writes Séamus Ó Tuama.


Brilliant Éamon Bowen Jnr advances in Munster

Gary Daly and Séamus Sexton secured places in the Munster senior championship quarter-final draw at the weekend and Éamon Bowen Jnr revived his hopes with a brilliant show against James Buckley, writes Séamus Ó Tuama.

Séamus Sexton put Christy Mullins out of the 2015 race at Lyre. He led by 30m after three past the forestry entrance. Mullins won the fourth and stayed just fore in the next two towards Crowley’s house. They took three more to sight at Crowley’s, Mullins had 25m there having lost the lead in the previous shot.

Little changed until Sexton got two good bowls past McCarthy’s to go 120m fore. Mullins cut the odds to 50m with a big bowl towards the junior line and was just 30m hind for the last shot. He clipped the left with his last and Sexton sealed it with a big shot past the line.

Sexton’s older brother Edmond bowed out to Gary Daly at Whitechurch. Sexton was 60m clear after three to the top of the hill. He increased his lead to 80m with his shot to the white wall. He lost ground to Boula lane and was just 20m fore at the guard’s house. Daly won his first lead at Downey’s line.

He made the farm in three more where he had just under a bowl. He had a full bowl after two more past the Devil’s bend. He followed with two massive bowls onto the straight past the intermediate finish where he was two clear and Sexton conceded.

Éamon Bowen dominated from the off against James Buckley at Bottlehill. A huge first shot gave him a bowl of odds. He was just short of sight in three and maintained the intensity by making the bridge in seven where he had well over two bowls. He took his lead over three bowls with his next towards the well and Buckley conceded.

Cathal Toal and Conor McGuigan both advanced in the Ulster senior championship at Port Mór-Blackwatertown. McGuigan eliminated 2014 champion Eddie Carr. He looked to be heading for defeat till he produced a record second last onto the Moy Road to snatch an unlikely lead. Carr closed with a big bowl, but McGuigan’s reply rubbed and beat it well.

Toal had a similar win over Paul Rafferty in a pendulum score. He was a bowl down after missing light at the orchard corner. He won the lead at the long lane and fell a bowl behind at McCusker’s corner. He regained the lead at McGreill’s, but was 70m off the pace with two to go. He got a big second last to regain the lead and raised a bowl with a good last shot.

In the Ulster intermediate championship, Paul O’Reilly has two wins over Ruairí O’Reilly and Donal Daly at Newtownhamilton. One more win will see him crowned champion in the first-to-three wins final.

Donal Riordan beat Gavin Twohig by a bowl in his final pool score in the Munster intermediate championship at Rosscarbery. Twohig now plays Seán Murphy for the last place in the quarter-final.

Riordan won the early shots. Twohig edged back into it with a big eighth and was just 30m hind facing the guesthouse. Riordan pushed clear again to the farm. Twohig then got a brilliant shot to just short of the no-play line. Riordan missed that by 50m, but beat the line with his next to stay level.

Riordan got a great shot off the line that beat the Quaker’s cross by 20m. Twohig beat that by just 20m in two. He followed with two more big shots, but Twohig beat both. He followed with a massive shot to Mac’s lane, which gave him a bowl of odds and Twohig conceded.

Nicholas Carey pulled up injured during practice for his meeting with John Shorten at Donoughmore. Shorten was consequently awarded a win, which put both Pat Butler and Michael Bohane out of the championship.

Ian Callanan beat Jimmy O’Driscoll by over two bowls in the South West Junior A final at the Pike. He was a bowl in front after five to White’s cross, though O’Driscoll’s fifth was unlucky. He made Draper’s in four more. He was just short of the novice line in two more and O’Driscoll conceded after the next exchange.

Vincent Kiely is North Cork champion following his last shot win over David Hubbard at Bweeng. He gained a nice advantage with a big third to light and raised a bowl with his fifth from the tinny shed. Hubbard cut the lead to 40m after nine. Kiely pushed clear again, but Hubbard brought it back to 60m with a great bowl to the novice line. Hubbard missed the line in two more and Kiely beat it.

Jerry Gibbons qualified for the West Cork final through a bowl of odds win over Donncha O’Brien at Drimoleague. In the Carbery semi-final Declan O’Donovan bowled impressively in driving rain at the Marsh Road to beat John Cahalane by well over a bowl.

Stephen Desmond beat Noel Gould and Jimmy O’Donoghue at Templemichael to reach the Cork city final.

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