âIf I bowl to my full potential, I'll bring the title home,' says Bantry man
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
MARTIN Coppinger is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to become a four-time All-Ireland bowling champion.
When The Southern Star made contact with the Bantry man on Wednesday afternoon, he was leaving Armagh after practicing on the Madden course that will be used for Sunday evening's All-Ireland senior men's final against Ulster champion Bryan O'Reilly.
âAs you speak to me now I'm on my way out of Armagh after practising the road, that's how serious I am taking it,' Coppinger stated.
âIt's like a Cork road in patches, you need power for it and it should suit my style of bowling.
âBryan O'Reilly would have played all his championship matches all year on this road so he has the experience of playing on it, which I wouldn't have.
âBut I'm going up to win. I'm as ready as I can be.'
Coppinger is in confident form this week. Last Sunday in Timoleague he defeated Arthur McDonagh to win his fourth county senior men's decider, and history shows that every time Coppinger wins this title, he goes on to win the All-Ireland crown.
In 2010, 2012 and 2013, the champion bowler won county and All-Ireland titles, and he's convinced he'll defend that remarkable record this Sunday.
âIf I bowl to my full potential, it doesn't matter who I play, I'll be bringing the All-Ireland back to West Cork. That's the way it is,' he said.
âI'd be very confident if I bring my A game.
âI'm a good man for a final, a man for the big occasion and my form at the moment is very good, too.
âIn the last few years I wasn't giving it 100 per cent to be honest, the interest on my part was lacking and I wasn't practicing as much as I should have â but in the last 12 months I've trained a lot more regularly and I'm playing more matches as well.
âThe hunger is definitely back.'
Living in Crosshaven, Coppinger trains up to four times a week in Carrigaline, and this Saturday morning he will travel north to Armagh for the All-Ireland bowling weekend. He'll check out the Madden course on Sunday morning, go over what he learned from his practice on Wednesday to make sure he's familiar and happy with the road.
âThat's been the plan since the start of the year â to win the county and the All-Ireland titles. And I'm almost there,' he said.
With a King of the Roads crown from 2012, and BÃ³l Fada titles from 2011 and 2012, as well as his three previous senior men's All-Irelands, Coppinger, like he says, has proved himself a man for the big occasion â and he is backing himself to deliver the goods again this Sunday.