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Murphy v Mackle showdown tops Ból Fada Festival bill

March 29th, 2024 12:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Murphy v Mackle showdown tops Ból Fada Festival bill Image
Aidan Murphy, Brinny, will take on Thomas Mackle this weekend.

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TAKING top billing over the Easter weekend is the annual Ból Fada Festival on the Keady-Tassagh road in south Armagh. 

For close on three decades this popular Easter time festival has attracted players of the highest calibre and accommodated bowlers from all age groups, male and female. This year’s hosting is no exception. 

As always, the culmination of the weekend’s bowling is the battle for the Joe McVeigh Cup. Starting at Tassagh Bridge at 4pm on Sunday evening, Thomas Mackle, the current holder following his victory over Arthur McDonagh, will defend against Aidan Murphy. It’s their third meeting of the current season and, while Mackle dominated in the Ból Chumann Uladh youth’s fund-raisers meeting at Madden in February, Murphy turned the tables in splendid style when winning a classic contest at Castletownkenneigh two weeks later. Both are in training for the European Championships and another humdinger is expected. 

Ból Fada gives youth its fling on Friday when a doubles contest features a quartet of bowling’s brightest. Ulster’s All-Ireland U12 champion Jack O’Reilly combines with the province’s U18 titleholder and Germany-bound Michaela Green for an intriguing set-to with Cork county U12 winner, Durrus bowler Eoghan Hickey, who is partnered by the formidable Ellen Sexton, 2023 U18 All-Ireland winner and, of course, also on Ból Chumann’s youth’s team for the forthcoming European Championships. Their contest opens proceedings on Good Friday and is followed by Mark Toal v Wayne Parkes and Barry O’Reilly v Shane Collins, the latter a repeat of that pulsating All-Ireland junior C semi-final at Fenor last year. 

Saturday has four more north-south confrontations while Mackle-Murphy on Sunday is preceded by a contest between seniors Paul O’Reilly and Brian Wilmot and another intriguing mixed doubles match-up involving, on the northern side, All-Ireland intermediate champion Aoife Trainor with Anthony McVeigh against the Cork duo of Shane Crowley and Ciara Buckley.

The full 2024 Ból Fada programme for Easter weekend is: 

Good Friday – 1pm, Jack O’Reilly/Michaela Greene (Armagh) v Eoghan Hickey/Ellen Sexton (Cork); 2.30pm, Mark Toal (Armagh) v Wayne Parkes (Cork); 4pm, Barry O’Reilly (Armagh) v Shane Collins (Cork). 

Easter Saturday, March 30th – 10.30am Pete Carr (Armagh) v Gavin Twohig (Cork); 1pm, Gene McVeigh (Armagh) v Eamonn Bowen (Cork); 2.30pm, Colm Rafferty (Armagh) v Gary Daly (Cork); 4pm, Jake Cullen (Armagh) v Noel O’Donovan (Cork).

Easter Sunday, March 31st – 11am, Paul O’Reilly (Armagh) v Brian Wilmot (Cork); 1pm, Aoife Trainor/Anthony McVeigh (Armagh) v Ciara Buckley/Shane Crowley (Cork). 


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