James O’Donovan and Meghan Collins were full value for their win over Gary Daly and Emma Fitzpatrick in the mixed-doubles final at Sam’s Cross on Sunday.
Daly opened with a brilliant bowl, that gave him a 10m lead on O’Donovan. Fitzpatrick held the lead with a good second to peeping light at Santry’s. O’Donovan then got a good third shot to the next bend. Daly clipped the bank with his reply, but beat the tip by five metres. Collins then played a super bowl to light at Shorten’s to win a lead they held to the finish.
O’Donovan won the next exchange by 30m. Fitzpatrick kept the lead well under a bowl when she got a nice rub with her bowl to Collins’. Collins was left with her next, but it brushed and pushed the lead out to 50m. Daly’s next was left and O’Donovan replied with a big bowl to Sheehy’s. That looked certain to raise a bowl, but Fitzpatrick beat the tip by two metres with a super bowl.
Daly got a nice rub off the right with his next, but he missed light at the Blue School. O’Donovan went close to the school with a great bowl. Fitzpatrick beat that by ten metres with another excellent shot to hold the lead under a bowl. Daly didn’t get a big next shot and O’Donovan extended the lead, but missed light at Cullinane’s.
Fitzpatrick followed with a brilliant bowl that narrowly missed light. Collins made clear light. Daly only reached Cullinane’s with his next. O’Donovan looked set to seal it, but his bowl was too far left and missed the bend. Fitzpatrick kept her side in it with a good bowl to light. The pressure was now on Collins, but she played the bowl of the day. She whipped it past the bend and it ran onto the smooth road.
Daly still had a small chance to level things, but his bowl lacked conviction. O’Donovan followed with another big one, which Fitzpatrick heroically beat by 15m. Collins finished it off with a great bowl past the line.
In Saturday’s semi-final O’Donovan and Collins beat Ulster players Cathal Toal and Kelly Mallon in the last shot. The winners were not as sharp as they would prove to be in the final. Chances were missed by both sides, before O’Donovan beat Toal by 20m in the last shot.
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By contrast Daly and Fitzpatrick dominated All-Ireland champions Aidan Murphy and Carmel Carey in their semi-final. They were two bowls clear at the Blue School. Murphy and Carey closed the gap to Cullinane’s, but the winners pushed two clear again to the line.
Patrick Flood held off a brilliant finish by Thomas Boyle in the Gortroe tournament. There was little in it for the first three. Flood went up the gears in the next three to the end of the wood to lead by almost two bowls. He reached the Well Bar in three more to raise a full two bowls of odds.
Boyle brought it under two with a super shot past the pub. He followed with another big one to light to cut the lead to a single bowl. He then went close to the line. Flood beat that, when any slip wold have put him in trouble. Boyle continued that form on the return to beat Flood by a bowl. Flood bounced back with two wins against Craig Moynihan at the Bog Road on Sunday.
David Hubbard had a dramatic last shot win over Cian Boyle at Grenagh. They were dead level after three.
Hubbard then got two good shots in succession to raise almost two bowls. Boyle clipped that to an even bowl with a super shot to the farm. He knocked the bowl with his next to the palms. They contested that lead till Boyle levelled with a massive shot over the hill facing Boula lane.
He followed with another big one to light at Boula, but it was called. He missed the lane with his second attempt. Hubbard made the lane with his reply, but he was called too. He narrowly missed light with his second effort. That helped him comfortably win the next two shots towards the cross.
Boyle then got a huge bowl to the last bend, which cut the lead to 15m. He went close to the line with his next. Hubbard misplayed his reply into the right, but it was called. He was much smarter with his second attempt which beat the line.