JAMES O’Donovan has rebounded in style from his Willie Whelton Cup final defeat at Grange.
That loss to Martin Coppinger was quickly avenged on the following Sunday when the Bandon man scored a bowl of odds win over his Bantry rival in a Mick Barry Cup King of the Roads qualifier semi-final at Ballincurrig.
In contrast to Grange, Coppinger was the punter’s favourite in the €4,440 total the contest went for, and an even contest ensued to the ‘long straight’ although O’Donovan shaded tips at most points.
The deciding exchanges followed as Coppinger’s ninth crossed right and O’Donovan needed no second bidding to go the bones of a bowl clear. In the shots up to the ’sycamores’ O’Donovan consolidated his lead, and it was on to Barry Cup final play-off on Thursday against European champion Seamus Sexton, who on the previous Saturday had seen off the challenge of the game’s newest senior, Patrick Flood, one bowl, for a €10,900 total.
O’Donovan and Sexton drew a fine Thursday evening gathering to East Cork and it was the Bandon man who dominated from the off as a searing opening shot set him on his way. Sexton made a great effort to reduce early odds with a massive fifth, but O’Donovan followed that to hold his odds and then fired a massive sixth to increase his margin to a bowl. When O’Donovan hit the ‘big turn’ in a record equalling nine there was no way back for Sexton. Their contest carried an €11,000 total stake.
James O’Donovan joins David Murphy, Michael Bohane, Thomas Mackle, Ralf Look (FKV, Germany) and Bas Senger (NKB The Netherlands) in the semi-final shake-up for the 2022 King of the Roads which will take place on September 23rd to 25th.