DAVID Shannon retained his Carbery junior A championship after another terrific duel with Darragh Dempsey at the Marsh Road.
With the record €20,120 total stake reflecting confidence in both camps, Shannon’s blistering start was significant and, while Dempsey’s magnificent third restricted the damage, a bowl of odds separated them in six and seven to Curragh Hill.
Dempsey’s delivery was not at the level of his thrilling win in their previous clash three weeks back and he needed a touch to keep the margin at a bowl as they played to the steps. Shannon was comfortable in holding his bowl lead, and metres with it, by Ballyhilty but the ever-dangerous Dempsey was not going down without a fight.
A brilliant 16th to the avenue gate was followed by an astounding cast to the last bend and suddenly the contest was in the melting pot with Shannon now needing a big one to prevent a last-shot showdown. The defending champion held his nerve in admirable style as his tightly cut 17th opened with speed and scored the line.
Shannon will play either the Gaeltacht or City winner in the quarter-final at Lyre. For the teenage Dempsey, who lost no caste, it was a rare defeat, his first regional championship loss at adult level having won an extraordinary ten titles in underage since 2015.
Emma O’Leary, The Abbey, also retained her Carbery crown winning the girls’ U16 final from Niamh O’Sullivan at The Marsh Road on Tuesday. Ballygurteen girl Niamh fought this one well but Emma’s strong finish was decisive.
Elsewhere, Carbery championships progressed with scores in the novice grades. Brian O’Mahony and Brendan O’Driscoll moved to the quarter-final round in novice C with wins at Leap as did James Herlihy who got the better of Luka Bowen at Ballydehob. In D, Mike White and Cian Minihane who defeated last year’s runner-up, James Coughlan, at Reenascreena, Jerry O’Sullivan who won a great battle with Timmie O’Sullivan at Leap, Sean O’Neill, Luke Nolan and Kieran Shannon all advanced to round four. Brian Harrington stayed on course to retain his U12 crown with a hard-earned semi-final win from Matthew O’Neill and U16 champion Shane Crowley won a cracking U18 contest with Rosscarbery’s Adam Baker.
Marsh Road: Junior A final, David Shannon defeated Darragh Demspey, last shot, for €21,120.
Ballydehob: Novice C, James Herlihy defeated Luka Bowen, one bowl, for €1,000; Novice D, Luke Nolan defeated Henry O’Donovan, last shot for €560.
Caheragh: Novice D, Kieran Shannon defeated Hugh McNulty, one bowl, for €540.
Rosscarbery: Novice D, Sean O’Neill defeated Eoin Deasy, one bowl.
Reenascreena: Novice D, Mike White defeated Noel McCarthy, last shot for €740; Cian Minihane defeated James Coughlan, last shot, for €1,160.
Leap: Novice C, Brian O’Mahony defeated Denis Murphy, last shot, for €200; Brendan O’Driscoll defeated Pat McCarthy, one bowl.
Marsh Road: Under-age: Girls U16 final: Emma O’Leary won from Niamh O’Sullivan; Boys U12 semi-final, Brian Harrington won from Matthew O’Neill; U18 Shane Crowley defeated Adam Baker.
Ballygurteen: Donal O’Sullivan defeated Adrian Wilmot, one bowl, for €1,400.
Bantry: Darren Cronin defeated James Russell, last shot, for €700.
Derrinasafa: Brian O’Driscoll defeated Jack O’Callaghan, one bowl, for €1,100; James O’Sullivan defeated Ian O’Sullivan, one bowl, for €2,000.
Durrus: Sam Kingston defeated Darren Cronin, two bowls, for €600.
Leap: Doubles, James Whyte/Tim Fitzpatrick defeated Kieran O’Sullivan/James O’Neill, two bowls, for €660.
Lyre: Novice C tournament final, David Desmond defeated Eoin McCarthy, last shot, for €2,620; New nov C, Kieran O’Sullivan defeated Michael Waugh, last shot, for €540; return, David Minihane defeated Ronan O’Donovan, one bowl for €600; Adrian Buttimer defeated David Hegarty, one bowl, for €2,600; Paul Twomey defeated Alan Murphy, one bowl, for €1,400.