Murphy joins men who would be King

Aidan Murphy completed the line-up for the 2012 Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads when he beat Christy Mullins by a bowl of odds in the Mick Barry Cup final at Ballincurrig on Sunday.

Mullins opened with a super shot, which gave him a 50m lead. Murphy played his bowl to the left and just made the mill gate. Murphy just made light with his second and Mullins kept his lead when his bowl brushed to Moore’s gate. Murphy played a great third bowl but it fell left halfway to Geary’s. Mullins had a chance to extend his lead, but only beat the tip by 10 metres.

They both got brilliant bowls to the green, with Mullins still just fore. Murphy got a great bowl past the creamery. Mullins stood too high for his reply and his bowl fell left just past the creamery, 25m short of Murphy’s tip — he never led again. Mullins narrowly missed the no-play line with his next, while Murphy was lucky to beat it after his bowl landed in a pothole, but stayed on course.

Mullins rallied with two great bowls from there to full light at O’Riordan’s, but he just made the halfway line with his next. Murphy replied with a phenomenal shot that covered the whole long straight and ran to Leahy’s, where he had almost a bowl of odds. He followed with another great bowl to the big corner, but Mullins beat that tip with an equally good bowl to keep the lead under a bowl.

They took two more to make light at the top of the short straight. Mullins brought the lead under a bowl with a great shot to the sycamores. When Murphy missed the elbow with his next, Mullins looked to be coming back into contention. He never got his bowl going though, and missed Murphy’s tip. They both beat the line in two more with Murphy holding his bowl of odds.

The full line-up for the October classic is defending champion David Murphy, All-Ireland champion Martin Coppinger, Ulster champion Conor McGuigan and Aidan Murphy as Mick Barry Cup winner. German champion Robert Djuren and European bronze medallist Arjan Hassink, representing the Netherlands, will join them in the draw.

Christy Mullins is the alternate should any of the other six be unable to play.

Catriona Murphy moved a step closer to the Queen of the Roads when she beat Emma Fitzpatrick in the semi-final of the Gretta Cormican Cup at Kildee.

Fitzpatrick led from the off and was a bowl in front after three. She increased her odds in the following shots, but Murphy closed the gap at halfway. Fitzpatrick continued to lead right up to the last shot. Murphy played a brilliant last bowl and Fitzpatrick narrowly missed it.

She faces Nicola O’Sullivan next Sunday in the final at Castletownkenneigh to decide who will enter the Queen of the Roads semi-final draw. The other Queen of the Roads contestants are defending champion Kelly Mallon, All-Ireland champion Triona O’Farrell-Kidney, European champion Carmel Ryan, German champion Anke Klöpper and former Queen and European Dutch Moors champion Silke Tulk.

Schull Community Hospital will benefit from a nine-score festival played at Schull last weekend. In the feature score James O’Donovan beat Gary Daly by two bowls on Saturday.

John Young beat Denis O’Driscoll on Sunday morning in a score that ebbed both ways. Young looked to be cruising when he led comfortably with four to go. He made a mistake with his next and O’Driscoll rallied to lead by 40m for the last shot. Young beat the line with his last throw and O’Driscoll dropped his bowl to the left and just missed the tip.

Later Jerry Gibbons beat Aidan Hurley by two bowls.

Husband and wife Martin and Gina Dullea had a week to remember at the Unlimited All-Ireland bowling finals at Aughagower, near Westport. Martin beat Jimmy Greene in a gripping senior men’s final and Gina won the senior women’s final.

Both Martin and Greene had four All-Irelands each at the start of the score, but a massive last bowl put Martin on top of the roll of honour. After a gripping battle Greene had edged into the lead for the last shot. Martin played a perfect last bowl up to the community centre which proved too much for Greene. Gina beat Catherine O’Sullivan in the senior women’s final.

Eight separate competitions, in three disciplines — road bowling, target bowling and road skittles, involving 101 bowlers, representing11 centres from all four provinces were played over three days. The event was run under the direction of Batty Hurley, who devised the concept.

PJ Murphy and Con O’Donovan will contest next Sunday’s Munster Vintage (O-60) C final at Killumney. Murphy beat Teddy Murphy in his semi-final at Gortroe and O’Donovan beat Michael Coakley at Castletownkenneigh.

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