They started and finished in the same order, with Toal looking set for a runaway win at one point.
He quickly built on his early lead. He narrowly missed Twynam’s in four, still he had a big lead on O’Reilly and full bowl on Carr.
He increased his lead to the creamery lane and at the flax hole he led O’Reilly by two bowls and Carr by three.
The tide began to shift when both O’Reilly and Carr reached McCann’s corner in one and it took Toal two. Toal lost ground again in the shots from the bend.
O’Reilly was virtually level at the carnival gates, with Carr now just a bowl behind. Toal regained control by making McKee’s wall in one, against two for O’Reilly. Carr also made it in one to draw level with O’Reilly.
The rest of the score revolved around Toal’s lead and the minor places. Toal won every shot to the line to secure his bowl of odds victory, with O’Reilly just holding off Carr to finish second.
The second semi-final involving Martin Toal, Peadar Toal and Paul O’Reilly was rained off and will now be played on March 12. The Ulster qualifier final will be on March 19, with the winner playing Thomas Mackle in the overall semi-final of the Joe McVeigh Cup at Easter.
Two Munster semi-finals will be played on March 18, Edmond Sexton has withdrawn from one semi-final leaving it a single-hand between Martin Coppinger and Aidan Murphy.
The other semi-final between David Murphy, James O’Donovan and Gary Daly is unchanged. The two winners meet in the qualifier final also on March 19, with the winner facing Killian Kingston in the Joe McVeigh Cup semi-final.
Andrew O’Callaghan bowled well at Lyre where he beat Adrian Callanan by a bowl. He won the opening shot, but Callanan took the next two. He was back in front after this fourth to the tunnel.
He pushed almost a bowl clear by making Crowley’s bend in four more, exploiting two errors from Callanan.
Callanan didn’t reach the end of McCarthy’s with his next and O’Callaghan made it to raise a full bowl. They both then missed sight at McCarthy’s, but O’Callaghan extended his lead.
They took three each to get past the rose bed, but O’Callaghan still held his odds. O’Callaghan then closed with two excellent shots to hold his bowl of odds lead.
John O’Rourke will contest the Josie Crean Cup semi-final following an impressive win over Donncha O’Brien at Whitechurch.
He played a good first bowl towards the concrete. O’Brien played his reply to the left and missed it well. O’Brien was too far right with his second and just beat the tip to leave almost a bowl between them.
O’Rourke followed with a good bowl towards the cottage. O’Brien missed that by a metre to concede a full bowl of odds.
He held the bowl in the next tip. O’Brien made a mistake with his following shot to the bend and O’Rourke countered with a great bowl to the end of the wall.
He increased his odds in the shots to the flat and was close to two bowls clear at Boula lane. Nothing changed in the following shots.
O’Brien picked up the pace in the next four to the top of the straight, where he had the lead back to an even bowl. There was still a bowl between them after the shots to the farm. O’Brien knocked the bowl with a good throw towards the Devil’s bend.
He continued to press, but it looked over after O’Rourke got a good second last towards the end of the wall. O’Brien closed with a huge bowl that was unlucky to hop left, O’Rourke was not fazed though and beat it well.
Denis Wilmot progressed at the expense of Jimmy O’Driscoll in the Ballydehob tournament. He won the first shot, but there was nothing between them to the bottom of the hill.
O’Driscoll pulled clear up the rising road and had a substantial lead after making sight at the cottage. To the novice line he edged close to a bowl of odds, but never raised it.
Wilmot rescued his challenge with a brilliant bowl past Barry’s cross. O’Driscoll responded with two poor shots to fall well behind. He then missed the line and Wilmot beat it.
Craig Moynihan closed with a big bowl to beat Anthony Gould at the Bog Road. Gould won the first tip and looked to be taking control towards the major’s.
He played a poor one there though and Moynihan levelled. They were level to the bog gate. Moynihan finally broke the deadlock with his big last shot from hind tip.
At Béal na mBláth Jerry Murphy got the first win of the Mid-Cork Junior Veteran round-robin final against Dan O’Halloran and John Shorten.