Coppinger and Murphy set for enthralling Munster semi-final battle

The Munster senior championship semi-final pairings were finalised at the weekend after wins for 2013 champion Martin Coppinger, Christy Mullins and Gary Daly. Aidan Murphy had already qualified.

Coppinger and Murphy set for enthralling Munster semi-final battle

Coppinger plays Murphy in a high-profile semi-final on Sunday, June 22 at Grange, while Mullins and Daly face off the previous day at Templemartin. The Munster final is scheduled for Sunday, June 29 at Ballygurteen.

In Ulster, last year’s champion, Eddie Carr, forfeited his tie against Thomas Mackle. Last year’s All-Ireland intermediate champion Cathal Toal will join Mackle in the final if he beats Conor McGuigan in his last group score.

Christy Mullins beat Brian Wilmot by almost two bowls at the Marsh Road.

Wilmot won the first tip and then beat a big second shot from Mullins by 30m. He held that lead with his third. Mullins took over with a great fourth. Wilmot’s reply was too far left and missed the tip by 50m. Mullins built on his lead and a great sixth bowl past the silvery gate put him a bowl in front. He failed to make the steps in two, but Wilmot didn’t close the gap.

Mullins got a brilliant tenth bowl past Thornhill cross. Wilmot beat that by just 30m in two and was now almost two bowls adrift. Mullins followed up with two great bowls past Ballyhilty cross to extend his lead to well over two bowls.

The lead was just under two bowls after two more each towards the junior line. Mullins played his next bowl too far right and missed the bridge. Wilmot made peeping sight. Mullins beat that by ten metres with his next to hold a bare bowl of odds, but he also had full sight. Wilmot lofted his next but it was too close to the left. Mullins extended his lead with his reply and when Wilmot followed with a poor shot the score was over.

Martin Coppinger started and finished strongly against Trevor O’Meara at Killumney. He made the cross with two great opening shots, while O’Meara beat it in three. Coppinger’s third gave him an 80m lead. O’Meara raised his challenge with a great fourth which levelled the score. He followed up with two good throws in succession to the double gates where he led by three metres. He won each of the next three tips to the bend before the cul-de-sac, but all were in single digits.

Coppinger then got a good bowl towards the cul-de-sac to regain the lead and he stayed in front to the finish. He consolidated his odds with a good bowl towards the next turn and was 40m fore after his next to sight. O’Meara then got a good bowl towards the forestry, but Coppinger hit back with a massive bowl to Connie’s corner.

O’Meara battled on with a good shot to sight. Coppinger replied with a perfectly measured bowl around the bend that ran to the novice line. O’Meara did well to beat that by 30m to keep the lead under a bowl. But there would be no respite as Coppinger closed with two more brilliant bowls past the finish, the last of which raised the bowl of odds.

Gary Daly beat Killian Kingston in the last shot at Templemichael. He won the first shot comfortably, but Kingston took the second. Neither player made the white wall in four, though Kingston looked the more likely of the two to make it. Kingston continued to lead, but he didn’t put decent odds between them till he got a great bowl to the signpost.

That cushion kept him well clear in the shots to Sarsfield’s Court cross. Daly then got a great bowl towards the green to clip the odds to 20m. Kingston came out well on top in the next exchange with a strong bowl towards the bend. Daly cancelled that out though with a fine bowl to sight to level the score again.

Daly led with by 30m with his good bowl from there and he held the same odds at the next tip. Kingston then cut the odds to 15m with a good bowl towards the junior line. Daly got the better of a good exchange past the junior line by 40m. They both got good shots in succession to leave Daly with a valuable 30m advantage for the last shot. Kingston beat the line with his last bowl, but not by enough to trouble Daly.

Peter Nagle won the Cork City Junior A final by two metres from Anthony Gould at Templemichael. Gould won the first shot well, but Nagle levelled in the next two to sight. Gould went clear again with a big shot from the white wall, but Nagle was just 30m hind at Sarsfield’s Court cross. Nagle won his first lead after two more with a good shot towards the bend and increased his odds to sight.

They both struggled to the novice line where Gould led by 20m. Nagle regained the lead by a few metres with a big shot to the last bend. They both missed the line from there, with Gould nosing ahead again. Nagle closed with a great bowl, Gould’s reply was good too but just missed the tip.

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