He got a good first shot, which Bowen missed with two poor throws to concede a bowl of odds. Bowen recovered with a nice third to light, which Creedon just missed. It was still just under a bowl after the next shots towards Harte’s. Neither player got a rub at the wall. There was still a bowl between tem after the next two shots past Bateman’s.
Creedon then put clear distance between them with four great bowls to the top of the hill, where he was two bowls in front. He increased his lead from to Fleming’s, where Bowen conceded.
The 2013 Munster senior championship will be missing Bill Daly, Pat Butler and Eamon Éamon Bowen Snr—three iconic figures of the game in the post-Mick Barry era. Daly was the supreme bowler of the 1980s. He opened the decade by winning both the Road and Moors European gold medals in 1980, he won the World Championship in 1985 and 1987, the senior All-Ireland in 1984 and the inaugural King of the Roads in 1985—the first of a record five crowns.
Butler reached his peak in a four-year period from 1990 to 1993. He won the All-Ireland in 1990, 1992 and 1993 and completed a King of the Roads three-in-a-row from 1991 to 1993. Bowen didn’t win as much silverware, though he was one of the most talented and enduring seniors ever. Successive defeats to Bill Daly in the 1984 and 1985 Munster finals stymied what might have been a more glorious career.
Christy Mullins is the only member of that golden generation in the 2013 championship, which was reduced to 15 players at last week’s grading meeting. It will be more competitive as a consequence though Martin Coppinger, if he recovers from injury, and David Murphy are still the standout figures. Rookie Raymond Ryan is the only truly new face. Trevor O’Meara rejoins the senior ranks as 2012 Munster intermediate champion.
The intermediate grade has swelled to 24 players, largely as a consequence of regarding from senior. It is now a potent mix of senior figures like Butler, Daly and Bowen and young Turks like Killian Kingston and Arthur McDonagh sandwiching an impressive line-up of mid-career players.
Liam Hurley beat Joe Tyner in the last shot of the Kildee final. Tyner went past Rodgers’ in three where he had 100m odds. He continued to set the pace by reaching the first bend with his next and then raising almost a bowl by going to sight past O’Sullivan’s in another two. Hurley fought back with a great bowl to boreen-na-parach and he led at the big turn. He then beat a good shot from Tyner by 100m. Tyner cut it to 50m for the last shot, but it was not enough to derail Hurley.
Michael Bohane beat PJ Cooney in the last shot of a Billy Molloy Cup tie at Whitechurch. Bohane had a nice lead till he made a mistake with his third and Cooney took over from there to lead by a bowl at Boula lane. He held that lead to the top of the straight. Bohane levelled the score with a great bowl past the farmhouse. Cooney eased clear again to the Devil’s bend, but Bohane regained the lead with a brilliant second last and won the last shots by 10m.
David Hubbard’s renaissance continued with a two bowls of odds win over Andrew O’Leary at Donoughmore. He was a bowl in front after two. He held that to Ring’s corner and increased his odds to the wall. He hit a pillar with a wayward bowl there, but recovered immediately with a great bowl onto the straight to go over a bowl clear again. He had a second bowl at the end of the straight.
Thomas Boyle reached the Gortroe final by beating Noel Murphy by a bowl. Murphy won the first five tips. Boyle got a sensational bowl to the start of the wood to take a big lead, which he held to the white pillars. He went almost a bowl in front in the next exchange and held that to the novice line, despite a short bowl from the Well Bar. He scored the line in a modest 16 throws.
Denis Wilmot beat Vincent Cahalane by a bowl at Grange. Cahalane easily won the opening tips and defied Wilmot in a series of great exchanges to O’Sullivan’s. Wilmot levelled at the school cross and took his first lead at the top of the school hill. Cahalane was back in front at de Barra’s. Wilmot made Moynihan’s in two more and Cahalane failed and feel a bowl behind.
Cahalane’s brother Clive beat Sean Twomey in the last shot at Lyre. Twomey led to the foot of the mason’s hill, where Cahalane had his first lead. Twomey pushed clear again, but lost ground on the home stretch and Cahalane took the last two tips. Tadhg O’Driscoll beat Kevin O’Donovan in the last shot of a thrilling earlier score.