Mullins sees off Toal’s challenge

Christy Mullins beat the line in 17 shots from the town line at Skibbereen to record a bowl of odds win over Michael Toal in the CoAction Benefit on the Marsh Road.

Toal’s first bowl hit a bollard on the footpath and Mullins beat that tip by 80m. Toal’s second was poor and his next two also hit bollards on the footpath. Mullins was already in firm control and had a bowl and 50m after his third towards the council yard gate. Toal’s first decent shot was his good fifth to the council yard.

The rest of the score was evenly matched, though Mullins defended his lead vigorously and closed out the contest when he needed to raise his game.

Toal cut the lead to an even bowl with a good shot to the top of the quarry hill.

They both unluckily missed the silvery gate in the next exchange. Mullins then beat a big shot from Toal to the lag and he held his bowl of odds in three more to the steps.

Toal got a reasonable shot towards Thornhill cross. Mullins was left of the target with his reply, but it settled well and gave him 70m with a bowl of odds. Toal didn’t get a great bowl past Thornhill cross, but he staved off what might have been a second bowl with a great shot to Ballyhilty bend.

Mullins beat a good shot past Ballyhilty cross. Toal increased his challenge with a long bowl past the avenue to cut the lead to an even bowl.

He followed with a great bowl past Crowley’s boreen towards the line. Even though it was very late, Mullins had no room for error.

He answered the call with a perfect bowl that not only beat the tip, but also beat the line.

Toal was tight lipped about his intentions after the contest, but in the second half he certainly showed that he would have a lot to contribute if he decides to return from championship exile.

Kieran Murphy beat Ger Fitzpatrick by a bowl in the final of the Mick Keating Cup in Drinagh.

He opened with a super shot which Fitzpatrick missed in two to concede a bowl of odds. Murphy increased the heat with three more good bowls to the waterfall where he was almost two in front. He continued to set the pace towards Shandrum cross.

Fitzpatrick was unlucky when his bowl from the cross veered right. Murphy’s reply was too tight on the right, which meant there was just a bowl between them at the rectory.

Fitzpatrick’s next got a great rub off the wall and he brought the lead under a bowl. He cut the odds again with his next to the railing after Murphy’s bowl hit a pillar.

Fitzpatrick continued to press with a good bowl to the line cross to keep the lead under a bowl. Murphy only made the ‘barking dogs’ with his next, but Fitzpatrick played his reply to the right and made no further gains.

Murphy got things back on track with a brilliant bowl from there past Barry’s boreen, which gave him a bowl of odds again. Fitzpatrick beat the line with his following throw and Murphy beat it comfortably to win by a bowl.

Jimmy Nyhan reached the Munster Vintage (over-60) C final with a dramatic last shot win over Bob O’Regan at Grange. They both got big openers towards White’s wall.

They were just short of Hodnett’s in three more. Nyhan took a big lead with his bowl past the farmhouse and followed with another good shot to O’Sullivan’s. O’Regan wiped out the lead with a great shot past O’Sullivan’s to tie the score at the school cross.

Nyhan gained the upper hand again up the hill to de Barra’s where he had 30m odds and full sight.

O’Regan played his next tight on the left and beat the line. Nyhan hit the bend with his reply, it crossed the road and rubbed to beat O’Regan’s tip.

Thomas Boyle had a comfortable win over Cian Shorten in the Josie Crean Cup at Whitechurch.

Brian Wilmot led all the way in an impressive win over Edmond Sexton at Jagoes Mills, while Jimmy O’Driscoll reached the pond in nine great shots at Drinagh on his way to beating John Young by two bowls.

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