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Three is the magic number as Cork teams enjoy capital gains at inter-provincial U12 and U14 play-offs

April 1st, 2024 2:45 PM

By Southern Star Team

The winning Munster (Cork) U14 girls' team; from left, Chloe Hubbard (Rylane), Anna Deane (Enniskeane), Jena Healy (Banteer) and Caolinn Callanan (Ballyphehane) with Ból Chumann chairman Willie Murphy after Saturday's inter-provincials at Newcastle, Co. Dublin.

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TEAM and individual prizes were up for grabs as the inter-provincial U12 and U14 play-offs went ahead at the second attempt at Newcastle, Co Dublin. 

Deferred due to arctic conditions in the capital on March 3rd, a more benign weather picture greeted the many who had travelled very long distances to compete. It was a worthwhile venture for all with four separate competitions showcasing bowling’s upcoming talent in its best light. 

Although minus Connacht representation, who did not make it across the Shannon on this occasion having been centrally involved in 2023, the inter-provincials were a straight shoot-out between the game’s strongholds north and south and it was the Cork-based Munster teams who captured the team laurels in three of the four play-offs. 

The commitment of players, parents and mentors in ensuring all eight teams had their full complement was commendable and made for some riveting exchanges on Lyons’ road.

First away were the boys U14s and the Cork camp were given a great start when Bantry’s Conor Hourihane carded 1,074.7 metres for his ten shots. Luke Barry followed with a fine display and Ross O’Brien excelled with a super individual score of 1,176 to better All-Ireland champion Jack O’Reilly of Armagh. Cork’s Jack Allen was superb, but Ulster’s Caolan Carr blitzed the road and bettered Ross O’Brien’s tally by less than a metre for the individual prize. Cork (Munster) were the top team but only by less than 15 metres, 4,034.6 to 4,009.8. 

The winning Munster (Cork) boys' U12 team pictured with Ból Chumann chairman Willie Murphy; from left, James Murphy (Ovens), Kieran Hickey (Templemartin), Eoin Kelly (Inchigeela), and Jayden Crowley (Macroom).

 

Cork (Jayden Crowley, Eoghan Kelly, James Murphy and Kieran Hickey) were a crack outfit in U12 and won by over 300 metres form their Ulster counterparts (Daithi Cahill, Emmet O’Rourke, Kiegan Fullerton, Keilan Fullerton), 3,542.5 to 3.230.7. Inchigeela boy Kelly was in sparkling form, carding a total of 1.033.8 for his ten shots, an accumulation that won him the individual prize. 

Girls’ U14 delivered another first for Cork. Powered by North Cork’s U12 and U14 county winners, Chloe Hubbard and Jena Healy, and ably supported by City’s Caoilinn Callanan and Mid Cork’s Anna Deane, a fine total of 3,027 was amassed when their final score was tallied. It was enough for team victory over a determined Ulster quartet who had Ellie May Murphy, Connie Mallon, Cliodhna Donnelly and Sarah Duffy in their ranks. Similar to last year, Chloe Hubbard, whose star continues to rise, achieved individual honours, claiming top spot in her category as her 888.4 total remained unsurpassed. 

Cork’s girls’ U12 team had a wonderful mix of talent from across the county. Aoibhe Deane (Enniskeane), Aimee McCarthy (Drimoleague), Cait Young (Bantry) and Lily Scannell (Ballyvourney) all contributed handsomely to a fine 2.304.8 total, but it was not quite enough for team honours as Ulster’s Lucy Lennon, Anna Corrigan, Anna Toal, Eva Mallon were also in splendid form and took the team prize with 2,508.7. Lucy Lennon’s 726.5 was good enough for the individual prize. Ból Chumann were represented by chairman Willie Murphy, James O’Driscoll and David Murphy, all of whom professed the event a resounding success. Our thanks to Barry O’Reilly, James O’Driscoll and David Murphy for updates and details. 

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