SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Kiely edges O’Donoghue in last shot to capture Cronin Cup

Vincent Kiely is the John Cronin Cup champion following his last shot win over John O’Donoghue at Cobh on Sunday.

They both missed Rossleague cross in the first shot and they were just onto the first straight in two. O’Donoghue then got a good third shot to the top of the hill to take a big lead. Kiely rallied with a brilliant bowl down the hill past Dennis’ and onto the flat, which O’Donoghue missed by 20m. O’Donoghue then got a great bowl towards Durkin’s boreen, which Kiely just beat.

Kiely followed with a good bowl up the hill to hold his lead. O’Donoghue hit back with a great bowl to Sam’s corner, but Kiely beat that tip too. They both got poor shots out of the bend, with Kiely still just in front. They took two more to reach McCarthy’s cross although O’Donoghue was a bit unlucky not to make it in one.

O’Donoghue was right of the play with his next shot and just made the elbow. Kiely’s bowl followed a similar path, but it rubbed and just beat the tip. O’Donoghue then missed ‘the Clash’, but again Kiely did not extend his lead. Kiely was still just 20m fore after the next shots up the hill. O’Donoghue then rescued his challenge with a great bowl over the top of the hill. Kiely’s reply was off target to the right, it rubbed, but still missed O’Donoghue’s tip by ten metres.

Kiely did much better with a perfectly played last bowl that went well past the line. O’Donoghue beat the line too, but his bowl never looked like getting anywhere close to Kiely’s tip.

Johnny Murphy reached the Ballinacurra final when he beat Maurice Connolly by a bowl on Saturday. He won the first three shots towards Brinny cross. Connolly took the lead with his bowl towards the church, but missed two chances to increase his odds to the gas line. Murphy punished him with a great bowl to Perrott’s where he was back in front.

He then got three good bowls past the GAA to raise a bowl. He followed with another great shot over the bridge and he went close to two bowls clear at the start of the straight. Connolly finished strongly from there to bring the lead back to a bowl.

After a slow start Denis O’Driscoll bowled well in his bowl of odds win over Brendan O’Neill in the JJ Murphy Cup at Baruavilla.

He got a short opening bowl and O’Neill took advantage by reaching the cross in two to go almost a bowl in front. O’Driscoll wiped out the lead by making the netting in two more, while O’Neill missed it in two. O’Driscoll bowled brilliantly to the rock where he was well over a bowl in front. He held that lead with three more good bowls to the bridge.

O’Neill rallied with a great shot from the bridge which brought the lead back to an even bowl. He continued to press strongly with a series of good shots to the line, but O’Driscoll beat each one to hold his lead.

John O’Rourke had the closest of last shot wins over Jerry Gibbons in the Jerry Desmond Cup at Shannonvale despite being two bowls in front at one point.

He got a great opening shot, which Gibbons missed by 70m. He increased his lead with an equally good second shot over the hill. He quickly turned that into a bowl of odds on the straight. He gained a position to raise a second bowl at Desmond’s line after another great shot past the quarry. They were at the cross in eight and ten.

Gibbons got a super bowl off the cross which O’Rourke missed and only beat with his next to leave just over a bowl between them. O’Rourke made up for this with a great bowl from Sam’s lane which put him well over a bowl clear again. He followed with two poor shots to just short of Tobin’s and there was now barely a bowl between them again.

Gibbons lost a chance to get closer but he misplayed his next bowl into the corner. He followed with two good bowl to Campbell’s lane though where he had the lead under a bowl. O’Rourke then missed the line to give Gibbons a small chance. He grabbed his opportunity with a massive last bowl. O’Rourke’s reply was less impressive and was lucky to just beat the tip.

At Timoleague, Thomas O’Callaghan got the verdict in the last shot against Ger Connolly. Connolly got two massive opening shot to raise almost a bowl. He raised a full bowl with his fifth and held it to the monument. O’Callaghan then got two great bowls to lead for the last shot. Connolly got a good last bowl, but O’Callaghan beat it.

Tony Murphy had a comprehensive win over Tim O’Sullivan in the Christy Coleman Cup semi-final at Ballincurrig. In the return Peter Fitzgerald was equally impressive in his win over Tommy Sexton in the Paddy Hennessy Cup.

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