Carmel Carey remains the undisputed champion of women’s bowling after an emphatic senior county final win over Veronica O’Mahony at Carrignavar on Sunday. North Cork challenger, Veronica, fired a brilliant opener but, when her Carrigtwohill rival followed in like manner, the message was clear that she would not be relinquishing her All-Ireland crown easily.
From the third shot onwards, Carey was in control as a succession of piledrivers, particularly her sixth past ‘Daunt’s’, opened a huge gap.
The Brendan Roche Cup which commemorates the fondly remembered late Bol Chumann chairman, was presented to Carmel Carey by Brendan’s son Robert. Kelly Mallon and Siobhan Mackle are the Ulster finalists.
Friday evening’s 2020 junior A final was a titanic shot for shot duel between Andrew O’Callaghan of Mallow, the North Cork champion, and David Fitzgerald, Dublin Hill, representing North-East.
The pair delivered a fitting denouement to a wonderful championship in a grade that has consistently proved itself one of bowling’s great institutions.
In becoming the sixty-third winner of the Fr. Michael O’Driscoll Cup, O’Callaghan, a scion of a great bowling family from Dromahane, showed admirable pluck and no little skill in seeing off the challenge of a game Fitzgerald who contributed so much to a marvellous contest.
The underdog in the €6,000 total stake, the man from the famed bowling locality of Dublin Hill countered O’Callaghan’s good opener with a terrific second shot and cracked on to lead with a well-pitched third around ‘Mac’s corner’.
Fitzgerald showed on the rise to ‘Allen’s lane’, the form that had eliminated such likely contenders as Mid Cork’s Denis Wilmot and West’s Donnacha O’Brien as he surged to a seventy metre lead but then, with one of the great shots of the championship, O’Callaghan’s audacious pile-driver to ‘Desmond’s’, negated his hard work and he found himself forty behind by the half-way point.
Fitzgerald extricated himself with a fine cast down the hill and, when O’Callaghan did not follow-up on his super eighth, mere metres separated them again as they ‘made’ ‘O’Brien’s cross’ in thirteen each.
Having failed to follow the North Cork man’s fourteenth, Fitzgerald hit the front again with a beautifully judged fifteenth and held a thirty-metre lead as they faced the finish line. It was do or die then for O’Callaghan and he truly delivered with a sizzling drive to the end of the ‘car park’. Andrew O’Callaghan who will now face Ulster’s Sean Donnelly for the All-Ireland crown at Newtownhamilton on Saturday August 28.
Bol Chumann’s James O’Driscoll, on the fiftieth anniversary of Fr. Michael’s passing, presented the imposing cup to the new champion and thanked both finalists, referee, John O’Leary, and Newcestown bowling club.
For Wayne Parkes a good year gets better and better. A deserved second county from the 2020 championships came his way with a big fore bowl win over Belgooly’s Tom O’Donovan in the junior B final at The Marsh Road on Saturday evening.
In adding to his U18 success, Parkes, despite the odd lapse, played a fine score and showed good resolve in shaking off the disappointment of seeing a superbly executed second shot accidentally blocked.
It was a contest that showcased two of bowling’s outstanding upcoming talents and, while Tom O’Donovan will rue not getting more out of his shots from ‘the steps’ when he was ahead, he has time on his side and will have many more days on the big stage.
The Moxley Cup for the 2020 championship goes to Clon. On hand to present the imposing trophy dedicated to Michael Moxley were his sister, Mary and niece, Kerrie. The stake money at the Marsh Road amounted to €10,000.