THE long arm of the law is primed to power David Shannon to All-Ireland bowling glory this Saturday.
The Skibbereen man captured the junior B county championship with his victory against Mid Cork champion John Butler from Bandon recently – a victory that earned him a golden ticket to this Saturday’s All-Ireland final against Ulster champ Matt Kiernan at Lyre.
It’s a road that the Carbery bowler knows well, as he explains.
‘I have bowled on it a good few times over the years so I’m happy enough with it, I’d be familiar with it. We’ll see on Saturday if that’s an advantage,’ Shannon said.
‘It’s a road that suits different types of bowling, it’s a mixture. It opens up alright towards the end but up to that you need to keep it very straight, so I’ll look to try and be in a good position coming to the last few shots and hopefully pull away then.’
Working as a Garda in Enniscorthy and living in Wexford Town, bowling is non-existent in his home away from home, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the bowler who also plays senior football with O’Donovan Rossa. Living outside the bowling bubble offers him an escape, before he immerses himself in it on trips home.
Juggling both GAA and bowling also has its advantages, with one offering a release from the other, and after Rossas recent Cork SFC exit to Avondhu, Shannon counts himself lucky to be able to turn to his other sporting love.
‘That was disappointing, we didn’t play well and we’re out. Playing bowling doesn’t make losing that game easier, but it’s something I can focus on and enjoy,’ he said.
‘I have played both sports side by side all the way up, so the lads in bowling know I play GAA and vice-versa. It’s working out fine, and while they’re completely different sports the common factor is that you need to be fit for both. Bowling is definitely changing, it’s getting more serious, fellas are training more and getting fitter, so the football helps me that way.’
This weekend the 2013 Munster junior C champion bids to win an All-Ireland junior B title as he climbs up the ladder towards the big league.
‘Hopefully, in a few years I can get up to senior level – that’s the target. I will be up in junior A next year so we’ll take it from there, I will be three grades off the top,’ added Shannon who, by winning the junior B county championship recently, became the second bowler from Carbery to win the Michael Moxley Cup, following in the footsteps of John O’Brien, Ballydehob, who last brought the trophy to this division in 1990.