Coppinger turns on the power at Grange

All-Ireland champion Martin Coppinger was awesome in the opening score of his title defence at Grange on Friday beating Brian Wilmot by three bowls of odds.

Wilmot made sight at the stud farm in three good shots. Coppinger was not out fully in three, but shaved the right with his next and made Holland’s wall. That cut Wilmot’s lead to a metre. Coppinger’s next was poor, but Wilmot drove his reply into the right and missed it by 50m.

Wilmot got a nice bowl past de Barra’s, but Coppinger beat it well with a great reply. Wilmot beat that tip by just 30m with his next shot. Coppinger then went well down towards the school cross. Wilmot’s reply went right and missed the tip. He just made the cross with his next and Coppinger lofted brilliantly to reach straight road and take his lead well over a bowl. Wilmot beat that tip by just 15m to leave almost two bowls between them.

Coppinger followed with two massive bowls to Hodnett’s farm where he had three bowls of odds. He went to Hodnett’s bungalow with his next and the score was over.

European Moors champion Aidan Murphy kept the pressure on Coppinger when he also opened his Pool B account with a win over Willie O’Donovan in a testy score at Killavullen.

O’Donovan’s first bowl mounted a bank and his second lodged in surface water. Murphy had a big lead after three but O’Donovan’s brilliant fourth cut the lead to 20m. Murphy increased his odds again through the bends. They both got good bowls onto the straight, with O’Donovan still in contention.

Murphy turned the score with two massive bowls to the brown bridge, which put him well over a bowl in front. He added a second bowl to the forestry entrance. O’Donovan rallied with two big bowls to the last bend to cut the lead to a bowl, but could get no closer.

In Pool D, Éamon Bowen gained a vital win over Raymond Ryan at Killumney, which puts him in pole position to top that group.

Ryan opened with two blistering bowls to take a 100m lead at Gurranes cross. His third increased his lead. He looked set to go further ahead with his fourth, but only beat Bowen’s tip by 50m. After two more past the silver gates Bowen had it whittled down to 20m.

Bowen shaded the next exchange and led to the line. After two shots to the bend facing the cul-de-sac he was 60m in front and doubled his odds with his next. Ryan missed that tip to fall a bowl behind, but won the next exchange to knock the bowl. They made sight at Connie’s corner in another two, where Bowen had the bowl of odds by five metres. Ryan got two great shots from there to bring the lead under a bowl. Bowen looked secure though after his next, but Ryan kept up his challenge with a great reply. If Bowen beat the line the score was over, but he missed it by 50m. Ryan beat the line with his last, but Bowen beat his tip by a comfortable 30m.

Cathal Toal got the first win in the Ulster intermediate championship when he beat Paul O’Reilly and Donal Daly on the Cathedral Road. He was a bowl ahead after three to Campbell’s corner. He had almost two bowls at Starr’s pump, but lost momentum to Rowntree’s and had less than a bowl on O’Reilly. He raised his game to Grimley’s and had over a bowl on O’Reilly. Daly conceded before the finish.

Patrick Butler beat Mick Hurley by two bowls in the East Cork Junior A championship at Ballincurrig.

Hurley won the first two shots, but Butler took a good lead with a great third. Hurley led after two more. Butler regained the lead before the no-play line and raised a bowl at Leahy’s. Hurley levelled with a brilliant bowl to the big corner, but he failed to cover the short straight with his next and Butler took over again. He raised a bowl at the sycamores and a second past the elbow.

Peter Nagle threw the Cork City title wide open when he beat Brian Daly by almost a bowl at Templemichael. He got four great shots to light at Murphy’s wall where he was a bowl in front. He held his lead with another three past Sarsfield’s Court cross. Daly put him under pressure in the second half and saved the bowl at the line.

In West Cork, Tim Young beat Aidan Hurley by a bowl in Bantry.

Jerry Murphy beat DJ Holland in the Mid-Cork veteran final at Béal na mBláth. He led all the way and was a bowl in front facing Shorten’s cross. He held that to Long’s lane and raised a second at the farm, and held to the line.

Michael Crean beat David O’Brien in the last shot of a top class Jimmy Cahalane Cup final at Grange. The lead changed hands several times to the school cross, where Crean was two meters fore. O’Brien gained the upper hand up the hill and had 60m odds for the last shot. Crean got a brilliant last shot, O’Brien’s reply was too close to the right and missed it well.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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