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BOWLING ROUND-UP: Gary Daly back on the winning trail

March 3rd, 2024 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Check out the latest news from the world of road bowling. (Photo: Liam Power)

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GARY Daly got back on the winning trail with an emphatic victory over Seamus Sexton in the Willie Whelton Cup at Grange. 

Their most recent clash in the pre-Christmas Eamonn Bowen Memorial at Bottlehill resulted in a Sexton victory thanks in the main to a brilliant start and the North Cork man was the favourite in the €8,600 total stake last Sunday’s contest went for. He did not hit the ground running in the same manner this time and it was Daly with a well-delivered fourth who took a handy lead around ‘Holland’s wall’. Sexton got no purchase on his sixth and it would prove critical to the outcome. 

Without producing anything spectacular, Daly rose a bowl of odds and held it as they both lofted well in eight and nine to ‘Hegarty’s’. Sexton showed his best form with super tenth and eleventh shots that cut into Daly’s lead, but he pulled his shot for ‘Hodnett’s’ to the right allowing Daly to regain his bowl advantage. Having survived a late scare when Sexton rallied again, Daly’s sixteenth to the ‘carpark’ gave him cushion enough for a good last shot win. 

There was a cracker at Lyre on Saturday when a three-way shoot-out between Gaeltacht’s Conor Creedon, Carbery’s Donie Harnedy and Mid Cork’s John A Murphy went head-to-head for a combined €2,700. Murphy, despite a fine effort on the straight, went a bowl adrift leaving Creedon and Harnedy to fight it out at the front. The Skibb man, making a welcome return after a serious injury, fired a splendid tenth across the ‘chicane’ and followed with another piledriver to ‘McCarthy’s bend’ only for Creedon who had led by a bowl after a bright start, to follow both and maintain a slender lead. Harnedy came again with a great closing flourish, but Creedon steadfastly stayed in front and won by the fore bowl.

In further tournament action, Tim McDonagh stalled Noel O’Donovan’s good run with victory over the Crossbarry man in their tournament clash at Ballinacurra, Upton. For a €13,000 total, rising a bowl lead at ‘the church’ was important in the Fermoy’s man win. Back here, there was a double for Tom Reaney who won two from two with Ronan Hoey, both for €1,000 stakes. 

In the Tigh O’Laoire Cup at Beal na Morrive, City’s Jack O’Leary defeated Macroom’s Stephen Spillane by two for €1,800. Back the road, Jack Oldham defeated Paul Walsh, one bowl, for €1,100. In the Firmount novice D semi-final, James Collins defeated Pat Joe Murphy by a bowl, for €800. Collins plays Jerry Hubbard in the decider. Back here, Kieran Buckley defeated Cathal O’Hanlon, last shot, for €800. 

There was an unfortunate ending to the intermediate contest at Whitechurch when Andrew O’Callaghan, who is selected on Bol Chumann’s senior men’s panel for the European Championships in Germany in May, was forced to withdraw injured from his engagement with Eamonn Bowen. For a €5,200 total stake, Bowen had the better of to half-way the bones of a bowl of odds ahead when O’Callaghan, following a ligament injury, conceded. Also here, Tommy O’Sullivan defeated Paddy Stokes, last shot, for €4,000 and Michael John O’Brien defeated Jimmy Quilligan, last shot for €4,200.

Championship action abounded at the weekend. In West Cork, a fiercely contested U14 clash at Drinagh saw Dunmanway’s Jack McCarthy just edge out local boy, Jack Coakley. In U18 at Bantry, Drinagh’s Eoin Hurley won from Kieran O’Sullivan and at The Clubhouse, Germany bound, Jonathan Deane, won from Kieran Crowley. Also, in U18 at Togher Cross, Shane Hurley won a good contest from Finian Hurley. In the novice D championship at Durrus, Ian Crowley just got the verdict from Luke McCarthy. In novice C at Inch, Dunmanway, Vincent Roche defeated Daniel O’Sullivan by a bowl of odds for €600. South West’s championship season is up and running. At The Pike, Eric Harrington got the better of Denis Whooley by a bowl of odds for €800 in the novice C grade. In Mid Cork novice D at Beal na mBlath, Chris Hayes defeated Michael O’Driscoll, last shot, for €500. In the Gaeltacht novice D championship, Mickey O’Callaghan won from Shane Hodnam at Clondrohid and in the same championship at Baile Bhuirne, Andrew Kelleher defeated Brian Twomey, last shot, for €940. In the City division a junior A championship contest at Templemichael saw Paddy Stokes defeat Cian Boyle by a bowl for €2,800 and in a return, Patrick Stokes won from Jamie O’Brien, one bowl, for €2,300. 

At The Bog Road in novice veteran, Derry Crowley was forced out by injury in his contest with Birol Kat and in junior veteran at Curraheen, Martin Connolly defeated Maurice Connolly. In North Cork novice D at Ballinagree on Sunday, Mickey McAuliffe got the better of Jim Martin by a bowl of odds for €500. There was a minor turn-up in the North-East novice veteran at Carrignavar when Eugene Hanley, who won the grade last year, defeated former junior A, Michael Gould, by a bowl, for €500.

Teams have been finalised for this Saturday’s inter-provincial U12 and U14 play-offs at Newcastle, Co. Dublin. Munster (Cork) Girls U14 team is Caoilinn Callanan, Jena Healy, Chloe Hubbard and Anna Deane while the U12 line up is Aimee McCarthy, Aoibhe Deane, Cait Young and Lily Scannell. The boys teams are U14, Ross O’Brien, Conor Hourihane, Luke Barry, Dylan O’Shea; U12, Jayden Crowley, Eoin Kelly, James Murphy and Kieran Hickey.

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