Mullins won an engaging contest with Gary Daly at Templemartin on Saturday, while Murphy dethroned Martin Coppinger in a lacklustre score at Grange on Sunday.
At Templemartin, Mullins got a good bowl to win the first tip by 50m. He pressed on with two good shots towards Slyne’s corner where he had almost a bowl. Daly had bare sight in four and beat Mullins’ shot past the bend by 10 metres to keep the lead under a bowl. Mullins got poor fifth and sixth shots and Daly cut the lead 70m under a bowl at O’Riordan’s.
After two more past Collins’ Mullins’s had 80m odds. Daly made the schoolhouse cross in two from there. Mullins narrowly missed in nine and lost the lead for the only time with his bowl through the cross. He was back on track after a brilliant bowl to the stone field bend, which put him almost a bowl clear.
He followed with a big shot towards Buttimer’s lane, but Daly reached the lane to stay in contention. Mullins’ next bowl veered right and now his lead was back to 60m. Neither player got a good shot from there, but Mullins reached the monument off a rub. Daly then missed the pub cross and Mullins went down to go almost a bowl in front again.
Daly kept the lead under a bowl with his next, but Mullins got the better of the following exchange and held the bowl in the last shot.
The Grange semi-final never came to life. Murphy won the first three tips to the stud farm. Coppinger got the better of the shots through the bend. He edged two poor shots past Holland’s, but then made sight at de Barra’s and reached the school with his next to raise a bowl of odds.
They both cued nice bowls through the cross with Murphy bringing the lead under a bowl. Coppinger then missed sight at O’Sullivan’s. Murphy went out and regained the lead. He won the next exchange too, but Coppinger went 70m clear with his next past Hodnett’s farm.
Murphy followed with a good bowl past the bungalow, which Coppinger beat by 130m with a low fast bowl to the hollow. Murphy beat that by just 20m with his next shot. Coppinger made White’s and Murphy closed the gap with a good bowl up the centre. Coppinger didn’t make Barry’s with his next, but he still had a substantial lead.
Murphy’s bowl past the bend looked wide, but it wheeled back left and ran past the pub. Coppinger replied with a poor bowl down the left that just made the pub. He got a good last bowl past the line, leaving Murphy with a tricky target. Murphy’s reply was tight, but it got past the tip by a few centimetres.
Elsewhere, Wayne Callanan, PJ Cooney and Pat Butler secured places in the Munster intermediate quarter-finals.
Callanan beat Patrick O’Driscoll in the last shot at Waterfall on Monday. He won the first three shots past Lynch’s farm. O’Driscoll then got a great shot to the corner of the lawn and led to Mehigan’s. Callanan was back in front at the old senior bend. He gained a big lead on the flat, but O’Driscoll levelled to Dan Herlihy’s corner.
Callanan edged the shots past the novice line and increased his odds in the next two past Murphy’s farm. O’Driscoll drove his next bowl left and only reached the cross before the line. Callanan lofted confidently past the line.
PJ Cooney easily beat Éamon Bowen at Gortroe. He had almost a bowl after his first and raised it with his third shot into the wood. He raised a second bowl at the piers. Bowen reduced the odds to the Well Bar, but Cooney went two clear again in the shots to sight. He increased his lead with his next and Bowen conceded.
Pat Butler beat Paddy O’Donoghue in the last shot at Sally’s Cross. O’Donoghue took a big lead to the Creaghleen. Butler levelled to the priest’s house and turned the score with a great bowl to the green door. O’Donoghue’s challenge faltered when he got a poor shot past Griffin’s and Butler beat the line.
In Ulster Malachy Lappin easily beat Pete Carr in the Junior A at Tullysarran, and Ruaírí O’Reilly beat Mick O’Neill. Jarlath Devlin plays Pat Mallon in the veteran’s final after beating Joe Shortt in the last shot. Eugene Kiernan is Junior B champion following his win over Pat McQuaid at Madden.
Thomas Boyle beat Jimmy O’Driscoll in the Munster Junior B at Newcestown. In the Junior, veteran Bernie Chambers beat Kieran O’Driscoll at Bauravilla. In the Novice veteran Eddie Buckley was a flashy winner over Dan O’Donovan at Bweeng and Tony McCarthy easily beat John Nagle at Ballinacarriga.