Mullins started well and won the two opening tips after O’Donovan’s first two caught the left. O’Donovan then played a great third up the right which gave him the lead by 20m and he was never headed again. Mullins got a tremendous fourth past the filling station, but O’Donovan beat it by 30m. He held the same lead after his fifth and increased it to 60m with his next shot towards Roadeen cross.
He then beat a good seventh from Mullins, but missed chances to increase his odds in the next two throws. He put the score out of reach with a brilliant bowl to the Doctor’s, which Mullins just beat to hold the lead under a bowl. He confirmed his win with an equally good 11th throw to just short of the line.
Gary Daly and Raymond Ryan won the annual Grange St Stephen’s Day challenge with a comfortable last shot win over the strong finishing James O’Donovan and Gavin Twohig.
Daly beat Twohig’s good opening bowl by five metres. O’Donovan completely misjudged his second, landing it on the right hand dyke, a mistake that defined the score.
Ryan hit back with a great bowl to the avenue, which raised a bowl of odds. Daly held the odds to the stud farm and Ryan beat Twohig’s good bowl to Moynihan’s O’Donovan knocked the bowl when he blasted his next off Holland’s wall and it ran to Barry’s farmhouse.
Ryan restored the bowl at de Barra’s, but O’Donovan knocked it again in the next exchange past the school. The lead was under a bowl in the next two shots and Ryan raised it again with a good bowl up the rise past O’Sullivan’s.
O’Donovan then got a great bowl past Hodnett’s farm to bring the lead 40m under a bowl. Twohig reduced the lead to 60m with another good bowl past the bungalow.
O’Donovan brought the score back into play by making White’s wall with his next.
Ryan repelled that challenge with a great shot towards Barry’s. Twohig countered with an exceptional bowl that ran all the way to the chalet. But Daly killed the expectation of a last shot showdown with a perfect bowl that ran to the car park. O’Donovan could not do enough with his last shot to stretch Ryan.
Thomas Boyle beat John O’Donoghue by a bowl in the Sean Scanlon Cup final at Donoughmore. He was in trouble after a poor third, which O’Donoghue beat well with his bowl towards the bounds. He made up for this with a brilliant bowl to the bounds, but O’Donoghue pushed 60m clear towards Ring’s. Boyle regained the lead with a brilliant bowl to the halfway line. A big bowl to the end of the straight put him almost a bowl clear and he sealed it with two more good bowls.
In a final at Ballinacurra Johnny Murphy led all the way in his bowl of odds win over Derry Cooney.
In the festive tournament, David Hubbard, Killian Kingston and Arthur McDonagh all had good semi-final wins.
Hubbard beat Denis Murphy by almost a bowl and William O’Driscoll by over a bowl.
Killian Kingston’s speed proved decisive in his win over John Shorten, while Arthur McDonagh broke the deadlock against Gavin Twohig and Trevor O’Meara with a more economical finish.
Mick Murphy and Ted Hegarty had semi-final wins in the Lyre Veteran tournament. Murphy beat Pat O’Donovan by a bowl and Mikie O’Driscoll (B) by almost two bowls while Hegarty beat Ger Fitzpatrick in the last shot.
Gary Daly beat Raymond Ryan, his partner from Grange, at Timoleague on Sunday while at Caheragh Brendan O’Neill beat Michael Crowley in the last shot. Gavin Twohig’s good form at Grange converted into a wining performance against Killian Kingston at Ballygurteen.
Curraheen provided most of the Christmas action in Cork city with Cian Boyle’s win over Maurice Connolly being one of the highlights.