After the opening shots, Mackle led by less than a metre. Murphy’s second was not great and Mackle increased his lead with a perfectly played bowl to Moore’s gate. Murphy played his next to the left, but Mackle was too tight on the right with his reply and beat the tip by just 10 metres. Murphy’s fourth was a great shot to the end of the green, but Mackle beat it by 50m with a perfectly spun bowl to the creamery.
Murphy went past well past O’Sullivan’s with his next, but Mackle beat it with a great shot to just short of the no-play line. Murphy just beat the line with his sixth. Mackle’s next clipped a pothole and failed to make the second line, leaving them dead level.
Murphy won his first lead in the shots from the line and was never headed again. Mackle got a good eighth onto the long straight, which Murphy beat by five metres. Mackle’s next was far too tight on the right and almost instantly lodged in the dyke. Murphy looked a shade left with his reply, but it settled well, fell back to the right and ran all the way to Leahy’s. Mackle did come within 30m of that tip, but he was now a bowl behind.
Mackle played a brilliant bowl past Leahy’s that was unlucky not to gain the big corner. Murphy missed it by three metres, but he restored his bowl of odds with his loft over the corner. Mackle covered the short straight with his next. Murphy played the centre with his reply, but it hopped right and missed light. His next was the shot of the day, a perfectly lofted bowl that spun right on landing and went past the muddy gap. Mackle kept up the pressure though with a great bowl to the sycamores, Murphy making the end of the sycamores with his. Mackle needed a big bowl now to keep the tie alive, but he played to the right and it just made the elbow. Murphy’s bowl took a vicious turn into the elbow too, but it rubbed and went close to sight.
Mackle made the finishing straight with his next. Murphy played his reply into the bend, going left and missing the line by centimetres. Mackle’s last beat the line too but it fell left and Murphy didn’t have to throw again.
At Rosscarbery, Christy Mullins beat Raymond Ryan in the Paddy Barry Cup final. He won the first three shots onto the flat. Ryan got a great bowl towards the priest’s house to lead by 30m. Mullins hit back to Barry’s hill. Ryan’s reply was left and missed it by 40m. His next was poor too and beat Mullins’ tip by just 60m.
Mullins increased the intensity with a great sixth. Ryan slipped delivering his bowl and missed the tip by 30m to fall a bowl behind. After two more to Barry’s boreen, Mullins was a bowl and 70m clear. Ryan drove his next left and beat the tip by just 10 metres and was now almost two bowls behind. They made the no-play line in four more where Mullins led by two bowls.
Mullins finished the score with a good bowl from Cahermore cross, which Ryan missed. Mullins also won the Special Needs benefit score at Kilcrohane where he beat Brian Wilmot by almost a bowl.
He opened with a great bowl over the Priest’s Height, which put him almost a bowl in front. Wilmot closed the gap with a great second, but his third took an unlucky hop and he was almost a bowl behind again. He kept pressing though and when Mullins hit a poor patch between Murphy’s and the gullies, he levelled the score. Mullins regained the initiative with his next bowl and he pushed almost a bowl clear in the next two to the line.
Gary Daly beat Edmund Sexton in the last shot at Grenagh. He was 100m clear after four shots to the bend. Sexton fought back with two great throws to the farm to lead by 30m. Daly fired two big shots to the second house to regain a lead of 60m. Sexton then fell almost a bowl down. Daly had a full bowl at the Devil’s bend.
Sexton closed the gap to 60m when Daly got a poor shot to the cross. He reduced it to 40m with his shot to the last bend. He missed the line with his last throw though and Daly beat it.
Arthur McDonagh beat Michael Bohane and Wayne Callanan at Shannonvale. Bohane reached Desmond’s in seven, with McDonagh lofting in eight and Callanan a full shot behind.
McDonagh fought back to take a one metre lead on Bohane, with Callanan almost a bowl down. McDonagh had 60m on Bohane at Tobin’s, with Callanan out of contention. McDonagh tightened his grip with a good bowl to sight at Campbell’s. Bohane got a good bowl from there, but McDonagh beat the line to close out.
* Bowling has lost another big figure with the death of Eugie Daly, father of Irish international Geraldine Daly and a former top player.