Murphy’s early blitz too much for Coppinger in Mick Crowley Cup

David Murphy opened with six brilliant bowls at Bauravilla to send him on his way to an emphatic win over Martin Coppinger in the Mick Crowley Cup.

He went to sight at the cross in two, while Coppinger missed it in two. Murphy reached Coppinger’s gate with his third to go a bowl in front. Coppinger missed the netting with his next and Murphy went well past the netting to push his lead to almost two bowls. He followed with a great fifth past Dekker’s to put him two bowls clear.

He pushed his lead to almost three bowls with his next to the rock. Coppinger rallied with two good bowls while Murphy took three throws to cover the same road, which meant there was now less than two bowls between them. Coppinger followed with another good shot over the brow, which Murphy beat by just 20m to leave the lead just over a bowl.

Coppinger’s next shot was called and he directed his second attempt into the left to concede the second bowl of odds again. Murphy gave him no further openings and closed impressively to beat the line in 16 shots. In the semi-final, he plays James O’Donovan. Edmond Sexton and Gary Daly meet in the other side.

Coppinger’s next outing is in next Sunday’s Motor Neuron Disease benefit against Brian O’Reilly at Knappagh in Armagh. That programme includes a number of other north-south scores, including a double involving Emma Fitzpatrick, who beat Claire O’Sullivan in the Gretta Cormican Cup at Grange on Saturday.

O’Sullivan led all the early shots, though they were locked together after two each to de Barra’s. They went through the school cross in three more, with O’Sullivan leading by 10 metres there. Fitzpatrick played her next bowl into the left. O’Sullivan hit back with a great bowl to sight to lead by 100m. Fitzpatrick missed that tip to concede a bowl of odds.

Fitzpatrick bounced back immediately with two great shots up the hill to cut the lead to just 10 metres. She took her first lead with a great bowl from Hodnett’s farm. O’Sullivan’s next bowl just made Hodnett’s wall and Fitzpatrick stretched her lead to 100m. O’Sullivan missed that tip to fall a bowl behind. Fitzpatrick increased her lead in the next two bowls and it was over after another shot.

Her brother, Jeremiah, completed a family double when he won the Lyre tournament final, beating Con O’Sullivan and Denis Cronin. He was just fore of Cronin after three shots to sight, with O’Sullivan almost a bowl behind. He pushed his lead on Cronin to 40m after another three to O’Donovan’s pillars, with O’Sullivan still a bowl off the pace.

He increased his odds to a bowl on Cronin by making the school in two more good shots. O’Sullivan rallied strongly at this point and took second place ahead of Cronin after three great bowls in a row to the creamery. Fitzpatrick stormed towards the line in two more to hold his lead. O’Sullivan finished second.

James Buckley won the Gresham Metropole North City and District Sports Award for October. The award was in recognition of his magnificent King of the Roads victory over Aidan Murphy, which bridged a 19-year gap back to his previous win in 1995.

Jimmy Nyhan secured his place in the Munster Vintage (over-60) final when he beat Tommy O’Connor in the C Section final at Clondrohid. He bowled with great conviction in the second half and quickly raised odds to win comfortably by two bowls.

Mick Gould and Thomas Boyle shared the spoils on the Bog Road. After a tight first score, Gould gained a big lead for the last shot. Boyle played a good last bowl, but it was not enough to force another shot from Gould. In the return Gould’s bowl lodged in heavy surface water at the Bog gate. Boyle avoided the water and closed strongly to win by a bowl.

Emma Hickey won the Munster Junior Ladies title by beating Aisling O’Callaghan by two bowls at Grange. She opened with two sensational bowls past White’s to raise two bowls of odds. O’Callaghan cut the odds to a bowl with a great fifth to Hodnett’s. Hickey regained the second bowl after two good shots to the farm. She held that lead in four more to the school cross and increased her odds in the next two up the hill.

Timmy Murphy beat Pat Kelleher by two bowls in the Mick Connors Cup at Gortroe. Kelleher enjoyed a better start and looked to be heading for a bowl of odds after two to the end of the railing. He made a mistake with his next and Murphy led at the following tip. He had almost a bowl at the new bridge and almost two at the end of wood. He raised the second bowl with his shot from the Well Bar. He had well over two at the last bend.

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