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Coppinger and Murphy reach last four in senior championship

June 2nd, 2023 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Coppinger and Murphy reach last four in senior championship Image
Martin Coppinger in action.

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MARTIN Coppinger and Aidan Murphy are through to the semi-finals of the senior men’s road bowling championship.

Four-time champion Coppinger won in emphatic fashion against championship debutant Patrick Flood at Templemartin. Coppinger had a three-bowl margin, showing much of the power and ability that has marked a stellar career at this level. Their previous head-to-heads since Flood’s elevation to senior ranks had indicated a closer contest and the Fermoy youth did remarkably well to fire a splendid fourth to sight at Slynne’s corner that staved off what looked a certain bowl deficit following Coppinger’s barnstorming start.

The reprieve was brief and a poor fifth gave the Bantry native an opening he didn’t spurn. He turned a 30m lead into a two-bowl-plus advantage heading to the schoolhouse cross and he reached the stonefield bend in ten, giving himself an unassailable lead. He was the favourite in the €1,800 stake.

Baile Bhúirne hosted the quarter-final meeting of cousins Aidan Murphy and John O’Rourke. Murphy, the All-Ireland winner in 2019, suffered a downturn in form after that but is now back to his best, with his wins including the Mother Hegarty Cup at Lyre.

He showed early against O’Rourke, rising a 50m lead with a brilliant second. Murphy held that odds through the first half as a competitive battle unfolded. A massive drive at the novice line had O’Rourke in front for the first time Murphy responded with two big efforts past the junior line. From there, he won by almost a bowl in a contest that did not carry a stake.

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