O’Donovan produces finishing flourish to snatch win at Templemartin

James O’Donovan finished with five brilliant bowls at Templemartin to dethrone All-Ireland senior champion Aidan Murphy in the Munster quarter-final on Sunday.

Gary Daly plays O’Donovan in the semi-final, following his last shot win over Séamus Sexton at Carrigaline. Éamon Bowen finished strongly at Macroom in a three-way tie for the last two quarter-final places, James Buckley was second, with Brian Wilmot missing out.

Bowen now plays David Murphy at Sally’s Cross and Buckley plays Martin Coppinger at Baile Mhuirne. The winners meet in the semi-final.

In Ulster, Martin Toal secured his place in the final through a bowl of odds win over Bryan O’Reilly at Port Mór-Blackwatertown.

Raymond Ryan is through to the Munster intermediate final after beating strong favourite Donal Riordan at Caheragh. Michael Bohane qualified for a quarter-final meeting with Andrew O’Leary following his win in the three-way play-off against John Shorten and Pat Butler at Grange. Nicholas Carey awaits the winner in the semi-final.

James O’Donovan was on the front foot from the off against Aidan Murphy. He made the cottage in three and went out Slyne’s corner in four. He then beat a good fifth from Murphy and was still 15m clear after his next. Murphy snatched his first lead with a brilliant seventh to O’Riordan’s, which O’Donovan missed when his reply hit a pillar.

O’Donovan was 40m in front after three to the schoolhouse cross. He took a substantial lead with a great bowl to sight at the stone-field bend after Murphy had missed. Murphy regained the lead with a great shot to Buttimer’s, though O’Donovan’s reply was accidently blocked. The lead changed hands in both of the next two shots.

O’Donovan then took the score with a sensational bowl from the monument to the pub cross. Murphy was just short of the cross. O’Donovan closed with four more to go almost a bowl in front.

Gary Daly was pushed all the way by Séamus Sexton at Carrigaline. Sexton won each of the first three shots to McCarthy’s lane, but his 30m lead should have been more. He followed with two good throws to Ashman’s where he was just 10m short of a bowl of odds.

His next was not as good though and Daly cut the lead to a metre with a great seventh to the pump-house. Sexton increased his odds in the next two onto the straight, but Daly won the next and led to the line. There was just five metres between them after 12. Daly increased his odds past the junior line, but struggled to kill the score till he closed with a beautifully-lofted effort.

At Macroom, James Buckley had almost a bowl on both Éamon Bowen and Brian Wilmot after two to Bantry’s cross. He held that past the waterfall and was a full bowl in front at the gap. Bowen knocked the bowl with a massive shot to Kelleher’s, but Buckley restored his lead by making light at Glasheen cross.

Bowen turned the score with a massive shot there and raised a bowl on Buckley with a super shot to the top of the junior straight. Martin Toal recovered from a poor start to beat Bryan O’Reilly in the Ulster senior semi-final. O’Reilly was two bowls clear at the orchard corner. Toal cut the lead to a bowl at McOscar’s. O’Reilly then played three poor shots in succession to fall two behind. It was back to a bowl at Bagnell’s bridge and Toal still had most of a bowl at the line.

In the intermediate semi-final at Caheragh, Raymond Ryan led Donal Riordan for the first time with his fourth to Lisangle cross. He increased his lead to 80m with his next two over the bridge. He drove on to raise a bowl of odds at Reenroe cross. Riordan rallied to close the gap to 40m with a big bowl. Ryan recovered immediately and increased his lead to a bowl in the closing stages.

Michael Bohane led from the off in the three-hander at Grange. They made Holland’s wall in four. Bohane reached the school cross in three more, with both his opponents falling short. He went 50m clear onto the rising straight and went on to beat Shorten by a bowl and Butler by two.

Edmund Sexton closed with six massive bowls to beat Thomas Mackle in the Mother Hegarty Cup final at Lyre. He won the lead with a huge sixth to Crowley’s. He raised a bowl with his 11th to the rose bed and was just short of the line in two more.

Malachy Lappin beat Mick O’Neill in the Ulster Junior A final at Eglish. He took over from the halfway. Paul Grimley and Anthony O’Neill will meet in the Ulster veteran final. Grimley beat Joe Shortt by almost a bowl and O’Neill beat Michael Mallon in the last shot.

In the Munster U18 semi-finals, Alex O’Donovan plays Paul Walsh and Shane Shannon plays Conor Creedon. The U14 semi-finalists are Darragh Kiely against Anthony Lynch and James Hickey against Aaron McDonnell.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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