McGuigan and Toal tame Murphys

All-Ireland champion Conor McGuigan and Martin Toal gave Ulster a last shot win over brothers David and Aidan Murphy in the feature score at Port Mór on St. Patrick’s Day.

David Murphy raised almost a bowl with his opening shot, but he made a mistake before Connolly’s and the Ulster pair led at McGrail’s. Aidan regained the lead at McGleenan’s, but Toal got a great shot to McCusker’s to go back in front. Aidan took what looked a decisive lead with a great third last to the orchard corner, but David misplayed his next. Martin Toal easily beat Aidan Murphy’s last shot.

Peadar Toal beat Gary Daly in the opening score. Daly’s first bowl was unlucky, but Toal seized the opening with a great shot to raise a bowl. He was two clear after six, but Daly brought the lead under a bowl at McCusker’s. Toal got three great bowls to McGrail’s to raise two bowls again and Daly pulled up injured.

Bowling in Munster was concentrated on nine venues over the weekend for a fundraising blitz in support of the Ireland team for the European championships in Italy next May.

On Patrick’s Day, John Cahalane and Aidan Hurley beat Deckie O’Donovan and Donie Harnedy in the big score at Drinagh.

Hurley took the lead with the second shot and Cahalane increased the odds to 50m in the next. Hurley then got a big bowl to the waterfall to put almost a bowl between them. Harnedy and O’Donovan then beat two good shots to the Black stick, but they were a full bowl behind after two more to Shandrum cross.

Cahalane increased the lead with a good bowl to the rectory gate. Another massive bowl from Hurley to light at the church pushed the lead to two bowls. O’Donovan knocked the second bowl with his next throw and Harnedy brought the lead under a bowl at the barking dogs. O’Donovan just beat Hurley’s big bowl to Barry’s lane, but at the line Cahalane and Hurley had restored the bowl of odds.

Billy McAuliffe comfortably beat William O’Driscoll at Ballincurrig. O’Driscoll had control after five, but he missed the no-play line with his sixth. McAuliffe led after a great seventh to Heaphy’s. He was almost a bowl in front after three more to Leahy’s. He raised the bowl at the sycamores and cruised home.

Mick Hurley beat Thomas Boyle in the last shot of a very good contest. Dave Fitzgerald, grandson of the famous Seamus ‘Slogger’ Fitzgerald, beat Michael Gould in two top class scores.

Olan Noonan led all the way in his last shot win over Denis Wilmot at Kilcorney. He took the first tip by 30m and increased his lead in the next three to Cooney’s. The lead was back to 30m after three more to Coleman’s bridge. Noonan held that lead to Cullinane’s, but Wilmot had it back to ten metres at Cashman’s lane. In the end Noonan had a bit of luck when his last bowl rubbed and beat the line.

Johnny O’Donoghue had even more luck when he beat Pat Broderick in the last shot of the second score. He looked to have misplayed that last bowl, but it rubbed the right and trickled down the hill to gave Broderick virtually no hope.

On Sunday, Donal Riordan beat Gavin Twohig in the last shot at the Marsh Road. He won the first three shots, but Twohig took the fourth to the council yard. Riordan made the silvery gate in two more where he had close to a bowl of odds. Twohig made the steps in two more to go back in front.

Riordan raised a bowl by making Ballyhilty in three from there. He eased up from there and was just 50m in front facing the line. Neither played beat the line, but Twohig followed with a poor shot to hand victory to Riordan.

At Baile Mhuirne, Mick Murphy (I) had a last shot win over Brendan O’Callaghan. He raised a bowl after two to light and he held it to the slippery rock. O’Callaghan got two great shots to Murphy’s to take his only lead. Murphy got the better of the next exchange and had a big lead for the last shot. O’Callaghan almost snatched it with a big last shot, but Murphy beat the tip.

Dave Fitzgerald won two scores with Johnny Burns at Whitechurch, both at the expense of Thomas Boyle and Liam Scanlon. Boyle beat Martin Connolly in the last shot. Michael Gould had an impressive bowl of odds win over William O’Donnell.

John O’Rourke beat Denis Murphy by a bowl at Béal na mBláth on Monday. Murphy was almost a bowl in front after two to the water. O’Rourke led after a great fourth and held 70m at the next two tips to Shorten’s cross. Murphy cut the lead with a big bowl at Long’s lane, but O’Rourke made the big corner in four more to go a bowl clear.

Padraig Scanlon was unbeatable against Thomas Boyle at Carraig na bhFear. He made the doctor’s in two, Daunt’s in four and narrowly missed the creamery cross in six. He was equally dominant from there.

At Kildee, Ger Fitzpatrick raised a bowl on John O’Brien at the line cross and held it to finish. Earlier, Pat Daly beat Con O’Sullivan by the same margin.

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