King Arthur confirms his dominance at Ból Fada Festival

April 27th, 2022 3:16 PM

By Southern Star Team

Arthur McDonagh won the McVeigh Cup final.

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BÓL Fada’s Easter festival at Keady-Tassagh in Armagh showcased some of the best bowling of the year so far.

The sizable Cork contingent had a worthwhile trip, winning their share of the spoils including the prestigious Joe McVeigh Cup, the feature event on the card.

All-Ireland champion Arthur McDonagh confirmed his status as the game’s top exponent with an emphatic two-bowl victory over Colm Rafferty in the Sunday’s McVeigh Cup final. On a rain-soaked afternoon, the Fermoy man carried too much power for his northern counterpart and led the score from the opening shot.

Earlier that day in the Pete Grimley Cup, John O’Rourke reaffirmed his dominance over Mark Toal with a one-bowl victory for 4,200. As the rain descended, Armagh’s Darragh Gribben and Cork’s David Hubbard took issue for a combined 15,000. Gribben came from a bowl down to win this one in the last shot.


The previous day's Joe McVeigh Cup semi-finals threw up an early surprise with the elimination of Thomas Mackle, the competition favourite, who went down to his fellow county man, Colm Rafferty. The second semi-final between the Corkmen, Arthur McDonagh and David Murphy, was a thrilling encounter that ebbed and flowed from the off. Murphy had the better of it for almost two thirds of the way but never by a big margin. McDonagh put in a storming finish to take the verdict and the 50,000 total stake.

There was victory for the Cork camp in the morning score when Patrick Flood repeated his Marsh Road victory over Armagh’s rising star, Eugene McVeigh. For a 12,000 total, Flood won by a bowl. Armagh came out on top in the women's doubles contest that closed out Saturday’s bowling. Siobhan Mackle-Murphy and Dervla Mallon were two bowls too good for the Cork pairing of Claire O’Sullivan and Hannah Sexton. They played for a 20,000 total.

The opening Ból Fada score on the Friday resulted in a good start for the hosts as Caoimhe Rafferty showed why she is a rising star in Armagh bowling when repeating her All-Ireland U16 success over Ellen Sexton with a last-shot victory for a 2,700 total. In a cracking score the lead changed on numerous occasions and just 20 metres separated them with three to go. Caoimhe edged those vital last exchanges.

The big doubles contest on Friday gave a handsome win to the visitors. For a 50,000 total, Armagh’s Bryan and Paul O’Reilly led by 50 metres after five against Cork’s Gary Daly and Gavin Twohig. Rossmore man Twohig, who has an exemplary record in the north, hammered a ferocious seventh to take control and with Daly firing a massive tenth, a bowl of odds came in their favour. The O’Reilly’s finished strongly but the Corkmen held out. In a third score on Friday, Armagh’s Michael O’Neill defeated Cork’s Michael O’Leary, last shot, for 3,000.

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