BOWLING’S championship schedule has come to an abrupt halt with the latest regulations necessitating a shutdown until the end of the month at least.
A progressive three weeks at Level 2 has seen adult and under-age grades make significant headway and there is a determination to complete what has been started at so many levels, but only when it is safe and when authorised by HSE and government guidelines.
The escalation in outbreaks and the new level of restrictions outlined by the Government have impacted on all sports and bowling is no exception. The Association’s ruling body issued the following directive on Wednesday of last week:
‘Bol Chumann has cancelled all activity until October 27th as a result of the Government putting Ireland at Level 3 (National Framework for Living with Covid-19). The situation will be reviewed on October 27th. Any breaches of the Association’s ruling will be dealt with firmly.’
The provisional dates announced earlier for the deferred All-Ireland series (Ballyvourney, Newtownhamilton and Westport) do not now apply. A joint statement from governing bodies, north and sout,h acknowledges the new reality, but also leaves the door open to proceed with the finals when conditions allow.
‘Following a discussion of Bol Chumann na hEireann Cork and Armagh, both executives have agreed to postpone until further notice the All-Ireland series 2020. We will review the situation later and try to arrange new dates, if and when it is safe to do so.’
Much has been achieved north and south in recent months. Following the original three-month lockdown, bowling recommenced on June 8th and, since that date, a concentrated effort has seen almost all regional championships here in Cork completed and within a suitable timeframe to commence county round scores.
Junior C and novice 1 grades have been completed with novice 2 and novice veteran down to finals. Senior and intermediate men have progressed while some county round scores have been played in junior A and B and junior veteran. The ladies’ intermediate championship is at the knock-out stage and all under-age grades are at inter-regional level leaving just senior women and vintage men to get under way.
The junior A championship is still ongoing in several regions and will command particular interest on the re-start. Donnacha O’Brien, the West Cork champion, has made most headway.
The Drinagh man retained his regional crown at Hawthorn in mid-September and then scored an emphatic county quarter-final win against the strong city representative, Trevor O’Meara, on Saturday week last to move to the semi-final round. Here, he meets either David Fitzgerald (North East) or Denis Wilmot (Mid Cork). Either will be a handful.
The other side of the junior A draw is less straightforward. A preliminary round score between East and Carbery champions will decide who opposes Gerry O’Riordan of the Gaeltacht in a quarter-final fixture. Mick Hurley and the Cooney brothers, P J and Denis, remain in contention in East Cork while, James Nagle, David Shannon, Dec O’Donovan and Tony O’Sullivan all still harbour hopes in Carbery as the round-robin series nears completion with two scores to play.
In the last of the quarter-finals, Jordan O’Sullivan, the South West champion, pitches in against the yet-to-be-decided North Cork winner. Andrew O’Callaghan, defending champion and county runner-up last year, Vincent Kiely, All-Ireland junior B winner last year and David Hubbard are all worthy contenders still to engage in the North Cork play-off.