarthy through to the last sixteen. On the way back The Pike venue Martin Desmond made it a double for the Bandon men when won a pick-up score from local player, Freddie Scanell. There was a total o f€800 in that one. A score that drew a large gathering on Sunday afternoon last was the junior tournament meeting at the Clubhouse between West Cork’s junior A standard bearer, Denis Murphy, (BNB) and All-Ireland junior B champion Denis O’Driscoll, Drimoleague. It lived up to its billing in the driving rain as both rose and lost significant leads at different points resulting in a thrilling finish that saw Murphy a winner by just a few metres. The stake at issue was €6,400 as Murphy set a blistering pace with two exceptional opening shots that ‘made’ the ‘post office’. O’Driscoll was a bowl down after these and was fortunate not to go two off the pace at the lines by ‘O’Brien’s’ when Murphy’s third just missed out. There was still good odds with the bowl after the former Mid Cork man’s lofted fourth but O’Driscoll made big inroads with a smashing sixth to ‘Dineen’s lane’. It knocked the lead to an even bowl and it was still that at ‘Clon cross’ before O’Driscoll levelled with a great drive to ‘Murray’s’. The Drimoleague man took his first lead two shots later and then found himself in a strong position after Murphy missed sight beyond the ‘garage’. O’Driscoll cut too tightly when throwing what should have been considerable odds and lost the lead at a vital juncture. It was still all to play for in the tight closing exchanges but Murphy prevailed in the end having beaten a testing last tip to advance in the competition where he will contest with Andy O’Callaghan in the next round.

The latter stages of the Champy Deasy Cup at Grange is an all Mid Cork affair. Youth triumphed over experience in last Sunday’s second penultimate round score as James O’Donovan defeated John Murphy by almost a bowl. Playing out from the ‘tavern’ for a total of €2,200, O’Donovan made the early running hitting two fine efforts that ‘made’ the ‘white house’. Murphy came right back into it when his third broke with speed off the wall and it gave him his first lead when O’Donovan missed the tip. They exchanged the lead in a close encounter as they played to the ‘cross’ and it remained deadlocked up the ‘school hill’. Murphy gained fifty metres in the shots to the novice line and looked to be heading for a bowl advantage as they played to ‘Holland’s’ wall’. There was a swift turnaround when O’Donovan made sight from well back, a shot that had further significance when Murphy missed the same point to concede valuable leeway. With two shots to go there was too ground for the Brinny man to make up and O’Donovan advanced to what will be an all Bandon final when he takes on Mark Crean. At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday Pat Broderick defeated Paul Walsh by one bowl for €4,000 and Mick Gould defeated Jim Coffey one bowl for €3,600. At Donoughmore Thomas Buckley defeated Olan Noonan in the last shot for €5,700. This was a good score for much of the way even if the closing exchanges from both players were not of the highest order. Buckley was hind for the last shot but won after his average last was missed by his luckless opponent. Back the road at Donoughmore Niall O’Keefe defeated Martin Hubbard last should for €2,200. At Nadd Michael Kelleher and Denis Hickey had one apiece from two scores with a bowl off odds the winning margin on both occasions for sums of in the region of €4,000. At Gortroe on Saturday Daniel Murphy defeated Michael Murphy and Niall O’Keefe got the better of Haulie O’Mahony on the way down for a sum of €1,800. The North Cork winter novice competition continues. At Sally’s Cross Raymond Barrow (Dromahane) defeated Daniel Murphy (Kilcorney) last shot for €400 and at Peake Paddy O’Regan defeated Jer O’Connell one bowl for €500 and Mick O’Shea defeated Anthony Hubbard one bowl for €2,200. Also at Sally’s Cross in the Christmas Hamper semi-finals Sean and Connie Moylan defeated Ollie O’Riordan and Dean Sexton by a bowl of odds for €400 and Denis O’Connell and Maurice Cashman defeated Eugene O’Sullivan and John Breen by a bowl of odds.

It was a good weekend for the Fermoy intermediate, Andrew O’Leary. On Saturday at Carrignavar he defeated Eamonn Bowen (Jun) by almost two for €2,800 and then on Sunday, at Shannonvale, he followed up with a big fore bowl win over Trevor O’Meara for a sum of €2,600. At Curraheen on Sunday Tony Morris and Denis Wilmot shared victories from two good scores. Morris won the first going from the ‘bridge’ to Richard’s lane’ in six to his opponents seven for a total of €1,400. Wilmot won the return by the fore bowl for €1,600. At Jagoe’s Mills the North East youth, Stephen O’Connell won two from two with Kevin O’Donovan. A good start by O’Connell was important in his first victory for a sum of €1,100. He won the second by the fore bowl for a similar sum. At Durrus James O’Sullivan joins his brother Mark and Teddy Arundel in the final of the Danny McCarthy Cup after his marrow victory over Conchuir O’Sullivan and Frank Arundel on Sunday afternoon last. This was a fine competitive contest with all three having periods at the front before going level to ‘Blair’s cove’. Frank Arundel went a bowl down here to leave the O’Sullivan’s to battle it out. For the last shots Conchuir was forty metres hind but unleashed a terrific drive only for the Kilcrohane based James to match it and beat the mark by a few metres. In a novice 2 tournament score at the same venue that produced an equally exciting finish Leslie Shannon defeated the Drinagh man Jimmy Hurley last shot for €800. Still in West Cork the Durrus/Kealkil selection won the delayed West Cork novice team competitions at Togher Cross. Just four teams braved the conditions as Durrus/Kealkil (Michael Ward, Seamus O’Sullivan, Nigel Kingston) edged out the Hourihanes (Kieran, Donie and David). The winners will contest with the other eight regional champions at Templemartin on Sunday morning next for outright team honours.

November 27th 2006
Seamus Sexton (Jun) returned to winning ways at Templemartin on Sunday last when he won a score of swaying fortunes from City’s Richard Murphy. It was a Flor Crowley Cup quarterfinal fixture that saw both contenders mix the very good with the mediocre before the North Cork exponent eventually came through. Murphy started in blistering style. His opening two, hit with speed and accuracy, travelled a huge distance to reach ‘Desmond’s back lane’ and, importantly, enabled him to get sight at ’Slynne’s corner’ in three where he held a full bowl on Sexton. The recent Cobh tournament winner wasn’t long in knocking it back with a good fifth that, after Murphy’s fourth failed to run, brought the tips close to level. Sexton took his first lead in the shots to ‘O’Riordan’s gate’ and proceeded to dominate in the bowling to the ‘schoolhouse cross’. He gradually extended his advantage until he went a shot clear at the bend. Murphy swung it back his way with a fine throw down the incline and took full advantage of two errors by Sexton to forge an unlikely lead as they played to ‘Buttimer’s gate’. Just as quickly, however, the City player undid his good work with two misjudged efforts that, to all intents and purposes, scuppered his hopes of victory. The first of these, dropped too near, caught the left and when the second did likewise, Sexton had an unassailable lead. The Nadd player went on to win by close to the bowl and now meets the resurgent Nicholas Carey in the penultimate round at Kilumney on Sunday afternoon next. The second semi-final is also on Sunday next at Templemartin provisionally in the forenoon. Going head to head here will be Andrew O’Leary against Aidan Murphy. Templemartin was the venue too for the staging of the Mid Cork team bowling event. Four teams of three provided a competitive mornings bowling. Newcestown took the laurels by eighty metres after a good battle with Ballinacurra. Newcestown comprised of last years novice 2 All-Ireland winner, Fergal Callanan ably assisted by Michael O’Callaghan and Mark Cahalane will be back at Templemartin on Dec 17 to contest against the other regional winners for the overall team title. Runners-up Ballinacurra had Paul Walsh, Martin Duggan and Paudie McSweeney in their selection while not far behind were Jagoe’s Mills (Sean O’Donoghue, Paul Kingston, Alan Butler) and Templemartin (Finbarr Coughlan, Tim Murphy, Seanie O’Donovan). Clondrohid hosted the Geeltacht team event on Sunday where six teams contested. The winners here were Mons B who had Connie Moynahin, novice 2 Munster runner-up, Noel Kelleher and Thomas Murphy in their line up. Mons A were second. Ballingeary, Kilnamartyra and Ballyvourney A and B were also in the shake-up.
David Murphy won the Ballinacurra clubs intermediate tournament on Saturday last. The Brinny player, elevated to senior status since the competition began, overcame Dan O’Halloran, Briar Hill, thanks in the main to a strong showing in the middle sector of this final. That period of play gave him enough leeway to withstand O’Halloran’s late rally and take the top prize of €800 plus a crystal decanter. Murphy led all the way but it was far from a one-sided contest. A well-drilled fourth through Brinny Cross yielded a bowl of odds for the winner before O’Halloran cut it to fifty metres with a super sixth to sight at ‘Foley’s’. Murphy broke away again with a fine throw to ‘Perrot’s’ that restored his bowl of odds and he was in total command when, in the shots to the ‘bridge’, he forged a lead that was close to two bowls. Matters changed from that point as Murphy’s form dipped and O’Halloran played two excellent attempts to the junior line where the odds came under the bowl. The comeback continued and a small chance of levelling came O’Halloran’s way with his second last but he dragged his effort to the left with the result that Murphy still held vital yardage. The last shots were academic were Murphy winning by almost a bowl. On the way back at Ballinacurra Nicholas Carey defeated Patrick O’Driscoll for a sum of €3,500. Carey won this one by a bowl but O’Driscoll had a glorious chance after Carey misplayed. The City man didn’t take it and they stayed level for a period until Carey rose a bowl beyond the GAA pitch. The Carrigtwohill former under-age star held it to the main road before O’Driscoll staged a late fight back. It wasn’t enough and Carey won comfortably.

Carbery players scored a double in tournament finals at South West venues on Saturday last. A strong finish at Lyre enabled regional U18 champion, James Nagle, Rosscarbery, to come from almost a bowl down and defeat a determined Barry O’Donovan to claim the Paddy O’Donovan Memorial Cup. At Sam’s Cross Michael Bohane won the junior C competition final from Butlerstown’s Vincent Cahalane. A mistake with his third cost Cahalane here and, although he matched his higher graded opponent up the rise, he was unable to knock the deficit.

The women’s senior league commenced on Sunday last at the Phale Road, Ballineen. An interesting duel between Sharon Russell and Denise Murphy saw the former senior champion, Russell, avenge a recent tournament defeat to the Ballinagree based former under-age star. They played up the Phale for a total of €1,340 and it was going Murphy’s way very much in the opening phase. She held a bowl lead at ‘Maybury’s’ but, unusually for her, hit two poor attempts and missed sight at the ‘triangle’. Russell grabbed the initiative and three great bowls to the ‘avenue’ took her to a commanding lead. Russell took the verdict by two bowls to gain the first point.

Johnny Murphy (BNB) qualified for the final of the Togher Cross tournament with an emphatic win over Mick Gould on Sunday last. Playing for a total of €1,600 Murphy was in control for most of the scores duration and was a shot clear by ‘Johnson’s cross’ at the chips. Gould knocked it briefly and looked like making a fight of it until Murphy cast two smashing shots from ‘Hurley’s cross’ to the ‘school’. These almost doubled his odds and there was no holding him from there. Martin Coppinger and Gerry Murphy Templemartin, remain in contention in the other side of the competition. Patrick O’Donoghue, Mallow, defeated Brian Wilmot, Bandon, in the Tony Murray Cup in Ballyvolane. Playing for a total of €2,000 Wilmot never recovered from an unlucky start that saw his well-played first whipped off. On the rough surface O’Donoghue was a shot up at ‘Kate’s corner’ and dominated proceedings with good bowling to the ‘barleyfield’ where he had increased his margin significantly. O’Donoghue advanced in the competition by nearly two.

It was a busy weekend on the Tassagh Road in Armagh where the host club completed three finals. All-Ireland junior A champion, Paul Grimley, stormed home a winner of the A section final from senior standard-bearer, Eddie Carr. Grimley went a bowl down in the early stages but recovered in splendid style to win by a shot covering the road in seventeen throws. The B section final was won by former under-age champion, Shaun Shortt while, in a battle of the brothers, Pete Carr overcame Seamus Carr in the C section. Tassagh represented another triumph for the Madden club who, on Saturday night hosted a special function at the Madden Community Centre in which they honoured their three All-Ireland champions, Grimley, Brian Keirnan and Stephen McCann. The occasion was of particular satisfaction to the clubs estimable patron Paddy Morgan whose interest in all things Madden is unquestioned.

Aidan Murphy threw some amazing bowls at Drinagh on Sunday morning last in defeating local, John Young, in the host clubs junior A tournament semi-final. There was little indication of Murphy’s later explosive action as he badly misplayed his first two that left Young, who threw a fine opener, a full bowl clear. It didn’t stay like that for long as Murphy, from way back, got an audacious third to ‘Barry’s cross’ that immediately wiped out the Drinagh man’s advantage. Murphy was starting to edge away as they played to the ‘church’ but it was from here that the intermediate champion unleashed the full range of his capabilities. From back of the ‘church pillars’ he shot and spun a perfect effort to the ‘rectory gates’, followed up with a fine throw to the ‘stone wall’ before hitting the ‘blackstick’s’ in another. When he cast a beauty from there into the ‘pond’ the contest was well and truly over as it would have been against any opponent. Thomas Boyle and Ted Hegarty will fight it out for a place in the decder with Murphy. The stake at Drinagh on Sunday morning was €1,240. James O’Donovan travelled to Whitechurch on Sunday to take the honours from John O’Rourke by a margin of nearly two bowls for a stake of €1,200. O’Donovan played well here against an off form O’Rourke. The Bandon player was a bowl up at ‘Bula lane’ and went almost two clear at the ‘farm’. Shortly afterwards the contest was terminated in O’Donovan’s favour. It was a first round fixture in a new tournament at the City venue. At Drimoleague Kieran Hourihane defeated Con O’Sullivan by nearly two. O’Sullivan, given his splendid form throughout the year, was surprisingly off the pace in this one leaving the Muintir Bhaire man away to bowl lead after four. Hourihane held his odds and extended it in advancing to the next round of the novice 1 competition. Dinny Nyhan and Pat Joe Connolly played a cracker back the road in the same tournament. Nyhan’s second and third were sublime efforts that enabled him to make the lines in five to go two ahead. Connolly bowled the remainder of the score in splendid style but could make no inroads on a bang in form Nyhan. Nyhan won by over a bowl for €2,200. At Nadd Eamonn Bowen Juniors rich vein of form continued. On Saturday he overcame Trevor O’Meara for a total of €4,800. O’Meara had a bad start here leaving Bowen away to bowl lead. The former Waterfall man had a half chance of levelling with four to go but it went and, when Bowen beat the line with a good last, there was no way back. In a return doubles score Tom Casey and Kevin Cooney defeated Niall O’Keefe and Niall Barrett last shot for €1,800. On Sunday at Nadd Thomas Boyle defeated Ted Hegarty by nearly two for €3,400 and Patsy Hogan won from Boyle in a return for €2,800. The returning from vacation, Con O’Donovan, from Newcestown registered a good win at the Wood Road from Troy O’Herlihy. O’Herlihy went a shot clear in the early stages before O’Donovan rowed it back with good bowling. The Newcestown man won in the last shot for €900.

Sam’s Cross clubman, Joe Tyner registered a victory at Beal na mBlath from Fergal Callanan. Tyner went a bowl clear after six and held it to the line for a stake of €1,000. The Newcestown men won a double back the road when Michael O’Callaghan and Mark Cahalane combined to defeat Johnny Hourihane and Danny O’Brien last shot for €400. At Gortroe Jim Coffey won two from two with Thomas Buckley both last shot for €2,200 each time. At Ballygurteen the mixed doubles tournament progressed. Here J C Daly and Geraldine Daly advanced at the expense of Vincent Dullea and Gretta Cormican. Dullea/Cormican held the early advantage but did not build on it. The West Cork duo bowled the straight in very good figures to come home a bowl of odds ahead. There was a total of €1,600 at issue. At Kilumney the Blarney man, Mark O’Shea defeated Willie Dillon, Kinsale, in the last shot for €400 and at Beal na Morrive in the North Cork winter league for novice 2 players, Michael Murphy defeated Danny O’Riordan one bowl for €400 and Mickey Joe Quill, Ballinagree, beat Paul Walsh, Coolanmona one bowl for €400. At Donoughmore in a exciting contest Patsy Hogan defeated Dan Joe Holland for a total sum of €3,400. Hogan’s big bowl from ‘Ring’s corner’ to the half-way line was instrumental in this victory. At Curraheen in the absence of Brian Daly, Vincent Kiely defeated Tony Morris by one bowl for €900 and in a return Mick O’Callaghan had the better of John Twohig by two bowls for €1,400. At Dunderrow Donal O’Donovan defeated Adrian Wilmot last shot for €500 while at Grange on Saturday Tommy O’Sullivan defeated Mick Minihane one bowl for €1,200 followed by Freddie Scannell taking the narrowest of victories in a three-way tie from Pat Broderick and Tommy O’Sullivan. The Kinsale men returned to action at Jagoe’s Mills on Sunday where they were very much in the winning groove. Here Mid Cork novice A winner, John O’Mahony, defeated Paul Walsh by one bowl for €3,200 and Pat Broderick came up trumps against Christy Butler back the road for a total of €2,000. At Ballyclough Daniel Murphy (Ballyclough) defeated Denis Hickey (Rathmore) by two bowls for €1,700. In the Sally’s Cross Christmas Hamper doubles competition Eugene O’Sullivan and John Breen beat Denis O’Connell and Simon Atkins two bowls for €120 and Sean/Connie Moylan defeated Danny Murphy/Joe Linehan two bowls for €460.

The Kealkil bowling club mourned the passing of a loyal patron with the death of Cornie Cremin over the past weekend. Cornie was an engaging personality who had an avid love of outdoor pursuits with horse racing and bowlplaying among his favourite pastimes. He was a founder member of Kealkil club and is fondly remembered for his huge contribution to their hosting of the All-Ireland series in 2000, 2001, 2002. Last Sunday’s scheduled Christy Vaughan Cup semi-final between Edmund Sexton, Philip O’Donovan and James Buckley was cancelled as a mark of respect to Cornie Cremin.

The women’s committee Bol Chumann held their AGM at the Munster Arms, Bandon, on Monday 20. A busy year was reviewed and much satisfaction was expressed with the ongoing popularity of the women’s game as the emergence of many committed under-age players in all regions ensures plenty of competitive events to cater for all grades. The women’s senior league is currently up and running and will command interest over the winter months. The officers regulating the women’s section for the coming year are as they were with Susan Greene as chairperson, Gretta Cormican, secretary and Mary O’Driscoll, treasurer.

November 18th 2006

Carrignavar intermediate, Eamonn Bowen (Jun), remains in highly active mode as the 2006 bowling season winds to a close. He scored a notable double from last weekend’s action at New Half-Way and Nadd with victories in very contrasting weather conditions. His contest with Nicholas Carey at Half-Way on Sunday was one of the few that survived the days deluge and was a spirited tussle in front of the few dozen hardy spectators who braved the elements. It was another in the City clubs admirable fund-raising venture that has raised a sizable sum in aid of the Children’s Leukaemia Ward in the Mercy Hospitable. They played off for a sum of €3,200 and hit a pair of outstanding opening shots to the ‘signposts’ with Bowen shading the lead. Indeed the Carrignavar man, who would not be headed in the contest, showed more purpose in powering a bowl in front after a brilliant third up the hill. Carey knocked it briefly but Bowen regained the shot of odds to the ‘fireplace store’ and a well-drilled sixth increased his odds to nearly two. Carey, fresh from a pair of doubles wins at Ballinacurra on the previous day, staged a strong recovery with a series of excellent bowls around the double bends that brought the margin to just the even bowl. Bowen yielded no more and held sixty metres with the bowl at the novice line. He was nearly two ahead again at the last corner when matters were terminated.

The umbrellas weren’t needed at Nadd on Saturday when Bowen engaged with Seamus Sexton (Jun) in another episode of their long running rivalry. Sexton was at the disadvantage of not having played for a number of weeks as he recovered from injury incurred after his Cobh tournament victory and was immediately on the back foot following the North East man’s blistering opening shot. That lengthy drive earned Bowen a bowl and forty metres but Sexton came into it well in the next exchanges and had it practically level after four. It was competitive with Bowen holding a small margin for a while before increasing his lead considerably coming up to the last quarter. Sexton rallied again and reduced the deficit to seventy metres for the last shots. It seemed too much to make up but he hit a mighty effort to give his opponent a testing mark. Bowen held his nerve and beat the target by thirty metres to claim the victory and the €4,000 total stake. Following this encounter, Martin Hubbard and Kevin Cooney played two scores with honours even at the end.

The novice team events around the county had mixed success with many falling victim to the weather. Carbery’s competition at Bauravilla had six entries and was won by the Rosscarbery selection of Ml White, Martin and James Coughlan all from the novice D grade. Grange in South West also had six playing off. The winners here were Pike (B) in the form of Freddie Scannell, Owen O’Gorman and Donal O’Sullivan who produced a superb display to defeat Pike (B), John O’Sullivan, Seamus O’Sullivan and Conor O’Sullivan who had looked likely winners when passing the junior line with their eighteen shots. 2,395 and 2,186 were the figures for the front two. Third were Sam’s Cross (Joe Tyner, Danny O’Brien, Johnny Hourihane) 1,957; 4th Kildee (Pat Joe Connolly, Florence O’Sullivan, Damien O’Donoghue) 1,822; 5th Grange (Donal O’Donovan, Pat Joe Sheehy, Paul Hunt) 1,600; 6th Lyre (Willie O’Driscol, Gerard Sheehy, John McCarthy) 1,590. The top three in the City event at Whitechurch were: Curraheen (A) Tom Fulham, Mick O’Callaghan, Gerry Long) 1,358; 2nd Curraheen B (John and Francis Twohig and John O’Sullivan) 1,306; 3rd Bog Road, (Declan O’Leary, John O’Connor, Liam Lynch) 1,195. A Cobh selection of Tom Randalls, Terry Sexton and John Conneally) won the East Cork division representation at Ballincurrig while the competitions in West, Mid, North and Gaeltacht were deferred.

Another contest to defy the rain on Sunday was a junior challenge at Bweeng where that durable performer from the locality, Andy O’Callaghan, came out on top against Patsy Hogan. This was a fine contest too played for a total of €2,400 that had O’Callaghan a shot ahead after eight. He lost his momentum then and Hogan wasted no time in levelling and taking the fore himself after ten. O’Callaghan came back and a huge bowl at the ‘school’ restored his supremacy through the third quarter. Hogan made a right fight of it still and it wasn’t until O’Callaghan hit a terrific second last that the Hogan challenge was finally quelled. Also in North Cork the regional winter novice competitions progressed with scores at Berrings. Here Kevin O’Sullivan defeated Gene Hubbard and in a three-way novice D tie, Andrew Sheehan came from two bowls down to defeat Peter Buckley and Joe O’Connor. A few doubles results from the Denis Horgan Social Club read: Johnny O’Riordan/John Breen had one each with Francis O’Mahony/Gillain O’Neill one bowl and last shot; Danny Murphy/ Simon Atkins defeated Tadg and Dean Sexton last shot and Francis O’Mahony/ Johnny O’Mahnoy defeated Simon Atkins/ Gillian O’Neill one bowl. At Sally’s Cross in the Christmas Hamper doubles competition Kevin Cooney/Francis O’Mahony beat Donal Cashman/John Sheehan one bowl for €320 and Eugene O’Sullivan/John Breen beat Finbarr O’Riordan/Oliie McAuliffe one bowl for €240.

Mick Gould and Thomas Boyle played at Whitechurch on Sunday last. It was a tough duel with Munster junior A champion, Gould winning by a bowl for a stake of €2,000. Tom Casey scored a pair of victories from Niall O’Keefe at Glanworth on Saturday.

Recent Marsh Road tournament winner Freddie Scannell, The Pike, returned to his old stomping ground in the Gaeltacht to play a score at The Mons on Saturday last. In opposition was the current North Cork U18 champion, David Hubbard, Beal na Morrive, and the pair provided a score of mixed bowling in which both spurned opportunities to dominate. There wasn’t a lot in it in the early stages. Hubbard held the early initiative and looked to going for a bowl after four. Scannell turned it around quickly and forged into a lead of almost a bowl himself after six. They didn’t run for the North Cork youth and Scannell stayed ahead winning by the bowl at the end. The sum at issue was €3,900. To cap a good day for the South West men, Dave Flynn defeated Stephen O’Connell in a return score in the last shot. The stake in that one amounted to €1,640.

The doubles events at Ballinacurra, Upton on Saturday resulted in a pair of wins for the East Cork father/son partnership of Tony and Nicholas Carey. Playing against the Mid Cork duo of David O’Mahony and Denis Wilmot they were victorious on the outward route by a bowl of odds for a total of €2,500. A good start paved the way here for the Careys as they led by a bowl after three. O’Mahony/Wilmot bowled well to reduce the deficit to thirty metres by the ‘nook’s’ but it was as close as they got. In good bowling, a fine attempt over the ‘bridge’ restored the winner’s earlier margin. Tony Carey was a shade lucky at ‘Cronin’s avenue’ where his bowl rode the verge and the resultant extra yardage left O’Mahony/Wilmot with too much leeway to make up. The same margin separated the pairings in the return as the Carrigtwohill duo overcame a hesitant start to power home winners again for a total of €3,600. O’Mahony’s big first looked like rising significant odds but they didn’t build on it and the Carey’s were a bowl to the good after five. It hovered on that margin for the remainder of the contest.

Regional AGM’s continue around the county as officers and delegates take their annual review of the years activities within their remit. Championships have been played and won and tournaments concluded as divisions reflect a generally rewarding and trouble free twelve months. A few regions have introduced some new faces to their officiating line-up but, in the majority of cases, the same personnel have been returned to duty for another season. The West Cork region met at the East End Bar, Drimoleague, on Monday 13 and proclaimed a satisfactory 2006 with All-Ireland victory in junior B for Denis O’Driscoll and a Munster title in girls U12 for Aileen Murphy the highlights. Steve Hurley (Junior C), David Cotter (U18), Alan Hurley (U16) and Ciaran Nyhan (U14) also enjoyed successful championship runs that brought them to provincial finals in their respective grades. Officers returned for 2007 were: Honorary President, Sandy Gibbons; honorary vice-president, Charlo Daly; Chairman, John O’Driscoll; vice chairman, John Sweetnam; Secretary, Helen Connolly; Treasurer, John Murphy; Registrar, Peter Murphy; fixtures secretary, Christy Mullins; PRO Mike O’Regan. Treasurer Bol Chumann, James O’Driscoll was present to oversee the election of officers and spoke of the benefits of the proposed arena to come on stream in Dunmanway.

The North East division reviewed a hugely successful season during which the hosting of the All-Ireland finals in Doneraile, and the presentation night at the Stepfort Hall, Mallow, were triumphs of good organisation and teamwork. The regions AGM, held on Tuesday 14 at their long-time base, Daly’s Bar Mallow, heard words of praise from Bol Chumann representatives, Susan Greene and Brendan Hayes, for the trojan efforts of all concerned during the past bowling season. As was to be expected, many delegates expressed disappointment and regret that the feature event, the All-Ireland senior final, was not part of their programme owing to legal proceedings against the Association. The championship successes of Martin Daly, Thomas Buckley and Arthur McDonagh were also lauded. The election of officers revealed a number of changes at the helm. Long-serving Billy McAuliffe (Sen) has taken a temporary break leaving the post of chairman in the capable hands of Derry Blake. Likewise honorary secretary, Austin O’Neill has stepped aside with Tadg Hunter now assuming that role. Austin O’Neill will continue as assistant secretary. John Fant of Fermoy is the regions treasurer and fixtures secretary is Billy O’Sullivan. To round off of a strong team, Charlie Sheehan and Padraigh Scanlon are joint youth’s officers. Mick Doyle of course remains as North East honorary president.

Changes were minimal at the Gaeltacht AGM held at the Abbey Hotel, Ballavourney, on Tuesday 14. The well-attended gathering reflected on several significant achievements that adorned the championship season during 2006. After thirty years of trying, Paddy O’Callaghan won a coveted All-Ireland title in the junior C grade. His brother Michael came close too, taking the runner-up spot in the Munster deciders in both novice 1 and novice veteran. Noel Kelleher enjoyed a great run in the novice 2 grade that brought him to the provincial decider and both Helen Cooney and Laura Creedon were most unlucky not to capture Munster honours in women’s junior and girls U12 respectively. In the senior men’s grade John Creedon kept the Gaeltacht banner flying in splendid style. He won the Paddy Barry Cup for the third time at Rosscarbery and was on the threshold of championship success before the competition was halted. The election of officers overseen by Bol Chumann’s James O’Driscoll saw Henry Browne returned as chairman; Brendan O’Callaghan installed as honorary secretary assisted by Michael O’Callaghan; P J Lehane continues as treasurer and Donncha Lucey will be fixtures secretary.

The East Cork presentation night at the High Chaparral in Ballymore on Saturday night last was an enjoyable and well-attended celebration of the regions achievements during 2006. The evergreen Willie Dennis, whose splendid championship run saw him reach the Munster decider in the vintage grade, was nominated player of the year. Carmel Ryan’s superb All-Ireland senior victory won her the women’s player of the year while Andrea Cunningham’s great run in the U14 title race was also recognised. Among others to receive awards were: Oliver Searls, Jerry Greene, Niall Walsh, Pat O’Brien and, for under-age, Colman Buckley.

Weather conditions further afflicted the secondary schools annual competitions when Wednesday’s rain forced the cancellation of that particular event.

October 30th 2006
Aidan Murphy’s rapid accession to senior ranks from U18 and junior B status just twelve months ago, achieved through his All-Ireland intermediate success, plus a gold medal placing in the men’s senior event at the ABIS international road bowling competition in Pesaro, Italy in May, made him the popular choice at bowl-player of the year for 2006, and he, along with forty champions and runners-up from the current championship season, were feted at Bol Chumann’s annual presentation night at Stepfort Hall, Mallow on Sunday night last. The occasion was a celebration of a hectic year’s activity on the bowling roads of the county as champions across the age spectrum from vintage (over 60’s) men to U12 boys and girls received their awards. The significant exceptions were, of course, the mens senior championship winner and runner-up. That the competition is, disappointingly, still incomplete due to pending legal proceedings. Chairperson, Susan Greene, congratulated all who participated in the various grades and spoke as well of the new arena to come on stream in Dunmanway. ‘It is’ she said ‘a positive and welcome development for the future of the game’. She urged those present to discard the begrudgers and continue to promote and play the game in its proper spirit. She especially thanked the hosts for the evening, the North East region and secretary, Austin O’Neill, whose unstinting efforts ensured the success of the presentation night. The bowlplayers who received awards on the night were: intermediate champion Aidan Murphy, runner-up Brian O’Donovan; Junior A Mick Gould, Tommy Connolly; junior B Denis O’Driscoll, Martin Daly; junior C Paddy O’Callaghan, Steve Hurley; novice 1 Patrick Hodnett, Michael O’Callaghan; novice 2 Mark Harrington, Noel Kelleher; junior veteran Dan Joe Holland, Denis Hickey; novice veteran Jerome O’Mahony, Michael O’Callaghan; vintage Thade Murphy, Willie Dennis; U18 Thomas Buckley, David Cotter; U16 Mark Sheehan, Alan Hurley; U14 Arthur McDonagh, Kieran Nyhan; U12 John O’Sullivan, Thomas O’Rourke. Women’s championships: senior champion Carmel Ryan runner-up Catriona O’Farrell; intermediate Emma Fitzpatrick, Bernadette O’Regan; junior Martina Foley, Helen Cooney; U18 Emma Fitzpatrick, Joanne Kelleher; U16 Marie O’Donovan, Denise Wilmot; U14 Laura Hegarty, Andrea Cunningham; U12 Aileen Murphy, Laura Creedon.

As with Aidan Murphy, Emma Fitzpatrick combined national championship success with a majestic performance in winning the U18 gold in Italy and she was the recipient of the womens ‘player of the year award’ for 2006. Pat Butler received the O’Donovan Dairypower Hall of Fame award and Bol Chumann treasurer, James O’Driscoll whose committed work is seen in every facet of the game was announced as personality of the year.

MC for the evening Brendan Hayes, Secretary, Bol Chumann, introduced the invited guests Cllr Thomas Sheehan deputising for Lord Mayor Cork County Cllr John O’Shea, Cllr John Kelleher deputising for Lord Mayor Cllr Michael Ahern and Lord Mayor of Mallow Jerry Mullally. Cllr Sheehan complimented those who voluntarily gave of their time in promoting bowling and assured the association of every help from the local authority. Cllr Kelleher praised those who kept bowling alive and flourishing in a supremely competitive sporting environment and Mayor Mullally too had words of encouragement for those who so resourcefully ran the years bowling agenda.

The North East region made a series of presentations to those who brought honour to the division during the year. Vice Chairman, Derry Blake, thanked all who made the All-Ireland series in Doneraile such a resounding success during its two year stint. John Fant of the Fermoy club received the regions personality of the year award and Eamonn Bowen Senior received a special accolade for his continuing endurance in senior ranks, a grade he has graced for nearly three decades and still competing on a par with of his younger peers.

Bol Chumann are hosting a Night at the Dogs at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium on Thursday December14. The event is a fund raiser for the European Bowling Championships to be held in Cork in May 2008, the preparations for which are already in the preliminary stages. A previous hosting ahead of the World Road Bowling event in Skibbereen in May 2005 was an outstanding success and it hoped for a similar response on this occasion. Those wishing to support the fund raiser by way of race sponsorship, advertising in the programme for the night or dog nominations can do so by contacting Susan Greene 021 4875364 or William O’Brien at 028 21522. With its proximity to Christmas an excellent night’s entertainment is assured. The first race begins at 8.00 and tickets are €10 (includes entry and free draw).

Saturday next promises a feast of top class bowling at Shannonvale when a selection of Aramgh’s leading exponents visit for a series of jousts with southern opposition. The scores are part of a fund-raising drive for the Eugene O’Gorman benefit and will commence at 10.30 am when Eddie Carr, who so memorably won that World Bowling event at Skibbereen, takes on Bantry’s Christy Mullins, still a commanding figure in the upper echelons of the game. Back in the South West venue will be another meeting of bowlings upcoming stars who have produced so many thrilling battles through the under-age grades when current U18 All-Ireland champion, Stephen McCann, renews rivalry with Thomas Buckley from Dublin Pike. The feature event of the day at Shannonvale will be the afternoon clash of Michael Toal and John Creedon. They played a classic King of the Roads semi-final at Ballincurrig just two weeks and a repeat here is an appetising prospect. The final score of the day sees recent tournament winner at Shannonvale, Pat Broderick, of Kinsale playing another exciting talent from the under age grades, David Hubbard from Beal na Morrive.

October 16th 2006

Phillip O’Donovan retained his Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads title with a bowl of odds win over Michael Toal at Ballincurrig on Sunday evening last. The East Cork clubs premier festival event had produced one of the scores of the year on Saturday but Sunday’s eagerly awaited decider only sparkled at intervals as the Cloyne man’s dominance was rarely threatened by a lack-lustre Toal who showed only a semblance of his previous day’s form. Well up for the occasion, as he almost always is, O’Donovan was the punter’s favourite in the €13,000 total stake and came very close to Toal’s fine opening drive that ran the open road from the Rathgoban line to the ‘railing’s’. It would be the only time that the northerner would be into the ascendancy as he missed O’Donovan’s good second and then failed to go sight at ‘Toth’s’. The holder, on the other hand, whipped a magnificent third away around the bend and, with Toal struggling with his third and fourth, the bowl of odds was up at Dundullerick cross. It was a storming start by O’Donovan and he kept it up going clear at ‘O’Connell’s green’ with his fifth and flying down to the bend from the normal start with his sixth in a repeat of his performance in his inaugural triumph last year against Trevor O’Meara. Toal was floundering at this point with the odds closer to two bowls than one. He got the opening he so badly needed when his ninth to the ‘sycamores’ took an unlikely brush off the right brow and gave him a good chance of making it down the ‘short straight’. Sensationally the score was suddenly in the melting pot when O’Donovan made a hash of his ninth to bring the odds under the bowl but he got a major let-off when his opponent missed the opportunity to level. O’Donovan hit a good eleventh but an accidental block prevented it going sight at the ‘white wall’ only for Toal to squander another opportunity to level by cutting too tight. Down the ‘long straight’ O’Donovan played a fraction too wide but again got away with it as the Armagh man did likewise with his reply. It hovered on the bowl then through the lines and on the ‘creamery’ with the bowling less than spectacular. O’Donovan did the needful to hold his margin and sealed his victory with a superb last that fizzed past the finish line from well back. That final effort won the bowl of odds as well.

The Pat O’Brien Queen of the Roads final also played inward, in the forenoon, was a thrilling encounter. For Kerstin Freidrichs of the German FKV Association it was a notable triumph as her spinning accurate bowls, so reminiscent of the Armagh style, saw her forge a hard won last shot victory over the West Cork qualifier, Louise Collins. Collins got off to the worst possible start when missing sight allowing Freidrichs away to a bowl lead with its attendant confidence booster. Collins battled the adversity well and raised her game considerably in the shots to the ‘big corner’ where she had the lead down to forty metres. She continued to press and led for the first time when her opponent caught the right on the ‘long straight’. Unfortunately for her it would be a brief and only lead as the German player cast a magnificent shot to ‘O’Riordan’s’ that Collins did well to come within forty metres of. It was a titanic battle then down to ‘Heaphy’s and on to ‘Moore’s gate’ with the German defiantly holding onto her advantage. A fine attempt at ‘Geary’s’ looked to have it sealed for her but Collins made a late desperate effort with a brilliant second last to within metres of the line. It levelled it up when Freidrichs also missed the finish but Collins shot for glory fell left too quickly. Freidrichs had still a bit to do but held her composure to deliver with aplomb and score the target by thirty metres. They played for a total of €2,400.

Richard Murphy did not build on a splendid opening shot in the midday Jim O’Driscoll Cup final at Ballincurrig on Sunday last. Against the bullet fast Armagh youth, Brian O’Reilly and for a combined tally of €15,000, Murphy’s superbly shot effort gave him close to bowl lead. However he dropped and scattered his next to the right and crossed his third to lose his advantage very quickly. O’Reilly showed deadly ability with an astonishing sixth through the lines, a throw that would later win the Pat O’Brien award for ‘shot of the weekend’. That powered the Armagh man a bowl clear and he held it until he erred with his shot up the ‘short straight’ allowing Murphy a glimmer of hope. The City man tried hard around the ‘sycamore’s’ although O’Reilly always had that vital sixty to seventy metres. A massive second last by the Armagh man sealed the victory and the Jim O’Driscoll Cup.

At the day’s end Seamus O’Tuama complimented all who had made the weekend such a resounding success on the road and paid a moving tribute to a great supporter and sponsor, John Hurley of Midleton who passed away since last years event. Phillip O’Donovan received the Hurley’s of Midleton Cup and a cash prize of €2,500 while Kerstin Friedrichs received €1,000 as her Queen of the Road prize. All who participated in the ten score weekend fixture list were recipients of prizes. The Cobh Pipe Band playing the winners on to the podium and the production of a comprehensive programme that includes an appreciation of the late John Hurley (Sen) and an interesting appraisal by Brian Toal of Fintan Lane’s book, ‘Long Bullets A History of Road Bowling in Ireland’, all contributed to a very special weekends bowling at Ballincurrig. The large contingent of German, Dutch and Italian bowling representatives here for the European Championship launch were hugely impressed with a wonderful sporting spectacle.

Saturday’s King of the Road semi-finals were of a contrasting nature not least because one was a more cumbersome three-way clash. Phillip O’Donovan showed a fine turn of form on what was, for him, a rare enough outing as he vanquished the hopes of Germany’s Frido Walter and Mick Barry Cup qualifier, Pat Butler, in fairly emphatic style at the end. Pat Butler played well in spurts but the consistency of yore is not there and it was the German tour winner who challenged the King holder strongest for most of the contest. Butler started brightly winning the first two and gaining handy odds in doing so. However his third when throwing, what should have been extending odds, was a poor one and O’Donovan was soon to the fore. Walter shot a magnificent effort from the ‘black sign’ to the ‘creamery’ but, in a critical response, O’Donovan followed in like manner. Meanwhile Butler was doing himself no favours with two very poor efforts to fall a bowl behind his rivals. At the ‘lines’ O’Donovan had thirty metres on Walter and a bowl on Butler and that situation would not alter to any great degree for the scores duration. O’Donovan held command in unspectacular fashion although Walter did have a half chance of levelling it at the ‘big turn’. That went by the wayside as he misplayed his attempt and, when O’Donovan did the needful with a fine drive up the ‘short straight’, the contest was effectively over. Butler battled on in third place but the reigning King was safely through and took with the result the €12,000 stake between himself and the Mayfield man. The second semi was the proverbial cracker. Michael Toal needing to throw his fifteenth to scrape a one metre from the luckless John Creedon tells it’s tale of a splendid shot for shot battle that was road bowling at it’s best. Creedon was the favourite in the €6,000 stake as they began outward in thrilling style with Toal winning the first and following up with a blistering second to the ‘black sign’ in two. Toal was up at the ‘creamery’ in four and just back of the lines in five but all the while Creedon was pressurising and cast an immaculate sixth right through to ‘Heaphy’s’ to take the lead. A brilliant seventh by the Gaeltacht player led to a period of dominance but Toals fierce effort from ‘Leahy’s’ kept it level at the ‘big turn’ in ten each. Creedon beat a superb throw of Toal’s up the ‘short straight’ before it swung back the northerner’s way when he regained the fore at the ‘sycamore’s’. Toal won the next exchange to the ‘elbow’ and threw an exceptional second last to within metres of the finish. Game to the last Creedon tried valiantly to retrieve it and nearly succeeded with a great try that, would a little luck, might have yielded more. Toal had a bit to do but made it past the target by the narrowest of margins.

Saturday’s four score programme got away on the inward route with an Armagh doubles victory when Stephen McCann and Brian Keirnan combined to defeat Thomas Buckley and Noel Bowen in the Dairypower Challenge. Thomas Buckley missed down the first turn and it was an uphill climb for the North East players after that. They fought it well and Noel Bowen was a shade unfortunate with throw at ‘Heaphy’s’ that might have levelled it. The Northern duo, both All-Ireland champions in U18 and novice 1 went on to win the score by a bowl for €5,000. It was an Armagh victory as well in the second double as Paul Grimley and Fergal McCreesh took the Dick Hudson Prize from Michael Gould and West Cork’s U16 Munster finalist, Aidan Hurley. The Armagh men had the upper hand for almost all the way with Gould, as in Drinagh on the previous Sunday, in lacklustre form. Hurley played well and Gould tried his hardest but a few mishaps at the ‘no play lines’ left vital odds go against them and Grimley/ McCreesh, the more accurate throughout, ran out the victors by almost a bowl for a stake of €3,400.

Ballincurrig’s festival of bowling weekend was opened with an amazing Queen of the Roads semi-final on Friday afternoon. Kerstin Freidrichs, the German (FKV) tour winner, was hardly expected to overcome the cream of Irelands bowling talent but this she did, albeit with a shade of good fortune at times. For Ulster champion, Dervla Toal, this was another galling result in a catalogue of narrow defeats that has been her lot in both bowling and Gaelic football codes in recent months. The Queen holder, Catriona O’Farrell/Kidney, was the third in the three way tie to decide Louise Collins’ opponent and it was not one of the Carrigtwohill girl’s better days. She missed down with her opening shot as they played inwards and was on the back foot for the remainder of the contest. Freidrichs won that opening exchange but Toal was the more consistent over the first half and held the ascendancy on to the ‘long straight’. O’Farrell lost ground further beyond the ‘sycamores’ and never got into her groove with the result that Freidrichs was the sole threat to the Northern player. Toal, however, looked in control and was gradually building on her advantage until she held almost a bowl of odds coming up to the lines. Misfortune befell her when a well executed effort when throwing on twenty metres stuck solid in a road hole. She lost the lead to her German opponent in the next shot and to a large extent her momentum too as Freidrichs gained in confidence. Twenty metres separated them for the last shots but Toal’s effort missed the line after veering right. Freidrichs booked her final place with an assured throw over the finish. The holder was two shots further back. There was a stake of €2,400 between Toal and O’Farrell/Kidney.

Out the road on Friday the Cork final of the Jim O’Driscoll Cup was also a three way battle. Richard Murphy was the victor here with a grandstand second half performance that saw him overhaul Tim Pat O’Donovan’s early advantage and an off form David O’Mahony. O’Mahony was the underdog in the €1,800 stake and, similar to O’Farrell/Kidney in the previous score, never recovered from a poor start. He was a bowl down to O’Donovan and a hundred metres to Murphy at the ‘lines’ as the Churchtown South player dominated. O’Donovan continued to hold good odds on Murphy on to the ‘long straight’ before the City man turned it around with an unbelievable cast that covered it’s entire distance to full sight. When O’Donovan then missed the force was with Murphy and he carried it all the way to the line. There was nearly two in it at the end of the short straight but O’Donovan did well to save the bets on the shot with a big last effort. O’Mahony was further back as Murphy progressed to Sunday’s final with Brian O’Reilly. The West Cork men, Tommy Connolly and Denis O’Driscoll, were full value for a fine doubles victory over Eddie Carr and Michael Quigley back in Ballincurrig on Friday. The Smart’s Bar Prize with €6,000 at issue was very even over the first quarter with Carr missing a few chances to put the northerners in a better position. A spectacular volley down the long straight equivalent to Richard Murphy’s upward effort swung this one the westerner’s way. Connolly followed up with another grand attempt and they won by the bowl at the end.

Bowling action wasn’t entirely confined to Ballincurrig over the past weekend. A Jerry Desmond Cup first rounder at Grange saw Johnny Murphy, Beal na mBlath just hold on to defeat Thomas Boyle. Murphy looked home and dry in this one as he hit three big first shots right down to ‘Holland’s bungalow’. That salvo left Boyle, who played a good first shot, a bowl adrift. It got worse for the City man as Murphy doubled his margin by Hegarty’s and he still held that at ‘DeBarra’s’. Boyle started his comeback there and halved the odds by ‘Holland’s wall’. Murphy was a shade lucky with his third last as Boyle continued to rally. The lead was down to thirty metres with two to go but the Beal na mBlath player held on to win by a good fore bowl. They played for a sum of €1,800. Murphy again defeated Boyle in a return challenge after the City player missed a few chances at the three-quarter stage. The stake in that one was €2,200. At Durrus, Teddy O’Driscoll and Pat O’Sullivan (Kealkil) had a good battle in the host clubs junior B tournament. It went the way of the Drimoleague man but he had to come from a bowl down to do so. Playing for a sum of €1,300, O’Sullivan went almost a bowl clear coming up to half way before a brilliant shot from O’Driscoll at ‘McCarthy’s’ narrowed the margin. O’Driscoll led coming up to the finish but O’Sullivan hit a fine effort towards the line that looked to keep him in it. The Drimoleague man deprived him of a last shot opportunity though with a fierce drive that scored the line. In the Denis Horgan Scocial Club at the weekend Simon Atkins and Tadg Sexton defeated Eugene O’Sullivan and John Breen last shot; Johnny O’Riordan and Dean Sexton beat Donal Cashman and Frances O’Mahony last shot; Finbarr O’Riordan and John Breen defeated Jer Linehan and Francis O’Mahony last shot and beat Dean Sexton and Johnny O’Riordan by a bowl of odds. At Donoughmore on Saturday Willie Joe Leahy had two from three with Mick Murphy. Leahy won the first two last shot and a bowl of odds both for €1,000. Murphy won the last by a bowl of odds also for €1,000. At Kilumney on Sunday morning John O’Mahony had two from two with Jerry Carroll both by a bowl for €1,400 each time.

October 8th 2006

Castletownkenneigh based Louise Collins is on the threshold of a major triumph. Her splendid run of recent months remains unbroken and her large army of followers will surely hope it lasts for one more score. That will see her contest next Sunday morning’s Pat O’Brien sponsored Queen of the Roads final, a placing she secured after a thrilling second half performance in the rain on Sunday morning last when she ousted All-Ireland Senior champion, Carmel Ryan, from the competition. Playing in from O’Connell’s line for a combined sum of €2,200, Ryan made the early running throwing an accurate first that did not get full justice due to surface water on the road. Collins’ reply went right and the West Cork girl trailed by fifty metres on to ‘sycamore’s’ although it might have been more in better conditions. Ryan was the steadier to that point and was throwing odds at the ‘big corner’ but two poor efforts cost her dearly as Collins not only levelled but took the lead for the first time coming up to half-way. Collins, then cast a brilliant shot down the ‘long straight’ that catapulted her into a bowl of odds lead and that delivery would have a decisive bearing on the outcome. It was over the bowl at the ‘lines’ in favour of the qualifier competition winner but the score remained competitive. Ryan cast a huge third last but it did not make an impact as the determined Collins followed in like manner. Ryan failed to knock the bowl as Collins maintained her consistency to the end and the shot of odds separated them at the end. Phillip O’Donovan’s contest with Eamonn Bowen (Sen) did not take place as the holder of the King title continues to receive treatment for injury.

Eamonn Bowen (Jun) defeated Dan O’Halloran in the Pat Barry Cup in Donoughmore on Sunday last. It was a good contest played of a total of €4,400 that saw O’Halloran make the better start with two good shots to the ‘gates’. Bowen had it level after five and shot a super effort from ‘Ring’s corner’ to the ‘wall’ that pushed him almost a bowl clear. O’Halloran rallied with good bowling on the straight and cut the deficit to fifty metres. A ‘called’ bowl scuppered the Mid Cork man’s chances of levelling and Bowen’s searing second last restored the City man’s bowl lead. That was how it finished. Back the road at Donoughmore, seniors David Murphy and Eamonn Bowen (Sen) engaged. With €5,600 at issue, Murphy’s three massive efforts in the middle segment of the score secured the bowl of odds that separated them at the end.

At Rylane Patrick O’Driscoll defeated Johnny Murphy (Beal na mBlath) in a second round junior tournament clash. Murphy cast a brilliant fourth shot here to rise considerable odds by immediately undid his good work with a poor fifth that allowed O’Driscoll gain the ascendancy. O’Driscoll took a bowl of odds to the ‘convent cross’ and held it to the end. They played for a total of €1,200.

For the second Sunday in succession rain hampered a busy day’s bowling at Drinagh. The early clearance allowed four scores to be completed. In the forenoon Rosscarbery’s, Jeremiah Fitzpatrick won his novice C tournament semi-final joust with Enniskeane’s Damien Kingston by a bowl of odds for a sum of €2,900. He plays Bantry’s Donie Hourihane in the upcoming final. Following the downpour three benefit contests went off. Thomas Boyle defeated Michael Gould in an all City battle on the inward route for a total of €3,100. Boyle had the upper hand of an off form Gould for the most part. The Munster junior A champion did have a good chance of levelling as they played to the ‘pond’ but cut too tightly and Boyle made the most of the let off. On the way east Denis Wilmot avenged his Bill Barrett Cup defeat to Tim Young at Caheragh on Sunday last with a comprehensive victory over the Bantry player for a tally of €3,200. Young made a bright opening and had a chance of taking a bowl lead to the ‘blacksticks’ but a series of errant efforts from ‘O’Sullivan’s’ to ‘Shandrum cross’ let the Bandon player off. The victory went Wilmot’s way by nearly two. Back in City’s John Byrnes won from Adrian Wilmot after an exciting contest played for a sum of €1,600.

At Ballinacurra on Saturday, Andrew O’Leary defeated David O’Mahony by close to two bowls for €4,000. O’Leary’s first was short but he recovered instantly with three milers to take command. O’Mahony suffered a second defeat going under to Patrick O’Driscoll by a bowl on the way back Ballinacurra for €2,000. Following this Michael Crean won two scores. Out he won from Paddy Cronin one bowl for €1,800 and, back, he defeated Declan O’Mahony last shot for €1,400. At Curraheen Declan O’Mahony and Tom Fulham had a win each from their two tussles both by a bowl and for stakes of €800 each time. At Gortroe Paddy Ronan defeated Tadg Hunter fore bowl for €2,700 and Haulie O’Mahony won from Niall O’Keefe one bowl for €2,500.

The first score in the Ballygurteen bowling clubs eight pair mixed doubles competition went off on Saturday last. Carbery’s James Hurley and Emma Fitzpatrick came out on top against the Pike based duo of Eoin O’Gorman and Susan Cullen by a bowl of odds margin. Playing for a total sum of €1,400, Hurley/Fitzpatrick made sight in three at the first bend to push almost a bowl clear. Hurley’s big shot, their fifth, to the ‘women’s lane’ followed by another miler from Fitzpatrick extended the distance between them to odds with the bowl before the South West pairing hit back with good bowling beyond the avenue. Cullen played a grand effort along the straight that knocked the bowl and which gave O’Gorman a small chance of levelling. The Pike player narrowly missed up to ‘O’Donovan’s’ and Hurley/Fitzpatrick were away again to a comfortable lead. The Carbery partnership won in the end by a bowl for a stake of €1,400. Back the road it was a single hand battle between the women seniors from the outward fixture. Emma Fitzpatrick was the winner here by two bowls also for a sum of €1,400. Susan Cullen’s best opportunity came with her opening shot but she failed to take advantage of the Rosscarbery girl’s misdirected effort. Fitzpatrick bowled impeccably after her early error and held a bowl at the ‘cottage’. She went on to double her odds on the straight.

September 25th 2006Back to Top ↑

ROAD BOWLS Outstanding Unlimited All-Irelands
In a truly memorable occasion, the rural setting of Madden was the scene for last weeks Unlimited Road Bowling All-Ireland Championships. The event, first hosted by the local club back in 2004, proved yet again to be an outstanding success, with a record number of grades down for decision. The competition featuring participants with special needs took place over a three day programme incorporating road bowls, skittles and target bowling. Over one hundred and fifty competitors took part with everyone catered for regardless of age, culture or gender. Those taking part included contestants from counties Armagh, Cork, Cavan, Monaghan, Down, Tipperary and Kerry. Certainly the outstanding efforts and achievements of all those who took part over the three days was a humbling experience to the large crowds who turned out on the Madden road and the grounds of the local community centre. The culmination of the event was Thursdays final when, in glorious sunshine, a record twenty-nine All-Ireland finals incorporating all disciplines were decided. However, although there were twenty-nine All-Ireland champions on Thursday evening, there were certainly no losers, with everyone who took part in this unique event being a very special winner. The large crowd who turned out to these All-Irelands giving encouragement to the competitors and the families of those taking part knew that they had witnessed something special in the close knit community of Madden. The feature score in the road bowling, the senior final, brought the curtain down on this amazing event and what a spectacular event it proved to be, when after a brilliant score, Jimmy Greene regained his senior title when he defeated the magnificent Adrian Hughes by just two foot on the final throw, with last years winner, Martin Duellea coming in third.
Five Star Presentation
The local community centre hosted a five star presentation on Thursday night with a full house in attendance. Hon Secretary of Bol Chumann Armagh Jarlath Devlin, Dan McCarthy representing Cork and Maureen Killen of the Appleby Centre Armagh heaped lavish praise on the event, saying that they were deeply humbled by the occasion. A great night was had by all, with our special guests showing that they were just as adept on the dance floor as the bowling road. Certainly, a three day event that will live in the hearts and minds of all those who witnessed it. However, a huge debt of gratitude must go to the Madden Road Bowls Club. If it was not for the commitment and endeavour of the Committee, this event may never have come to fruition. They left no stone unturned to facilitate this competition and their efforts are to be loudly applauded. A great vote of thanks also goes out to all those who played their part in this Unlimited All-Ireland road bowling success, especially the carers from the various centres who unselfishly gave up their time, the ladies who provided the catering over the three days, the road showers and not least the sponsors who contributed handsomely. Club Secretary Patrick McQuade, who hosted the presentation ceremony in his usual efficient manner, told the large crowd that the Madden Club were already looking forward to 2008. As the nights entertainment came to a close Pa McClatchey and Nobby Dunne wore that look of satisfaction in the knowledge that another unlimited road bowling milestone had been reached.

September 11th 2006

Two days of hectic action on the Boyne Road, Drogheda, concluded the junior C and novice championships for 2006. The major titles went to the games strongholds but the champions from the outlying regions were never outclassed and they contributed hugely to a wonderful weekends bowling that was capably coordinated by Bol Chumann personnel from Cork and Drogheda. For the Gaeltacht junior C champion, Paddy O’Callaghan the weekend crowned a memorable year. His comprehensive defeat of Adrian O’Reilly in Sunday’s All-Ireland decider saw him take the ultimate prize after a spirited campaign through regional and provincial rounds. Playing back in, in the second of Sunday’s finals, O’Callaghan’s start was in stark contrast to his hesitant opening in the previous day’s semi-final. He hit the ground running with four perfect deliveries that brought him to ‘Bewley’s cross’ and a full shot clear of his opponent. O’Reilly held it at that and indeed presented O’Callaghan with a few problems coming up to half-way but the Gaeltacht player countered each attempt to squeeze the margin. Coming up to the final third of the score O’Callaghan hit three masterful efforts from the ‘netting’ to the footpaths to finally see off O’Reilly’s challenge. His thirteen shots to the line represented excellent bowling for the route as he claimed his first All-Ireland championship by a two bowl distance. The stake money in the junior C final amounted to €6,400. Brian Kiernan got the Ulster champions away to a winning start when he took the novice 1 All-Ireland from Louth’s young campaigner, David Lucey, in the first of Sunday’s finals. For Lucey it was a case of what might have been for, had he capitalized on Kiernan’s two poor opening shots, he would have surely taken the bowl of odds cushion that could have influenced the eventual outcome. As it was, there was just metres in it after two with both hopping the kerb and getting short runs. Kiernan led after three and edged away to gain a hundred metres after five. Lucey pegged it back and was right in contention until he threw a very poor sixth that allowed the Ulster man to regain his earlier advantage. Kiernan extended his odds to the bowl and was not seriously threatened after that. The stake at issue was €3,600. In the last score of the weekend it was the old adversaries gain in opposition as Fergal McCreesh and Mark Harrington vied for All-Ireland novice 2 honours back out the Boyne Road. A very even contest ensued as they exchanged the lead over the first half of the score. With his fourth and third last McCreesh presented Harrington with opportunities to take command but they didn’t run for him. The Togher Cross man was left to rue as the final shots unfolded for, although still there with every chance, McCreesh it was who took the title by the fore bowl. The stake in this one was €6,400. A second All-Ireland for the Ulster champions was a tangible return considering they failed to get any of their representatives through to the deciders in Westport in 2005.

Saturday’s exhaustive schedule had the six competition semi-finals down for decision and, with five containing three championship contenders, it was a day-long elimination process before Sunday’s finalists were revealed. The first contest out at 10.00, a novice 1 semi-final, brought disappointment for the large Cork and Carbery contingent who travelled in support of Patrick Hodnett’s title bid. The Ballydehob man faced Ulster champion, Brian Keirnan, and Mayo’s David Hughes who had given Fergal Callanan a rare battle in last year’s novice 2 decider at Westport. Hughes found the step up a difficult one and, although well in contention for the first three, fell off the pace after that to leave Keirnan and Hodnett to fight it out at the front. Hodnett had a golden opportunity to gain important leeway at the ‘first netting’ but cut his attempt far too tightly and then played his shot away from here to the right as well. Hodnett bowled the straight stretches of the Boyne Road in fine style and was in the ascendancy for a good portion of this encounter. He did not adapt as well to the bends and lost ground at times with the result that Keirnan, more accurate on occasions, was always close enough to make a big play. That was how it transpired as the final exchanges unfolded. The Carbery man might have put it out of reach with his second last but fell short of the line although he did hold a thirty metre lead for the last shots. The Ulster champion unleashed the proverbial miler with his final effort and it carried him through to Sunday’s decider when Hodnett’s reply fell fifty metres adrift. Hughes finished almost two shots further back. There was a combined total of €3,000 at issue between Keirnan, Hodnett and Hughes with a further €4,600 between Munster and Ulster. Following out was the second novice 1 semi-final involving David Lucey (Leinster) and Mike Fleming (Boston and North America), London being an absentee from this grade. Playing for a total of €2,800, it was the youthful Lucey who stormed home a popular winner on his home patch. That outcome did not look likely in the early stages of an exciting contest. Fleming did the better bowling over the first phase and was a bowl to the good at ‘Bewley’s’. Fleming continued to hold the upper hand past half-way and extended his margin to good odds with the bowl before Lucey got into his stride. The Louth youth cast three superb efforts to swing it his way and, amid mounting excitement, came home a winner by fifteen metres to ensure home representation in Sunday’s final.

Next on the agenda, playing in, was the first of the junior C semi-finals. Adrian O’Reilly (Ulster), Florry O’Mahony, the North America representative and Louth’s own Leinster champion, Martin Briscoe, lined out. All three had a spell in the lead with Briscoe looking particularly strong at the threequarter stage. A poor fourth last cost him and allowed the closing shots to be decided between O’Reilly and O’Mahony. The Ulster man won it by a good fore bowl. There was €2,600 at issue between O’Reilly and O’Mahony. Playing out in the afternoon the first of the novice 2 semi-finals resulted in victory for Togher Cross’s Cork representative, Mark Harrington, from Jerome Casey (London) and Eamonn Tuite (Leinster). Harrington was in control for most of the way and was given the strongest challenge by Casey. Tuite was off the pace after the first quarter before Harrington began to dominate on the middle straight. Casey, playing well, kept in touch but there was no denying the West Cork champion his place in Sunday’s final as he ran out a bowl of odds winner. There was €1,400 at issue between Casey and Tuite. The second junior C semi-final playing in was a cracking contest won by Gaeltacht’s Munster champion, Paddy O’Callaghan from London’s Brendan O’Brien with Mayo’s Ger Kennedy a gallant third. Kennedy had an early opportunity of putting it up to his more favoured opponents but failed to capitalize on their poor opening shots. O’Callaghan settled in to the contest and led for a while before O’Brien came to the fore. The Londoner had the scent of victory with four to go but missed the last bend after O’Callaghan had given him the opening. The Gelatacht man’s third last ran beautifully with the kerb whereas O’Brien’s hopped and that restored the Munster man’s advantage for the final shots. O’Callaghan’s last again brushed well to set up his final meeting with Ulster’s O’Reilly. The stake money between O’Callaghan and O’Brien was €2,600. Finally out the road the second novice 2 semi-final saw Ulster’s Fergal McCreesh emerge to contest with Mark Harrington. McCreesh was a bowl of odds victor in an another exciting set-to with Colm Murphy the New York and North American champion and Connaught’s Joe Sheridan. Murphy had a good spell in the middle segment of the score while Sheridan led with three to go. McCreesh, never far off the pace, took it at the death with a big shot to the line.

Bowling started on Friday afternoon at Drogheda when a senior challenge between John Creedon and Eddie Carr went off for a total of €8,200. The result marked a good start to the weekend for the Gaeltacht contingent as Creedon came home a winner by almost two bowls. Neither of the top graded exponents delivered as might have been expected although Carr made a good start going a bowl up after four. Carr hit a poor fifth and Creedon took control. Carr’s form dipped and the Gaeltacht man ran out a comfortable winner. On the way back on Friday, Ballydehob’s John O’Brien won a pick-up from Adrian Keirnan by the bowl for a sum of €3,000.

Drogheda secretary, Eamonn Nugent proclaimed the weekends bowling had gone ‘extremely well’ with the closeness of the majority of the contests and the quality of the action especially pleasing. The prize giving, attended by Susan Greene, James O’Driscoll and Brendan Hayes was held at Sarsfield’s Bar where, in a thoughtful addition, the Drogheda club presented each of the weekends seventeen participants with a crystal momento of their visit. Our thanks to James O’Driscoll for his regular updates on all the scores in Drogheda.

Sept 4th 2006

The Queen of the Roads qualifiers continue and a cracking quarterfinal fixture at Macroom on Saturday evening saw Louise Collins claim a semi-final slot by a big fore bowl margin from North Cork’s Marie Noonan. Both girls were in top form in a fiercely competitive encounter and were on the novice line in fifteen very good shots. Playing off for a combined sum of €2,100 the Castletownkenneigh based Collins won the first shot, Noonan the second, and it stayed in that vein with Collins again just ahead in six to the ‘waterfall’. Amid several feisty exchanges Noonan led with her seventh and held the fore to the ‘gap’. A huge bowl on the straight reclaimed the lead for Collins and it was a decisive turn in the contest as she would not be headed after that. Noonan continued to challenge but an error with her second last effectively scuppered her chances. Louise Collins scored the line with a well-drilled fifteenth to ensure victory.

It’s coming to the business end of the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig. On Sunday last David Murphy qualified for the semi-final of this King of the Roads qualifier tournament. He ended the good run of Patrick O’Donoghue with a convincing two bowl victory in a stakeless contest. Murphy wasn’t headed in this encounter and scored the line in fifteen good shots. He was thorough the no play lines in six and a bowl to the good. He had nearly two at half-way and did eventually rise the second shot at the ‘sycamore’s’. In a challenge score back the road at Ballincurrig Eamonn Bowen (Sen) defeated Aidan Murphy by the fore bowl for €3,800. It was a close enough for most of the way until Bowen gained a decisive advantage coming up to the ‘creamery’. On Thursday at the East Cork venue Oliver Searls defeated Patrick Butler last shot for €1,800 and Moss Twomey won from Willie O’Donoghue last shot for €600.

The concluding stages of the London championships saw Brendan O’Brien and Jerome Casey taking the honours. O’Brien won the junior C title after a close contest with his brother Pat at Launder’s Lane. It was practically level for most of the score with Brendan’s big last effort deciding it. Long serving regional official, Jerome Casey, won the novice 2 championship from last years winner and Enniskeane native, Pat O’Neill. O’Neill led over the outward half of the contest before Casey levelled matters at the gap on the inward route. It was tight to the end with Casey taking the verdict in the last shot.

In the vintage championship B section Willie Dennis of Cobh defeated Denis Collins (Clon) in the last shot at Jagoes Mills to set himself up for a play-off with Tim Joe Browne to decide Thade Murphy’s opponent in the overall over 60’s final. This was an entertaining joust between two of the great servants of the game. Collins went a bowl up at ‘O’Brien’s corner’ but lost it entirely in the next exchange. Dennis’ next ran with the brow and Collins’ reply broke badly. The Cobh man led them and went on to rise a bowl of odds at the ‘railway line’. He led by a bowl and twenty metres at the ‘power station’ by two miscued efforts cost him and suddenly the Clon man was back in it. It was close for the last shots but Dennis held on to win by a good fore bowl. The stake at issue was €960.

The Carbery-South West series went on at various venues throughout the week. Hosted on this occasion by the Carbery region the schedule threw a number of interesting clashes. Leap’s Dec O’Donovan played three scores at Bauravilla on Saturday. He finished in style to inflict a one bowl defeat on recent Tim White Cup winner, Johnny O’Driscoll, in the opening score. Ballydehob’s John O’Brien then defeated O’Donovan later in the day. O’Brien tracked two massive opening shots to the ‘bridge’ from the novice start on the inward route and they stood him in good stead as he recorded a one bowl win for a sum of €4,200.

At the New Half-Way, on Tuesday 29, the busy North East intermediate Eamonn Bowen(Jun) won a three-way tie from Trevor O’Meara and Tim Pat O’Donovan. Playing for a total of €4,500, O’Donovan was the early leader but an injury would later cause him to withdraw from the contest. By that time Bowen, carrying exceptional speed on the evening, had taken command. From the mid point of the score the Carrignavar man hit a few big shots to turn it his way. O’Meara kept it competitive but Bowen ran out a big fore bowl winner. At the same venue on Wednesday Thomas Boyle and Patsy Hogan had a good contest. Boyle prevailed by nearly a bowl for a sum of €2,900. Bowen (Jun) continued on his mid week winning run with a victory over his long time his rival, Andrew O’Leary, at Fermoy on Friday 1. O’Leary won the first shot here before Bowen took charge. O’Leary’s poor second did not help his cause and Bowen raced a shot clear after four. It was odds with the bowl before matters were terminated with a shot to go. The stake at issue was €1,200. At Nadd on Thursday 31 Martin Coppinger delivered another much talked about performance. He covered the road in eleven high quality shots to inflict a two bowl defeat on the higher graded Eamonn Bowen (Sen). With €3,600 at stake, Coppinger had a bowl after two and two after four and, after that, there was little Bowen could do such was the range of shots and delivery that the Bantry man was exhibiting. Niall O’Keefe won a score back the road at Nadd from Martin Hubbard last shot for €1,200. On Sunday evening at Nadd, Bowen (Sen) returned to take a win from John Creedon. Playing his second score of the day, the ageless Carrignavar man threw a few lengthy efforts to come away with a two bowl victory over the Gaeltacht player for a combined stake of €2,000. Also at Nadd on Sunday evening Patrick O’Donoghue, Mallow, defeated Noel Murphy, Ballyvourney, in the last shot for €3,400.

Johnny Murphy, Beal na mBlath capped a good weekend with a couple of victories at Kilumney from veteran champion, Dan Joe Holland on Sunday morning. There was a big turnaround in their score outward, a tournament fixture, played for a total of €2,600. Murphy started well and led by fifty metres after three before Holland unleashed a big fourth to take the fore. Holland dominated the next phase of the score and rose a bowl of odds coming up to ‘O’Toole’s’. Crucially he missed a relatively routine effort to sight at the bend by the novice line which allowed Murphy to regain ground. Murphy assumed control over the closing quarter and won the contest by a comfortable fore bowl. Playing back in, for similar money, Murphy’s massive second shot put him on his way to a two-bowl victory. Nicholas Carey defeated Martin Coppinger at Rylane on Sunday last. Carey bowled well in this contest and hit four big opening shots and was throwing odds at the ‘convent cross’. The East Cork youth kept it up and two further well-delivered efforts on the ‘tarmac’ pushed him a bowl and fifty metres clear. Coppinger, try as he did, failed to indent on Carey’s lead and the victory by a bowl went to the Carrigtwohill youth. The stake at issue was €4,000.

Brian Daly, the current City junior B champion, was in good form at Whitechurch on Wednesday where he bettered Patrick O’Driscoll by two bowls for a sum of €1,600. Also at Whitechurch on Friday Thomas Boyle defeated John O’Donoghue in the last shot of a great contest played for a sum of €1,800. the Whitechurch club have their junior B tournament final down for decision this week when Vincent Kiely and Peter Nagle go head to head.

Under-age star, Thomas Buckley, won two scores at Jagoe’s Mills on Sunday evening. First out he defeated Bandon’s Denis Wilmot by almost a bowl for a total of €600. On the inward route he took on the exceptionally active Thomas Boyle whose tally of scores for the week reached double figures. Without hitting the heights Buckley won this mainly due to a rising a bowl of odds at ‘O’Brien’s’. The stake at issue was €2,400. Earlier in the week at Jagoe’s Mills, on Tue 29, Pat Broderick won two from two with Freddie Scannell both by close to a bowl of odds margin and for sums of €2,200 each time. Johnny Murphy, Beal na mBlath, had a pair of wins from Thomas Boyle at Ballinacurra on Saturday. He defeated the City man out in the last shot for €3,600 and by almost a bowl in the return for €3,800. Also here Paul Walsh and Pat Broderick had one apiece from two scores. In a three-way tie at Ballinacurra on Thursday the Kinsale man, Mick Minihane came home a winner from Martin Desmond and Greg Crean for a total of €2,700. The same three played a return score with Desmond coming out on top in this one.

In the Denis Horgan Club scores in Banteer, playing for the Jackie Daly Shield, Tadg and Dean Sexton beat Donal Cashman and Jan O’Riordan twice with the last shot deciding it on both occasions. Then Johnny O’Riordan and Jan O’Riordan defeated Liam Casey and Steven O’Connell in the last shot and Liam Casey and Dean Sexton won form Johnny O’Riordan and Steven O’Connell last shot. In a couple of doubles fixtures at Sally’s Cross Joe Sexton and Dan Vaughan shared the spoils with Denis Hickey and Bobby Healy. Sexton/Vaughan won by two bowls for €1,800 and, for the same money, the Mallow men reversed the result by the last shot.

August 28th 2006 Back to Top ↑

Paddy O’Callaghan won the Munster junior C championship final from Steve Hurley at Newcestown on Saturday afternoon last. The Gaeltacht champion, as he did in his semi-final with Vincent Cahalane at Derrinasafa, finished the score strongly as he extended a marginal lead at ‘O’Brien’s corner’ to a clear bowl of odds victory at the finish line. The newly resurfaced Newcestown route provided a stern test as they played inwards from ‘Mac’s cross’ for a combined total of €14,400. Both players commanded large support on the back of several top class performances in the run up to this decider and it was a very even affair for the opening sequence of shots. O’Callaghan won the first by a short distance, Hurley the second as they played to ‘Allen’s lane’. It remained close to the ‘monoument’ in four and again up to ‘Desmond’s’ in six before O’Callaghan cast a big effort down the hill that gave him a fifty metre lead. Hurley pressed in the shots to the ‘sheds’ and had it whittled to twenty metres but O’Callaghan continued in the ascendancy and had the better chance of making sight with a bowl of odds at ‘O’Brien’s’. Hurley held off that scenario with a good shot to sight as O’Callaghan lofted his odds across the bend. The West Cork champion crucially failed to go down to the second last bend with his throw from the cross and that gave O’Callaghan an opening he didn’t spurn. The Gaeltacht man was assured and accurate over the closing shots and took full advantage of his opponent’s lapse to win the contest by almost a bowl of odds. Bol Chumann chairperson, Susan Greene, presented Paddy O’Callaghan with the winner’s cup and wished him well in the national decider in Drogheda in September.

Carbery’s Patrick Hodnett deprived the O’Callaghan clan of a rare family double when he stylishly won the Munster novice 1 decider at Sam’s Cross on Sunday evening. Hodnett’s opponent, Michael O’Callaghan, a brother of Saturday’s winner, came to this final with good credentials and the two provided an entertaining contest that sparkled with top class bowling from both contenders. Hodnett was the punters favourite in the €10,600 stake and won the opening shot by thirty metres. O’Callaghan’s second levelled and the Gaeltacht man led when his third across the bend brushed the left. Hodnett left his fourth a little to the right and O’Callaghan pushed forty metres ahead. Both cast superb shots on the difficult rise to ‘Shorten’s’ with O’Callaghan again holding fore having followed a big throw by the western player. It was going the Cuil Aodha man’s way as he again got the better of the exchanges to ‘Collins’ where his lead was close to fifty metres. Hodnett needed a big one and produced a spectacular effort with his eighth that he tracked with power and accuracy on the centre. It held its course for a long distance and turned his deficit into a half bowl lead. O’Callaghan didn’t make sight at the ‘blue school’ with his tenth and the Carbery champion drove home hi s advantage with a tightly cut shot that increased his margin to almost a bowl. O’Callaghan tried valiantly with a fine attempt towards the line before Hodnett put the seal on a highly competent display by hitting a superb eleventh, again along the centre, that ensured his place as Munster representative in the All-Ireland novice 1 play-offs at Drogheda on September 9/10. The Carbery champion became the first holder of the magnificent silver cup donated to Bol Chumann by the Hegarty family Lyre that will commemorate the memory of their late father, Mick, who had been a stalwart servant of bowling for many decades. Susan Green expressed her gratitude to the Hegarty family for their magnanimous gesture and thanked referee Michael Cormican and the Sam’s Cross club. She had a special word too for fixtures secretary, Harry Jennings, and praised his sterling work in ensuring that so many grades, with their numerous attendant fixtures, were run off within their allotted time.

There was drama, excitement and heartbreak too at Jagoe’s Mills on Sunday afternoon as the women’s championships were completed for 2006. The girls U12 decider brought together two accomplished exponents in Aileen Murphy, the West Cork champion from Togher Cross and Laura Creedon from the Mons representing the Gaeltacht region. They had a tremendous battle that went shot for shot for most of its duration. Laura Creedon edged ahead coming up to the finish and seemed to have victory within her grasp. Aileen Murphy threw a good last effort that gave her a small chance. Laura Creedon played her reply for victory accurately but it veered at the last moment and finished mere millimetres short of the target. It was in those sensational circumstances that Aileen Murphy won the girls U12 title for 2006. Martina Foley’s remarkable win the women’s junior final was almost as nailbiting. Helen Cooney of North Cork was in pole position was much of their encounter. Cooney was playing the stronger and forged a bowl in front coming up to the ‘railway line’ and it was odds with the bowl after the next exchanges. Martina Foley’s late rally would yield rich dividends. Two excellent shots from ‘Ballinavard cross’ reduced the odds significantly and these, coupled with a miscalculation by Cooney with her second last, saw the odds down to forty metres for the second last. A big last shot by the Mid Cork girl completed the comeback. Helen Cooney’s reply missed by twenty metres to give Martina Foley the victory with her only fore bowl of the day. Laura Hegarty from Lyre has bowling pedigree of the highest order and produced a battling finish to win the girls U14 championship for 2006. Andrea Cunningham from East Cork had blazed a trail through the qualifying rounds with some excellent performances and started the better in their decider. It was, however, yet another contest in which the long time leader had to give best in the end. Andrea Cunningham held fifty metres with the bowl of odds at the half way point before Laura Hegarty started to make inroads. She gradually whittled away at the East Cork girl’s lead with good bowling that replicated her semi-final showing at Berrings. With the final shots the South West champion won the title by twenty metres.

Tim Joe Browne won the vintage B section semi-final from Con O’Donovan at Macroom on Friday evening. Browne, a winner of the section and runner up to Christy Keating in the overall final in 2003, brushed well with his second and it was instrumental in giving him a bowl lead after three. O’Donovan threw three excellent efforts from the ‘waterfall’ but Browne stayed with them and held his odds. It was Browne who had the better of matters on the flat on to ‘Kelleher’s’ and ran out a two bowl winner of a contest played for a combined total of €940. He will play either Denis Collins or Willie Dennis in the B final with Thade Murphy, the A winner, already in the overall final.

The Queen of the Roads qualifiers progressed during the past week with fixtures at the Clubhouse and Castletownkenneigh. At the West Cork venue Sharon Russell came out on top against intermediate champion, Emma Fitzpatrick, by a bowl of odds for a stake of €2,600. The Rosscarbery girl’s brilliant second shot gave her big odds but it counted for nothing when Russell played an excellent fifth to sight at the line. Level here Sharon Russell took control of the score with good bowling to ‘Clon Cross’. Fitzpatrick wasn’t playing with her earlier consistency and taking five from the line to this juncture left her a bowl adrift. Russell held her lead for the remainder of the contest and ran out a bowl of odds winner. Russell’s next opponent will be Susan Cullen. Carbery’s other representative in action in the Queen qualifiers, Helen Whyte, had better luck at Castletownkenneigh where she forged a fore bowl victory over Catriona O’Rourke. Playing out, Whyte led by a bowl at the first line most of which she held down to the ‘triangle’. O’Rourke rallied along the straight and came within metres of levelling but the Reenascreena girl held on to move to the quarterfinal rounds where she will meet Louise Daly. A quarterfinal fixture at the Clubhouse on Monday last saw victory for Geraldine Daly from Gretta Cormican. They contested out for a sum of €1,400 and it was Cormican who looked the more likely in the early stages. She held a lead after three of most of a bowl of odds before Daly levelled beyond ‘Dineen’s cross’. The Caheragh girl upped it considerably from Clon cross from where she hit four of the best to reach the old school. Those were the shots that were to be the difference as she ran out a bowl of odds winner.

At Ballincurrig on Sunday last Eamonn Bowen (Sen) threw a magnificent last shot to eliminate intermediate champion, Aidan Murphy, from the King of the Road’s qualifier that is the Mick Barry Cup. Playing for a combined total of €4,300 Bowen took advantage of a poor second by Murphy to take seventy metres which he held through the lines. Bowen went on to rise the bowl on the long straight before Murphy knocked it with good bowling to the ‘elbow’. Murphy led the score for the first time at the end of the ‘short straight’ and was in front by ten metres for the last shots. Bowen took the honours with a superbly thrown effort that opened on to the centre and ran right around the green. Murphy’s task was a difficult one and attempt went right off the play to miss by fifty metres. On Thursday at Ballincurrig the Cobh man, Dave Dennis, scored two victories. He won out against Aidan Bowen in the last shot for €1,200 and beat Patrick Butler by a similar margin in the return.

Two scores were played in the Flor Crowley Cup during the past week. At Castletownkenneigh on Thursday Nicholas Carey defeated Michael O’Leary by almost a bowl for a stake of €1,800. This was a good enough contest in which Carey went a bowl up at half-way. O’Leary made a strong recovery along the straight but could not overhaul the Carrigtwohill youth. At Ballinacurra on Saturday evening David O’Mahony built on his John Cronin Cup win of the previous Sunday with a defeat of Eamonn Bowen (Jun) by two bowls for a sum of €4,600. Bowen did his best bowling at the start of the score and led up to the main road. O’Mahony, from Perrot’s onwards, was in unbeatable form. Four tremendous bowls in a row gave him an unassailable lead. In other scores at Ballinacurra Patrick O’Driscoll won a cracking encounter with Drinagh’s John Young on Friday. Just two metres separated them at he end for a stake of €3,200. On Wednesday Killian O’Sullivan defeated Mark Crean fore bowl for a sum of €1,800. Crean did have his chances here but didn’t avail and O’Sullivan’s steady play gave him the advantage.

Mick Gould won a thrilling final at Whitechurch on Sunday morning last from Seamus Sexton (Jun). It was played for the Billy Molloy Cup with Sexton the favourite in the €3,200 total. The bowling was close to senior standard with both making sight in three and on to the ‘wall’ in four. Sexton built up a sixty metre lead but Gould stayed in touch and started cutting down the odds along the straight. Gould led at the start of the straight and beat a massive effort of Sexton’s to the ‘devil’s bend’. It stayed neck and neck right to the finish with the City man beating a good last shot to take the winner’s prize. Noel Magnier presented Gould with the Bobby Molloy Cup at the scores end. Brian Wilmot produced an incredible performance at Kilumney in ousting Olan Noonan from that clubs junior B competition. It was a semi-final fixture played for a total of €2,200 with Wilmot storming away to ‘blackbird’s lane’ in four. There was nothing Noonan could do with the Bandon man’s bowling as he reached the novice line in better figures than Aidan Murphy’s intermediate championship winning tally. Wilmot now faces either Christy Keating or Vincent Kiely in the upcoming final at Kilumney. In the Tony Murray Cup at Ballyvolane Vincent Kiely defeated junior B championship finalist, Martin Daly by a bowl for €1,600. Kiely rose the decisive odds at the ‘barleyfield’ and held it to the finish. The Shannonvale junior tournament brought together two Carbery men who produced a classic regional final in June at the Marsh Road. Tommy Connolly and J C Desmond squared up again for a total of €2,200. Connolly emerged victorious once again taking a bowl of odds out to ‘Desmond’s’ in eight and nine. He held that margin on to ‘Campbell’s’ and went on to score the line in fourteen representing excellent figures for the newly resurfaced South West venue. Freddie Scannell defeated Tim Cahalane (L) in a score back Shannonvale played for a total of €2,600.

At Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday evening the Kinsale man, Pat Broderick, won two from two with John O’Leary both last shot for stakes of €2,000 and €1,800. In the Ballyclough doubles final Ollie O’Riordan and Martin Madigan combined to defeat Gerard Kelleher and John Joe Savage by a bowl of odds. The winners defeated Bobby Healy and Haulie O’Mahony in the last shot while the runners up had the better of Donal Cahsman and Derry Blake in their penultimate round score.

August 21st 2006

Senior player, John Creedon, Ballyvourney, for the third time in its four year running, won the Paddy Barry Cup at Cahermore on Friday evening last. His latest triumph came in the last shot of a pulsating encounter with Mid Cork’s David Murphy in the feature event of the Rosscarbery clubs festival programme. While it may not have carried the cut and thrust of a championship engagement, the contest will still rank with the best in any review of the current seasons bowling. Both players exhibited their array of skills, with precision lofting and excellent shot making a feature of the score throughout. The figures for the road speak volumes for the quality of the bowling with each player having little to do to reach Cahermore cross in eleven before scoring the finish line in five more. Murphy was the overwhelming favourite at the outset, an inexplicable reasoning given Creedon’s past performances at the venue, as they played away for a total of €3,000. Both made the ‘priest’s cross’ with their opening efforts, Murphy just ahead, before the Gaealtacht man took thirty metres with a beautifully judged second. A thrilling battle was beginning to take shape as Murphy tracked an incredible third way past the ‘ivy pole’, a shot that led some punters to offer the bowl of odds in his favour, before Creedon countered with a bullet like fourth to regain the lead. The Ballyvourney man held the fore in the next exchanges up the straight and on to ‘Barry’s lane’ where both cast splendid lofts. The lead was marginal though but it increased significantly with Creedons huge throw, his ninth, beyond ‘Maguire’s gate’. Murphy rallied immediately with a perfect tenth beyond the novice line and they stayed locked together in eleven to ‘Cahermore cross’. Creedon had the better of the shots from the line although Murphy had a good break at ‘Froe cross’ to keep him very much in the frame. The Templemartin player led again up the straight as Creedon dropped his thirteenth too near and ten metres separated them with two to go. Creedon’s second last won the cup for him. Superbly shot, it cut the last bend accurately and gave him a forty metre advantage after Murphy played too tightly. The Mid Cork player did well from his restricted position and beat the line comfortably but Creedon would not be denied and whipped his reply away to beat the target by a distance. Steve Hayes of the host club with Mr John O’Donovan representing the Barry family presented John Creedon with the winner’s prize at the after score presentation in the Abbey Bar.

The Castletownkenneigh club were the capable hosts of last Saturday’s Munster novice 2 championship final. It produced a wholesome contest between two players who had dutifully campaigned in the grade for many years before eventually hitting the high notes in this year’s championship. Mark Harrington from Togher Cross will carry the Munster novice 2 banner in the last All-Ireland series at Drogheda on Saturday and Sunday September 9 and 10 thanks in the main to his brilliant third and second last shots on the difficult chipped stretch that finally saw off the challenge of Gaeltacht’s Noel Kelleher. Harrington won the opening exchange by a good distance as they played off on the outward route from Castletown but then scuppered his chances of making the first line in two when his second went right. Kelleher had a bit to do to get down in three but did so in style to keep the contest level. Both got good fourth shots before Kelleher unluckily missed the second line with his fifth to concede big odds. Harrington did not quite drive home his advantage with his sixth and Kelleher had it down to twenty metres when making sight with a good seventh. The Gaeltacht champion made a crucial error with his eighth playing far too tightly whereas the Togher player hit accurately past the triangle to go almost a bowl up again. Kelleher strove manfully down the straight and kept it under the bowl. Harrington was not yielding much but a massive brush off the right with his eleventh was important in his holding seventy metres as the played on to the rough. The West Cork representative increased his lead with a fierce drive down the centre that Kelleher did well to beat to still hold off the bowl. Harrington’s second last put the seal on fine performance and won the bowl as well. Bol Chumann treasurer, James O’Driscoll, presented Mark Harrington with the Mick Wiseman cup and thanked both contestants for a sporting contest. The stake at issue was €5,640.

Another big winner on last weekend was the Fivemilebridge player David O’Mahony who claimed the John Cronin Cup at Churchtown South on Saturday last. Nicholas Carey was the hot favourite as they played off for a total sum of €600. O’Mahony won the first shot by twenty metres before Carey took hold for a period. There was never much in it as they both made ‘O’Donovan’s’ in six. Carey went sixty metres in front in the shots to the ‘beet’ but missed a great opportunity when failing to make sight with his seventh allowing O’Mahony the chance to level which he duly took. There was a good exchange at ‘Biskin’s’ where Carey beat a big bowl of O’Mahony’s but the East Cork player missed his opponents mark following the next exchange. It was a turning point as Carey failed to make it to the top of the brow. O’Mahony, on the other hand, brushed down to the hollow to rise a bowl of odds and he quickly doubled his lead in the next shots. The Mid Cork man ran out a comfortable two bowl winner and was presented with the John Cronin Cup by the East Cork chairman Willie Dennis.

The vintage (over 60) B section had over forty entrants and that figure has been whittled down to four following a two month championship that has garnered plenty of interest among the bowling public. At Gortroe on Wednesday, former finalist, T J Browne advanced to this years semi-final with a win over John Sheehan. Then at the Bog Road on Thursday 2004 B section winner Con O’Donovan, Newcestown, came home a winner by bowl of odds from John Coleman. At Bauravilla on Friday the Clon player Denis Collins beat a good last tip to secure a semi-final slot from Batty Hurley. This was a close competitive score with Hurley leading for the first five. Collins had the edge from there but it still went to the wire. They played for a total of €840. Willie Dennis is the fourth in the equation following his victory over Haulie O’Mahony, also at the Bog Road, on the previous week. The semi-final line up for the B vintage section now reads: Con O’Donovan v Tim Joe Browne at Macroom on this Friday Aug 25 and Denis Collins v Willie Dennis at Jagoes Mills Saturday Sept 2.

This Saturday afternoon at Jagoe’s Mills will see the completion of the women’s championships with three finals down for decision. In the junior final starting at 12.45, Martina Foley (Mid Cork) will play Helen Cooney (North Cork). Cooney booked her final place with a bowl of odds win over Julie Kelleher (North East) at the Bog Road on Tuesday 22. Kelleher led for the first quarter and was in a strong position until Cooney unleashed a magnificent effort at the three quarter stage to swing it her way. Andrea Cunningham from East Cork ended Laura O’Mahony’s great run in the girls under 14 semi-final at the Half Way venue on Monday 21. The strong East Cork player got off to a mighty start and, although O’Mahony, the West Cork winner, came into it to knock the odds to thirty meters coming to the three quarter stage, it was Cunningham who will contest this weekends final. Laura Hegarty from the South West region will provide the opposition in the U14 final that has a starting time of 1.30pm. The South West champion got through her penultimate round fixture with North Cork’s Catriona Vaughan at Beal na mBlath on Tuesday. Saturday’s U12 final at Jagoe’s Mills the first final of the day is scheduled for 12.00 noon and will be contested between Aileen Murphy (West Cork) and the Gaeltacht champion, Laura Creedon from the Mons.

Also down for decision on this weekend are the junior C and novice 1 Munster finals. Saturday afternoon at 4pm Newcestown will host the junior C decider between Steve Hurley (West Cork) and Paddy O’Callaghan (Gaeltacht). Then on Sunday at Sam’s Cross at 6pm Michael O’Callaghan (Gaeltacht) will play Patrick Hodnett (Carbery) for the novice 1 title.

The Queen of the Roads qualifiers are under way with a variety of fixtures pencilled in for various venues around the county. At Beal na mBlath on Sunday morning last 2001 Queen champion Suzanne Cullen finished with aplomb to defeat former under-age star, Denise Murphy by a bowl of odds for a stake of €640. In a another first rounder on this week at the Clubhouse dual All-Ireland winner, Emma Fitzpatrick, plays her first major senior fixture when she engages with Sharon Russell. Another preliminary round clash is Helen Whyte v Catriona O’Rourke at Newcestown. The quarterfinal line up for the Queen of the Roads qualifier tournament is Gretta Cormican v Geraldine Daly at Bauravilla Sun 27; Louise Collins v Maria Noonan at Macroom Sun Aug 27; Louise Daly v O’Rourke/Whyte; Susanne Cullen v Fitzpatrick/Russell.

At Ballincurrig on Sunday morning intermediate champion, Aidan Murphy, qualified for round four of the Mick Barry Cup with an emphatic victory over John O’Driscoll. Playing out for a total of €1,200 O’Driscoll had a slight edge up to the ‘lines’. He lost ground up the ‘long straight’ with Murphy finally putting serious distance between them with a huge throw around the ‘big corner’. Murphy plays Eamonn Bowen (Sen) for a quarterfinal spot on Thursday this week. Pat Butler is another quarterfinalist after last week’s action at Ballincurrig. He eliminated last years King of the Roads runner-up, Trevor O’Meara, in the last shot on Monday 14. It was a narrow victory for Butler from a contest in which O’Meara had looked the more likely for much of the way. Butler’s meeting with Christy Mullins did not take place on Sunday last and he now faces John Shorten in the competition quarterfinal. In an exciting score back Ballincurrig on Sunday morning David Murphy came from almost a bowl of odds down at the ‘creamery’ to claim a dramatic last shot win. The stake at issue was €3,000. Back to Rosscarbery where Johnny O’Driscoll of Clon grasped his chance when it came to take the Tim White Cup on Wednesday last. Michael Bohane was the favourite in the three-way tie with Mark Crane also a strong contender as they played off for €5,400. Bohane it was who hit a massive third and followed up with a splendid shot up the straight to lead both his opponents by almost a bowl with two thirds of the score gone. A combination of injury and ill judged play resulted in an alarming collapse in Bohane’s form. Three very short efforts allowed O’Driscoll and Crean to not alone level but pull ahead of the Carbery man. An accidental block hampered Crean with his eighth and O’Driscoll hit a splendid attempt beyond ‘Barry’s cross’ to lead the contest. He held it in style too depriving Crean who had tracked a fierce effort past the ‘black pole’, of a last shot opportunity. Rosscarbery club official and Bol Chumann vice-chairman, Pat O’Sullivan spoke of the late Tim White’s bowling exploits as he presented Johnny O’Driscoll with the winners cup.

John Creedon’s good form was very evident again at his home patch in Ballyvourney on Sunday evening where he broke some road records in taking a bowl of odds victory over Edmund Sexton. Creedon’s twelve shots to ‘Ullane’s bridge’ would be hard to surpass and he needed the figures as Sexton matched him in nine excellent throws to the ‘slippery rock’. The stake at issue was €5,600. In a score back the road at Ballyvourney Denis Hickey defeated Donncha Lucey almost two bowls for €4,000. It came good in the end for Jim Coffey at Ballinacurra on Saturday. He lost his opening score out to Denis Wilmot one bowl for €3,400 but won the next two last shot and one bowl for sums of €2,000 and €4,000. He then rounded off the day with victory over John Murphy one bowl for €9,200. Andrew O’Leary won two from two with Richard Murphy at Kilumney on Sunday last. He took the first out by two bowls for €2,600 before winning by the same margin back for €1,000. In action at Nadd during the past week Eamonn Bowen Senior defeated Edmund Sexton by two bowls for €3,200 on Thursday while on Friday Seamus Sexton (Jun) came from way back to defeat Eamonn Bowen (Jun) in the last shot for €7,500. Also here Joe Sexton defeated Denis Hickey last shot for €2,140 and Tadg Hunter won from Kevin Cooney two bowls for €2,000. At Rylane Thomas Boyle and Patsy Hogan had a score apiece from their two meetings, both victories coming by one bowl for €1,400 each time. The ever active Boyle had a surprise win over an off form David O’Mahony at the Jagoes Mills venue on Wednesday 16. O’Mahony recovered to win the return double when he teamed up with Mick Minihane to defeat Kevin O’Donovan and Pascal Buckley by two bowls for €2,000. At Waterfall Troy O’Herlihy defeated Andrew Morrissey one bowl for €2,000 and Gerry Long took the verdict from John Connors also one bowl for €2,000. Killian O’Sullivan made a wining return to action at Newcestown on Friday where he scored a one bowl victory over Danny Connolly for a sum of €780. At Carrignavar on Saturday Martin Coppinger and Patrick O’Donoghue shared the victories from two scores while at Curraheen Johnny O’Sullivan had a pair of wins from Pat Joe Murphy. Earlier in the week at Carrignavar Derry Cooney (Kilcorney) defeated Peter Nagle (City) by a bowl of odds. Youth champions Thomas Buckley and John O’Rourke had one apiece at Bweeng on Saturday evening and at Donoughmore Bandon’s Brian Wilmot defeated Munster junior B finalist, Martin Daly, by one bowl for €2,000. Still in North Cork at Sally’s Cross on Tuesday 15 Vincent Kiely defeated Olan Noonan two bowls for €3,600 and in a score back Denis Hickey defeated Joe Murphy last shot for €1,800. In a mixed doubles final at the Denis Horgan Club, Banteer, Simon Atkins and John Breen took the honours from Maurice Cashman and Caroline Cronin in the last shot. In the Jackie Daly Shield here Liam Casey and Johnny O’Riordan beat Liam Dennehy and Steven O’Connell last shot.


August 7th

Five championships from six represented a highly satisfactory return for Cork’s bowling champions from the Holiday weekend finals on the Cathedral Road, Armagh. Aidan Murphy, Carmel Ryan, Emma Fitzpatrick, Arthur McDonogh and John O’Sullivan claimed national titles in their respective grades with only Mick Gould in junior A narrowly losing out to Paul Grimley. Murphy’s win from Malachy Lappin in the feature event of the weekend, the All-Ireland intermediate final, on Sunday evening was emphatic in the end but the Mid Cork youth was well off the spectacular form he displayed in his Munster final win at Kilumney on Sunday week. The odds on favourite at the outset Murphy might have had a more difficult engagement had Lappin made more of an indifferent start on the Cork man’s part. Murphy’s opener veered off but Lappin just beat it and it continued in that vein for a while with Lappin missing another chance with his second although he did hold the fore bowl as well at this stage. At ‘McGrath’s’ in six each with Murphy just ahead the bowling was decidedly average before the Munster champion showed his ability with two super shots up ‘Starr’s hill’ to go eighty metres clear. Lappin reeled it back to thirty down by ‘Brannagan’s’ but his shot from the ‘lag’ went left and this time Murphy gained the distance that he had been threatening. A brilliant bowl to ‘Rowantree’s’ pushed him a bowl up and there was no way back for Lappin when he missed sight at the ‘kiln’. Murphy’s big rub got him round ‘Ballaghy lane’ to go a second bowl clear and only the winning margin was in doubt after that. Lappin cast a good bowl to ‘Barney Grimley’s’ but Murphy beat that and won convincingly by the two.

Emma Fitzpatrick was also hotly tipped to take the girl’s U18 title but had to dig deep to take the honours from a gallant Jane O’Neill in the first of Sunday’s finals played out in the forenoon. O’Neill from Eglish in Co Tyrone brought a lot of experience to this decider coming as the U16 champion from Doneraile and was, indeed, a fourteen year finalist in the U18 decider of 2004. There was little between them at ‘Lester’s’ in four before the Carbery and Munster champion hit a fine effort to the ‘well’ to go fifty metres clear. A poor throw at ‘McGrath’s’ cost her and O’Neill was back within metres before two well hit drives up the rise gave restored a lead of almost a bowl. O’Neill battled splendidly and four god shots in succession had the lead down to thirty metes with three to go. Fitzpatrick’s finishing prowess stood her in good stead and her strong play over the closing shots yielded her a seventy metres win and a second national championship following her intermediate victory at Doneraile.

Arthur McDonagh won the boy’s U14 All-Ireland by one bowl of odds from Pete Carr, the eleven year old shock winner of the Ulster championship. Carr won the first shot before the North East boy countered with a good second that looked like setting him on his way. However he crossed his third to the right and was punished when Carr hit the front again by the ‘concrete’. They stayed level to ‘Lester’s’ before McDonogh played two grand efforts that gave him commanding odds. The bowl was soon up and, carrying the greater power, McDonagh was always the more likely in the latter of the score. He duly went on to make it a clean sweep of the under-age championships for the Munster contenders.

Carmel Ryan’s thrilling win in the women’s senior final was the highlight of Saturday’s action on the Cathedral Road. The Ulster champion, Dervla Toal, had been unbeaten in the grade since the 2003 final at Ballincurrig -- when Ryan was also her master – and was confidently expected to become the first to claim three national titles in a row in the women’s premier event. After a hesitant start the pair produced a gripping contest that ended in a welter of excitement as the Northern champion came from an impossible stand to within a whisker of snatching a sensational win. Carmel Ryan had strong support on the road on Saturday last, unsurprising given her faultless displays that won her a tough Munster championship, and matched her Ulster opponent in the 17,000 stake. Both started inauspiciously with Ryan just beating Toal’s poor opener when she might have gained considerable leeway. Neither would repeat their early inaccuracies as the contest developed into a mighty shot for shot duel. Interestingly Toal would not lead but Ryan’s margin was always a precarious one. The Carrigtwohill girl had forty metres at the ‘well’ and that was what still stood between them coming up the ‘coal sheds’. Up to that point Ryan had to counter several fine attempts from Toal but the biggest test came in the shots away from here as the Ulster winner unleashed a ferocious shot down from this juncture. Ryan’s response exemplified her determination as she followed and beat that testing mark. Toal’s second last caught the left and it seemed a certainty for the Cork camp when Ryan played a beauty to within metres of the finish line. A hundred metres now separated them with one to go, the biggest at any point of the score, but there almost a late sting. From way back Toal cast a proverbial rocket that stayed glued to the track to run beyond ‘Condon’s lane’. Carmel Ryan now a difficult target to reach to claim the victory, that had seemed so assuredly hers moments before. She stayed focused and hit her reply accurately on the centre. It held its intended course and beat Toal’s formidable mark by eleven metres. Carmel Ryan won her second senior All-Ireland after one of the best finals in the grade in recent years and she deservedly received the acclaim of the entire Cork contingent on Saturday evening last.

Armagh drew first blood in the weekend’s events when Paul Grimley took the Junior A title from Mick Gould in the first decider out on Saturday morning. Gould was the hot favourite as they played from the ‘fingerpost’. They stayed level to ‘Lester’s’ in three before Gould took a valuable forty metres with his fourth. He gained further advantage up ‘Starr’s hill’ where he went close to a bowl up but them undid that with a pair of misplaced efforts down the incline to allow Grimley regain the fore bowl. Gould resumed in the ascendancy with good bowling to ‘roundtrees’ and again went nearly a hundred metres ahead. For the second time a couple of indifferent attempts cost him and Grimley pounced to take advantage. The northern champion, currently domiciled in Anascaul Co. Kerry, gained in confidence as the line loomed. It was close for the last shots, the Ulster man just in front, and he shaded the final exchanges when his shot cannoned back onto the road having crossed to the right to beat Gould’s mark by twenty metres.

Young John O’Sullivan won the U12 All-Ireland in fine style from Shay Mullen in the return fixture on Saturday. The South West Regional champion brought his Munster title winning form to bear on this contest with two exceptional shots down the famed ‘Starr’s hill’ to rise a bowl of odds. Shay Mullen contributed much to an exciting contest and had the lead down to twenty metres with three to go. John O’Sullivan finished strongly again to win the championship by a handy fore bowl.

There will be a further training session in the German Loft and Dutch Moors disciplines on this Friday evening with a new venue. The Castletownkenneigh GAA pitch will be the centre of activity for all bowlplayers from the U16 age group downwards where everybody will see plenty of action.

The final series of All-Irelands which concerns the junior C and novice 1and 2 grades have been confirmed for Drogheda on the weekend 9/10 September. The Boyne Road will, on this occasion, be the host venue as it was indeed for the 1993 finals. Drogheda have Eamonn Tuite as the Leinster champion in the novice 2 category.
On Sunday morning last David Lucey their under-age star with Ballyvourney connections won the Leinster novice 1 title from last years champion, Alan Long.

The first of the Munster junior C championship semi-finals is on at Kildee on this Saturday evening when Kevin Minihane (Carbery) takes on Stephen Hurley (West Cork) at Kildee at 5pm in. The second semi in the grade will go ahead at Derrinasafa between Vincent Cahalane (South West) and Paddy O’Callaghan (Gaeltacht). The final will be at Newcestown.

The Ballyvourney man representing the Gaeltacht region, Michael O’Callaghan, has reached his second county decider in the current championship season when he made it through to the novice 1 decider with victory over North East’s Garry Carroll, at Ballinagree on Wednesday last. Both contenders were well fancied in the €5,400 stake that this penultimate round fixture went off for. It was very even too for most of the way although the Gaeltacht man did have the better opportunities to gain more leeway. Carroll was challenging strongly to the three-quarter stage but missed clear sight at the ‘bridge’ whereas O’Callaghan went well around to gain a valuable fifty metres. O’Callaghan held his odds to win by a good fore bowl. Having lost out to Jerome O’Mahony in the novice veteran final at Shannonvale in June, the Ballyvourney man will now return to the South West, to Sam’s Cross, for the Munster novice 1 decider later in August when either Patrick Hodnett (Carbery) or John A Murphy (Mid Cork0 will provide the opposition. Hodnett and Murphy meet in the second semi-final at the Clubhouse.

In the novice 2 championship the semi-line up is William Coughlan (Carbery) v Mark Harrington (West Cork) at Kildee Saturday 12 at 7pm and Noel Kelleher (Gaeltacht) v Con O’Brien (North East) at Donoughmore. The Munster final will be at Castletownkenneigh.

With Thade Murphy the winner of the vintage (over 60’s) A section the quarterfinal draw for the B section has thrown up a few interesting clashes. Denis Collins (Clon) v Batty Hurley (Bantry) at Bauravilla; Haulie O’Mahony v Willie Dennis at Bog Road; John Sheehan v Tim Joe Brown at Gortroe and John Coleman v Con O’Donovan at Carrigaline. Tim Joe Browne eliminated Carbery’s Robbie Limerick at Grange on Wednesday last. Playing for a total of €800 it was Browne’s smooth running bowls that afforded him good odds with his second and third. The lead he gained with these was vital to the outcome

City senior, James Buckley, was another big winner up north on the holiday weekend. A player with something of a jinx on the northern talisman, Michael Toal, he took on the current Ulster champion in a Friday evening challenge on the Cathedral Road for a total sum involving sterling and euros that amounted to 12,000. Buckley was an easy winner over the struggling Toal coming home two bowls clear. Prior to that in a doubles clash the northerners, Paul Rafferty and Brian Kinchen combined to defeat Corkonians David Hubbert and Nicholas Carey.

The Jagoe’s Mills club completed their second tournament competition in recent weeks when Ballincollig native, Trevor O’Mahony took a surprise victory on Saturday evening over former under-age star, Peter Nagle. O’Mahony, a son of the legendary Dooley, defied his underdog status with a competent sixteen shot showing that took him to a one bowl victory in a decider that as played for a total sum of €800. O’Mahony led by small margins in three to ‘Lordan’s’ and in six to ‘O’Brien’s’ before thundering ahead by almost a bowl with big shots along the straight to ‘Lawton’s’. Two further fine efforts from there to the ‘power station’ had him close to two clear. Nagle delivered two excellent efforts of his own to ‘Ballinavard cross’ to bring it under the bowl but scuppered his comeback hopes with a poor third last. O’Mahony went on to claim the winners prize by the shot. There was also a surprise result in the return challenge when Declan O’Mahony and Kevin O’Donovan teamed up to defeat the Butlers Christy and John by nearly two bowls for a sum of €900. At Jagoes Mills on Friday Alan Butler and Dan O’Donovan had one apiece from two contests with each other. Butler won his by a bowl for €1,200 while O’Donovan’s in the last shot both for sums of €1,200.

In club action at Nadd Martin Coppinger repeated his victory of last week over John Creedon when he came out on top again after a wonderful contest on Thursday last. Coppinger won by a bowl after a score of top class fare for a stake of €6,200. Donncha Lucey had the better of Kevin Cooney back the road at Nadd for a sum of €2,200. At Ballincurrig on Wednesday Eamonn Bowen (Jun) scored a double with victories over Patrick O’Donoghue last shot for €1,000 and Andrew O’Leary one bowl for €600. At Rosscarbery on Wednesday three of the top junior B’s produced an outstanding exhibition. It was the third qualifier in the Tim White Cup festival tournament with Michael Bohane, James O’Donovan and John O’Rourke in action for a combined tally of €6,000. Bohane led after a brilliant second before O’Donovan hit the front with superb bowling up to ‘Barry’s lane’. O’Rourke was a shot adrift but stormed back with a mighty throw past the ‘black pole’. Bohane was relentless and regained the fore from O’Donovan at ‘Maguire’s gate’. The Carbery man whizzed past the finish line in ten remarkable shots but still not a bowl ahead of O’Donovan and O’Rourke who could not be faulted on their displays. Bohane meets Mark Crean and Johnny O’Driscoll during festival week in Rosscarbery when the three-way White Cup final will be played.

At Macroom on Sunday, local, Miko Kelleher defeated Joe Sexton (Nadd) by a bowl for €2,000 and Denis Hickey (Rathmore) defeated Donncha Lucey (Gaeltacht) by a bowl of odds also for €2,000. In a further score at Macroom Pat Sexton (Banteer) defeated Leo Hughes (Macroom) last shot for €1,000. At the Half- Way on Friday Thomas Boyle and Brian Wilmot played two excellent scores with honours shared. The stakes at issue were €1,900 and €1,300. David Buckley of Doneraile turned on the style at Sally’s Cross on Tuesday when he played seven of the best to give himself unassailable odds on his way to victory over the in form David Hubbert. Buckley was the underdog in the €1,200 stake. On the way back Tadg Hunter made it a Doneraile double with victory over Steve Murray one bowl for €1,000. At Donoughmore on Thursday 10 Olan Noonan defeated Patsy Hogan by two bowls for €2,400 and at the same venue on Sunday Bobby Healy defeated Tadg Hunter.

July 31st Back to Top ↑

Aidan Murphy’s twelve shot tour-de-force won him the 2006 Murphy’s Irish Stout sponsored Munster intermediate championship at Kilumney on Sunday afternoon last. The Templemartin teenager was well over two shots clear of a game Brian O’Donovan when the score was conceded with three to go. The eagerly awaited decider involving two of the great Mid Cork bowling dynasties sparkled only briefly but engaged the huge attendance p to the three-quarter stage when, following a heavy downpour, the Riverstick players challenge evaporated after three wayward attempts past the novice line. Murphy was the favourite with the punters as they played off for a combined stake of €6,000 and gained an immediate advantage when his opener, spun slightly to the right, brushed the brow to yield sixty metres. O’Donovan too seemed focused and hit a good second to keep the pressure up but Murphy’s response defined the score. Last years U18 champion played a bullet-like drive up the centre to increase his margin to a hundred metres. O’Donovan didn’t wilt and ‘made’ blind sight with a good third and followed with a lengthy fourth to hold the deficit under the bowl even after Murphy shot an excellent fourth of his own. A rare error by Murphy with his fifth at ‘blackbird’s lane’ gave O’Donovan hope and he made inroads with good sixth and seventh shots to ‘O’Shea’s’ to reduce the lead to sixty metres. He played his eighth, crucial to levelling the score, a shade too tightly though and failed to make the required sight and Murphy needed no second bidding to reinforce his dominance. A superbly shot eighth from the Templemartin youth was inch perfect and it ran as it deserved to push the odds to just under the bowl. He rose the bowl with his ninth, a brilliant drive up to ‘O’Toole’s’, before the rain descended. O’Donovan did not give up the ghost but any hopes of a late comeback were dispelled by another fine effort by Murphy, his eleventh, to the bend by the novice line. Two scattered attempts by O’Donovan and a lengthy twelfth by Murphy brought the curtain down on this year’s intermediate race. Bol Chumann chairperson, Susan Greene praised both players on their performances and wished Aidan Murphy well in the All-Ireland final in the grade when he takes on Malachy Lappin on the Cathedral Road on Sunday afternoon next. The Kilumney club and referee Finbarr Aldworth were the recipients of many compliments for their efficient handling of a potentially contentious local derby that was indeed played in a most sportsmanlike manner.

Carmel Ryan is the John Lowney Jewellers Munster senior ladies champion for 2006. She scored an emphatic three-bowl victory over her fellow Carrigtwohill rival, Catriona Kidney, after a one sided decider at Ballincurrig on Thursday evening last. Played on the inward route at the East Cork venue and without a stake, Carmel Ryan took a short fore bowl after the opening exchange before quickly building up her odds. Splendid second and third bowls brought her ‘sight’ at the ‘sycamores’ and almost a shot clear. The bowl was there down the short straight after Kidney crossed to the right and, when last years World Champion missed out at ‘Heaphy’s’, the distance between them had doubled. Ryan bowled with a lot of conviction and gave her opponent little opportunity to make inroads. Kidney did her best bowling on the ‘long straight’ but that inaccuracy in her play manifested itself again as the score moved towards the ‘creamery’. Carmel Ryan was consistent and a brilliant throw from the ‘line’s’ put the seal on a merited victory. It was her third Munster title and she will go with confidence to a meeting with Dervla Toal on the Cathedral Road in Armagh on this Saturday when the All-Ireland title will be up for grabs. She has already claimed a victory over the Ulster champion when she won her previous national title at Ballincurrig in 2003. Bol Chumann chairperson, Susan Greene, presented Carmel Ryan with the winner’s cup and wished her well in her All-Ireland bid.

For the second time in July Emma Fitzpatrick looked defeat in the eye before claiming a major honour. The Carbery girl won the Munster U18 title at Beal na mBlath on Wednesday evening from a gallant Joanne Kelleher, the talented North Cork champion from Banteer. The contest developed into a tremendously exciting duel as Fitzpatrick eventually came through having overhauled the substantial lead built up by the North Cork girl’s early dominance. Joanne Kelleher got off to a flyer taking seventy metres with her first and was almost a bowl up after two. She continued to play with great determination and style and increased her advantage to nearly two by ‘Shorten’s cross’. Fitzpatrick held it at that for a while and gradually narrowed the deficit as her bowling improved. Up at the ‘farmhouse’ with three to go there was still a bowl in it before the Rosscarbery girl displayed the never say die attributes that has stood her in good stead in the past. She threw a superb third last that knocked the odds considerably and followed with another big effort to take the lead at a vital juncture. Emma Fitzpatrick went on to win the contest by the fore bowl to claim her second Munster final following her intermediate success earlier in the summer. Bol Chumann secretary Brendan Hayes, at the after score presentation, wished her well in her All-Ireland tussle with Northern champion, Jane O’Neill, on the Cathedral Road on Sunday morning next.

Just the junior ladies and girls U12 and U14 events of the women’s championships remain to be completed and these do not, as yet, carry All-Ireland status. In a junior ladies preliminary round fixture at Enniskeane on Tuesday 25 the North Cork representative, Helen Cooney, advanced to the quarterfinal with a victory over Gaeltacht’s Isla McSweeney. At Berrings in the girls U14 championship Laura Hegarty (South West) defeated Joanne Murphy (North East) in the last shot and in U12 Ciara Buckley (North East) defeated Sinead O’Donovan (South West) one bowl. On Monday last it was West v Mid in a further quarterfinal session. In junior ladies Martina Foley (Mid Cork) defeated Sarah O’Sullivan (West Cork) by one bowl. In girls U12 last years finalist Catriona Murphy of Togher Cross and West Cork defeated Megan Collins of Crossbarry and Mid Cork and in U14 Laura O’Mahony of Durrus and West Cork advanced after a good contest with Aisling O’Callaghan of Castletownkenneigh and Mid.

The last of the Munster under-age finals went ahead on Monday evening last. At Kilumney last years champion, Arthur McDonogh from the North East region retained his U14 title with victory over Ciaran Nyhan. McDonagh started in spectacular style and went two shots clear coming up to ‘blackbird’s lane’. Nyhan, the surprise packet of the championship, bowled well in the shots to ‘O’Shea’s’ but McDonagh’s early cushion stood him in good stead. Nyhan again finished strongly but the talented McDonagh was a convincing winner and will go with confidence in quest of a first Al-Ireland against the very young Pete Carr in Sunday’s All-Ireland. In the semi-finals at Ballinacurra earlier in the week McDonogh edged home after a good contest with the North Cork champion, Stephen O’Sullivan of Berrings on Tuesday while on Friday Nyhan, who hails from Curraghnaloughra near Drinagh and is the latest rising star in that great bastion of the game, toughed it out with last years finalist, Killian Kingston, and beat a handy tip to keep his marvellous run going.

John O’Sullivan won the Munster U12 title from Carbery’s Thomas O’Rourke at the Clubhuse on Monday last. Representing the South West region, O’Sullivan got away to an ideal start going a bowl up with his first. O’Rourke’s well played opener kicked badly and did not get it’s full run. O’Sullivan threw an exceptional second to sight at the ‘old school’ that left the Rosscarbery boy with a lot to do but, in a good response, O’Rourke shot a fine effort beyond the ‘garage’ to keep the odds at bay. O’Sullivan was in unbeatable form on the night and hit a perfect sixth down to ‘Murray’s’ to seal his victory. Bol Chumann youths officer, Dan McCarthy, presented the Finbarr Murphy Perpetual cup to John O’Sullivan and extended his good wishes in his All-Ireland bid against Ulster champion, Shay Mullen, on Saturday next.

The seeded A section of the vintage (over 60’s) championship was completed at Glanworth on Sunday last. Thade Murphy from Aghabullogue emerged the winner from an exciting tussle with Mick O’Driscoll (Mayfield). Playing for a total of €1,200 O’Driscoll had the upper hand with three to go holding almost a bowl lead. Murphy put in a storming finish to knock the odds before taking the laurels with a big last shot. The B side section is progressing. On Friday, at Derrinasafa, Batty Hurley of Bantry and Steve Hayes of Rosscarbery had a mighty battle. For a sum of €1,200 Hayes led up to ‘darkwood’ but Hurley finished with three exceptional shots to garner the victory.

Berrings was the venue for the South West v North East junior C and Novice quarterfinal rounds of the county championships on Saturday last. In junior C Vincent Cahalane the South West representative won a thriller from his North East adversary, Stephen O’Connell. Playing for a total of €6,000 it was Cahalane’s incredible throw from the ‘Inn’ that brought him from fifty metres down to almost a bowl ahead that swung this one his way. North East won the opening score on Saturday when, in novice 1, Garry Carroll just edged out a rather unlucky Donal O’Donovan for a sum of €3,600. In novice 2 Con O’Brien of North East came from almost a bowl down to defeat Donal O’Sullivan the Pike based South West champion by nearly a bowl for a stake of €1,600. In the Munster semi-finals Cahalane plays Gaeltacht’s Paddy O’Callaghan in junior C, Carroll plays Michael O’Callaghan (Gaeltacht) in novice 1 and O’Brien meets Noel Keleher (Gaeltacht) in novice 2. Venues for these semi-finals will be announced at this Wednesday’s executive meeting.

Across the Atlantic the North American championships are in progress. The junior C final was played at Wamputac State Park, Boston, on Sunday last. The champion here is the Ballydehob native, Florrie O’Mahony who saw off the challenge of Conor Lappin the New York based Armagh man who eliminated the holder Con O’Callaghan earlier in the competition. O’Mahony’s winning margin was the fore bowl for a stake of $5,000. Jessica Hunter of West Virginia has been in touch to verify the hosting of the novice 1 and 2 North America finals at their Associations headquarters in the town of Ireland. The champions of Boston, New York and West Virginia will vie for outright honours on the weekend of Aug 12/13.

The Gaeltacht region completed a clean sweep from their City opponents when Noel Kelleher advanced to the semi-final of the novice 2 Munster championship at the expense of Gerry Carroll at Templemartin on Tuesday 25. Kelleher, though always in front, never rose the bowl of odds and Carroll’s tenacious play did have the satisfaction of saving the bets on that particular outcome.

Bowling followers from many regions turned out in their numbers to mourn the passing of Neally O’Sullivan, Caheragh, who went to his reward this past week. A big man in every sense of the word, he was a generous, popular and witty personality whose bowling exploits traversed the latter decades of the century past. He was, along with his brother, Teddy, among a coterie of top class bowlplayers whose weekly scores attracted huge interest around the county. Neally’s successes were many. He won the West Cork championship in 1966 beating one of Dunmanway’s greats, Percy Deane, in the final. He won a titanic battle with Eugie Daly, played on the Schull Road, Skibbereen, in 1983 to take another West Cork junior championship. Among his many doubles scores in a long prolific career were a number of high profile scores with Teddy against the Deane brothers from Dunamnway, Percy and Reggie. Neally took his ample bowling skills into his veteran years and won a Munster title in the grade in 1988 defeating Jackie Linehan at Incheegla. Two years later he was back in the final again this time losing out in a fiercely exciting finish to John Crowley at Grange. He will be fondly remembered by his many friends within the bowling game. May he rest in peace.

The South West region completed their novice competitions with the novice 1 and 2 play offs during the past week. (B) winner, Donal O’Donovan of Kilbrittain defeated Greg Crean, (A) winner at the Mill Road on Tuesday. For a sum of €1,900 O’Donovan’s first four down the rough to the ‘graveyard’ did the damage and he ran out a convincing winner after that. Donal O’Sullivan of The Pike is the Regions novice 2 representative when, as C winner he got the better of D champion, Noel McCarthy at Fisher’s Cross on Wednesday. McCarthy had won a very tight score from Grange player, Michael Barry, to take the D title also at Fisher’s Cross on the previous Monday. The South West women’s junior final at Lyre on Wednesday was an exciting affair. Last year’s county finalist, Aisling White, eventually retained her regional title but only after a searching test provided by Karen Daly and Bernadette O’Donovan in their three-way decider. Karen Daly held a bowl lead at ‘Cormican’s’ on both her opponents before White rallied to knock it and shade the final exchanges for a fore bowl win. Martina Foley won the Mid Cork junior ladies at Ballinacurra from her clubmate Bernadette Murphy. Earlier in the week in the semi-finals at Castletownkenneigh Murphy defeated Threse Butler and Foley won from Karen O’Callaghan.

There was a good evening’s bowling at Kilumney on Thursday all in aid of the Billy O’Sullivan fund. First out Andrew O’Leary defeated David O’Mahony last shot for a sum of €2,240. A mistake by O’Mahony at the novice line coupled with two outstanding efforts by the Fermoy man at this juncture were the turning points in this contest. Back the road Martin Coppinger wasn’t long in imposing dominance in his clash with Anthony Gould and beat the City man by three bowls for a sum of €900. After that Johnny Byrnes defeated Declan O’Mahony last shot €600. Coppinger’s dalliance with senior graded players brought him further success on Friday at Nadd when he overwhelmed John Creedon by close to three bowls for a stake of €5,200. Nothing went right for Creedon from the start with a ‘dead bowl’ causing him early grief. Coppinger, on the other hand, was faultless with four brilliant shots taking him to ‘Murphy’s house’ and a two bowl lead. He would rise another further on before matters were terminated. Creedon did recover to stage a last shot win over Edmund Sexton in a return score at Nadd. There was €3,100 at issue as Creedon threw a magnificent final effort to take his only fore bowl of the score. The New Half-Way club are continuing their fund raising series of fixtures towards the Children’s Leukaemia Ward in the Mercy Hospital and with great success too. On Friday last Dan O’Halloran defeated Michael O’Leary in the last shot. The bowling wasn’t exceptional but the wet conditions did militate against their efforts. It stayed close though to the end for a stake of €2,600. In the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig on Sunday morning Pat Butler defeated Tim Pat O’Donovan in the last shot for a total of €1,500. O’Donovan had several chances of imposing himself in this one and, although still fore for the last shots, came hind to the senior man’s final effort. At Drinagh on Sunday evening former U18 champion and World winner in the grade made the long trip from her Ballinagree base a worth while one as she notched a fore bowl win over new dual title holder, Emma Fitzpatrick. A first round fixture in the host clubs new women’s tournament it went off for a total of €1,900 with the North Cork girls first a beauty down to sight on the outward route. Fitzpatrick fought back to level by Shandrum cross but had to give best in an exciting finale to Murphy who beat a handy last tip. At Donoughmore Eamonn Bowen (Sen) avenged a recent defeat to Christy Mullins by two bowls for a stake of €3,000. Bowen started with three big shots to the ‘bounds’ but it along the straight that he rose the winning odds. Tadg Hunter of Doneraile defeated Donncha Lucey, Ballyvourney in a score back Donoughmore by a bowl for €2,800. At Durrus a novice tournament first rounder threw together this year West Cork U18 finalists, David Cotter and Colin O’Donovan. It was again a close affair with Cotter edging it after O’Donovan rallied with a superb second last that brought him right into contention. The Cobh tournament semi-final resulted in victory for Seamus Sexton (Jun) by almost two bowls from Maurice Connolly for a stake of €1,600. Sexton meets either the Carbery man, Michael Bohane, or City’s Jim Coffey in the decider. Back the road at Cobh Jim Connolly defeated Paul Butler last shot for €2,000. At Shannonvale on Sunday evening Trevor O’Meara qualified for their tournament final with victory over Jerry Hegarty. For a stake of €1,200 it was eight and nine in O’Meara’s favour out to ‘Desmond’s’ relatively good throwing on the newly resurfaced road. Hegarty made a great effort to level it with a mighty shot to ‘Sam’s lane’ before O’Meara drove on to rise two bowls down by ‘Campbell’s’ to ensure victory. Noel Gould or Richard Murphy await in the final. Denis Wilmot defeated Vincent Kiely in the last shot of a score Shannonvale played for a sum of €2,200. Four scores at Ballinacurra on Saturday saw John O’Rourke defeat Jim Coffey one bowl for €3,000, a doubles win for Coffey with Michael O’Driscoll over O’Rourke and Olan Noonan last shot for €4,200 and a score apiece between Coffey and John Murphy, Templemartin, both last shot for €2,000 each time. At Doneraile on Friday Vincent Kiely defeated Patsy Hogan one bowl for €2,200. At Grange on Sunday evening Tommy O’Sullivan started well to build up a commanding lead over Joe Tyner and it was enough to give him the victory for a total of €2,000 in their novice A tournament fixture. Finbarr Coomey made it a double for the Bandonians with the verdict over Danny O’Brien on the way back. At Dunderrow on Sunday last Sean O’Donoghue, Innishannon, won from Dan O’Sullivan last shot for €1,600. At Sally’s Cross earlier in the week Joe Sexton of Nadd defeated Denis Hickey, Rathmore, in the last shot for €1,600 and Kevin Cooney, Sally’s Cross, won from Tadg Hunter by a bowl for €1,720. In Banteer for the Jackie Daly shield Liam Dennehy/Jarlath O’Sullivan/John Breen defeated Liam Casey/Joe Twomey/Maurice Cashman in the last shot.

In a couple of scores at Curraheen on Monday 24, David Hubbard defeated Dan O’Regan fore bowl for €2,000 and in the return Denis O’Regan restored parity for the City men when he defeated Colm Noonan also last shot for €1,600. At the same venue on Sunday last John Walsh defeated Declan O’Leary two bowls for €1,400 and Donsie O’Mahony defeated Declan O’Mahony one bowl for €1,400.

The Clubhouse bowling club in the person of Charlo Daly presented a sum of €700 to the Dunmanway Day Care centre on Tuesday last. The proceeds were accumulated from a number of charity fund raising fixtures held on the Clubhouse road during the past year.

July 17th

Brian O’Donovan and Aidan Murphy will contest the Murphy’s Munster intermediate final after both scored exciting wins in their respective semi-finals at Gortroe and Carrigaline over the past weekend. O’Donovan ousted favourite, Nicholas Carey, after a tremendous battle at the North Cork venue on Friday evening last and has emerged as somewhat of a surprise packet in a championship that has livened up considerably in the latter rounds. The bowling in the early stages at Gortroe was top class with the lead going from one to the other amid a series of lengthy exchanges. Carey’s outstanding first made the ‘railing’ and it gave him forty metres before O’Donovan countered with an equally impressive second that brought him ahead. It continued in similar vein with Carey regaining the lead with his third only to lose it again to the Mid Cork man’s powerful fourth. Carey hit a smashing fifth to the ‘end of the wood’ but O’Donovan beat that as well to hold his slender lead. The Carrigtwohill youth, who was installed as a likely winner following his dramatic quarterfinal victory over Tim Pat O’Donovan at Ballincurrig, threw three brilliant efforts to the ‘Well Bar’ to lead but only by a small margin as O’Donovan responded in like manner to ensure they stayed more or less level after eight. O’Donovan then hit a poor effort to the ‘yard’ but, crucially, Carey spurned a golden opportunity to put some decent leeway between himself and his opponent when beating the mark by just thirty metres as his attempt went right. A second chance was spurned up at the novice line when O’Donovan’s shot veered off but the Carrigtwohill youth again did not take full advantage. The quality of the bowling did not, at this juncture, match the opening half of the score but O’Donovan, following his two let-offs, hit a superb third last on the tight track to regain the lead with the line in his sights. He defiantly held it with is next and, when Carey’s final effort failed to run, the 2003 junior A champion from Riverstick had only eighty metres to beat to march into the provincial decider. O’Donovan beat the target with aplomb and, with confidence high after four testing encounters, will be a formidable proposition in the final. The stake at issue was €6,800.

Aidan Murphy and Eamonn Bowen (Jun) engaged in the sweltering heat at Carrigaline on Sunday last and produced a good contest that went the way of the Mid Cork youth by a bowl of odds. Playing off for a combined total of €4,000 at the old junior line start it was Murphy who held sway winning the opening three shots. He held a handy fifty metres then but Bowen suddenly found himself in front thanks to a good fourth. Murphy’s two big shots on the straight saw him regain his earlier lead and he was close to bowl clear after seven. Bowen pressurised well with low accurate bowling and might have caught up with his opponent with a better effort at the ‘pump’. The CArrignavar man hit a superb effort at the three-quarter stage but, in a defining response, Murphy beat it to stay well clear. Both players played well over the rough as the finish line loomed but there was no catching last years U18 champion who won by the bowl at the end. With three of the four semi-finalists in the intermediate grade coming from the promoted batch of eight of last years top juniors the championship results have certainly justified that bold strategy. For the Templemartin based Murphy, last years Mid Cork junior B champion as well as U18, it has been a particularly strong campaign following his step-up of two grades. The Munster intermediate final will, provisionally, take place at Newcestown on Friday evening 28 July.

Mick Gould from the City is the Munster junior A champion for 2006. A superb thirteen shot performance at Beal na mBlath on Saturday evening saw him earn a two bowl victory over Carbery champion, Tommy Connolly. The final, which did not carry a stake, contained several passages of brilliant bowling as Connolly strove might and main to overhaul the bowl of odds he conceded to Gould’s lengthy second shot. He was thwarted however on each occasion as the City man followed all that was put before him. The winner was a shade fortunate though with his opening shot that recovered from a very tight left hand play to beat Connolly’s fine attempt by a few metres. Gould’s second had a vital bearing on the outcome as, after Connolly had caught the right, he unleashed the proverbial ‘miler’ right around the second bend to the ‘water’ to forge into a bowl lead. The Reenascreena player knocked it off with his next before Gould rose the bowl again with his fourth to just back of ‘Shorten’s cross’. Connolly utilised the centre track to perfection in the bowling to ‘Long’s lane’ and hit two outstanding efforts particularly his seventh only for Gould to do likewise to retain his advantage. The City man is a seasoned campaigner who won a Munster and All-Ireland intermediate title back in 1993 and pitched his shot at the bend by ‘Long’s’ the better to extend his lead to a bowl and forty metres. Connolly wasn’t finished and knocked the bowl with a grand effort again along the centre past ‘Twohig’s’ and then followed up with a fierce attempt to gain sight at the ‘big turn’. It was now well under the bowl with the prospect of a thrilling climax very much on the cards. That scenario did not unfold as the next series of exchanges went very much in the City man’s favour. Gould’s shot around the turn was ‘called’ and it worked to his advantage as his second attempt afforded him a much better stance for his next throw on the straight. Connolly hit his twelfth as tight as he dared but it crossed to leave the margin close enough to the bowl again. Gould’s own twelfth virtually sealed the result. Shot with power and accuracy past the junior line to the end of the straight it reinforced his earlier dominance and gave him a cushion of a bowl and fifty metres. His thirteenth was good too and, when Connolly’s fifteenth went right, the contest was terminated with the City man in an unassailable position.

It will be an all East Cork women’s senior final after the second semi-final in the Lowney’s Jewellers of Clonakilty competition resulted in victory for Carmel Ryan from Louise Daly after an entertaining joust at Beal na mBlath on Saturday afternoon last. Ryan’s victory owed much to an excellent start that had her up at ‘Shorten’s cross’ in five. That sequence of shots gave her a bowl lead on her Shannonvale opponent and she needed that cushion as the contest progressed. Last years finalist, Daly, knocked the odds considerably coming on to ‘Long’s lane’. Both played well over the second half of the score with the Carrigtwohill player doggedly holding most of her early lead. Ryan eventually ran out the winner of the contest by almost a bowl. There was a stake of €1,500 at issue. The upcoming final between Carmel Ryan and Catriona O’Farrell/Kidney, at a venue to be decided, will be a repeat of the 2003 decider at Ballincurrig when Ryan won her second Munster title.

July 10th

Saturday’s downpour was replaced by glorious sunshine on Sunday morning last and with it came a transformation in the fortunes of the Cork champions as the Doneraile club brought the curtain down on their 2006 hosting of the All-Ireland bowling championships. Dan Joe Holland, comprehensively in the end, Emma Fitzpatrick, from the jaws of defeat, and, most heroically, Denis O’Driscoll, levelled the weekend series after the previous day’s deluge and the outstanding talent of the latest batch of Ulster under-age champions consigned the best efforts of Mark Sheehan, Marie O’Donovan and Thomas Buckley to defeat. Deprived of the opportunity to play the national senior final on Sunday afternoon last, the organisers moved the junior B decider into its allocated slot and, to the credit of all involved, it produced a contest to savour. For the huge attendance and the attendant film crews from Setanta Sports and TG Ceathar it encapsulated the bowling game at its best as O’Driscoll and his northern counterpart, Cathal Toal, battled each other in thrilling duel that went the way of the West Cork man, a result that was due mainly to his gutsy determination when at times he seemed on the verge of being outclassed. Toal, the U18 winner in 2003, cast two exquisite opening shots up the rise that went close enough to sight at the ‘turn of the wood’. It was a rude awakening for O’Driscoll and he needed a big third to stave off a bowl of odds deficit. The Drimoleague man hammered that vital throw to perfection along the left to level and set a marker of his own with a massive fourth up the first straight to lead the Ulster man for the first time. It looked a bowl in the making for the new leader at Ryall’s cross’ as Toal caught the right hand margin for the second time but his sixth broke with awesome power of the adjacent wall to run a big distance towards the ‘hollow’. That levelled matters again before Toal followed up with another rocket along the straight that O’Driscoll barely beat in two. Toal went a full bowl clear at the ‘cow gate’ and such was his control at that juncture that a home victory was a long shot proposition. The shot from the ‘gate’ on the tight right hand track is a difficult manoeuvre often tried but seldom gained. Jerry Hegarty managed it last year on his way to intermediate success as indeed did Stephen McCann in the previous day’s U18 final and it remained O’Driscoll’s only option. He hit it with power and precision and it crucially stayed on its intended route down to within sight of the line at ‘Creagh Castle’. It changed the course of the score as Toal misplayed his reply and got little from his next attempt. A two bowl swing resulted as the Cork man not only knocked the odds on him but went almost a shot clear himself as they faced up the rise and the last quarter of the score. O’Driscoll survived a ‘call’ and the sustained challenge of the northerner in the remaining shots before assuring himself of victory by a big fore bowl. The stake at issue was €11,280.

Dan Joe Holland set the ball rolling on Sunday morning with a three bowl winning margin from Gerald McKee to give Cork its first win of the weekend. He repeated his success of last year without undue difficulty as his stronger play had him gaining odds with each shot. McKee played several good attempts particularly his fifth that kept the margin under the bowl until ‘Ryall’s cross’. Holland did rise the shot of odds through the cross and went a further shot up with great bowling to the end of the straight. McKee then had the misfortune of seeing his thirteenth blocked to go a further bowl down but recovered with a big throw to the line to bring it back to two. It was all about the winning margin and the Ovens man went three clear again before the last shots and won by that distance.

Emma Fitzpatrick and Denise Daly engaged in a titanic struggle on the way back the Doneraile route in the intermediate women’s decider. The Rosscarbery girl’s generous brush off the right with her second down the hill gave her a bowl lead at the lines. Denise Daly immediately levelled with a smashing shot to the next bend. They exchanged the lead along the straight with both girls missing an opportunity or two to gain significant leeway. Fitzpatrick eventually found her touch with a superbly cut bowl at ‘Ryall’s’ and she followed up with another grand effort with the result that she looked home and dry holding a bowl lead approaching the ‘turn of the wood’. The change around was swift as she misplaced her shot for sight and Daly grasped her chance to level with three to go. Amid mounting excitement the Northern champion from Eglish in Co Tyrone raced into a twenty metres lead with her second last. Emma Fitzpatrick’s shot for victory did not run well and Denise Daly had the title in her sights facing a tip that was well within her range. It was sport at its cruellest in some respects as she totally misplayed her delivery into the nearby embankment and then suffered an accidental block to hand victory to her West Cork opponent. For Emma Fitzpatrick who was awarded the Celtic Ross Sports Star of the month for June on Thursday last, it was truly a last gasp victory but deserved in that she was in the ascendancy for so much of a trying contest and will now go with confidence to add the U18 title to her honours list. The stake in the intermediate final was €4,200.

Saturday’s three under-age finals fell victim to the weather and proved an endurance test for all concerned. For the Munster champions it was a chastening experience as all three titles went northwards. First out was the boys U16 title decider and Mark Sheehan held his own for he first two. Sean Donnelly, another from the Eglish club, carried the greater speed and it mattered to the ‘turn of the wood’ where he went forty metres clear. Sheehan stayed in touch but a big throw along the second straight put a bowl of odds between them. Donnelly was supremely accurate and try as the North Cork Munster champion did he could not reel in the deficit and the All-Ireland went north by the bowl of odds. The conditions deteriorated if anything as the U16 girls final between Jane O’Neill and Marie O’Donovan got under way on the inward route. Jane O’Neill, the Ulster champion, had the edge in experience having contested the All-Ireland U18 two years ago as a fourteen year old when going under to Orla O’Driscoll, and led for the opening five shots. Marie O’Donovan stuck to her task and led into the ‘hollow’ but went over a bowl down to her opponents two big shots at the end of the straight. Jane O’Neill increased her lead but the Rossmore girls never say die spirit surfaced as she knocked it under the bowl before the finish. Jane O’Neill though it was who prevailed in the rain to become the first northern winner of the girls All-Ireland U16 Cup. Stephen McCann needed to break the Thomas Buckley hoodoo and choose the 2006 U18 decider to deliver in spades and produce arguably the performance of the weekend to wrest the title from the multi honoured Dublin Pike youth. They were level in three to the turn of the wood before McCann hit a purple patch to go a bowl clear beyond ‘Ryall’s’. Buckley was not yielding much more until McCann got that remarkable shot down from the ’cow gate’ that doubled his advantage. The Armagh player was down to the lines in ten, superb bowling in the conditions and that gave him the impetus to go on and claim his first All-Ireland having been on the receiving end of three defeats to Buckley at U14 and U16.

Overall it was an enjoyable and entertaining weekend at the North East venue. Bol Chumann chairperson, Susan Greene, presented the winners and runners up with their awards and congratulated all on their endeavour and sportsmanship. The colourful and informative programme produced by the host club as well as the various musical interludes on Sunday enhanced the event. It was good too to see bowlplaying’s renowned photographer, Denis McGarry back in his familiar role.

May 15th Back to Top ↑

John Creedon and Kieran Gould had to come from arrears to book their quarterfinal places in the Murphy’s senior championship quarterfinals after John O’Driscoll’s strong challenge evaporated in the closing stages of their three way pool B play off at Castletownkeneigh on Saturday afternoon last. It was an interesting duel between the three with Creedon having the first opportunity to make a breakthrough but he squandered it with a poor fifth. Gould, without sparkling, was always threatening but it was O’Driscoll who shone with brilliant bowling along the straight. He was a bowl up on his opponents coming up to the ‘triangle’ but lost it in untypical fashion when playing three poor shots in succession. The upshot of these exchanges, as they bowled through the lines, was that Gould held the fore bowl with Creedon next ahead of O’Driscoll as they faced up the rise with no more than ten metres separating all three for the last shots. O’Driscoll’s effort did not run well thus ruling him out of the equation. Creedon, on the other hand, tracked a miler that ran with speed towards the village. Gould hit his attempt well and it secured qualification ahead of O’Driscoll but Creedon was the winner of the contest by a good fore bowl. The contest did not carry a stake. The subsequent draw resulted in the pairings of Kieran Gould versus David Murphy at Ballingeary and John Creedon v James Buckley at Beal na mBlath. Those quarterfinal fixtures will go ahead on the weekend 27/28 May. On this coming weekend the first of the knockout scores in the competition take place at Lyre and the Mill Road, Ardfield. On this Saturday at 3pm John Shorten takes on Eamonn Bowen (Sen) at the Lyre venue while on Sunday at Ardfield Christy Mullins and Phillip O’Donovan go head to head at Ardfield.

The Murphy’s intermediate championship got under way on Saturday last at Berrings when Mick O’Driscoll (B), the senior champion in 1988, took on Michael O’Leary. O’Leary won this one handsomely but his three bowl winning margin does not reflect a very close score up to the three quarter stage. Having exchanged the lead on numerous occasions O’Driscoll led by ten metres with ten shots gone. O’Leary unleashed three ferocious shots from that point that put a one-sided look on the result. O’Driscoll’s challenge faltered and a few misplaced bowls saw the odds mount against him. Michael O’Leary’s strong finish advanced him to second round fixture with Patrick Moynahin at Newcestown on Sat May 27. Sam’s Cross hosted the Aidan Murphy/PJ Cooney first rounder on Sunday afternoon. A stakeless contest failed to ignite for a long time. Cooney’s good second gave him thirty metres but he lost it quickly with a poor third. Murphy held a short lead with both taking six to ‘Shorten’s’ and threw a fine eighth up the straight to rise a bowl. The standard improved as the Mid Cork U18 champion followed a fine shot to the ‘blue school’ to hold his lead. Cooney continued to press but Murphy still held his bowl of odds until the Gaeltacht man threw a massive second last to within fifty metres of the line. Murphy missed that tip well and had a bit to do to stave of a last shot scenario. Murphy’s last was a splendid effort tracked with precision along the centre that beat the finish line by a distance. Cooney though did well to pass that last mark to save the money on the bowl. It is Aidan Murphy who advances to a mouth watering second round clash with his old adversary Seamus Sexton (Jun) at Grange, a contest that is a repeat of their Desmond Cup semi-final in February, won then by Murphy. Martin Coppinger took a two bowl win from Billy McAuliffe (Jun) in their first round joust at Macroom. The Glanworth man made a very poor start in a contest where the overall standard was extremely patchy. With €2,400 at issue, Coppinger was nearly two bowls up in five to the ‘waterfall’. Two poor shots from there allowed McAuliffe to knock it to one and he could have brought it closer with better judgement beyond the ‘gap’. It was still a bowl at the ‘cottage’ before Coppinger hit two lengthy effort to ‘Glasheen cross’ to restore his earlier advantage and he won comfortably by the two. Martin Coppinger meets Eamonn Bowen (Jun) at Jagoe’s Mills in the second round. That second round fixture is one of five scheduled intermediate championship scores down for decision on this weekend. Coppinger, who has been selected on the Bol Chumann five man senior panel to compete in the international road bowling competition in Pessaro, Italy, on the following weekend, will take on Eamonn Bowen (Jun) at the Mid Cork venue on Friday evening May19. On the same evening Tim Pat O’Donovan plays Darren Oliver in their second round tie at Kilumney. On Saturday at 3pm Noel Gould meets James O’Sullivan at Whitechurch, on Sunday morning at Bottle Hill Seamus Sexton (Sen) will play Willie O’Donovan and on Sunday afternoon at Ballyvolane Nicholas Carey and David O’Mahony contest their first round engagement.

The Munster veteran championship commanded plenty of interest throughout the past week as both the junior and novice sections came down to the semi-final stage. In the junior side North Cork’s Kevin Ruby having overcome Gaeltacht’s Jerry Vaughan in the preliminary round was pitted against City’s Denis Hickey in a quarterfinal clash at Newcestown. The contest was played on Thursday 11 and it was Ruby who hit the ground running with a mighty opener. The Blarney man, Hickey, made up ground quickly and was level at the first lines by ‘Mac’s cross’. The City champion did the better bowling in the next phase and threw impressively in the shots to ‘Allen’s lane’. He soon built up a bowl of odds lead as Ruby’s form dropped. In fairness to the North Cork man an injury hampered his approach and with the odds mounting Hickey’s advance was soon inevitable. The contest was over at the ‘monument’ a point the winner reached in ten very good shots and at which over two bowls separated them. They played for a total sum of €1,700. Denis Hickey meets John O’Leary at a venue to be decided in the Munster semi. O’Leary, the South West representative, won an exciting quarterfinal at Berrings on Saturday evening from former champion Billy McAuliffe (Sen) (North East). Playing for a total of €800 this contest went shot for shot in great bowling before the Bandon man won it with an outstanding last. At Jagoe’s Mills on Friday evening the Carbery champion, Finbarr Fitzpatrick, in his first outing at the venue literally set the Jagoe’s Mills road alight with a terrific display in bettering Oliver Searls the East Cork standard bearer from Cobh. Playing for a total stake of €2,000, it was even for the first quarter before Fitzpatrick took a half shot of odds to ‘O’Brien corner’ in six. It was the Carbery man’s next seven from there to ‘Ballinvard cross’ that shattered previous records for that particular stretch of road and propelled him into a semi-final meeting with Dan Joe Holland. At Ballygurteen on Sunday morning last the reigning All-Ireland champion in the grade, Holland, booked his semi-final place with a bowl of odds win over West Cork’s Mattie Hurley. For a sum of €1,400, Hurley did not capitalise on a good opening shot when he missed sight at the first bend in two. Holland made it out and pulled two bowls clear by the ‘avenue’. Hurley reduced the odds to one at the ‘cottage’ and beat a big last shot to save the bowl of odds, but could not halt Holland’s progress to a semi-final clash with Carbery’s Fitzpatrick. The venue for that eagerly awaited encounter will also be decided at this week’s officer’s meeting.
The novice category in the grade is being contested with rare fervour and threw up some thrilling encounters during the past week. At Newcestown on Monday 8 Michael O’Callaghan (Gaeltacht) and Billy Drinan (City) had a fierce battle in their quarterfinal fixture. O’Callaghan, a junior C championship finalist in 2003, had to pull out all the stops to win this one. Playing for a combined sum of €1,400 they were more or less even for much of the way coming out ‘O’Brien’s corner’ level. Drinan threw a perfect effort from here all the way to sight and it looked decisive when O’Callaghan missed down with what seemed like two to go. However Drinan missed up the last bend allowing O’Callaghan a late reprieve that he accepted gratefully. From well hind the Gaeltacht man hit a brilliant last that the gallant Ballincollig man missed narrowly. Michael O’Callaghan plays Greg Crean South West in the Munster semi in the grade at Drinagh on Tuesday this week. Crean had a sensational victory in another griping battle at Berrings on Tuesday 9 when he ousted the North East standard bearer, John McGrath. Playing for a total of €2,000 the contest was a repeat of last years when Crean also won and he was a bowl up after six on Tuesday. McGrath refused to yield and levelled by half way before rising a bowl of odds of his own. Crean fought back to level and was marginally in front for the last shots. McGrath hit a huge last but the Bandon man was equal to it and beat the formidable mark to advance to his meeting with O’Callaghan. In the same grade at Jagoe’s Mills on Wednesday the performance of East Cork’s Vinny O’Rourke had him looking a likely outright winner to some observers. He completely overwhelmed Carbery’s Phil Shannahan for a stake of €1,200. Indeed there was little the western man could do with the East Cork’s man bowling as he went to rise a bowl of odds with his first three. The second was up at O’Brien’s bend’ and, try as Shannahan did, he could not make inroads and O’Rourke’s progress to a semi-final joust with Jerome O’Mahony at Whitechurch was assured long before the finish.

In the ladies intermediate championship at Berrings the Mid Cork girl Noreen Aldworth won a grand contest with Ann Marie Kelleher by a two bowl margin eventually. The North East girl, Kellejer, won the openig exchange before Aldworth’s four big shots to the straight put a bowl between them. Kelleher knocked it to seventy metres but a strong Aldworth finish ensured a semi-final spot for the Mid Cork player. The first round clash between Emma Fitzpatrick and Juliette Murphy goes ahead on Wednesday this week.

Still on the Munster rounds 2004 Munster U14 winner from North Cork, Mark Sheehan, advanced in the U16 category with victory over Gaeltacht champion, Frank Kiely at Castletownkenneigh on Wednesday10.

In the North East regional junior A championship at Glanworth Patrick O’Donoghue of Mallow defeated John O’Donoghue by a bowl for €2,200. The North East junior A final is down for decision between Patrick O’Donoghue and Neally Kelleher at Killvullen later this week. The Eagerly awaited West Cork junior A semi-final between Chris O’Donovan and Gerry Gibbons saw a highly impressive win for the Ballineen man for a combined stake of €6,600. Gibbons, on the crest of a wave, following his Duggan Quarries and first round championship victories was the slight favourite and led in the early stages after some thrilling exchanges but they went out the lines at ‘O’Brien’s’ level in four each. O’Donovan’s set about his task in brilliant style from ‘Clon cross’. A series of masterful drives from there to the finish put him a full bowl clear and earned him a place in the upcoming decider against Denis Murphy at a venue to be decided this week. O’Donovan scored the finish in six from the cross and needed every one as Gibbons waited for an error. Denis O’Driscoll is the West Cork junior B champion having taken the nomination from his brother Teddy in the uncontested final. He meets the Gaeltacht winner at Bauravilla in the preliminary county rounds. In novice B in West Cork Trevor Deane defeated Patrick Lordan at Drimoleague and Brian O’Sullivan ousted John Tringle at Corran while in novice D Toss Ahern defeated Jimmy O’Farrell at Drinagh.

Mick Gould won the Ladbrokes sponsored City junior A decider at Whitechurch on Sunday morning from Michael O’Driscoll. Playing for a stake of €2,400 Gould’s six to ‘bula lane’ represented good bowling and gave him a bowl of odds cushion. O’Driscoll tried hard to come back into it but there was no holding Gould on this occasion and he rose the second bowl by the ‘farm’ to put the issue beyond doubt. Gould collected the Jackie Wagner Cup at the after score presentation. Last year’s World Youths player, Aidan Foley, was on top form on the way back in claiming the City U18 championship from a gallant Stephen Desmond. Foley’s bowling could hardly have been bettered for the return route and he emerged a good winner. He will meet the North Cork winner in the county rounds at Ballyclough. The City junior B final at Waterfall ended in a welter of excitement. Brian Daly took it at the death from Denis Hickey also the junior veteran contender. The contest played without a stake was fiercely contested with Daly going a bowl up by half-way. Hickey knocked it with two brilliant shots along the straight and then forged into a sixty metre lead with three to go having missed a chance earlier when playing to ‘Dan O’Herlihy’s corner’. Hickey then missed both Daly’s second last and the line when the opportunity was there to claim victory. Daly comfortably beat Hickey’s final effort to claim the Shamie Allen Cup which was presented to him by City regional secretary, Liam O’Keefe. Vincent Kiely, the North Cork champion, is next up for Daly in the county quarterfinal round at Ballyclough.

Mark Burke won the North Cork junior A championship final at Nadd from Olan Noonan on Sunday last. Noonan was the slight favourite in the €6,400 stake but it was Burke who led early taking thirty metres after three. He missed a chance at ‘Murphy’s to increase his margin and it was Noonan who controlled the score from that point to close to the finish. The Aghabullogue man was almost a bowl clear with three to go but cut his second last too tightly to allow burke seize his chance. The Berrings man took it with aplomb and won with a big last shot. In Mid Cork Brendan O’Neill qualified for his regional junior C final with victory over Aidan Buckley at Ballinacurra. They played for a total stake of €880 and O’Neill will meet Denis Wilmot in the upcoming decider. Adrian Wilmot is the regions U18 champion after he defeated Kevin O’Crulaoi at Ballinacurra and Kieran Murphy won the U16 title with victory over Donal Crowley of Enniskeane. In the girls U18 championship Emer O’Donovan defeated Collette Wilmot and in the Jagoe’s Mills hosting of the novice B championship Jerry O’Driscoll defeated Owen McCarthy and Noel O’Donovan won from Thomas Butler.

In the league format under which the South West championship is being played Ian Callanan threw a fine score at Sam’s Cross to inflict a second defeat in the competition on Neilus Hurley. Playing for a total of €4,400, Callanan recovered from a poor second to go on and rise a bowl of odds at the ‘new house’. Hurley, despite a number of good shots at ‘Sheehy’s’ found it hard to gain ground on his strong opponent. Callanan rose a second bowl at ‘Cahalane’s’ and ran out a comfortable winner. In the South West novice A championship at Mill road Tadg Crowley defeated timmie Hennessy by one bowl for €700 while in novice C at Lyre Finbarr Coomey defeated David Long last shot for €1,060 and in D at the same venue John Burke defeated John O’Brien. The U16 semi-finals resulted in wins for Raymond Ryan from Matthew O’Driscoll and for Darragh O’Driscoll from Davy Cahalane both at the Pike. In U18 at Grange Gerard Connolly defeated Kevin Deasy by two bowls.

In the King of the Roads qualifier that is the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig on Thursday Eamonn Bowen (Jun) inflicted a close on two bowl defeat on Seamus Sexton (Jun). Playing for a total of €1,200 with Sexton the hot favourite it was Bowen who led all the way. He was a shot clear at the ‘line’s’ and a huge attempt to the ‘big corner’ nearly doubled his advantage. A strangely out of sorts Sexton could not come into contention after that.
Seniors Edmund Sexton and Patrick O’Donoghue engaged at Whitechurch on Saturday evening and produced a cracking contest. Sexton won it in the last shot for €2,000. Dan O’Halloran was beyond the ‘bridge’ in ten in his bowl of odds victory over Tim Pat O’Donovan at Ballinacurra on Sunday evening. They played for a sum of €7,500. Here too Denis Wilmot avenged his Sam’s Cross defeat earlier in the day to John Cahalane beating the former Butlerstown man by two for €3,400. At Ballinacurra on Sunday morning David O’Mahony scored a pair of wins over Eamonn Bowen (Jun) both last shot for €3,400 and €2,000. Richard Murphy won a score from Patrick Moynahin at Castletown on Sunday evening. It was a result that looked no way likely as the Gaeltacht man was throwing over five metres at the last bend. He missed the finish line in two and Murphy came from behind for an unlikely victory. They played for a total sum of €6,000. Under-age champion Thomas Buckley showed rich promise in two wins at Ballyvolane over Thomas Boyle. He finished in storming style to win by a bowl on the way out for €2,600 and took the second also by a bowl for €1,200. Noel Gould and Eamonn Bowen (Jun) shared win from two scores at the Half-Way venue on Wednesday while on Friday in the doubles events there Thomas Boyle and John Byrnes had two from two with Pat Broderick partnered by Pascal Buckley.

The Pat Kiely Shield was a great success at Sally’s Cross where a total of eight scores were played. Dunderrow took the shield winning five of the contests to London’s three. The final two scores decided it with Dunderrow winning both as firstly Mick Murphy and John O’Mahony won by two from Eugene O’Sullivan and Kevin Cooney (London) for €1,500 and the team of Finbarr and Ollie O’Riordan with Raymond Barrow beat Jerome Casey, Kevin O’Sullivan and Owen Murphy by a bowl for €2,000. Earlier London had success when Danny Murphy and Francis O’Mahony beat Val Broderick/Brian O’Regan (Dunderrow) last shot for €840 and the trio of Jack Leonard, Maurice Cashman and Simon Atkins got the better of the Dunderrow team of Brendan O’Sullivan, Leo Carroll and Mark Coleman (Dunderrow) last shot for €720.

May 1st

Last Sunday’s final two scores in pool B of the Murphy’s senior championship failed to deliver the last two qualifiers to contest the knock out stages of the competition. Kieran Gould’s fore bowl victory over Donal O’Riordan at Kildee and John O’Driscoll’s one bowl win over John Creedon at Gortroe now necessitates a three-way play-off between Gould, Creedon and O’Driscoll to decide who comes through to join James Buckley, Phillip O’Donovan, David Murphy, Christy Mullins John Shorten and Eamonn Bowen (Sen) in the quarterfinal draw. That outcome is, of course, subject to ratification at this Wednesday’s May executive meeting when progress in the championship will be further discussed. Gould, who received a walk over from John O’Driscoll in their Carrigaline scheduled meeting, chalked up his first win in the pool stage with a narrower than expected from the Bantry based O’Riordan after a lack-lustre score at Kildee. It was, in some ways, a case of what might have been for O’Riordan as he scattered his first two badly to the right as they away from Ballygurteen village. Gould went almost a bowl clear immediately but the Bantry man held it off with a fine third. It was still under the bowl at ‘McCarthy’s bend’ in four and five before Gould gave his opponent a great chance of levelling when throwing to the left at ‘O’Sullivan’s house’. The chance went a begging when O’Riordan missed the City man’s tip and the bowl of odds stayed between them to ‘Ballygurteen cross’. Down the straight to the novice line Gould played consistently to hold his advantage to the next bend. O’Riordan finished well and a glimmer came when Gould hit a poor second last. The 2004 champion duly beat the line with his last to deprive O’Riordan of a last shot opportunity and indeed rue his opening two. The contest was played without a stake.

John O’Driscoll recorded his second win in the competition with a tough one bowl win over John Creedon in their clash at Gortroe. There was a stake of €4,100 in this one with Creedon dominating the first half of the tie. Good bowling on to the ‘Well Bar’ a point he reached in eight had him almost a bowl up. The Gaeltacht man’s form dipped a lot in the third quarter of the contest and three decidedly average efforts allowed O’Driscoll back into it. The City man showed an improvement and led the score for the first time at the novice line. He then missed a chance of consolidating his lead with a poor attempt to allow Creedon take the lead with three to go. The final exchanges were far from senior standard as O’Driscoll regained pole position and in the end he was a comfortable enough winner.

2003 champion, Carmel Ryan, and current Munster intermediate and U18 holder, Denise Murphy got the ladies senior championship under way at Carrignavar on Bank Holiday Monday evening last. The East Cork player was the strong favourite and won a good score by a big fore bowl. It was very close in the first half of the contest as they exchanged the lead several times. Murphy was ahead until Ryan threw a grand effort to the no-play line that earned a bowl of odds. Murphy challenged strongly along the straight but her attempts to level it didn’t quite run to her satisfaction. Carmel Ryan held tenaciously to her lead and won the contest when she beat the finish line from well back to deprive her North Cork opponent of a late chance.

In the ladies intermediate championship in Newcestown on Monday evening last former All-Ireland U18 champion, Orla O’Driscoll won her opening round score from Collette Linehan by a bowl of odds. The Hollyhill, Ballineen, girl played a tremendous first shot that rose a full bowl of odds and that was essentially the margin throughout. The Emma Fitzpatrick v Julliet Murphy fixture at the Phale Road, Ballineen, was deferred and will now provisionally be played on Saturday May 13.

The South West regions mid week junior A championship fixture at The Pike saw a merited victory for last years B champion, Ted Hegarty. The Lyre man opened his account in the league format after coming from almost a bowl down to Neilus Hurley for a combined stake of €1,600. Hurley, the strong favourite in the contest, made the early running and four fine opening shots had him in a commanding position holding almost a shot of odds at the ‘creamery’. Hegarty began to eat into the Ring man’s lead and was close to level at ‘Cooke’s’. Then a sensational bowl that beat the no-play line at ‘White’s cross’ turned the score on it’s head as, when Hurley missed that vital mark, the odds were reversed with the Lyre man now a bowl to the good. He made the most of his new supremacy with another mighty drive down from the cross that nearly doubled his advantage. Despite Hurley’s best efforts there was still close to two between them beyond ‘Drapers’ when the contest was terminated in the Lyre man’s favour. In South West junior B championship action on the previous evening at Kildee, Ger Fitzpatrick got back on track with a fore bowl win from Mark Crean who was making his debut in the grade following his C championship victory last year. Playing for a sum of €1,740 the Bandon man, Crean, played outstanding well in the opening segment of the score and made the high road, ‘botharin na palach’ in seven excellent shots where he held close to a bowl of odds. He lost it quickly however, as he failed to get sight at ‘Ballygurteen cross’ in the requisite figures from there. Fitzpatrick stormed back, wiped out the deficit and took a short fore bowl facing down for the last quarter. The standard dipped a bit with Crean not making the most of two average efforts by Fitzpatrick away from the cross. The Clon man gained the victory in the last shot to garner his first point in that particular championship which is also played on a league basis. Later in the week, at Lyre on Friday, there was a smashing novice veteran contest that went down to the last shots when Greg Crean just edged out Denis Collins for a stake of €1,600. In the same grade at the Mill Road, Ardfield, on Thursday Mickie O’Donovan started well in his bowl of odds victory over Jim Fitzpatrick Then on Saturday Donal O’Donovan, Kilbrittain ended the Clon man’s interest in the grade with a bowl of odds win in their quarterfinal fixture at Lyre.

Bol Fada News April 17th 2006 Back to Top ↑

It came good in the end for the bowlers from Cork as Kieran Gould’s thrilling bowl of odds victory over Eddie Carr in the Joe McVeigh Cup final capped a trio of Sunday successes that put a respectable appearance on the results list after a splendid three-day Bol Fada festival at Keady Co Armagh. The Gould/Carr contest developed into classic battle as the northern world champion strove might and main to overhaul the Cork man’s early bowl of odds lead. They played away from ‘O’Toole’s’ with Carr winning the first shot. Gould took the lead with his second to the ‘white wall’ and would not subsequently relinquish it. It was Gould’s third from the ‘hall lane’, a truly massive throw that rose the vital bowl of odds that would separate them for the scores duration. Carr knocked the shot beyond ‘Hughes’s bend’ but Gould defiantly held despite two further lengthy efforts by Carr to ‘Clarke’s’. The exchanges from there were exceptional as Carr hit a screamer to the ‘shop sign’ only for Gould to beat it. It continued in similar vein to the last bend with Carr pressurising all the time, but when Gould made sight there, there was no way back for the northern man. Gould scored it in fifteen and beat a big shot of Carr’s to win the bowl of odds. The stake at issue was 13,000. That climax brought the curtain down on a superb ten score Bol Fada programme an event acknowledged by Mickey Nugent, one of its leading organisers, as a wonderful advertisement for the promotion of bowling in its northern heartland. At the presentation ceremony in the Keady Parochial Hall on Sunday night, club official Brian O’Gorman was similarly effusive in his praise for all who contributed to the weekend.

Nicholas Carey took the spoils and the 20,000 stake money after a rare duel with Brian O’Reilly in the Pete Grimley Memorial Cup on Sunday morning. Carey’s big opener won him a hundred metres odds and he was close to a bowl up after two. Last year’s junior A champion, O’Reilly, had it back level after three fine efforts to ‘Clarke’s’. Carey pulled away again to rise a bowl by the ‘netting’ but a misplayed second last and good throwing by O’Reilly combined to leave just five metres between them for the last shots. The Armagh man hit a great last attempt along the right track but Carey held his nerve with an equally well-played reply on the left that got the perfect touch to roll past his opponents mark. Thomas Buckley and Killian Kingston continued the run with a deserved one bowl win over Stephen McCann and Shaun Shortt. Buckley’s good showing contributed to the Cork duo bowl lead after three but McCann/Short had it level and indeed led coming into the rough. Killian Kingston threw the shot that decided it, a super effort that covered the entire rough surface and restored their earlier advantage. This time they held it.

Saturday’s five score schedule brought little succour to the visiting contingent with only Gavin Twohig’s five star display against Paul Rafferty lightening a dismal series of results. In the first score of the day, sponsored by the Danny Boy Bar, young Aidan Murphy was always going to have a tough battle from Conor McGuigan conceding much, as he did, in terms of territory and experience. Playing off on the Newtownhamilton road from O’Toole’s for a combined sum made up of Euros and sterling that totalled 11,400, McGuigan went immediately on the offensive. The Templemartin U18 champion failed to gain a fore bowl as his Armagh rival powered to a bowl lead after four to ‘Clarke’s cross’. Murphy stuck to his task and kept the odds at bay for a good spell but McGuigan’s four searing drives from ‘Hughe’s corner’ that beat the finish line put the seal on a third northern victory. There was no respite for the Corkonians in the return double as Pat Mallon and Paul O’Reilly overcame the father and son partnership of John and Sean Murphy. Going for a total of 2,500, it was a tremendously exciting encounter that had the Murphy’s in total command in the early stages. Outstanding throwing at different points rose a shot of odds in the Cork men’s favour and that further increased to nearly two coming up to half way. Mallon and O’Reilly rallied with purpose and knocked it to the bowl coming up to the ‘crossroads’ and then, from there, O’Reilly unleashed a ferocious drive that levelled it. O’Reilly again, with a big second last gave his side a fifty metre lead for the decisive shots. They needed it when John Murphy played a mighty last attempt but Pat Mallon was equal to the task and gave the home side a thrilling victory. As it was in 2004, it was Gavin Twohig who rescued the visitors with a commanding performance that annihilated his long time adversary Paul Rafferty. The contest, sponsored by the Corner Bar, Keady, carried a 15,000 total stake saw the Rossmore man back to his best. Rafferty did win the opening shot but it was one-way traffic from there. A brilliant second to the ‘cottage’ set the tone and he went a full bowl clear by ‘Hugh’s shed’. Miler followed miler, three in particular from the ‘big corner’, and soon there was two and eventually three bowls of odds before Rafferty conceded after Twohig’s ninth. Twohig’s victory was a welcome one for the hard pressed southern punters but the mixed doubles saw a return to the old order with a win of almost two bowls for Brian Kinchen and Dervla Toal from Tony Carey and Carmel Ryan. Things went wrong from the outset for the Cork duo with Carey’s first getting no distance. Kinchen made the ‘hall lane’ and, with the women’s senior champion delivering in style they controlled the score from the first quarter. Carey/Ryan battled on and did have the satisfaction of saving the bets on the two when the Carrigtwohhill man played a splendid last. The stake in that one was 4,000. The final contest on Saturday was for the Charlemont Cup and involved two of the best of the emerging talent in women’s bowling. Kelly Mallon and Emma Fitzpatrick engaged in repeat of their enthralling U16 All-Ireland final of 2005, won then sensationally by the Rosscarbery girl, and produced another cracker. Kelly Mallon won their latest joust but had to be at pinnacle of her form to do so. Although the winning margin at the end was close to two bowls, the quality of play and distance achieved in some shots by both players was warmly applauded. Mallon had a bowl after three and withstood fierce pressure in the middle segment of the score to maintain it. The Armagh girl gradually edged further away in the last quarter to add another prestigious trophy to her growing list.

The Bol Fada festival opened with a pair of victories for the northerners on Good Friday evening. Playing on the Tassagh road, it was that ageless exponent, Harry Toal, who gave the home contingent the ideal start with a last shot victory over Tim Pat O’Donovan. O’Donovan had this one for the taking at different junctures, none more than in the last shot, but all chances went a begging and it was Toal who took the laurels and the combined stake that amounted to almost 3,000. O’Donovan won all the early shots, had a golden opportunity of taking a shot lead with his seventh but failed to leave matters more or less level. Toal took his first fore bowl with his tenth before the contest took an interesting turn at the ‘capped bowl line’. O’Donovan made the point but was ‘called’ and then missed with his second attempt. Toal, though, missed as well and they exchanged the lead again as the finish line loomed. O’Donovan had five metres for the last shots and victory seemed assured when the Armagh man’s final effort failed to get a decent run. O’Donovan played his shot for victory badly to the left and missed Toal’s mark by a distance. The return double was won by Leo Conway and Padraigh Nugent from Tim Cahalane, Leap, who filled in for Fergal Callanan, and his Mayo partner, David Hughes. The hot favourites on their home patch the northern men were not long in assuming dominance. They went a bowl up after five but a massive effort by Hughes with his fifth had it level. The decisive exchange came at the ‘iron gate’ with Nugent rubbing right around whereas Cahalane missed. Despite Hughes good play that margin stayed between them and Conway/Nugent won by the shot.

April 3rd  2006 Back to Top ↑

Following a busy weekends action several players ensured qualification from their respective groups and gained a coveted last eight place in the Murphy’s Irish Stout senior championship. The Ballyvourney bowler, John Creedon earned his spot with a thrilling last shot victory over Kieran Gould at Derrinasafa on Saturday afternoon last. The much heralded clash between the top men in Pool B lived up to its billing as the powerful play of the Gaerltacht player finally edged out the more fancied Gould after both, at different junctures, seemed to have victory in their grasp. They played off up the famed Dunmanway venue for a combined stake of €4,500 and it was Gould who struck the first blow skinning a good shot tight right to gain a forty metre lead after his opponent struck a roadside pillar. It was a similar state of affairs after two before Creedon unleashed a ferocious third from way back of ‘Collins’ that brushed on to the ‘bridge’. Gould, on the other hand, hit a poor third to ‘Daly’s gate’ and, after another brilliant throw to ‘Fox’s lane’ from the Ballyvourney man, it looked a bowl in the making as they headed for ‘Nattie’s’. Creedon undid his previous good work with a misplayed fifth into the left hat crucially missed sight with the result that they were more or less level playing on to ‘Cotter’s cross and ‘darkwod’. Creedon held thirty metres at ‘darkwood’ but faced a stiff challenge when Gould tracked a superb shot up past the ‘new house’. In a perfect reply the Gaeltacht man followed with a ‘miler’ to ‘Walsh’s lane’ to increase his odds to seventy metres. Gould came again with a truly amazing effort that covered the straight to the ‘novice line’ and this time Creedon missed well. It looked an odds-on victory now for the City man when his opponent again crossed to the right. Gould then did not drive home his new found dominance throwing poorly to ‘O’Neill’s cross’ and Creedon grabbed the initiative again with a massive second last. In the mounting excitement Gould shot an accurate delivery that ran to within metres of the finish line. Creedon needed a lot of focus in his response and found it to deliver a last shot that will be recalled with delight among his loyal band of supporters. Hit with power and pace it sped along the centre, touched on the right and beat both Gould’s formidable mark and the finish line. It was a momentous win for the Gaeltachrt man and one that, with the surge of confidence it will surely bring, marks him a leading contender for outright honours.

 On Sunday the deferred Pool C meeting of Christy Mullins and Gavin Twohig went ahead at the Marsh Road, Skibbereen, with both camps in buoyant mood. The contest only sparkled in stages but the end result saw the Bantry man’s winning roll continue while Twohig’s inconsistency led to his downfall and elimination from the title race. Confidence was high on both sides to the tune of a €12,000 total stake and the lower start at the ‘candles’ had Mullins winning the opening shot by twenty metres. It stayed like that for the next two before Twohigs fourth had an unlucky slash to leave the Bantry man with increased odds. The Rossmore man missed an opportunity of levelling it throwing across from the ‘quarry entrance’ but followed good shots by the ‘silvery gate’ and again from there to keep it under the bowl. Mullins just failed with a great attempt with his ninth for sight at the ‘steps’ whereas Twohig went right around to keep the contest very much alive. Similarly on to Ballyhilty, Mullins drove on with good bowling past ‘Thornhill cross’ but his opponent stayed in touch with fine play of his own. After an excellent exchange between the two to the ‘avenue gate’ the opening Twohig looked for came when Mullins caught the right throwing up for ‘Crowley’s lane’. Unfortunately for the Rossmore man, his reply to level it took a similar trajectory and missed Mullins mark. That effectively decided the contest in the Bantry man’s favour and leaves himself and David Murphy as the group’s qualifiers to the knock out stages. Mullins won the bowl of odds as well at the conclusion of Sunday’s contest.

 Whitechurch was the venue for the vital Pool D confrontation Eamonn Bowen (Sen) and Edmund Sexton on Sunday last. The clash produced a cracker of a contest that ebbed and flowed until Bowen, in the very closing stages, delivered four of the finest to put paid to Sexton’s championship ambitions for 2006. It is in some ways an unlucky exit for the North Cork man having come out at the wrong end of two stirring performances in successive weeks but there is no denying that Bowen’s age defying form in recent months, now transferred to the championship stage, has him fully deserving of his place in the last eight. The Carrignavar man, a Munster senior finalist as far back as ’84 and ’85 when going under to Bill Daly on both occasions, will not have a tougher battle in his remaining championship forays than that presented by Sexton on Sunday last. Playing out the City venue for a total sum of €4,200, Sexton laid down the gauntlet with a big opener but Bowen, with a modicum of luck on his side, beat it. Bowen drove to the top of the hill in three where he had seventy metres. Down the incline it was just short of the bowl with Sexton missing a half chance of levelling. Down to ‘Bula lane’ in two more, a rare short effort by Bowen was capitalized in full by Sexton who forged in front at the ‘cottage’. Bowen regained it with a great shot to the ‘farm’ but Sexton was ahead again at the ‘devil’s bend’. Another brilliant exchange saw Sexton beat a monstrous Bowen throw to the ‘transformer’. The decisive turn about came when Sexton left his third last down to the left and Bowen shot a fierce drive along the straight. It enabled him to gain vital yardage for the last shots and he duly withstood Sexton’s continuing pressure to take a hard earned victory.

 Saturday’s second senior championship fixture saw James Buckley and Jerry Hegarty go head to head at Shannonvale. This contest provided further evidence of a rejuvenated James Buckley who, on current form, will take a lot of beating as the competition progresses. He was far too good for his Carbery opponent who was some way off his best on a road where he actually has a particularly good record. Buckley was the hot favourite in the €1,800 stake but did not initially make much ground on Hegarty’s lack lustre opening. Buckley’s third was an outstanding effort along the ‘flat’ and, when his fourth ran to sight around the ‘quarry’ he had a shot of odds advantage. The bowl separated them at ‘Desmond’s cross’ in seven and eight. From there it was the City man who powered on with two mighty drives. The first up to the crest of the hill increased his odds with the bowl and the second down past ‘Sam’s lane’ put nearly two between them. Hegarty, to his credit, strove in earnest and got one going down to ‘Tobin’s’ that halved the odds but it was as near as he got to causing an upset. He needed a big one from ‘Campbell’s’ but it swung left and Buckley need no second bidding to reclaim his second bowl of odds. Great bowling past the novice line put him two in front again but Hegarty did have the satisfaction of saving the bets on that in the final exchanges.

 Phillip O’Donovan is back in the frame. Without being anywhere near his championship winning form of last year, he garnered a vital Pool A win from Patrick O’Donoghue at Carrignavar on Sunday morning last. The Churchtown player rose a bowl with his opening shot and that was more or less the way it stayed. The bowling did not reach any great heights with the figures to the ‘creamery cross’ being eight and nine. Several chances came O’Donoghue’s way to level it, the most glaring being with three to go but he scattered his attempt to the right. O’Donovan held on to win by the bowl without being overly impressive but will relish his championship reprieve following his opening score defeat to James Buckley. O’Donoghue bows out of the competition with Jerry Hegarty and O’Donovan now fighting out for the remaining qualifying spot.

 Anthony Gould’s late arrival to Lyre saw John Shorten being awarded the point from their Pool D fixture. Shorten joins Eamonn Bowen (Senior) in the knock out stages from Pool D.

March 2006 Back to Top ↑

The Murphy’s Irish Stout Munster senior championship for 2006 got under way at the North Cork venue, Kilcorney, on Sunday afternoon last when newcomer to the grade, David Murphy, Templemartin, gained the first point in the newly introduced league format with a bowl of odds victory over former champion and long time campaigner, Pat Butler. Ultimately it was the greater power of the Mid Cork player in the closing half of the score that was the deciding difference. The fixture attracted a big gathering on a pleasant evening for bowling and went off for a combined total of €3,500 with Murphy the overwhelming favourite. It was he who set the early marker with a splendid opening bowl that yielded close to a hundred metres odds. Murphy would not be led thereafter as he pushed a bowl clear in the shots to ‘Collins’ house’, but it was far from a onesided contest. Butler reacted strongly with well-delivered fifth and sixth shots that narrowed the margin significantly. Coming up to half-way at the point known as ‘Taffe’s bridge’ there was no more than thirty metres in it but, ominously for Butler, the rising road lay ahead. Murphy started to gain again up the rise and soon had his earlier advantage restored. The bowl was up again at the novice line and along the last stretch nothing much changed with the new senior taking the verdict at the finish by the bowl of odds. The new format gives Pat Butler two further opportunities to qualify from Pool C for the knockout phase with scores with Christy Mullins at Templemartin and Gavin Twohig at Castletownkenneigh. Kieran Gould defeated Eamonn Bowen (Sen) in a score back the road at Kilcorney following the championship fixture.

Unfortunately from the perspective of fixtures secretary, Harry Jennings, whose task it is to complete this extended championship within a limited time-frame, the two other fixtures down for decision on Sunday last, Donal O’Riordan v John Creedon at Caheragh and Phillip O’Donovan v James Buckley at Ballyclough were postponed. They will go ahead on Sunday next. Also down for decision on this coming Saturday afternoon next March 11 at 2.30pm are two fixtures from Pool B and Pool A. Kieran Gould will play John O’Driscoll at Crrigaline and Jerry Hegarty plays Patrick O’Donoghue at Newcestown.

Patrick O’Donoghue warmed up for his for his senior debut with a top drawer performance at Ballinacurra on Saturday last. He disposed of the challenge of Desmond Cup finalist, Martin Coppinger, with a fourteen shot display that would have taken out most opponents. They played for a combined stake of €6,400 with the Bantry man making the early running and holding a forty metre lead after three just short of the main road. This score hinged on a brilliant throw from O’Donoghue from just below ‘Perrot’s’ that ran al the way to the bridge. It swung the contest in his favour and he went on to play the latter half of the score in near record figures to accomplish a fine win. Back the road at Ballinacurra the City player Peter Nagle defeated Denis Wilmot by a bowl for €2,200 and in two further scores Freddie Scannell and John O’Leary had one apiece. Mick Gould won a smashing junior tournament semi-final at Whitechurch from David O’Mahony. The bowling was good for a stake of €1,600. Gould led by the bones of a bowl at ‘Bula lane’ before O’Mahony, with a series of super shots along the straight, strode into a handy lead of his own. A mistake at the top of the hill left Gould back into the contest and they were level at the ‘farm’. Gould threw the decisive shot from here going over all the way and that was enough for victory. He meets Seamus Sexton (Jun) or Billy McAuliffe (Jun) in the upcoming final. Vincent Nagle beat Peter Nagle in the Tony Murray Cup at Ballyvolane. Playing for a total of €4,000, Kiely took control after Nagle missed a second tip of the of the North Cork man that he might have thrown odds on and then had the misfortune of seeing his third whipped off the play. Kiely bowled steadily al through to claim the victory. John Brown defeated Liam Lynch in a return here. In the City junior B championship at the Bog Road Denis Hickey defeated William O’Donnell.

At Durrus in their junior B tournament Denis O’Driscoll, Drimoleague, and John O’Brien, Ballydehob, had a fair battle before a large attendance. The victory, in an exciting contest, went to O’Driscoll by one bowl. Playing inwards for the substantial sum of €8,000, O’Driscoll scorched away with a huge opener only to be pegged back by an equally lengthy second by O’Brien. It continued very close until the Drimoleague man gained significant law coming up to ‘McCarthy’s house’. Bowling with speed he forged a bowl ahead at ‘Flynn’s’ but O’Brien was fighting his corner well and gave himself a small chance of levelling it coming up to the last corner. He didn’t make it out leaving O’Driscoll clear to come in the winner by the bowl. On the way back Tom Coppinger, a name synonymous with Bantry bowling for many years, returned to action after a two year lay off. He won too coming from behind for the last shots after squandering a bowl lead earlier to defeat Drinagh’s Connie Connolly for a stake of €3,000. At Castletownkenneigh on Saturday the Bowen brothers Aidan and Noel came good against locals Dinny Nyhan and Padraigh O’Callaghan by over a bowl for a sum of €1,000 while on the way back O’Callaghan evened matters with a singles victory over Noel Bowen again a bowl for similar money. At Dunderrow the age difference made little impact on two well-contested encounters between the vintage Mick Murphy of Innishannon and the youthful Enniskeane player Brendan O’Neill. Murphy won their opening joust in the last shot for €1,000 before O’Neill reversed the result in the return by the same margin again for €1,000. Michael Connolly did not show at Monorone for his semi-final with Denis Wilmot leaving the Bandon through to contest the decider with Vincent Cahalane. At the Phale Road, Ballineen, in a junior tournament score, Andy O’Callaghan defeated Thomas Boyle by almost a bowl for €1,600. Boyle suffered a further defeat despite a good showing in the return when losing out to Bandon’s Jimmy Cowhig by almost a bowl for €2,400. In tournament action at Ballygurteen Greg Crean defeated Timmie Hennessy in the last shot of a very tight score played for €580. In a return pick-up Hennessy avenged that defeat with a similar margin victory from Crean this time for €740.

A number of West Cork regional under-age championship fixtures went ahead on Sunday last. At the Clubhouse James O’Donovan, Durrus, won from Muiris Buttimer while in U16 at the Phale Road, Ballineen, Christopher Murray defeated Darren Shannon and Liam Hurley defeated Aidan Shannon. Across the Atlantic the New York novice 2 championship is up and running and an early result sees the Kanturk native, Mick Moloney progressing with victory over the former Bantry man, Louis Holland. The margin was two bowls and the stake money at issue $760.

Patrick O’Driscoll bowled the re-surfaced Donoughmore route in exemplary style to defeat Dan Joe Holland by two on Saturday last. Leading all the way, he had a bowl at ‘ring’s corner’ and two at the end of the straight. It was a quarterfinal fixture played for a combined sum of €2,900 and O’Driscoll now meets Billy McAuliffe (Jun) in the semi. Back the road at Donoughmore Seamus Sexton (Jun) threw a monstrous opener that virtually decided the doubles contest that he played with Olan Noonan against the outward rivals Patrick O’Driscoll and Dan Joe Holland. There was €2,800 at issue in that one. At Rylane Johnny Murphy (Beal na mBlath) defeated Pat O’Brien (Jun) by a bowl for €1,800. In the North Cork championship at Kilcorney Joseph Sexton defeated Michael Murphy by a bowl for €1,000. At Macroom in place of the scheduled junior contest Jerry Hubbard and Martin Kelleher had one apiece both fore bowl for €500 and €360.

In the South West, at Grange, Joe Tyner had to be at his best to overcome the spirited challenge of last years novice 2 championship winner, Fergus Callanan. The bowling was outstanding down to the ‘school cross’ where Tyner was in seven and a shot up. He needed that cushion as Callanan fought it tooth and nail but could not overhaul the Woodfield man who won by a big fore bowl. The contest was played for a total of €3,200. In a novice 2 tournament quarterfinal back, a battle of the Carbery men, Timmie O’Brien defeated Jeremiah Fitzpatrick by the narrow margin of under a metre. The Ross player had the winning of with two to go holding a seventy metre lead but O’Brien availed a late error to clinch the result and move to a semi-final meeting with Con O’Donovan, Newcestown. David Long is in the competition final.

The South West region have issued their comprehensive championship programme for 2006. The line ups in all grades were announced at their end of February meeting. The regions top grade, the Junior A has five contenders. Tom Hayes the defending champion, Ian Callanan, Neilus Hurley, Kieran O’Driscoll and last years junior B champion Ted Hegarty. This competition for the Jim Sexton Memorial Cup will be sponsored by the Sam’s Cross club and will be played out in a league format with the top two qualifying for the outright final. In junior B for the Tim O’Brien Cup and sponsored by the Kildee Club four player will contest and again a league format will prevail. The six fixtures to determine the finalists in junior B are Mark Crean v Ger Fitzpatrick at Kildee; Mark Crean v Dave Flynn at Ballygurteen; Mark Crean v Johnny O’Driscoll at Mill Road; Ger Fitzpatrick v Dave Flynn at Ballygurteen; Ger Fitzpatrick v Johnny O’Driscoll at Lyre and Dave Flynn v Johnny O’Driscoll at Kildee. In junior C the five contenders will play a total of ten scores also in round robin format to fins the regional finalists. This competition is for the Joan O’Donovan Memorial Cup and is sponsored by the Grange Bowling Club. The ten fixtures are as follows: Vincent Cahalane v Jim Callanan at Shannonvale; Vincent Cahalane v Mick Harrington at The Pike; Vincent Cahalane v Tony McCarthy at Grange; Vincent Cahalane v John O’Leary at Lyre; Jim Callanan v Mickey Harrington at Grange; Jim Callanan v Tony McCarthy at Fisher’s Cross; Jim Callanan v John O’Leary at Grange; Mickey Harrington v Tony McCarthy at Ballygurteen; Mickey Harrington v John O’Leary at Millroad; Tony McCarthy v John O’Leary at Sam’s Cross.

The novice A championship sponsored by the Pike Bowling Club reverts to the straight knock-out system with the first round draw as follows: Joe Tyner v Jim Fitzpatrick (A) at Lyre; Pat Deasy v Vincent Dullea at Shannonvale; Tadg Crowley v Timmie Hennessy at Mill Road; Greg Crean v Donal Desmond at Kildee; Denis Whooley v Clive Cahalane at Fisher’s Cross. The novice B championship is sponsored by Ballygurteen Bowling Club with a first round draw as follows: (1) Donal O’Donovan v Mickey O’Donovan at Grange; (2) Connor O’Sullivan v Denis O’Donovan at Shannonvale; (3) David Nixon v Seamus O’Sullivan at Fisher’s Cross; (4) Neil O’Gorman v Brian Daly at Sam’s Cross. Quarterfinals: Pat Footman v Michael Quinlan at Lyre; Jimmy Healy v Nigel Quinlan at the Pike; (2) v (3); (1) v (4). In novice C, sponsored by the Millroad Bowling Club the first round draw is: (A) P J Sheehy v Brian Sexton at Grange; (B) Danny O’Brien v Tommy O’Rourke at Mill Road. Second Round: (A) v Gerard Connolly at Lyre; (B) v Fergal Beamish at Fisher’s Cross; Damien O’Donoghue v Denis Fitzpatrick at The Pike; John Hourihane v Patrick Deasy at Ballygurteen; Con O’Sullivan v Maurice Moloney at Fisher’s Cross; Finnian O’Doonvan v John Hourihane at Shannonvale; John Whelton v Bertie Poole at Lyre; Doanl O’Leary v Florence O’Sullivan at Millroad; Padraigh Fotman v Gerard Sheehy at Grange; William Sheehy v Paul Hunt at Kildee; Ivan Buchanan v Willie O’Driscoll at Ballygurteen; Der McCarthy v James Cooke at Sam’s Cross; Declan White v David Desmond at The Pike; Finbarr Coomey v Dave Long at Lyre; Kieran Connolly v Sean Holland at Shannonvale. The novice D grade is sponsored by Fisher’s Cross and the eight first round draws are: Ernie Hayes v Brian Harrington at Kildee; John O’Brien v John Burke at Lyre; Noel McCarthy v James Fitzpatrick at Ballygurteen; Finbarr Hennessy v Michael Barry at Fisher’s Cross; Joseph Hennessy v Michael Cormican at Fisher’s Cross; Tim Hayes v John McCarthy at Shannonvale; Kevin Deasy v Harold Kingston at Grange; Kevin Ryan v Noel Fitzpatrick at Ballygurteen.

Feb 2006 Back to Top ↑

Ultimately it was Kieran Gould’s expertly delivered fourth and fifth shots from the re-start line at the ‘creamery’ that decided the destination of the latest hosting of the Christy Vaughan Cup at Kealkil on Sunday afternoon last. The much heralded final did not, except for a few brief flurries in the early stages, ignite, and was, overall, well in the City man’s control for most of its duration. Donal O’Riordan and Gavin Twohig, despite a wholesome contribution, lacked the canniness and know how at vital junctures to threaten Gould’s domination. It was another auspicious occasion for the host club who were rewarded with a perfect afternoon weatherwise, a very large attendance and a substantial stake that amounted to €15,000, twelve of which was directly between Gould and O’Riordan. Kealkil village and surrounding countryside provided a picturesque backdrop as the score commenced westward. Soon, however, there was an air of inevitability as to the eventual outcome as both Twohig, who seemed to play his attempt well, and O’Riordan, both saw their opening shots veer to the left without getting any decent run. Gould, throwing last, took full advantage with a tightly cut bowl down the right to gain an immediate hundred metres lead. O’Riordan missed Gould’s tip to go a bowl down whereas Twohig got a fortunate break that gave him a good chance of making the newly installed no play line just short of the main road. An all too infrequent glimpse of the Bantry man’s uncanny ability came with his third. From an impossible stand he cast a bullet like drive that sped down the left and beat the no play line that, after Gould missed, ensured parity with the City man when they resumed at the ‘creamery’. Twohig, unfortunately for him, had the experience of missing down from the better position and therefore concede a full bowl on both his opponents. O’Riordan desperately needed to keep the pressure up but crucially he dropped his fourth far too low. It ended up in the right and the advantage was straight back with the City challenger. Gould needed no second bidding and unleashed too brilliant shots, the first up the right and the second tightly cut on the left that restored his earlier lead. Twohig had drifted nearly two down as O’Riordan attempted to keep the odds at bay. A glimmer came for the Bantry man when Gould had a short seventh by ‘Kingston’s’. He needed two big ones to make sight at the ‘graveyard turn’ and possibly level it, but it didn’t transpire. Gould pitched big odds with the bowl around the bend and was, at that late stage, home and dry. Twohig made a gallant late bid to snatch second prize with two outstanding shots from back of the last turn but O’Riordan held his ground to take the runner-up spot. Susan Greene, at the presentation ceremony later, was fulsome in her praise for the efficient manner the members of the Kealkil club ran the competition. She congratulated all the participants and had special mention for the Vaughan family whose sponsorship and generosity was greatly appreciated. The late Christy Vaughan was a widely known and respected Kealkil native. He was noted in trotting circles as the owner of the famed ‘Flying Saucer’. The magnificent cup in his honour was presented to the Kealkil club by his family who are presently domiciled in England. It was Kieran Gould’s third time winning the prestigious trophy. Others whose names are inscribed on its ample base are the inaugural winner, James Buckley, Donal O’Riordan in 2003 and Anthony Gould in 2004.

Bol Chumann’s inter-regional youths team finals at the Phale Road, Ballineen, on Sunday morning were a spectacular success with the biggest gathering yet of boys and girls ready and able to demonstrate their bowling skills. The inclusion of an U10 category for boys brought forth many extra young enthusiasts and the event was a hugely enjoyable experience for all concerned. Youth’s Officer, Dan McCarthy, coordinated proceedings and was given a helping hand by many of those present with the result that the various competitions went off without a hitch. The winners of the boys event were a highly committed South West trio of Raymond Ryan U14, Shane Hourihane U12 and John O’Sullivan U10. Their finishing total of 1,507.3 had them almost a hundred ahead of West Cork’s Dave O’Brien, Liam Hurley of Dunmanway and Togher and Whiddy Island’s accomplished James O’Leary who had 1,413. North Cork were a highly commendable third and had superb performers in Stephen O’Sullivan, James Roche and Andrew O’Callaghan. Their finishing total was 1,348 metres. Outside of the top three there were some outstanding individual shots at different points. City’s Craig Murphy of Mayfield played brilliantly to push his side well clear of eventual winners South West in the early stages of their head to head. South West’s consistent display overhauled their rivals and there was no beating their finishing sequence of shots with all three in top form. Gaeltacht’s Paudie and Garoid Lucey with Darragh McLaughlin hit some great shots and were narrowly pipped for third place by just seven metres. The girls competitions were no less intriguing. The Carbery selection were strongly fancied backboned as they were by U16 and U12 champions Emma Fitzpatrick and Michelle Ryan with able assistance from Nicola O’Sullivan. They did eventually take the laurels but by the narrowest of margins just eleven metres from Gaeltacht’s Cliona Ni Laoire, Mairead Lucey and Louise Desmond. They in turn were just twenty in front of West Cork’s Martina O’Brien, Lorraine Hurley and Catriona Murphy. The winners Carbery totalled 1,353 metres, Gaeltacht 1,341 and West Cork 1,318. The dual between the youthful exponents from Gaeltacht and West Cork was a wonderful expression of bowling at its best as they played in the same section. The North East region had outstanding players as well and were well in the running for a top three place. Ashling O’Sullivan, Joanne Murphy and Lisa Kinsella ended up with 1,264.4 metres after a great display. Emma Fitzpatrick’s massive third and fifth shots for her team were vital to Carbery’s success. Prizes were presented by Linda Bowen whose club, Whitechurch, provided such valuable sponsorship to the finals. Present too at the events conclusion to meet the upcoming stars was the legendary Mick Barry. Mick imparted words of wisdom and encouragement to the bowlplayers of the future and congratulated all on their participation.

There was a cracking junior A/intermediate tournament final at Rylane on Sunday last. It yielded David Murphy a second competition win in successive weeks and was again one that he had to come from some way off the pace to win. Brian O’Donovan was the opposition on this occasion and gave full value with a great performance that went very close to causing an upset. They played for a total of €2,000 with Murphy the favourite. The Templemartin man led to for the first four but there was no a lot in it then. O’Donovan led for the first time in five b

The Phale Road, Ballineen will again be the venue for the under-age team finals for 2006. 11.00am on Sunday morning January 29 will see the Whitechurch Bowling Club sponsored event under way. The introduction of the U10 category for boys in place of U16 has added a new novelty to this years finals. Youths officer Dan McCarthy has all regional team selections in place and an exciting mornings action is in prospect at what is one of the most popular events on the bowling calendar.

2nd January 2006 Back to Top ↑

The London region, Bol Chumann, celebrated sixty years of bowling at their Launders Lane, Essex, venue with a special full-day programme of scores on the Kildee, Ballygurteen, road on Wednesday 28 last. The days events included several bowlers who have had an association with London bowling down through the years plus a contingent from the Dunderrow club whose strong links forged through the late Pat Kiely continue. The four scores played provided excitement and thrills and a high standard of bowling and were followed by an enjoyable presentation and commemorative function, appropriately hosted by Barney Jennings at his well-known establishment in Ballygurteen. Current chairman Jerome Casey outlined the introduction of bowling to London in 1945 by Eugene McCarthy and Dan Murphy, Blarney Street Cork City, then of Ford Motor Works in Dagenham, and expanded on its growth in popularity with the influx of employees from Ireland. A particular highpoint was reached in 1969 when London was accepted as the first overseas region by the Executive of Bol Chumann. Central to that historic move was the chairmanship of Barney Jennings and his late brother Willie, the then secretary, who, along with an enterprising committee presided over a thriving entity that attracted hundreds of supporters and players from all parts of England. Another milestone came in 1995 when Jerome Casey then PRO/Secretary launched his book ‘Bowling Down London Way’. Billy Hurley of Togher Cross became the regions first representative to win an All-Ireland when he claimed the junior title form Sean Webb, Armagh in 1975. The London region maintains a strong presence still in Launder’s Lane even if numbers are not at the same level that they once were. Jerome Casey heads a vibrant committee most of whom were present for Wednesday’s celebrations. Timoleague native Brian Sexton is Vice Chairman, Dan Joe McCarthy (Drimoleague) is Hon Secretary, Fachtna Keane is Treasurer, Leo Hayes is Assisstant Treasurer and Pat O’Neill (Enniskeane) is Regristrar. James O’Driscoll representing Bol Chumann congratulated the London team on their efforts and paid a special tribute to its two deceased members Pat Kiely of Dunderrow and Willie Jennings.

The days bowling at Kildee commenced with a three-way win for the local clubman, Pat Joe Connolly. His astonishing seventh shot that wound around two bends was the dividing difference between himself and worthy opponents Mick Minihane (Kinsale) and Pat O’Sullivan (Shannonvale). The stake at issue was €3,300. The inward doubles resulted in victory for the Kinsale/Dunderrow partnership of P.J. McCarthy and Pat O’Mahony from the London duo, Jerome Casey and Owen Murphy. They played for a combined sum of €3,400. The feature score involved Billy Hurley from Togher Cross and Tim Young from Bantry. With a sum of €4,600 involved it was Young who held the initiative after four to ‘McCarthy’s bend’. However he misplayed his fifth and seventh badly to the right and Hurley lost no time in levelling before casting two super shots his eight an ninth down to ‘Ballygurteen cross’ to forge a bowl ahead. Hurley’s accuracy was pinpoint at all times and he ran out a bowl of odds winner. The Togher Cross man, with his former connections, commanded most of the London following in that contest and they were on a winner again in the return double when Brendan and Pat O’Neill won a great score from the long serving Innishannon player Mick Murphy who was partnered by earlier winner P.J. McCarthy. The splendid bowling of Brendan O’Neill was important here as they powered on to rise a two-shot lead by half-way. They needed that cushion as Murphy/McCarthy finished with four outstanding bowls that reduced the margin to under the bowl but could not deprive the Enniskeane brothers of victory. The stake in that contest amounted to €4,800.

Seamus Sexton (Jun) came through a gruelling three-way duel to win the Ballinacurra Christmas tournament from David O’Mahony and Trevor McCarthy on Monday afternoon last. It was the Bandon man, McCarthy, who made the ideal start crossing the main road in four before unleashing a brilliant fifth past ‘Foley’s’ to gain big odds. Down at the ‘sheds in seven he had a bowl on O’Mahony and a big throw out on Sexton. It got better for McCarthy when he hit a perfect drive beyond the GAA Pitch to go a bowl and forty metres on Ssxton whose cause at that stage looked forlorn. Throwing across the ‘bridge’, a shot he delivered expertly on the previous Tuesday, McCarthy hit a wide play and gave his rivals renewed hope. McCarthy’s next three were not of his earlier high standard resulting in firstly O’Mahony and then Sexton closing significantly coming up to the novice line. Sexton overstepped his mark twice and was penalised five metres but the tough North Cork youth stayed well in contention. O’Mahony led the contest with four to go but then suffered the cruellest blow when his inch perfect third last was blocked dead centre. Sexton was now ahead as McCarthy with a well-tracked shot to the last bend tried to recover his previous advantage. O’Mahony’s second last was tight on the left while the early leader was too far adrift to trouble the Nadd player who won comfortably in the final shot. The stake at issue was €9,900.

The qualifiers for the Ballinacurra tournament final were decided earlier in the week. Trevor McCarthy of Bandon and Seamus Sexton of North Cork joined David. O’Mahony’s whose fourteen shot display on Monday 26 saw off Nicholas Carey and Micheal Crowley. McCarthy recorded a particularly satisfying win on Tuesday 27 from Paul Buckley and Ian Callanan. Playing for a combined €6,600, Buckley first six close to ‘Perrot’s’ had him in control. A bowl and fifty metres up then on McCarthy with Callanan who had thrown a excellent third now further back, Buckley failed to maintain his early good form. He lost ground with his ninth and tenth and, when McCarthy, a wild card entry in place of the absent John O’Donoghue, hit a beauty from the GAA pitch across the bridge, it was level with Callanan also making inroads. It was closer still at the novice line where the Bandon man threw a grand effort along the left that gave him vital law for the closing stages. McCarthy held off the Buckley challenge with Callanan there too but too far back to alter the outcome. Seamus Sexton held his nerve to win a hard fought duel from local Aidan Murphy and Eamonn Bowen (Jun) on Wed 27. Again the sum involved was in the region for €6,600 with Murphy making the early impression. The local was seventy metres up on Sexton at ‘Foley’s’ with Bowen at the rear. Later Sexton levelled it and survived a number of ‘calls’ to fashion a fore bowl victory over Murphy and a bowl up on Bowen.

Martin Coppinger of Bantry advanced in the Jerry Desmond Cup with victory over City’s Michael Gould at Ballygurteen on Monday last. With €1,600 at stake Coppinger rose the bowl along the straight with a particularly good effort by ‘O’Mahony’s’ important. He held that up to the ‘cottage’ and won with the shot to spare. Freddie Scannell won a return pick-up score from Neil Crowley in the last shot for €2,000.

In senior action at Ballyvourney on Tue 27 John Creedon defeated Donal O’Riordan by a bowl for €2,000. The Bantry player opened with four mighty efforts here to push a shot clear. He did not maintain the momentum and Creedon came back and was level by half-way. Creedon availed of a few errors by the Bantry man in the closing stages to put together a fine sequence of shots and win the joust. Two of the best of the upcoming brigade engaged at Grange on Wednesday 28 when James O’Donovan, Bandon, and Michael Bohane, Caheragh took issue. The versatile Bandon youth won this one for a stake of €2,000. It would fair to say he enjoyed the best of the brushes on the day in a score of good bowling overall. In a junior tournament score at Lyre on Thursday 30 Johnny Murphy (Beal na Blath) defeated Martin Coppinger. Murphy’s first three to the forestry entrance were good and put him a bowl up. He went two clear later and won comfortably for a total of €1,200. Murphy is now in the semi-final of the Mother Hegarty Cup. Coppinger did have the satisfaction of being involved in a return winning partnership when he combined with Dave Flynn to defeat Johnny Murphy and Sean Murphy by a bowl for €1,600.

The Drimoleague club has switched roads to the southern side of the village starting now at the GAA pitch. It proved a success too on Tue 27 when four scores were completed. Firstly here the Kealkil man Nigel Kingston defeated William Couglan by a bowl for €1,600 but could not get the better of under-age champion Finbarr Coughlan in the return. The afternoon clash between Declan O’Donovan and John Sweetnam out was a fine contest played for a combined sum of €2,600. Sweetnam opened with four outstanding efforts and had most of a bowl facing down the hill. O’Donovan levelled it over that stretch and got a generous break from the bend that was vital in securing the win. The last score was an exciting clash that resulted in a last shot win for Finbarr McCarthy from the Ballineen clubman Mike O’Regan.

The Carrignavar/Bottlehill Christmas tournament was won by the trio of Aidan Bowen, Denis Murphy and Padraigh Scanlon who edged out Denis Connolly, Donie Connolly and Pat O’Donovan in the last shot. Playing for a total of €4,000 it was close all through. Denis Connolly did have an opportunity of gaining good ground for his side with four to go but it stayed level. Good bowling by Bowen and Murphy coupled with a big last shot from Scanlon won it for the locals.

At Ballygurteen on New Year’s Eve a couple of highly entertaining encounters were played. Opening out, Aidan Murphy and Nicholas Carey went head to head for €6,600. Carey led to the ‘women’s lane’ but a poor sixth proved costly. Murphy took over past ‘O’Mahony’s’ and went a bowl clear at the end of the straight. It stayed like that with Murphy winning by a bowl. Back the road local clubman Vincent Dullea scored a notable victory from the youthful Upton player Noel O’Donovan in a contest played for €3,400. In the afternoon Eamonn Bowen (Sen) and David Murphy served up a cracker for a combined tally of €3,800. A series of brilliant drives along the straight had the Templemartin player bare sight at ‘O’Donovan’s’ in nine with the prospect of a bowl for the taking. Bowen spun his tenth shot here well around and followed up with a tremendous effort past ‘Burke’s’ to level it. They came to the last bend with just metres in it, Bowen to the fore now. The shot for the line is a big one but Murphy came close only for Bowen to shoot a brilliant attempt that, although played tightly on the right, beat the finishing mark for a thrilling win. The superb quality of the bowling and the closeness of the exchanges made that particular contest one of the most topical of the week’s lengthy programme and one that a few seasoned observers considered the best in some time. On New Year’s Day at Ballygurteen Pat Joe Connolly’s excellent holiday bowling form showed again when he was the outstanding player in the mixed doubles festival final. He and Emma Fitzpatrick took a last shot victory from a game Jim Fitzpatrick and Louise Daly for a €1,800 stake. The winners led early but the Ardfield man with the sixth and Louise with a fine effort to the ‘avenue’ brought it level and won the lead. Connolly’s second last settled it leaving the Rosscarbery U16 champion with little to do with her final shot. For good measure Connolly/Fitzpatrick also won the return challenge this time from Jim Fitzpatrick/Gretta Cormican by two bowls for €2,800. The punters were out in force at Caheragh on Thursday 29 where Christy Mullins and J C Desmond gained a pair of valuable victories from Gavin Twohig and Ted Hegarty. Te first out for €11,200 was very close but Mullins/Desmond did have majority of the fore bowls. Twohig’s brilliant bowl from ‘Reenrua cross’ forged the South West pairing ahead but Desmond won it in the last shot from Hegarty. The bowling wasn’t great in the return but the result was the same, a bowl of odds win for Mullins/Desmond this time for €8,200. At Newcestown on Sunday last Mick Cullinane had a double from Martin Desmond one bowl and two bowls back out for €1,000 each time. At Kilcorney Derry Cooney defeated Stephen O’Connell in the last shot for €1,200 and Donal Cashman recorded a victory from Danny Murphy last shot for €560. At Curraheen on New Year’s Day Brendan O’Neill won his joust with Denis O’Regan by almost a bowl for €800. There was mixed doubles action at Beal na mBlath on Friday 30. Here the Kealkil pairing of Patsy O’Sullivan and U18 Munster finalist, Sarah O’Sullivan emerged the victors from the brother-sister partnership of Jeremiah and Emma Fitzpatrick with Emer O’Donovan and David Hubbard in third place. Patsy O’Sullivan’s big shot with four to go swung this one played for a combined total of €1,200. At Jagoe’s Mills on Wednesday 28 the Kilbrittain bowler Donal O’Donovan defeated Dinny Nyhan by a bowl for €900 but the Castletown men recovered with a return double win as Nyhan with Jim Walsh got the better of John O’Mahony and Flor Crowley. At Kilumney in a novice C tournament on Thursday 29 Donie O’Mahony, Waterfall, defeated Liam Lynch by a bowl for €400 and also won their return challenge. The Templemartin junior A tournament semi-finals on Sun and Monday last were won by Martin Coppinger and David Murphy. Coppinger had two bowls to spare over an off-form Billy McAuliffe on Sunday last. Playing for a total of €2,300 the Bantry man used his power to the full in a solid display and was two shots up at the last bend. David Murphy as expected had a winning margin also of two bowls over Reenascreena’s Tommy Connolly on Monday morning last. The tournament final between Coppinger and Murphy is scheduled for Jan 22.

The exceptional number of scores played over the festive period provided wonderful entertainment for spectators and punters and will have benefited the finances of a host of clubs as they face into a new season of bowlplaying. Affiliations, grading to be completed by Jan 24 and championship draws will be the main focus for the coming weeks.

Susan Greene received a strong vote of confidence at the December convention. Her tireless efforts alone will not be enough to keep a wonderful sport on the straight and narrow over the coming years. Fintan Lane’s enjoyable tome ‘Long Bullets A History of Road Bowling in Ireland’, just published, recounts with wonderful clarity the trials and tribulations that accompanied the great advances that bowling has made down the decades. It is no different today as those who attempt to lead the game forward face mounting challenges and sometimes hostility to their best intentions. However, there is much to be positive about. The support and responsibility of each and every member of the Association to uphold the principles of the game at all times remains an imperative. As the new bowling season commences we extend good wishes to all for 2006.

December 2005 Back to Top ↑

Susan Greene received a resounding endorsement of her stewardship from a packed convention hall at St. Finbarr’s GAA club on Wednesday night December 7. Bol Chumann’s AGM does not always grab the universal attention of it’s members but, with a number of electoral contests in the offing on this occasion, a very large turn-out did make their presence for the ballot. The contest for leadership of the Association was the priority on the evening with former Carbery chairman, Reenascreena man, Jim Hayes, challenging the sitting chairperson Susan Greene. Both had effected earnest and extensive campaigns that had a lot of conviction on both sides. Club members and regional delegates were fully informed of all the arguments and were concerned enough to exercise their democratic right. The outcome could not have been more clear-cut. Susan Greene retained her position by a majority of over three to one and that strong mandate will surely be of some solace in the testing times ahead.

The convention opened with Liam O’Keefe, City region, welcoming everybody and this was followed by Brendan Hayes’ secretarial report in which all the major events of the year were outlined. Treasurer James O’Driscoll presented an exhaustive financial report that showed the figures in a reasonably good light. Susan Greene’s own address was detailed and touched on every aspect of the years activities. It was trenchant and hard-hitting too in some respects as she touched on a few of the malaises that blighted the sport during the year. She praised again all those who had made the World Road Bowling event at the Marsh Road, Skibbereen, such a success and added ‘it proved to the greater public that we could organise a world-class event from limited resources. It showed that bowling was a real sport and not some diversion solely designed to cater for people who gamble to excess or cause trouble on the public roads. That image of our sport is unfortunately all too prevalent. We need to rise above it for our own sakes, for the good of our beloved game and in our efforts to attract new members and the support of sponsors’. She contrasted the highs of being involved in the World Bowling series with the sobering effect of being involved in legal proceedings on behalf of the Association. She accepted this as the reality of being chairperson of an organisation like Bol Chumann. Ms Greene spoke glowingly of so many joyous occasions throughout the year as the various championships took their course. She instanced in particular the October afternoon at Eniskeane when the girls U12 and men’s vintage finals were completed. It was an occasion that perfectly encapsulated the age diversity that can enjoy road bowling. She praised the Association’s membership. ‘You are the backbone of this organisation’ she said, ‘this special and unique sport would be nothing without you. You are the people who breathe life into bowling every minute of your spare time. Without you there would be no bowling. I am tired of all this negative talk. You are the people who organise scores, referee them, mark the roads, show road for contestants, take part yourself, find bowls, attend meetings and do all the hundred of things that bowling needs’. She spoke of her commitment to the future and urged for a unity of purpose as the Association moves forward. ‘The road we must select is the road ahead. However we must move together. We must rid ourselves of petty jealousies and trivial arguments and build on the foundations of that have been built over the past fifty years. We need bowling free of intimidation and corruption and attractive to all sectors of society and ages. We have to move with the times, we have to keep our Association in line with changes in the world of sport. That is the challenge we need to focus on’.

Legal Advisor, Edward O’Driscoll addressed the gathering and said the Rules and Constitution review would be completed in the early part of next year. He spoke of his delight at being selected to the Bol Chumann Hall of Fame in October and, in an advisory observation, urged the members to be united, to be strong.

The election procedures followed. Susan Greene was deemed elected to chairperson for the next twelve months following her victory in the contest with Jim Hayes. Pat O’Sullivan, Rosscarbery, retained his position as vice-chairman when he defeated Linda Bowen, City, by a wide margin. Billy Sexton did not contest for the PRO position leaving Pat McCarthy, Carbery region, assigned to that post.

The full list of officers for 2006 is: President Michael McSweeney; Chairperson, Susan Greene; Vice Chairperson, Pat O’Sullivan; Honorary Secretary, Brendan Hayes; Honorary Treasurer, James O’Driscoll; Honorary Fixtures Secretary, Harry Jennings; Public Relations Officer, Pat McCarthy; Regristrar, Liam Daly; Youths Officer, Dan McCarthy; Patrons, Most Rev, Dr. John Buckley, Auxiliary Bishop of Cork & Ross, Very Rev Fr D J Burns, P.P. Bishop Paul Coulton Church of Ireland; Solicitor Edward O’Driscoll.

There was a huge attendance at The Pike bowling road on Sunday last for the eagerly awaited clash between David Murphy and Gavin Twohig. Both had been on a roll in recent months. The intermediate graded Murphy had secured a number of notable victories against opposition from his own and the senior categories while Twohig, relatively inactive for a few months since his Paddy Barry Cup win at Rosscarbery in August, had put together a fine sequence of wins in recent weeks, one of which has earned him his place in the Christy Vaughan Cup final at Kealkil. Sunday’s affair was a bit of a let down for the big crowd with Murphy emerging a very emphatic victor for a combined stake of €8,400. It went awry for the Rossmore player from the off as his opening two failed to run a decent distance. Murphy, on the other hand, went off to a flier and three bullet-like efforts had him a bowl ahead coming up to the ‘creamery’. Hardly anything went right for Twohig as he strove to make an impact. The high camber in the centre of much of the Pike route was not conducive to his style of play and soon he fell further behind. Murphy powered on playing with great speed and ‘made’ the line at ‘White’s cross’ in nine where he had doubled his earlier advantage. The remaining shots were academic as the Mid Cork player won by well over two. The youthful Carbery player, David Shannon, won a return challenge from Finbarr Hourihane by the fore bowl in a score played for €1,360.

There was senior action at Drinagh as well on Sunday last where, in an O’Regan benefit contest, Christy Mullins took on James Buckley. The Bantry man saved his best for the last when he took his only fore bowl of the score with a fine drive that secured a narrow victory from a contest played for a combined sum of €4,200. Neither set the road alight in the early exchanges. Buckley should have been further ahead than the twenty metres that separated then in seven to the ‘church’. Buckley still looked the more likely down to the ‘pond’ but his second last broke to the right to leave little in it for the last shots. Mullins hit his last to perfection and, even though it did not run as well as it might, it was enough to take the honours when Buckley miscued his reply. A couple of novice fixtures in the forenoon at Drinagh yielded wins for Mark Harrington and Jeremiah Fitzpatrick. Harrington was the underdog against local Harry Russell but came away with a fore victory from a contest played for €900. Two of the younger brigade, Fitzpatrick and Derrick Jagoe played a thriller back east the road. It went shot for shot in very good bowling for €880 before the Ross youth just shaded it by a narrow fore bowl.

In the Glanworth tournament final on Sunday last the winners prize went to Neally Kelleher. Playing for the Mick McAuliffe Cup, Kelleher had the bones of a bowl of odds to spare at the end of a good final with the former under-age regional champion Stephen O’Connell.

Thomas Boyle had his usual busy weekend. At Jagoe’s Mills on Saturday he bowled exceptionally well on the outward route to defeat Reenascreena’s Tommy Connolly. Playing for a combined total of €700 Connolly’s two poor shots at half-way cost him a bowl of odds. Despite Boyle’s good showing it was down to ten metres at the ‘power station’ but the City man held on. Connolly got his own back in the return when he defeated Boyle by a bowl for €600. On to Firmount, Donoughmore on Sunday where Boyle and Patrick O’Donoghue, Mallow, exchanged wins in two scores played for sums in the region of €2,000 each and finally, also at Firmount, Patsy Hogan, got the better of Thomas Boyle by a bowl for €1,100.

Denis Murphy (B) led all the way in his defeat of Carbery’s J C Desmond at Ballyvolane. Playing for €2,600 Murphy’s splendid second had him lofting in three at ‘Kate’s corner’. He had the bowl at the ‘barleyfield’ in eight but Desmond rallied well up the hill. At the ‘pump’ he had the margin to manageable proportions and a small chance pf levelling it at the ‘double gates’ presented itself. It didn’t happen for Desmond then and Murphy powered away again to win the contest by a bowl. Garoid Spillane defeated Frankie Kearns in a return score.

Ivan Buchannon won his novice 2 tournament semi-final at Lyre by the fore bowl from Owen Murphy. The winner availed of slack play by Murphy down the hill on the lower route to forge a lead of close to two bowls by ‘Cormican’s’. Murphy recovered with four big shots from there but Buchannon just held on at the end. His final opponent will come from a trio remaining on the other side. Dunmanway’s Barry O’Donovan is in the second semi-final and plays the winner of Der McCarthy versus William Daly. Eamonn Bowen (Jun) lost twice in Caheragh on Sunday but had the satisfaction of scoring a double victory on his own road, Carrignavar, on Saturday. Firstly on the way out he accounted for Andrew O’Leary by the fore bowl for €3,400 before getting the better of Kieran Gould on the way back for €1,600. Gould conceded a hundred metres to his junior graded opponent at the start of this one but could not recover the leeway as the score progressed. At the City venue, Curraheen, Martin Hubbard had a double over Donie O’Mahony, Waterfall, while at Beal na Morrive Derry Cooney defeated Bandon’s Denis Wilmot in the last shot for €1,200. Wilmot did win a return here from Colm Noonan again last shot for €1,540.

There was a cracking score at Dunderrow where Castletown’s Dinny Nyhan won in the last shot from Kilbrittain’s David Nixon. They exchanged the lead right the way through in top class bowling before Nyhan edged it to secure a tournament semi-final place. Already in the last four here are Nyhan’s fellow clubman, Jimmy Nyhan, Kilbrittain’s Paul Harrington and City’s Kieran Busteed. On the way back at Dunderrow John O’Leary defeated Pat Broderick last shot for €1,800. There was success for another Castletownkenneigh player Padraigh O’Callaghan for the second week running at Beal Na mBlath. On Sunday last he defeated Bandon’s Thomas Butler fore bowl for €2,400. At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday Christy Butler defeated Mick Murphy fore bowl for €1,600. In the Sally’s Cross Christmas Hamper competition, jointly sponsored by Gerard O’Brien Roofing Services Ltd, Niall O’Sullivan Faciia and Soffit and the Old Court Inn Kanturk, the semi-final results were Ollie O’Riordan and Simon Atkins defeated Eugene O’Sullivan and Tom Mullane two bowls for €300 and Donal Cashman and James Sexton defeated Sean Moylan/John Sheehan one bowl for €560.

At Cobh on Sunday last Billy McAuliffe (Jun) bowled well in the second half of his score with Patrick Butler. Playing for a total of €2,000 they were level up to the no play line before McAuliffe unleashed four brilliant shots that swung it his way.

Nov 14th 2005 Back to Top ↑

The Bauravilla bowling clubs junior A tournament for the John Joe Murphy Cup has firmly established itself in recent years as one of the leading competitions on the yearly calendar. Last Sunday’s decider brought the curtain down on its second hosting and maintained Michael Crowley’s remarkable run of success since the tournament’s inception. From an original entry of thirty-two the Carbery junior A champion claimed the cup for the second time with a competent performance that, despite a stuttering start, yielded him a comfortable enough bowl of odds victory over the upcoming Bantry man Gerry Gibbons. On his home road Crowley was the overwhelming favourite with the punters. Gibbons was also strongly backed and, although relatively new to junior A ranks, was given every chance of upsetting the odds on the back of several fine outings in recent months against similar opposition. The stake money was balanced at €3,800 as they played off from the Coachman’s Inn. If the Bantry man hoped for an ideal start that was what he got. He opened sight with his first whereas Crowley’s attempt was too far left and fell behind. Gibbons shot a superb second to ‘Robin’s cross’ that put him nearly a bowl clear. His third was not of the same high order and came up short of ‘the pillars’ but Crowley’s fourth was also off the line and missed the tip to leave a full bowl between them. Just when the expectations of a home victory seemed to be receding Crowley found a new gear and blazed a brilliant fifth along the centre that went right around at the ‘netting’. Gibbons missed that mark in two to leave the score level but with Crowley now the coming force. The Bauravilla followed up with equally good sixth and seventh shots that left Gibbons trailing by almost a bowl at the rock. The Bantry player threw a grand tightly played effort at the ‘railing’ that reduced the margin briefly but the bowl of odds was up at the ‘bridge’ in eleven and twelve. Crowley was making no errors but Gibbons did promise a late revival with a fine throw past ‘O’Sullivan’s’ into the hollow that cut the deficit to well under the bowl. The Bantry man needed another big one from ‘O’Donoghue’s’ but that did not transpire and Crowley was not troubled in the remaining shots to the finish. The late John Joe Murphy was a highly regarded follower of bowling from the Bauravilla locality and the splendid cup in his memory was presented to Michael Crowley by his brother Gerald at the after score presentation in the Coachman’s Inn. Crowley was also the recipient of the €1,000 winners cheque while Gibbons took the runner up prize of a crystal decanter and €500. Semi-finalists Mick Young and Jerry Murphy, Templemartin, were also rewarded from the €2,000 prize fund. Crowley was also the winner of the inaugural tournament for the John Joe Murphy cup defeating Tommy Butler in that final in 2004.

The stage is set for the Christy Vaughan Cup final at Kealkil with a prospective December date on the agenda. The three-way tie will involve Gavin Twohig, Donal O’Riordan and Kieran Gould who won the last of the play-offs from Edmund Sexton and James Buckley on Sunday last. Gould had to come from some way back to book his final place as it was Edmund Sexton who took this contest by the scruff in the early stages. The trio played off for a combined sum of €3,300 with Sexton driving a magnificent opening shot right beyond the first bend to gain substantial odds on both his opponents. James Buckley had a forgettable outing and did not figure after the opening shots. He was over two bowls out of it beyond the ‘creamery’ and could not make an impact thereafter. Sexton went on to rise a bowl on Gould after three before the City man cast a massive fourth that reclaimed most of the odds. They were more or less level at ‘O’Sullivan’s’ and Gould led for the first time at ‘Kingston’s’. Gould drove on from there and secured his win with a superb sequence of shots to the ‘graveyard’ and two more to the finish, a point he reached in twelve shots. In an interesting return double Gould teamed up with James Buckley to defeat the Bantry pairing of Donal O’Riordan and Martin Coppinger by almost a bowl for €1,400.

There were novice tournament finals at The Pike and Beal na mBlath on Sunday last. Paul Walsh of Upton won The Pike novice 1 competition from Pat O’Sullivan, Shannonvale. Playing for a total of €2,900 both started strongly and matched each other in good bowling to the ‘creamery’. O’Sullivan held the ascendancy here but Walsh hit a huge effort that put the Mid Cork player close to a bowl up. Walsh rose the bowl in the next shots and when his throw for the line at ‘White’s cross’ his ninth, trickled over there was two between them. O’Sullivan hit a fine shot down the narrow road but Walsh had too much leeway and won handily enough. He capped a good day with another win from Freddie Scannell in a return pick-up played for €1,400. Walsh collected the winners prize and a €500 cheque for his efforts from the €1,000 prize fund. Bertie Hurley of Togher Cross won the Beal na mBlath novice 2 final from Kevin Manning of Kilnamartyra. Playing for a combined sum of €1,080 Manning made the early running and took a bowl lead in six good shots to ‘Shorten’s cross’. He lost it though in the bowling to ‘Long’s lane’ where Hurley had it level. The Togher Cross man bowled the second half of the score with a fine level of consistency and came home a deserved winner although pushed all the way by a determined opponent. Hurley received the winners trophy and a €500 cash prize with Manning accepting €300 as runner-up. Beaten semi-finalists Patrick Browne and Sean O’Donovan, Templemartin, were also rewarded.

Ian Callanan scored a good win at Jagoe’s Mills from Mick Gould in a benefit fixture played for a combined sum of €2,940. The Ardfield man started in style with two outstanding opening shots that gained him a bowl of odds and he held that in good bowling to ‘O’Brien’s corner’. Gould knocked it briefly but it was up again at Richard’s lane’. Callanan was rising two at Ballinavard cross and coasted home after that. In a score back the road at Jagoe’s Mills Richard Murphy defeated Brian O’Donovan by nearly two for a total of €1,800. Seamus Sexton (Jun) hit good form at Firmount, Donoughmore where he defeated Nicholas Carey by a bowl for €4,600. Carey had the early advantage after Sexton’s poor first but an error at ‘Curtin’s’ allowed the North Cork player to level. Good bowling then from the ‘grotto’ ensured a bowl win for Sexton. On the way back Dan Joe Holland defeated Mick Gould by a bowl for €1,200. At Bweeng on Sunday it was Holland’s turn to taste defeat when he went under to North Cork junior A champion Andy O’Callaghan by a bowl for a total sum of €1,800. On the way back here Haulie O’Mahony defeated Dan Vaughan fore bowl for €1,000. At Rylane on Sunday Olan Noonan had the better of Patrick O’Donoghue, Mallow by a bowl of odds while in a return here Danny O’Shea won from Frankie Kearns almost a bowl for €920.

A couple of high profile fund scores took place at Dringh on Sunday morning. On the way in Aidan Murphy defeated Eamonn Bowen (Jun) by almost two for €5,600. They were level at the point known as the ‘barking dogs’ in four before Bowen’s challenge came a cropper when it took him five from here to the ‘rectory gate’. That sequence gave Murphy the bowl of odds that he would not subsequently relinquish. Back out seniors Gavin Twohig and Anthony Gould engaged for a similar sum. Twohig won this one comfortable enough after taking advantage of some slack play by Gould down to the ‘blacksticks’. There was an enjoyable afternoons bowling at Corran where the Kilcorney men came a visiting. It was a productive session for the locals who took three from the four contests played. Connie Connolly made no mistakes in his bowl of odds win over Derry Cooney on the way out. Playing for a total of €700 Connolly had a bowl at the line at ‘Wilson’s’ and won by that. John Sweetnam defeated Willie Joe Leahy in the return played for a sum of €1,100. A good finish stood to Sweetnam here. Sweetnam and Leahy played two further scores with each taking a win.

The Crumlin Hospital Fund double scores at Carrignavar on Saturday resulted a couple of wins for the O’Donoghue’s Patrick and John from the partnership comprised of Trevor O’Meara and Eamonn Bowen (Jun). Both were last shots with the outward contest going on for €4,400. The return was equally close. Bowen did have an opportunity of taking a decisive lead for his side but the O’Donoghue’s with John in particularly good form prevailed again. At Ballinacurra on Saturday Thomas Boyle defeated Johnny Murphy (Beal na mBlath) in the last shot for €4,400 and in a return double Mick Murphy (Innishannon) with Pat Broderick combined to defeat John O’Leary and Christy Butler fore bowl for €2,800. At Ballyvolane on Saturday Tony Morris defeated Martin Daly by a bowl for €1,200 and also in the City on Sunday at Curraheen Dan O’Regan defeated Denis Wilmot last shot for €1,100 and Tom Fulham had the better of Frankie Kearns last shot for €700.

The annual Danny McCarthy Cup at Durrus is progressing. Munster novice 1 champion, Liam Young is the latest to qualify for a final place. He had a hard earned win over Sydney Shannon and Conchuir O’Sullivan on Sunday afternoon last. With a combined total of €2,550 at issue it was only in the closing shots that Young shook off the tenacious challenge of Shannon who he beat by a bowl and O’Sullivan who was a further shot behind. With kealkil’s Patsy O’Sullivan already in the final the last finalist will come from the remaining semi involving Teddy Arundell, Kieran Hourihane and James O’Sullivan. There was an enjoyable encounter back the road at Bauravilla after the John Joe Murphy Cup final when two of the younger brigade went into action. In a score of much good bowling Conor Hegarty of Drinagh won by a bowl from David Shannon.

At Grange on Sunday in a junior B tournament Brian Wilmot overcame Munster champion in the grade, Ted Hegarty in the last shot for €2,300. Wilmot was a bowl up after five but Hegarty had it level at the ‘schoolhouse cross’. There was never much in it from there as Wilmot just got over the line ahead. In a novice 2 tournament fixture on Saturday a splendid contest resulted in victory for Carbery’s Jeremiah Fitzpatrick from a luckless Paul Kingston. The Rosscarbery youth unleashed a fierce last throw from well hind that gave him victory after Kingston’s equally well-played reply just missed. Bandon’s Billy Coomey did excellent bowling at Ballygurteen to deny Dinny Nyhan. Playing for a combined sum of €1,320, Coomey’s ten shots to the end of the straight would have won most in his grade and he was two bowls ahead of Nyhan at that juncture. Jim Walsh restored monetary parity when he got the better of Finbarr Coomey in the return challenge by a bowl for €1,000.

A few results from the Denis Horgan Social club in Banteer read: Eugene O’Sullivan and Liam Casey beat Donal Cashman and Johnny O’Riordan by one bowl; Donal Cashman and Danny Murphy beat Eugene O’Sullivan and Liam Casey one bowl and a single Eugene O’Sullivan beat Danny Murphy by one bowl.

A recent three-way final in New York was won by Noel Cronin (Bantry) who defeated Eoin O’Riordan (Macroom) by a bowl and Paddy McCabe (Armagh) by two bowls for $900. In a return score Darren O’Neill defeated Mike Moloney last shot for $400.

The round of regional AGM’s continue ahead of convention night on Dec 7. Daly’s Bar, Mallow, was the venue for a well-attended North East meeting on Tuesday Nov 8. The division’s personnel have been the recipients of many plaudits for their efficient hosting of the All-Ireland series at Doneraile in July and their capable organisation of the Bol Chumann presentation night in Stepfort Hall just weeks ago. These successful events were again alluded to by the Association’s representative at the AGM, Hon Treasurer, James O’Driscoll. There was success on the bowling road as well with Thomas Buckley claiming a sixth provincial and national under-age title with his second at U16. Arthur McDonogh had a splendid year also winning the Munster U14 grade as indeed did Joseph Murphy who ran up the Munster U12 boys category. The North East’s team of officers for the coming year are: Chairman, Billy McAuliffe (Sen); President, Mick Doyle; secretary, Austin O’Neill; treasurer, Billy O’Sullivan; fixtures secretary, John Collins; PRO, Jim Buckley; youth’s officer, Charlie Sheehan; executive delegates, John Collins, Billy O’Sullivan and Charlie Sheehan; referees committee, Billy O’Sullivan, Tadg Hunter and Billy McAuliffe. Honorary life membership of the North East region has been accorded to John Delaney, Thomas Leahy, Derry Spillane, Paddy McSweeney, John O’Donovan, Tom Cooney and Finbarr Connell.

The Gaeltacht region reviewed their year’s activities at the Abbey Hotel, Ballyvourney, on Wed 9. It was attended by Susan Greene and Brendan Hayes, Bol Chumann, and several topics were aired and discussed. Helen Browne’s thrilling win in the Munster junior women’s final at Newcestown was hailed as was the junior A representative Noel Murphy who eliminated a host of noteworthy opponents before bowing out to Willie O’Donovan in the provincial decider at Bweeng. The sitting officers were returned en bloc for the coming season. Chairman is Henry Browne; secretary is Jack Ring; treasurer is P.J. Lehane; fixtures secretary and PRO is Donnacha Lucey; Brendan O’Callaghan and P.J. Lehane are male youths officers and Mary Browne is female youth s officer.

Further to the City regions AGM held earlier in month at the ESB Centre, Curraheen, an important contribution from the Carrigaline club was noted. The meeting extended its thanks and appreciation to John Cronin, Carrigaline for their gesture in presenting a cup to the region in memory of Terry O’Leary, Carrigaline, who was a great follower of bowlplaying. The cup was presented for the novice C championship (B section). It was won this year for the first time by David Kidney of the Paddoes club, Ballygarvan.

Bowling was honoured with the inclusion of Mick Barry among Cork’s Living Sporting Legends nominated in conjunction with the city’s Capital of Culture 2005 programme. Mick received his accolade at a gala evening at the Rochestown Park Hotel on Tuesaday Nov 8. He was presented with a specially inscribed medallion honouring his sporting achievements and marking Cork’s term as European Capital of Culture 2005. Present too on the night was Susan Greene chairperson Bol Chumann.

7th October 2005 Back to Top ↑

Phillip O’Donovan capped a memorable year when he was crowned the twenty first Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Road at Ballincurrig on Sunday evening last. He won the weekend’s premier event by just the bowl of odds from the competition’s surprise packet, intermediate contender, Trevor O’Meara, who had left a trail of the best in the senior grade including World Champion Eddie Carr in his wake but found, in the end, the current senior champion a step too far. O’Donovan was of course the raging favourite as they commenced the decider on the inward route starting at the Rathgoban line. O’Meara’s fine form in the qualifying tournament and in Saturday’s semi-final showed itself again in two superb opening shots that had him sixty metres ahead of his higher graded opponent. O’Donovan hit a grand third but O’Meara had that glimpse of an opportunity to go clear light at the first bend by ‘Toth’s’. He didn’t make it and the lead was down to single figures. O’Donovan upped it a gear with smashing fifth, after which he led for the first time, and sixth to ‘O’Connell’s green’ that pushed him close to a bowl clear. O’Donovan’s seventh cracked left and when O’Meara hit a fine effort to the bend below the junior finish no more than thirty metres separated them in the senior man’s favour.

It was O’Donovan’s ninth shot a truly remarkable effort down past the ‘sycamores’ brilliantly thrown that clearly broke the deadlock and left him a full bowl ahead. O’Meara played too wide down the short straight and the odds was tending towards the two as they played onto the long straight. The intermediate man did not stop trying and cast a fine attempt down the straight but O’Donovan followed with aplomb before the standard dropped a little. Two average efforts by the leader brought it back to the even bowl and that battle made for an interesting finale. O’Meara threw an exceptional shot through the green in a game attempt to reduce the leeway further but O'Donovan beat it and the duel recommenced for the last shots when O’Meara hit a fierce drive down the left. O’Donovan came again to match that. They played for a total stake of €1,100. Phillip O’Donovan emerged from a fine contest to claim his first King of the Roads trophy and the €2,000 first prize while Trevor O’Meara lost no caste in defeat and will reflect on a splendid campaign that brought him to the final stage.

In the forenoon on Sunday Catriona O’Farrell availed of her bye to the final to retain the Pat O’Brien Developments Queen of the Roads title but only after a thrilling tussle with her rivals Susan Cullen and Louise Collins. All three were well fancied with plenty of vocal support on all sides. Cullen and O’Farrell challenged for the lead in the early stages when a slack start saw Louise Collins fell a bowl adrift. Susan Cullen who had played the downwards stretch from the ‘sycamores’ in excellent figures held sixty metres on O’Farrell. Collins closed the gap on O’Farrell with a brilliant shot on the straight and also on Cullen but the Pike based Armagh native held tenaciously to a fifty-metre advantage up to the no-play line. Collins cut her deficit on O’Farrell to metres when a bad miscalculation by Cullen at ‘O’Riordan’s’ cost her her long time lead to the reigning Queen. To her credit Cullen rebounded and a superb shot to the ‘creamery’ and another past the ‘green’ saw her regain pole position with two to go. Collins followed the first but was back in third after her next but still in contention. O’Farrell’s strong play was her saviour and a well-drilled second last that held the right for longer than seemed possible saw her regain the lead for the last shots. Collins from well back tried gamely with a great attempt past the finish line at ‘Moore’s gate’. Cullen beat it narrowly for second place but there was no doubting the winner. Catriona O’Farrell tracked her last to perfection and it sped past her opponent’s marks to ensure her fourth Queen of the Roads title. The combined stake at issue was €3,800.

O’Donovan’s confrontation with Kieran Gould on Saturday afternoon was flagged as the weekend’s major set-to. The All-Ireland champion proved his credentials in this first major test since his national title win in August with an emphatic one bowl win over the reigning King of the Roads holder who was going for a record equalling three in a row. O’Donovan matched his side of the €4,100 stake as they played off from Smart’s Bar. Gould won the first shot by fifty metres but O’Donovan had it level after three. They matched each other for a while before the City man edged into a forty mere lead and, with more judicious play, might have extended it further up to the ‘long straight’. O’Donovan hit a handy effort that his opponent missed to concede his long held lead. It was a turning point as Gould missed up the next turn whereas O’Donovan made vital sight to secure an important advantage. Bowling with his accustomed confidence the East Cork man rose the bowl at the big corner and would not subsequently look like losing the contest. O’Donovan won by the bowl at the end.

The morning Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-final saw the unexpected demise of the World Champion from Armagh, Eddie Carr. He could finish no better than third behind the deserved winner, Trevor O’Meara and the acclaimed German, Hans Georg Bohlken. There was a stake of €900 between O’Meara and Carr as they played away with all three very close in the early shots. Bohlken’s performance was a revelation and he led the contest several times. His economic run-in and accurate delivery saw him deliver the best showing of recent past from an FKV participant. Carr’s challenge evaporated in the second half of the score. Despite leading at ‘Leahy’s’, he badly missed out the big corner. Bohlken threw an incredible shot to sight here to lead but it was O’Meara who played with the most consistency. He grabbed his chance when the German missed out from the ‘sycamore’s’ and went on to secure his final place by a bowl of odds from bohlken with Carr a further bowl back.

Saturday’s support scores saw good performances from the Cork doubles partnerships. Championship winners from the Carbery region Jerry Hegarty and Emma Fitzpatrick were in top form in their defeat of Harry Toal and Denise Daly in the Dairypower Challenge played back after the first semi-final. Playing for a stake of €3,220 their winning margin was one bowl with Fitzpatrick’s super effort on to ‘O’Riordan’s’ and Hegarty’s incredible shot from the ‘creamery’ the highlights of this contest. That classic throw won for Hegarty the William O’Brien and Sons sponsored special trophy presented for the ‘shot of the festival’. Later in the day the World and All-Ireland U18 champions John O’Rourke and Aidan Murphy teamed up to win the Dick Hudson Challenge from Armagh’s Paul Grimley and Pat Mallon. With a total of €400 at issue Murphy/O’Rourke stormed away to a bowl lead on the short straight and were not threatened thereafter in a two-bowl victory. In a couple of further contests after that veteran champion Dan Joe Holland notched up a pair of wins firstly from Harry Toal and then from Ted O’Farrell.

One of the most complete performances of the weekend was given by Nicholas Carey in the contest out prior to the King of the Roads final on Sunday. Playing Darren Oliver for a sum of €3,000, Carey was fast and accurate in reaching the no-play line in six. He needed to be at his best as Oliver matched him to this juncture and, despite throwing a short shot from here, compensated with a big follow-up to stay within metres of the East Cork youth. Carey came into his own around the next bends. Showing a fine ability to shift his bowls away with speed he quickly went a bowl clear. Two poor efforts by Oliver at the ‘sycamore’s’ ended the contest.

The second of the Pat O’Brien Developments Queen of the Roads semi-finals got the weekend’s action underway on Friday afternoon when Louise Collins, Denise Murphy and the German representative Margaret Schottler played back from ‘O’Connell’s’. Collins was the player in form here and had her place booked in Sunday’s final well before the finish. Murphy, on the other hand, was a bit below her best and her options on road play did not always yield the best results. The German challenger threw some fine shots but too many also that weren’t up to scratch and she did not figure seriously as a likely finalist. The Togher Cross girl was a bowl clear at the ‘sycamores’ and was not really threatened subsequently. She won in the end by nearly two. There was a combined stake between Collins and Murphy of €1,300. Following this on the way out was the three-way Cork final for the Jim O’Driscoll Cup. Patrick O’Donoghue, Andrew O’Leary and Noel Gould were the contenders here and served up an interesting contest played for a combined tally of €3,450. Gould was quickest off the mark and held a bowl of odds on both at the no-play line. He maintained that good form in the next shots and held his advantage comfortably until two bad blunders on the ‘long straight’ cost him dearly. O’Leary, who was trailing by a sixty metres distance from O’Donoghue and Gould, hit a splendid shot to ‘big corner to ensure that all three were level at this juncture. Gould’s troubles continued as he missed up the ‘short straight’ and, in a complete reversal, it was O’Leary who was clearly in front at the ‘sycamores’ following another good effort. O’Donoghue came at the right time and placed a massive shot to sight at the last bend to give himself a crucial lead over O’Leary for the last shots. O’Donoghue duly won after that with O’Leary in second place. The final score Friday was a single hand joust between the Ulster novice 1 champion Padraigh Nugent and All-Ireland novice 2 champion Fergal Callanan. Darren Oliver’s unavailability necessitated an alteration from the scheduled doubles fixture for the Smart’s Bar President’s Prize. The score provided a tremendously exciting finish in the gathering gloom as the Newcestown player fought tooth and nail to claw back a deficit that was at one time close to two bowls. Playing for a total of €3,220, the northerner availed fully of two badly miscued efforts down the short straight by Callanan to gain good odds with the bowl. Nugent looked to be coasting still a bowl clear until Callanan threw an unreal effort from ‘Heaphy’s’ that almost made the ‘creamery’. Nugent responded well to come close and hold a good portion of his odds. Nugent then followed with a ‘miler’ to ‘Geary’s’ only for Callanan to beat it fifty metres. The northerner missed the line and Callanan gave him a lot to do with a third fine attempt down past the ‘Moore’s Gate’ finish. Nugent stayed focused and beat the mark to record a hard earned win and conclude day one in a welter of excitement.

It was a grand weekend’s bowling at the East Cork venue. The Castlelyons Pipe Band, the excellently produced programme and the perfect weather conditions allied to a dozen well contested scores saw the Ballincurrig club celebrate their twenty first in exemplary style.

Bol Chumann’s annual presentation night has been announced for Sunday October 30. Always a night of great celebration, when the champions and runners up of the year from the various grades, are feted and presented with the cups and trophies dedicated to their respective categories. The event assumes a special significance on this occasion in that it is it’s first hosting in the North East region whose officials so capable organised the year’s opening All-Ireland series in July at Doneraile. The historic Georgian establishment, Springfort Hall Hotel, near Newtwopothouse will be the venue for this year’s presentation. Tickets are priced at €30 and are already at a premium. Those wishing to attend should contact without delay, Tadg Hunter at 086 0682557. Music on the night will be supplied by popular local band ‘Just Us’. The presentation night represents the conclusion of major activities on the bowling roads of the county for 2005. Champions and finalists from the vintage grade on to senior men and women right through to boys and girls U12 from all corners of the county will assemble to be honoured for their achievements.

Two remaining championships remain to be completed for the 2005 season. Ironically they are at the opposite ends of the age spectrum but will be no less attractive for that. Enniskeane on Saturday October 15 will host Christy Keating versus Frankie Kearns in the vintage (over 60) overall final. Back the road on the same evening the girl’s U12 final will take place. Involved here are Michelle Ryan (Carbery) against Catriona Murphy (WestCork). On the following morning of course the county team finals will go ahead at Carrigaline. The City regional team events will take place at Carrigaline on Saturday next.

Carbery’s Michelle Ryan booked her place in that U12 final with a two bowl victory over Aisling Sexton at Gloun on Saturday last.

Gerry Gibbons defeated an off form Brendan O’Driscoll in the quarterfinal of the Shannonvale junior A tournament on Sunday last. Playing for a total of €1,800 the Bantry man was a bowl up in eight and nine to ‘Desmond’s cross’. O’Driscoll tried to come into it subsequently but could make no inroads. Gibbons was two up at ‘Campbell’s’ and a comfortable winner after that. John Butler defeated Donie Hourihane in a return score by a bowl for a total of €1,000. Martin Coppinger was another Bantry player in the winner’s enclosure after his fore bowl win at Lyre from J C Desmond. This one went off for a combined sum of €4,540 and was a tight contest. Desmond erased an early deficit with a perfect pitch around the double bends and was ahead coming up to ‘McCarthy’s wall’. He lost his lead with a poor effort here and Coppinger went on to win it by the fore bowl. They played back the road at Lyre the same two this time for €4,600 and the Bantry looked on course for a double. He led by a bowl at ‘Crowley’s corner’ but lost that advantage with two miscued attempts coming up to the ‘hump in the road’. Desmond took the initiative then and won by a big fore bowl to even matters financially. In further scores at Lyre Con O’Donovan defeated Declan White in the last shot for €2,600 and Billy Coomey defeated D D Carroll one bowl for €940.

In fixtures at Curraheen, Aidan Foley defeated Owen McCarthy by one bowl for €1,300 and tom Fulham had the better of vintage finalist Frankie Kearns also by a bowl for €1,200. At the Denis Horgan Club in Banteer four doubles contests took place. Daniel Murphy and Liam Casey defeated Thady Murphy and Maurice Cashman last shot; Liam Casey and Daniel Murphy defeated Donal Cashman and Johnny O’Riordan by a bowl; Thady Murphy and Maurice Cashman defeated Daniel Murphy and Johnny O’Riordan last shot and Donal Cashman/Liam Casey beat Daniel Murphy and Joanne Murphy by a bowl of odds.

On another good weekend for the sportspeople of Cork it is timely to extend congratulations to Juliette Murphy of Donoughmore, a scion of that renowned bowling family from the North Cork locality. For long a leading contender in women’s bowling, Juliette’s activities on the road has, understandably, been put on hold in pursuit of footballing excellence. Her leadership qualities were well to the fore on Sunday last as she captained her county senior teammates to All-Ireland glory.

Bol Chumann’s annual presentation night has been announced for Sunday October 30. Always a night of great celebration, when the champions and runners up of the year from the various grades, are feted and presented with the cups and trophies dedicated to their respective categories. The event assumes a special significance on this occasion in that it is it’s first hosting in the North East region whose officials so capable organised the year’s opening All-Ireland series in July at Doneraile. The historic Georgian establishment, Springfort Hall Hotel, near Newtwopothouse will be the venue for this year’s presentation. Tickets are priced at €30 and are already at a premium. Those wishing to attend should contact without delay, Tadg Hunter at 086 0682557. Music on the night will be supplied by popular local band ‘Just Us’. The presentation night represents the conclusion of major activities on the bowling roads of the county for 2005. Champions and finalists from the vintage grade on to senior men and women right through to boys and girls U12 from all corners of the county will assemble to be honoured for their achievements.

26th September 2005 Back to Top ↑

The October bowling spectacular that is the King and Queen of the Roads festival at Ballincurrig in East Cork comes of age on this weekend when it’s twenty-first hosting gets under way on Friday afternoon. The tournament has progressed and expanded from its inaugural year into one of the major non-championship events on the bowling calendar. Seamus O’Tuama continues to be the driving force behind its success. It was his invitation to Harry Toal (Jun), to contest with Bill Daly in a special competition at Ballincurrig with the winner being crowned King of the Roads that set the ball rolling in 1985. It would be a repeat of their Whitechurch, All-Ireland clash of the same year won by the Armagh man. Daly avenged his championship defeat and was crowned the first winner of the coveted title and would go on to win again on four further occasions. The Queen of the Roads competition was added in 1996 when the great German woman, Antje Schottler, became the first Queen. Now the Jim O’Driscoll Cup, the attractive doubles competitions involving the championship winners of year plus the qualifying rounds for inclusion in the final stages have all become an integral part of a mammoth weekend’s bowling. The sterling work of a large and committed Ballincurrig club organisation and the invaluable sponsorship secured for each event make for a worthwhile and enjoyable occasion for player and spectator alike.

Next weekend’s programme at Ballincurrig has all the variety and diversification of any of the previous years. Carbery dual All-Ireland champions, Jerry Hegarty and Emma Fitzpatrick team up for a doubles contest on Saturday, Newcestown’s novice 2 champion Fergal Callanan combines with East Cork’s youthful junior A, Nicholas Carey, on Friday while U18 champion Aidan Murphy partners near relative John O’Rourke in another of Saturday’s doubles. Present too will be the great German lofting specialist, Hans Georg Bohlken, one of the German regional winners and he may pose a problem or two for Eddie Carr and Trevor O’Meara in Saturday’s semi-final. There too will be Margaret Schottler a relative through marriage of former Queen of the Roads winner Antje. Margaret is current German women’s champion and she will contest with Denise Murphy and Louise Collins in Friday’s semi. A favourable medical consideration has allowed Catriona O’Farrell the opportunity to defend her title. She will be part of Sunday’s three-hand Queen decider against Susan Cullen and Friday’s winner.

The full programme for the 2005 King and Queen of the Roads festival is: Friday September 30; 2.00pm, Pat O’Brien Developments Queen of the Roads semi-final, Denise Murphy v Louise Collins v Margaret Schottler; 3.30pm, Jim O’Driscoll Cup Cork final; Noel Gould v Andrew O’Leary v Patrick O’Donoghue; 4.30 Smart’s Bar President’s Bar Prize; Nicholas Carey/Fergal Callanan v Darren Oliver/Padraigh Nugent; Saturday October 1; 10.30am Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-final, Eddie Carr v Trevor O’Meara v Hans George Bohlken; 12.00 noon Dairypower Challenge, Jerry Hegarty/Emma Fitzpatrick v Harry Toal/Denise Daly; 2.00pm Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-final, Phillip O’Donovan v Kieran Gould (holder); 3.00pm Dick Hudson Challenge, Aidan Murphy/John O’Rourke v Paul Grimley/Pat Mallon. Sunday October 2; Pat O’Brien Developments Queen of the Roads final; Catriona O’Farrell (holder) v Susan Cullen v Winner of semi-final 2; 12.00 noon Jim O’Driscoll Cup final Paul Rafferty v Cork winner; 2.00pm Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads final.

The preliminaries for next week’s festival have been on the go for several weeks as the Mick Barry Cup and Queen qualifiers have reached their conclusions. Last weekend’s Barry Cup final and Pat O’Brien Queen of the Roads semi-final proper has brought more clarity to the contender list for the main competitions. Intermediate player Trevor O’Meara caused a surprise of no small significance when he became the first holder of the Mick Barry Cup with a thrilling last shot victory over seasoned senior, Anthony Gould, and in the process booked his place in next Saturday’s King of the Roads semi-final proper against the Ulster champion, Eddie Carr and the renowned German, Hans Georg Bohlken. Played out on Sunday morning last at Ballincurrig for a stake of €900, Gould was the hot favourite. Although the bowling overall was not by any means exceptional, nineteen shots a man, the remarkable closeness of the exchanges made it a thoroughly interesting contest. Gould won the opening shot by a small margin having got away with a tight left hand play but there was nothing in it for the first quarter. O’Meara did have a chance of taking a handy lead but they reached the no-play line dead level. Both got good shots up the straight before Gould escaped with a wide play to keep it level when his opponent hit a grand effort to sight at the short straight. O’Meara got a superb shot from the sycamores but again Gould followed and went on to hold the fore for the last shots by a few metres. O’Meara rode his luck a bit with his last when it recovered from the right and ran round the bend. Gould had a lot to do to win it then and missed by twenty despite a good attempt.

Saturday’s Pat O’Brien Developments Queen of the Roads semi-final just escaped that evening’s deluge and was a tense, exciting affair involving three of the best in the ladies game. To Susan Cullen went the victory by a narrow twenty-metre margin from Munster champion, Gretta Cormican with Marie Noonan of North Cork fifty metres further back. That all three were there with a shout as the last shots were thrown is an indicator of the closeness of the exchanges. Bowled in the Ballincurrig route as will the overall final on Sunday morning next the eventual winner made the early running before going a bowl up on both her opponents when making sight at the ‘sycamores’. Cormican hit a good effort in an attempt to reduce the odds but Cullen still dominated and had a small chance of increasing her lead to a second bowl at the short straight. Noonan had a brilliant shot to the big corner to level with Cullen and shortly after the North Cork player took the lead. The front two vied for supremacy with Cormican still a bowl down as they played to ‘Heaphy’s’ before the score took another twist. The Munster champion threw a magnificent effort through the no-play lines to come right into contention. Noonan led at the ‘creamery’ but a misplayed attempt here cost her the advantage and it was Cormican who surged on to lead for the last shots with Cullen now holding second place. From hind Noonan’s effort went right to rule her out of the running. Cullen cut her shot tight on the left down the incline and it brushed well to give herself a great chance. It proved the winner when Cormican’s reply veered right and missed by a short distance. They played for a combined tally of €2,400. With Dervla Toal unavailable due to a clash of sporting interests, Armagh will after all have a capable representative in next Sunday’s three-hand final.

The vintage men, Frank Kearns and Tom Collins played out the final of the B side of their grade at a rain lashed Phale Road, Ballineen on Saturday afternoon last. To Kearns went the laurels after a game struggle in the adverse conditions. The played away for a total stake of €800 with the eventual winner making a poor start throwing his opening shot into the left. Tom Collins immediately went on the offensive and built up a handy lead in the shots to the second bend. He still held the ascendancy despite a good attempt by Kearns to the double bends and had thirty metres at the ‘triangle’. Collins increased his lead with good bowling to ‘O’Driscoll’s’ where the margin was just under the bowl before the score took a swing in the other direction as they played up the narrow road. Kearns hit a massive effort from ‘Hosford’s lane’ to level it and took a decisive lead when his shot at the ‘green door’ recovered from the right to run a big distance. Kearns won in the end by a good fore bowl and will now play Christy Keating the seeded A winner in the overall vintage final at a venue to be decided.

A cracking post match doubles contest at Caheragh on Sunday evening last saw victory for Carbery’s leading duo Jerry Hegarty and Michael Crowley from the formidable Mid Cork brothers partnership of David and Aidan Murphy. This benefit contest went off for a combined sum of €7,400 and the bowling was of a high order from the start. Crowley made the ‘bridge’ with his first, Hegarty kept it going with a big effort past the ‘church’ after which Crowley again played expertly to reach the bottom of the hill. Those fine shots had the Carbery pair a hundred metres in front but David Murphy tracked a brilliant effort from the middle of the hill that halved the odds. A mistake by the Mid Cork men at the ‘soccer pitch gate’ left Hegarty/Crowley close to a bowl ahead. The very strong Murphy’s were always threatening but the westerners bowled with consistency to hold their lead. Hegarty played a smashing shot beyond ‘Shiely’s’ to put the seal on a fine victory. Also in Carbery earlier in the day Nicholas Carey made a worthwhile visit to Bauravilla to record a fore bowl victory over Bantry’s Martin Coppinger. It was a John Joe Murphy Cup first round fixture played for a total sum of €4,800 that had Coppinger to the fore for much of the way. His good bowling to the ‘rock’ yielded him almost a bowl of odds that he held to the ‘bridge’. Two mistakes at ‘O’Donoghue’s’ with just three to go cost him his advantage. Carey then threw a superb second last the turn the contest around and it was the East Cork youth who won it handily enough in the end.

At Ballinacurra, Upton, on Saturday Paul Buckley had five metres to spare over Noel Gould at the end of a good contest. Playing for a sum of €4,400 Gould was in pole position at the three-quarter stage but an error or two cost him dearly and Buckley took it by the narrowest of margins. Following this Patrick O’Donoghue and Richard Murphy engaged in an intermediate joust for a total of €2,100. Murphy had the opportunities to take a decisive lead on a number of occasions but didn’t take them. O’Donoghue finished strongly and a big last shot ensured victory. At Grange on Sunday morning in a junior B tournament fixture two seasoned campaigners, both now at the veteran stage, John Murphy, Templemartin, and Billy Hurley, Togher Cross, played out for a tally of €2,060. Hurley won the opening shot but squandered a chance of extending his lead with a poor second. Murphy took the initiative straight away and lengthy third and fourth propelled him into a lead of nearly two bowls by the time they reached the ‘school house cross’. Hurley finished very well and made big inroads but Murphy had enough in hand to win by a good fore bowl.

The Gaeltacht team finals at Clondrohid on Sunday morning last was won by the Mons B team. Inspired by an outstanding performance from Donie Corcoran and ably assisted by Dan O’Riordan and Noel Kelleher their additional meters for graded status had them ahead on the countdown of the more illustrious Mons A team of Kevin Manning, Jerry O’Riordan and Patrick Browne. Ballingeary comprised of Tom Murray, John Lynch and Donal Kelleher contested well also and were next in third place.

At the Half-Way venue Paul Murphy won his quarterfinal fixture with Liam Lynch. Murphy’s winning margin was by the fore bowl and he now joins Sunday week’s winner Aidan Murphy, the City, in the semi-final draw. At Donoughmore Tom Allen defeated Leonard Bowen in the last shot for €600. Here too Peter Nagle continued his good run with a victory over World U18 winner John O’Rourke. Playing for a total of €3,000 Nagle’s good bowling on the straight allied to O’Rourke’s mistake with his fifth to ‘Ring’s corner’ put a bowl of odds between them. Nagle did not cede any ground after that. In a couple of doubles contests at Bweeng Tadg Hunter and John Joe Savage had one apiece with Dan Vaughan and Paddy Ronan both by the fore bowl and both for sums of €1,600. Still in North Cork, at Nadd, Eamonn Bowen (Sen) won a contest with fellow senior Edmund Sexton by a bowl for a total of €1,000. Niall O’Keefe beat Martin Hubbard in a score back here. At Dunderrow on Sunday morning last Kieran Busteed defeated Kilbrittain’s P J Sheehy by two for €600 and on the way back Owen McCarthy defeated Tom Fulham for the last shot.

4th August 2005 Back to Top ↑

Two magnificent days of bowling action on the Cathedral Road, Armagh yielded the travelling Cork and Munster champions five of the seven All-Ireland titles played for. Phillip O’Donovan’s emphatic victory in the senior final over Eddie Carr completed a hat-trick of victories from Sunday’s play and brought to a conclusion a superb All-Ireland weekend that ran without a hitch before huge crowds in ideal weather. O’Donovan was in sublime form hitting ‘Grimley’s corner’ in fourteen excellent shots where he held two bowls and, with the finish line within sight, the Ulster champion conceded at that point. O’Donovan’s injury complaint at the outset lent a more subdued mood to this final than would normally be the case and resulted in the contest going off without a stake. It did not, however, affect his subsequent performance and the Munster champion set about imposing himself immediately. With Carr catching the left with his first and then hopping the kerb with his second there was close to bowl in it after the East Cork man’s good opener. It stayed like that in four and three to ‘Campbell’s’ before O’Donovan played two marvellous efforts to enforce his dominance. Carr did track very good fifth and sixth shots to keep in touch. Overall, though, he lacked consistency on the day and his bowling did not carry the usual speed or fluency. Following two outstanding efforts to the ‘coal sheds’ O’Donovan was well in the ascendancy again and went the full shot clear by ‘Brannigan’s’. O’Donovan then played a masterful lofted effort that rose two at ‘Bellaghy lane’ and it effectively put the result beyond doubt. With his fourteenth O’Donovan claimed his first All-Ireland senior crown.

Aidan Murphy from Templemartin set the ball rolling on Sunday morning with a cracking display as he completely dominated Saturday’s junior B winner, Peter O’Reilly, to win the U18 All-Ireland. With combined currencies involved the total stake money was balanced at 7,600 and at this Murphy was the punters favourite. The Mid Cork youth was away to a flier too taking the first shot by thirty metres and then following up with two ‘milers’ to ‘Campbell’s big gate’ where he had the bones of a bowl of odds. He didn’t rise it as might have been expected in the shots to the ‘well’ as he missed sight to the left with O’Reilly playing well to sight here. Both scattered shots up to ‘Starr’s hill’, Murphy to the left and O’Reilly to the right before the Templemartin player rose the bowl with a brilliant throw to ‘Brannigan’s’. Murphy then showed his full prowess with a series of expertly delivered shots that completely overwhelmed his northern rival. He quickly rose the second bowl and was close to three ahead by ‘roundtrees’. O’Reilly, to his credit, kept up the fight to the last and was rewarded with a truly amazing last throw from ‘roundtrees to the ‘lime kilns’ that, in fact, brought the winning margin under two bowls. Overall, a tremendous performance by Aidan Murphy, that had that supreme authority on the game, author, Brian Toal, expressing his admiration for the Mid Cork youth’s ‘effective delivery, enormous speed and almost unerring accuracy’.

It got better for the visitors as the emerging Rosscarbery talent, Emma Fitzpatrick, produced a memorable finish to capture the girls U16 All-Ireland from the hottest of favourites, the all conquering Kelly Mallon. Mallon had been involved in a titanic match with Denise Murphy for the intermediate title on Saturday but that gripping finish was surpassed by Sunday’s dramatic closing sequence that brought forth Fitzpatrick’s sensational win. There was no early indication of what was to come as the Ulster champion surged into a commanding lead of nearly a bowl after four. The Carbery girl changed the course of the contest with an incredible throw from the flat that rolled right down ‘Starr’s hill’. It wiped out the Mallon advantage and gained a sixty-metre lead at an important juncture. However, it was Mallon who fared the better in the next exchanges and regained the lead with great bowling to the ‘concrete’ and then assumed a vital fifty-metre lead with two to go thanks to a glancing rub at ‘Campbell’s’. Fitzpatrick regained the fore bowl with a magnificent second last and then held her nerve to beat a daunting last shot by her opponent to claim a thrilling victory amid jubilant scenes.

It was best of starts for the Cork champions as the action commenced on Saturday morning. Another national under-age title for Thomas Buckley, the North East’s burgeoning talent, as he took the U16 championship from his erstwhile rival Steven McCann. Buckley achieved his sixth on the trot with a no-nonsense display that allowed McCann very few opportunities. Leading all the way he set his marker with a big opening shot that, after McCann hopped the kerb, gave him sixty metres advantage. The bowl was up in three before the northerner knocked it at the ‘well corner’. It was far from a runaway as Buckley went the bowl up again at the ‘concrete’ only to see his margin cut significantly when he played too far to the left at the ‘coal sheds’. McCann indeed had a small chance of levelling it with his third last but he too sliced left. Thomas Buckley yielded no further ground and convincingly won the All-Ireland U16 tile for the second year in succession.

The Ovens man, Dan Joe Holland, kept the momentum going with a deserved veterans All-Ireland title. The Mid Cork man’s performances in his Munster winning campaign were top drawer and he was the hot favourite to claim a first title in the grade. The Ulster champion, Gerald McKee, is a seasoned operator in the grade and gave Holland a good run with the result that the issue remained in doubt until the Ovens man’s brilliant second last. Earlier, Holland built on a fifteen metre first shot lead with a huge second shot that put a hundred between them. McKee responded with a fine third that sensationally won the lead after Holland, uncharacteristically, erred in his choice of stance and road play. Holland recovered well from that short effort and was ahead again by fifty metres at the ‘coal sheds’. He rose the bowl with his sixth but a misjudgement again at the straight saw it under the shot for a while. McKee got no closer and that superb second last from ‘Campbell’s’ by Holland put the seal on a fine victory.

Ted Hegarty’s great championship run ended without an All-Ireland. His tremendous battle for the junior B title on Saturday afternoon with the youthful Peter O’Reilly ended in agonising defeat with that unfortunate lapse with his sixth so central to the outcome. The various combinations of pounds sterling and euros saw a total stake at issue amounting to 13,000. O’Reilly made the sharper start gaining fifty metres with his first and holding it over the next exchanges. There was eighty in it after five to ‘McGrath’s gate’ before the Lyre man came unstuck with is next. Taking a right hand play he totally mishit his attempt and missed his opponents tip to fall a bowl behind. There was a bowl and forty metres after the next before Hegarty hit two excellent shots to ‘Starr’s hill’ to bring it under the bowl. O’Reilly hit a perfect drive from ‘Brannigan’s’ but Hegarty defiantly followed that to keep it at the bowl. The Munster champion continued to press and was decidedly unlucky not to get more from a smashing effort to ‘roundtrees’. As the end neared the northern champion had that those vital seventy to eighty metres and it was the deciding factor. From his stand Hegarty could not get to sight with his second last whereas O’Reilly got around. Peter O’Reilly played a safe last shot past the finishing line to secure the All-Ireland junior B championship by a good fore bowl from a gallant Hegarty.

The final score on Saturday for the women’s intermediate All-Ireland resulted in another victory for Kelly Mallon over Denise Murphy in what was a repeat of the Doneraile U18 decider. It was, again, a terrific tussle that concluded in a welter of excitement. Played without a stake with the North Cork girls shoulder causing her some concern, Mallon won the first shot before Murphy stormed ahead to lead by a hundred metres after three. The tit for tat nature of the contest continued with Mallon back in front after six before Murphy regained the lead at the top of ‘Starr’s hill’. In another twist Mallon rubbed well at the ‘Joe McVeigh’ stone’ where Murphy had a short effort. Once more Murphy regained the lead as they approached the finish line and held forty metres with two to go. In keeping with what had preceded it, the contest took a late turn when Kelly Mallon threw a fantastic second last that would eventually decide the destination of the intermediate title. It ran a huge distance towards the ‘fingerpost’ and gave her the necessary leeway to win an enthralling duel by the fore bowl.

The respective Association chairpersons, Sammy Gillespie and Susan Greene spoke in glowing terms on the success of another All-Ireland series at the Sunday night presentation ceremony at the Charlemont Arms Hotel in Armagh. Champions and runners-up, organisers and sponsors were lauded for their efforts. The final series in Westport on September 3/4th will conclude the 2005 All-Ireland road bowling championships. Our thanks to James O’Driscoll for his meticulous updates on all the events in Armagh.

It was back to domestic championship action on Bank Holliday Monday when the Munster novice 1 semi-final went ahead at Newcestown. It was a cracking contest between Colm Noonan (North Cork) and Amhlaoibh Lynch (Gaeltacht) that went the way of the North Cork player by the fore bowl. He had to come from a distance back to do so as Lynch dominated for much of the score. Playing for a total of €2,000 Noonan did set the early pace before Lynch came into it strongly with his fifth and sixth shots. The Gaeltacht youth went a bowl clear and, indeed, the prospect of two was there for a short while before Noonan tracked a mighty effort to sight at ‘O’Brien’s corner’. Instead of holding it to the bowl, it was even when Lynch missed and Noonan’s strong finish of three from there ensured his place in the Munster decider against either Ronnie O’Donovan or Liam Young.

A couple of interesting vintage championship fixtures down for decision on this weekend are Frankie Kearns v Leo O’Neill at Enniskeane on Friday 5th and Noel Magnier v Jim Geasley at Bottlehill also on Friday 5th.

The womens junior and girls U12 and U14 championships remain on course. In the junior grade there was an exciting contest at Ballyvourney where the City champion, Collette Linehan just edged out West Cork’s Katie Gibbons in the last shot. In girls U12 at the clubhouse Carbery’s Michelle Ryan got the better of Aine Cooney of the Gaeltacht. The U14 quarterfinal between Nicola O’Sullivan (Carbery) and Aoibheann O’Connell (Gaeltacht) was deferred to a later date. The Mid Cork U14 regional winner is Aisling O’Callaghan who added to her U12 win with a hard earned victory over Evelyn Foley and Eilis Coughlan.

Much of the mid-week action centred on a range of mini-tournaments finals and qualifiers as well as a number of benefit scores. Carbery’s J C Desmond had a cracking three-way win on Tuesday evening in the Ballineen festival decider. The outsider against the hot-shots from the other side of the county, Nicholas Carey and John O’Donoghue, Desmond’s gutsy display saw him a narrow winner from Carey who did have the chances to win it. Desmond’s huge break off the wall with his third gave him important leeway but it counted for nothing after a poor fourth in which he conceded the lead to Carey. The Carbery man needed a big sixth to stay in contention against a, by now, forceful Carey. O’Donoghue was not as consistent as in his semi-final bowling and had a drifted a bowl behind at this juncture. Carey and Desmond fought it out at the front with the westerner’s big shot to sight at the narrow road keeping it level with the East Corkman. O’Donoghue had fallen big odds with the bowl behind at this stage and was not in the running. Two super exchanges from the ‘avenue’ on the tight road saw Desmond take the lead only to lose it again with two to go. After Desmond missed the line Carey might have taken it but he too missed. Desmond’s last was a good effort and it secured the winner’s prize after Carey’s reply stopped ten metres hind bowl. The stake at issue was €13,500.

Gavin Twohig and John Shorten will contest for the Paddy Barry Cup at Rosscarbery in the second week of August. Twohig guaranteed his final spot after an unexpectedly comprehensive two bowl win over All-Ireland intermediate champion, Jerry Hegarty, on Thursday evening last. The Rossmore man’s relative inactivity since his championship exit at the hands of Shorten at the Marsh Road did not impact on a polished display that, having got away with a few widely played early efforts, saw him hit the line at Cahermore cross in eleven very good shots. Hegarty’s bowling did not carry his championship assurance or the speed to avail of any breaks. Playing away for a combined sum of €5,600, the Carbery man did track an exquisite second shot from the bridge that might have give him an important edge had Twohig’s reply not rebounded from the roadside wall to run close. Twohig’s third was again played to the right but once more it’s power saved it as it ran the water table to the ‘ivy pole’. Hegarty miscalculated with his own third and it was the beginning of his travails for the evening. Hitting the left brow with that attempt, he was nearly a shot down to Twohig facing up the hill. Hegarty made a brave attempt with a mighty effort up the straight. Twohig followed and did so again when Hegarty tried with a massive drive to Magiure’s gate’. Playing now with fine accuracy Twohig increased his advantage to two at Cahermore and was on the verge of adding further distance before Hegarty conceded. On the same evening gat the Marsh Road two interesting doubles contests resulted in a pair of handy wins for the father and son City combination of Eamonn Bowen Senior and Junior. Up against the Mid Cork favourites David Murphy and Pascal Buckley, they played the upward route for a combined total of €2,200. Murphy/Buckley held the lead at Curragh hill but, with Bowen senior the best of the four on the evening, the City duo whittled it down and they were level by the ‘steps’. From there the Bowen’s went on win by a good fore bowl. The result was repeated on the way back when the City men won by the same margin for the same stake. Bowen senior hit a brilliant shot from ‘Crowley’s lane’ to Ballyhilty to set his side on their way in this one. Back to Rosscarbery the festival junior B mini tournament for the Tim White Cup is guaranteed a cracking final with the inclusion of Carbery veteran Finbarr Fitzpatrick who came through a hard fought encounter with Danny Connolly on Saturday evening last. For a stake of €2,400, Fitzpatrick trailed to good bowling by Connolly as they played by ‘Barry’s lane’. From there the Rossmore man unleashed a magnificent, drive reminiscent of Vincent Kiely’s recent effort against Brian Daly, to forge ahead and give him the impetus to qualify for the decider. Kiely will be there again next week along with holder, Brain Wilmot, to contest with Fitzpatrick for the White cup.

There was senior action also at Shannonvale during the week. Anthony Gould went head to head with John Shorten in a benefit score that went off for a total of €2,800. Gould was away to a flier here rising odds with every shot before making sight at ‘Desmond’s’ in six throws. Shorten lofted in nine and was virtually out of it at that stage. The Munster finalist tried his case well and succeeded in reducing the margin to two bowls at ‘Campbell’s’. Gould’s big lead was not seriously threatened and he won by two. Gamely Shorten accepted the return challenge and took on Gould again for the same money. His pluck paid off as he inflicted a one-bowl victory on the City man to reverse the outward result.

The local man, Dinny Nyhan, won the Castletownkenneigh mini-tournament on Friday evening last. With Kinsale’s Mick Minihane in opposition, it was Nyhan’s magnificent opening three that did the damage here. Playing into the village from the novice A line the Castletown man was clear sight at the first bend with those three and a full bowl up. His fourth wasn’t the best but he followed up with good fifth and sixth shots to maintain his advantage. Minihane made a serious attempt to reduce the deficit with terrific bowling in the middle of the score. Nyhan matched most of Minihane’s efforts and still held the bowl to the first line. Still pressing Minihane had it under the shot at the last bend but could come no closer. Nyhan won the bowl with his final throw. The stake at issue was €2,500. In a doubles score outwards the Kinsale men had the perfect start to proceedings with victory for Pat Broderick and Owen McCarthy from Greg Crean and Billy Coomey by a bowl for €2,100. The mini competition in Castletown was a fund raising exercise for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland and a sum of close to €800 was raised for that worthy cause from the three evenings of bowling. In a junior tournament clash at Bantry on Tuesday 26th July, Denis O’Driscoll defeated Tim Young by a bowl for €2,400.

In a couple of scores at Whitechurch during the week the intermediates Patrick O’Donoghue and Richard Murphy engaged on Wednesday for a total of €1,000. O’Donoghue won that encounter by the fore bowl. On Friday the junior B’s Tony Morris and Martin Daly had a score apiece for €800 and €600 both winning margins by the fore bowl. At Curraheen on Sunday morning two doubles contests resulted in a pair of wins for the North Cork duo of John O’Rourke and David Hubbard over the Mid Cork men, David O’Mahony and Sean O’Donoghue, (Innishannon), for stakes of €1,200 each time. At Rylane Thomas Boyle’s storming finish of four from the ‘convent cross’ to the last line was enough to defeat Johnny Murphy (Beal na mBlath) by the shot of odds in a score played for €2,600. Here too Paddy Ronan scored a win from Liam Lynch by the fore bowl for a total of €1,200. At Donoughmore on Monday last Billy McAuliffe (Jun) hit the ‘nooks’ in eleven fine shots and that spurred him to victory over Seamus Sexton (Jun). In Denis Horgan Club scores at Banteer Danny Murphy/Johnny O’Riordan beat Maurice Cashman/Simon Atkins last shot; Donal Cashman/Karl Jaggard beat Paddy McSweeney/Johnny O’Riordan by a bowl of odds. At Sally’s Cross Olan Noonan defeated Vincent Kiely by a bowl of odds for €2,080 and in a return double here Kevin Cooney/Tadg Hunter combined to defeat Jerry and David Hubbard by a bowl of odds for €1,880.

27th July 2005Back to Top ↑

The battle for the Hughie Trainor Cup between Eddie Carr and Phillip O’Donovan on the famed Cathedral Road will be the feature event of the second series of the 2005 All-Ireland bowling championships at Armagh on this Bank Holiday weekend. Carr, the newly crowned World Champion from the Keady-Tassagh club, will undoubtedly carry the mantle of favouritism, but he will be no certainty against O’Donovan who has grown in confidence with each success in his Munster championship winning campaign. The senior final will bring the curtain down on what promises to be a magnificent weekends bowling in the Ulster county commencing on Saturday morning when the U16 final between Thomas Buckley and Stephen McCann gets proceedings under way. No less than seven titles are up for grabs in the two-day programme with a fine mixture of evenly matched adult and under-age, male and female contests to satisfy the most discerning follower. The full programme for the Cathedral Road is as follows: Sat 30th July; 11.00am, Starting at the fingerpost to finish at rowantrees, Boy’s U16 final Stephen McCann (Armagh) v Thomas Buckley (Cork); 12.30pm, rowantrees to finish at the fingerpost, veteran’s final Gerald McKee (Armagh) v Dan Joe Holland (Cork); 2 pm, Fingerpost to limekilns, junior B final, Paul O’Reilly (Armagh) v Ted Hegarty (Cork); 4pm, Intermediate women’s final Kelly Mallon (Armagh) v Denise Murphy (Cork). Sun July 31st; 11.15am Boy’s U18 final (from the fingerpost to limekilns), Paul O’Reilly (Armagh) v Aidan Murphy (Cork); 12.30 Girls U16 final Kelly Mallon (Armagh) v Emma Fitzpatrick (Cork); 3.00pm, (from fingerpost to phonebox) Men’s Senior final Eddie Carr (Armagh) v Phillip O’Donovan (Cork).

And so the widely spread divisional mix, with two from Mid Cork and one each from North East, North, Carbery, East Cork, and South West will attempt to redress the imbalance from Doneraile when the northerners won four of the six titles played for. They will go with the good wishes of all here in the south.

Phillip O’Donovan Dan Joe Holland, Aidan Murphy and Thomas Buckley, had all booked their places in the national deciders in Armagh from the previous week. They were joined by Ted Hegarty, Denise Murphy and Emma Fitzpatrick, after they claimed Munster championships in their respective junior B, women’s intermediate and girls U16 finals last week. The Lyre man and South West representative, Hegarty, produced a near perfect final performance at Ballinacurra, Upton, on Friday evening last even if he was only required to do so for just over half the route. Michael Hogan’s shoulder injury necessitated his withdrawal from the contest after delivering his ninth shot to leave Hegarty, who was well over a bowl ahead at the time, the Munster junior B champion for the second time in an extensive career and twenty one years after he claimed his first from Peter Ruby at Tower. The Lyre man’s demeanour at the outset suggested a man on a mission and that focused attitude was needed to keep in touch with his City opponent in a thrilling opening flurry. With the stakemoney balanced at €10,200, Hogan was the punters favourite with the big attendance at the Mid Cork venue. They were straight into the fray with Hegarty’s first, played too tight for comfort to the left, opening onto the road to run a huge distance. Hogan’s reply was accurate and ran equally well to gain forty metres and the City champion showed his credentials again when he followed a massive second by Hegarty to hold his advantage past the ‘factory entrance’. Both played brilliant third shots as well coming close to the ‘main road’ with Hogan still to the fore. Crossing the Bandon-Crossbarry line and up the hill to the ‘church’ they matched each other again, Hogan just ahead before a small chance presented itself to the City man. Hegarty slightly mishit his fifth to ‘Foley’s’ but Hogan did not quite gain the expected yardage before the exchanges that decided it unfolded. From a difficult stand Hegarty played a terrific sixth that sped along the centre down the straight. Hogan missed that by a considerable distance and when his next fell left nearly the bowl separated them. The South West champion then, for good measure, threw a superb seventh to ‘Perrot’s’ and an equally good eighth to the GAA pitch that Hogan, now hampered by his injury, missed by sixty metres. It was at that juncture that matters were terminated. Bol Chumann chairperson, Susan Greene, presented Ted Hegarty with the Moxley Cup and wished him well in his endeavours against Peter O’Reilly in the All-Ireland in Armagh on this Saturday.

Denise Murphy was another to suffer a shoulder complaint and will hope for a quick recovery before taking on Kelly Mallon in Armagh in a repeat of their Doneraile U18 clash. That setback as well as Sandra Dempsey’s fine late rally nearly resulted in a sensational defeat for the North Cork girl in the county women’s intermediate final at Lyre on Thursday evening. A metre short of two bowls ahead with three to go, Murphy’s winning margin at the end was just fifteen metres. In the earlier exchanges, for a combined sum of €1,300, they were even enough as they played on the downward route at Lyre. Dempsey won the second and third shots before losing valuable ground when missing up to the ‘mason’s’. The Ballinagree based World U18 champion was the stronger and a judicious rub with her seventh down the hill pushed her into a bowl lead. Another fine brush through the lines at ‘Cormican’s’ increased the lead to nearly two. The Carbery girl kept it at that in good bowling before the unexpected late developments. Murphy struggled in those closing stages and was glad of her big lead as Dempsey’s big last nearly pulled it out of the fire. Denise Murphy will need to be at her best on Saturday if Mallon’s form at Doneraile is an indicator.

It was wet at The Clubhouse on Saturday evening as the last remaining place for the excursion northwards on this weekend was decided. Here the Carbery regions second final contender of the weekend, Emma Fitzpatrick from Rosscarbery, delivered an exceptional opening salvo that set her up for victory over a tenacious Martina O’Brien and with it the Munster girls U16 championship. Starting at ‘Dineen’s lane’, the stylish Fitzpatrick hit two brilliant efforts beyond ‘Clon cross’ and followed up with a tremendous third toward ‘Murray’s’ to go a full two shots clear. The rain made it unpleasant but did not detract from the determination of the contestants to give of their best. O’Brien did not allow her rival any further leeway and threw excellent efforts down to the ‘garage’ where the margin stayed at two. The Rosscarbery girl hardly made an error in a masterful display and won by the two from the Dunmanway based O’Brien who can be well pleased with her own performance. Emma Fitzpatrick plays the same Kelly Mallon in Sunday morning’s All-Ireland U16 final on the Cathedral Road and will surely fancy her chances given that the northerner will have a tough intermediate final on the previous day.

Westport in County Mayo will be the venue for the final series of All-Ireland’s on September 3rd/4th when the junior C, novice 1 and novice 2 champions will be crowned. With the regional championships in those grades all decided, the battle to decide the Munster champions has commenced in earnest. In junior C, the West Cork winner, Michael Connolly, is already through to the semi-final stage after his victory at Ballyvourney over City’s Leonard Bowen. He now meets Mark Crean in the first semi. Dan O’Connor is in the quarterfinal after his defeat of North Cork’s Brian Kiely at Bottlehill. O’Connor’s meeting with Mid Cork’s Sean Murphy at Whitechurch due to be played last weekend was deferred to next week. The winner from that contest will play Carbery’s Michael Bohane in the second county semi-final. Bohane was too good for Gaeltacht’s Connie Moynahin at the Clubhouse on Sunday morning last. The Carbery man went a bowl up in four to ‘O’Brien’s’ but a miscued effort from here presented Moynahin with an opportunity to reduce the odds. With his bowling having a tendency to fall right Moynahin did not make the most of the chance and Bohane powered ahead to win by two. The stake at issue was €900. At Berrings on Monday evening last Mark Crean the South West champion won by two shots from Denis Connolly the North East winner. For a tally of €2,300 Connolly’s poor first had him trailing by a bowl. He regrouped well to level it at the ‘beet’ but the Bandon man bowled the second half of the score in better figures to run out a comfortable winner.

The semi-finals in the Munster junior C championship will be run off on this coming week. Michael Connolly will play Mark Crean at Caheragh. With the quarterfinal between Sean Murphy (Mid Cork) v Dan O’Connor (East) down for decision at Whitechurch on Wed 3rd the semi-final will then take place on the following Saturday August 6th. If Michael Bohane v Sean Murphy, at the Miles; if Michael Bohane v Dan O’Connor, at Dunderrow.

In novice 1 at The Clubhouse the Gaeltacht champion and 2003 Munster U18 finalist Amblaoibh Lynch from Ballingeary ended the hopes of Carbery’s Kevin Minihane. For a sum of €1,400, Minihane played a fine first but Lynch, thanks to a fortunate second, kept it level in four to ‘O’Brien’s’. Lynch hit two superb efforts from ‘Clon cross’ to rise a bowl of odds. Minihane fought it well but missed a glorious chance of levelling it at the ‘school’. With that reprieve the Gaeltacht champion, a steady and accurate performer, held on to win by the fore bowl. Lynch’s semi-final opponent will be his relatively near neighbour Colm Noonan the North Cork champion. In a score of ups and downs at Whitechurch on Sunday morning, Noonan defeated Mid Cork’s Pat Broderick of Kinsale by the narrow margin of two metres for the substantial sum of €8,000. Noonan had the bones of a bowl at ‘bula lane’ but Broderick was ahead at the top of the straight. The bowling wasn’t great from there yet the North Cork man looked to have it secured holding good law with two to go. Broderick came ahead again though for the last shots but Noonan had the final say when his last turned out to be the winner. On the other side the Bantry youth Liam Young who represents West Cork continued on his winning way with a county round victory at Ballyvourney over his City opposite Tom O’Donovan. The Whitechurch man, O’Donovan opened with three big shots but did not maintain that form. Playing for a combined sum of €1,400, Young’s massive second last was the deciding factor in his fore bowl win. Liam Young now faces a serious challenger in the grade in Ronnie O’Donovan, the South West champion. Following his highly impressive regional win at Grange, O’Donovan bowled the Berrings road in grand style to defeat North East’s Billy O’Brien by two bowls for €2,000. The semi-final line up for the Munster novice 1 championship is: Amblaoibh Lynch v Colm Noonan at Newcestown on Bank Holiday Monday August 1st; Ronnie O’Donovan v Liam Young at the Marsh Road.

In novice 2 at The Clubhouse Carbery’s Jerry Crowley had too much firepower for Gaeltacht’s Jerry O’Riordan. Crowley, an U16 Munster finalist in 2001, mixed the good with the average for a stake of €1,600. The shot that most influenced the outcome most was a massive drive by Crowley from ‘Dineen’s lane’ to the line at ‘O’Brien’s’. That gave the Carbery man an unassailable two bowl lead. He faces a monumental battle now in the semi-final with Newcestown’s Fergal Callinan the Mid Cork champion. Callanan stormed to a very commendable victory over North Cork’s Danny O’Shea at Whitechurch on Sunday morning last. His five last shots from ‘bula lane’ were of junior standard and set him up for a two-bowl victory and the €1,800 stake money. The second semi-final will be between Ricardo Noonan the Ballyvolane based City champion and Tom Dennehy from Grenagh, the North East champion. Dennehy defeated a likely contender in Denis O’Donovan the South West representative at Berrings on Saturday evening. The stake at issue in that contest was €1,800. Noonan had the better of West Cork’s Con Cronin at Ballyvourney on Sunday morning. The semi-final fixtures in novice 2 is: Gerry Crowley v Fergal Calanan at Togher Cross on Wed 3rd; Ricardo Noonan v Tom Dennehy at Ballincurrig.

The news from London is that Pat Thompson is their junior C representative and Brendan O’Brien of Killarney will contest in the novice 1 championship. Pat O’Neill is top of the novice 2 league championship format with two wins from two scores. He defeated Jerome Casey by five metres out the Launder’s lane route and also defeated Eugene O’Sullivan by the fore bowl.

Earlier last week in regional deciders Denis O’Donovan of Fisher’s Cross had a great battle with John O’Sullivan at the Pike to win the South West novice C final. The stake at issue was €2,600 and O’Donovan needed a touch with his last to take the victory. He then defeated D winner Denis Fitzpatrick at Grange to emerge as his regions novice 2 representative. It was at Grange too that novice A winner Ronnie O’Donovan delivered a magnificent twelve shot performance to defeat B winner Owen O’Gorman by two to take novice 1 honours. At Ballinacurra Fergal Callinan’s three huge opening shots were enough to ensure victory over Michael Walsh and novice 2 representation for the Mid Cork region. In the City at the Bog Road, Ricardo Noonan won the Ladbroke’s sponsored novice C/D play off from Pat Cahill.

Two major tournament finals in the Carbery and West Cork divisions generated much post match interest on Sunday evening last. The Marsh Road Club in Skibbereen completed another competition for the splendid trophy donated to the club by the esteemed former Bol Chumann Ard Mhaca secretary, Aidan McVeigh, in the mid nineties when a selection of top northern junior players came to compete in its inaugural hosting. It was won then by one of their number Conor McGuigan, and, subsequently by Gaeltacht’s Patrick Moynahin. The latest name to join the list is Johnny Murphy of Beal na mBlath a former three-time Munster U18 champion. He defeated the Ardfield player Ian Callanan in a superb encounter on Sunday evening last that was played for a combined total of €8,000. It was his second major victory in the Carbery region in recent times having won the Bill Barrett Cup from Humphrey O’Leary at Caheragh in October. Murphy’s triumph was hard earned and it took a marvellous third past the ‘Skibb sign’ to counter Callanan’s strong opening two. Murphy had eighty metres then before the South West man cut back with good bowling to ‘’Curragh Hill’. From there Callanan pitched a brilliant seventh to ensure they went to the ‘step’s virtually level in nine. Murphy threw the shot of the score from there, a bullet like drive along the centre past ‘Thornhill cross’ and, when Callanan made his only error with a misplaced effort at ‘Ballyhilty corner’, there almost a bowl in it. Matters did not alter significantly after that as both finished strongly. Murphy was a shade lucky with his fourteenth that broke off ‘Crowley’s lane’ before scoring the line in style with his fifteenth. His efforts were rewarded with the McVeigh Cup and €1,000 first prize.

David Murphy of Templemartin won