Double for US as Munster outgunned

Two titles for the USA and one for Connacht was the surprise outcome of the third All-Ireland series in Newtownhamilton and no Munster champion from the series for the second year running.

Adrian Lappin had a comfortable win over London’s Kevin Coughlan in the Junior C final and his teammate Florry O’Mahony lifted the Novice I title at the expense of Leinster champion Peter Clinton (Louth). David Hughes brought the Novice II title to Mayo following a good win over Ulster champion Paul Grimley.

After three highly competitive championships in Munster, it was a major shock that none of the three made the final. David Shannon’s defeat in the Junior C was probably the most surprising, from an Ulster perspective the defeat of Mark Toal in the other semi-final was equally unexpected.

Adrian Lappin drew on all his skill and experience to beat London’s Kevin Coughlan by two bowls in the final, having sensationally eliminated Mark Toal in the last shot of Saturday’s semi-final.

He dominated the final from his big opening shot, which helped him raise a bowl. Coughlan made a mistake with his fourth and the lead edged towards a second bowl. Coughlan rallied again and brought the lead under a bowl, but from there on it was all Lappin as he ran out an easy winner by over two bowls.

In the semi-final he had just one fore bowl against rising star Mark Toal with Leinster champion Gary Shevlin always struggling.

Toal settled quickly and raised a bowl on Lappin, but a short shot in the middle of the score cost him the bowl of odds. Still he had a 70m advantage on the rising road towards the line. He didn’t get a great second last, but still had 40m odds. Lappin closed with a big shot, Toal’s reply never looked like reaching it.

In the other semi-final Kevin Coughlan put in an exceptional display to lead David Shannon all the way. Shannon got a good first shot, but Coughlan got an exceptional one that ran well down the hill. He more than matched everything Shannon played to take a big lead after five.

Shannon rallied strongly and cut the lead to just 30m for the last shot. He closed out with a big bowl, which Coughlan missed, but his throw was nullified by the referee for over stepping the tip. His second attempt was better and beat Shannon’s tip by six metres.

Florry O’Mahony gave the USA its second crown when he beat Peter Clinton by a bowl in the Novice I final. He won the opening shots, but Clinton took the second with a great bowl. O’Mahony was back in front after three and eased a bowl clear after Clinton followed with two poor shots. He held that lead till he made a mistake at the three-quarter point. He immediately recovered with a big shot and romped home.

He beat Munster champion Tony Flynn by almost a bowl in the semi-final. After a competitive start Flynn raised a bowl at the top of the hill. He lost ground with a poor shot down the hill and continued to lose momentum in his next six.

Peter Clinton was a surprise winner of the other semi-final. All three were in it right to the death, in fact Clinton was at the rear for the last shot. He got a big last bowl though, which Ulster’s Conor O’Neill missed by three metres with London champion Padraig Nugent falling short of O’Neill’s tip.

David Hughes beat the two big names in the Novice II championship. He beat Ulster champion Paul Grimley with a big last shot in the final, having beaten fancied Munster champion John O’Regan in the semi-final.

In the final Grimley started with a poor shot, but fought back to level after five. Hughes got three great bowls in a row to go a bowl in front. He didn’t maintain his form though and lost the lead. He fought on strongly with a big shot to last bend, but Grimley was still just in front. He wrested back control with big second last and beat a good last bowl from Grimley.

His greater consistency in the semi-final was critical in his bowl of odds win over John O’Regan, with US champion Stephen Wallington third. After a sensational opening shot a mistake down the hill cost O’Regan and he couldn’t catch Hughes again.

Paul Grimley was pressed all the way by Louth’s Peter Kirk in his semi-final, only taking it in the last shot, while Danny O’Shea (London) was third.

DD Carroll beat Pat-Joe Connolly by a bowl in the Munster Vintage B (over-60) final at the Clubhouse. Connolly won the first two shots, but Carroll got a huge third to take a big lead. He had almost a bowl at the corner, but he lost the lead after two poor shots to the chips. He raised the tempo again towards Clonakilty cross and raised a bowl with his next shot. They contested that lead to the line.

John Creedon and Christy Mullins meet in tomorrow’s Paddy Barry Cup semi-final at Rosscarbery. Creedon beat Edmund Sexton by almost a bowl. They were level after six to Barry’s hill. Creedon went clear with his next and raised a bowl after two more to the guesthouse. Sexton knocked the bowl with his shot to Froe cross, but got no closer.

Mullins led Gary Daly by a bowl at Cahermore cross. Daly got four great bowls from there, but Mullins held on thanks to a big last shot.

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