Road bowling: Late drama as Coppinger pips Murphy in Noel Phair Cup

Martin Coppinger played an unbelievable second last shot of 287.5m which set him up to pip Aidan Murphy in a riveting Noel Phair Cup tie at Shannonvale.

File photo of Martin Coppinger.
File photo of Martin Coppinger.

Murphy easily won the first two shots past Cleary’s. Coppinger got a lucky rub with his third to McSweeney’s. Murphy beat that by 100m, which gave him almost a bowl of odds after Coppinger’s poor fourth. He raised a bowl after three more to Buttimer’s pillars. Both missed Desmond’s in the next exchange.

Murphy’s eighth was a fine loft at Desmond’s which kept his lead well over a bowl. He held that advantage in his next shot onto the flat. Coppinger knocked the bowl in the next two. Murphy lost more ground with his next. Coppinger kept momentum with a good bowl, but Murphy reached Tobin’s to stay in pole position.

Coppinger didn’t open Campbell’s with next and Murphy made sight. Coppinger then went past Campbell’s, when Murphy beat that well he looked safe. Coppinger’s next was the monster shot that changed everything. Murphy could have denied him by beating the line, but he missed Coppinger’s tip. Murphy bounced back with a big last shot that Coppinger beat by just 10m.

Coppinger’s next action is Sunday’s Dowtcha Boy festival feature in Skibbereen against David Murphy and Thomas Mackle. The two-day event is in aid of LAST (Lost at Sea Tragedies) charity and sponsored by West Cork Distilleries.

While Coppinger seems to have the Indian sign on Murphy, with Mackle in the equation anything is possible. James O’Donovan and Aidan Murphy meet in an equally intriguing earlier score. The day commences with a novel Cast for a Cask competition where a lucky bowler will take home a cask of whiskey if they can get a bowl into a whiskey cask from 100m. The festival opens on Saturday.

Bryan Wilmot had a clear win over Edmond Sexton and Christy Mullins in the Johnny Holland Cup final at Bauravilla.

Sexton led after two to Robin’s cross, with Wilmot second and Mullins third. Wilmot won the next exchange, Mullins was now second and Sexton third, but there was nothing between them. Wilmot followed with a brilliant bowl to the netting to push his lead to almost a bowl on both opponents. He had a full bowl at Dekker’s and close to two after seven to the rock. After 11 to sight at the bridge, he had almost two bowls on Sexton and over two on Mullins. After two more Sexton had cut the odds to just over a bowl, but Mullins was still over two behind. Wilmot got another huge bowl to O’Donoghue’s to give him two bowls on Sexton. He held that to the line, with Sexton second and Mullins third.

Thomas Boyle won his third successive Seán Scanlon Cup final, beating Derry Cooney by almost a bowl at Firmount while Anthony Broderick led from the off to easily beat Shane Collins and David Hegarty in the Lyre final. Collins was in trouble after a poor second. Hegarty was in touch till Broderick played a good fourth over the mason’s hill to take his lead to almost a bowl on Hegarty and two on Collins.

He continued to press home his advantage to the school where he had almost two on Hegarty and close to three on Collins. He stayed two clear towards the line, with Collins edging past Hegarty for second.

John Shorten beat Mick Hurley by centimetres in a brilliant Seán Hegarty Shield final at Tallow. There was never more than 25m in it from start to finish. Shorten won the first three, Hurley took the fourth. They were level after eight to Parkdotia cross. Shorten won the next five to the castle. Hurley played a great 14th to regain the lead and led for the last shot. Shorten played a brilliant last bowl, which Hurley just missed.

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