SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Coppinger holds off Wilmot to lord Munster again

Martin Coppinger retained his Munster senior title when he beat Brian Wilmot by almost a bowl at Bauravilla on Sunday.

It was a good performance from Wilmot in his first senior final, but Coppinger’s experience saw him through to next Sunday’s All-Ireland final against Ulster’s Eddie Carr at Port Mór-Blackwatertown on the Armagh-Tyrone border.

Wilmot opened with a good tight bowl on the left, which Coppinger missed by 20m. Coppinger looked to have a huge bowl to make Robin’s cross, but he made it with a great second shot. Wilmot just beat that tip. Coppinger played a poor third bowl to the left. Wilmot played his bowl well, but it didn’t travel as he hoped and it left him just 50m fore.

Coppinger then struck with two huge bowls to raise a bowl of odds, which effectively divided them for the rest of the score. The first reached the netting to give him his first lead and he raised a bowl with the next to Dekker’s.

Wilmot had the lead just under a bowl after two more to the rock. Coppinger got a great bowl to the railings, but Wilmot beat it. Little changed to the bridge, with neither player producing his best. Wilmot then got a great rub at the bridge. Coppinger missed that tip well and only beat it by 70m with his next.

Wilmot didn’t build on those gains though and played a wide bowl past the grotto. Coppinger was very tight with his reply and got a brilliant bowl towards O’Donoghue’s to restore his bowl of odds. He held it with another good bowl past O’Donoghue’s onto the closing straight. He was still a bowl in front with two to go, but Wilmot knocked it for the last shot. Coppinger then beat the line, but Wilmot beat the tip to save the bowl of odds.

Kieran Murphy denied Chris O’Donovan a Munster double when he beat him in the last shot of an exciting Munster Junior B final at Rosscarbery on Monday. O’Donovan had beaten Willie Cronin in the Munster Veteran (Over-50) final at Macroom.

O’Donovan opened with a good bowl at Rosscarbery, which Murphy beat by just under a metre. O’Donovan won the second tip. Murphy was too wide with his third and O’Donovan increased his lead. Murphy just made the Priest’s House with his fourth. O’Donovan played his reply to the left and missed the tip, when he might have consolidating his lead.

He recovered with a great fifth to sight at the bottom of Barry’s Hill to lead by 40m. They were just past the Guesthouse in three more with O’Donovan just 20m fore. Murphy then upped the tempo with two great bowls in succession. The first towards the junior line cut the lead to ten metres and he led with his next to just short of the no-play line.

They resumed from level tips at Cahermore cross. O’Donovan was first away and got a brilliant bowl past Froe cross. Murphy misplayed his bowl into the bend 70m short of that tip. He was just 30m fore after his next.

O’Donovan followed with a good bowl, but it was 20m shy of the Bulls’ gate. Murphy beat that by 30m to put the score back in play. He beat O’Donovan’s next by a vital 25m, which allowed him open the last bend. O’Donovan couldn’t make it from his tip, so he had just 25 odds for the last throw. Murphy closed with a huge bowl to the end of the straight. O’Donovan’s bowl rubbed the right, but it fell four metres short of the tip.

O’Donovan got a closer than expected challenge from Willie Cronin in the Veteran final at Macroom. A huge last bowl from O’Donovan sealed his victory and gave him a bowl of odds.

Michael Faulkner won the Munster U16 final at Ballincurrig on Saturday where he beat Patrick O’Donoghue by over a bowl. They were locked together for the first five shots to the no-play line. Faulkner was just ahead after two more past O’Riordan’s. O’Donoghue did better on the long straight to go almost a bowl clear. It swung back to Faulkner when O’Donoghue missed the big corner. He pushed a bowl clear up the short straight and held it to the sycamores. He was out the last bend in three more and beat the line with his next.

Darragh Kiely beat Jason Connolly in a brilliant Munster U12 final at Baile Mhuirne.

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