Wilmot sees off Murphy in great battle at Ballinacurra

Denis Wilmot beat Denis Murphy by almost a bowl in a great Mid-Cork Junior A quarter-final at Ballinacurra, writes Séamus Ó Tuama.
Wilmot sees off Murphy in great battle at Ballinacurra

He started well to get past Brinny cross in three and take a lead of 50m. Murphy was too tight left with his next and missed the break at the church wall. Wilmot increased his lead by making peeping sight at Foley’s. Murphy played a good bowl around that bend to stay in touch.

Wilmot increased his odds to 100m with a good bowl to the nooks. He got another big one to Perrott’s, but Murphy beat it to keep the lead just under a bowl. Murphybowled better to the GAA gates and got a great bowl onto the bridge to win the lead. Wilmot played a good bowl from there towards the novice line. Murphy was too tight left with his reply and just beat Innishannon cross.

He recovered some lost ground with a good bowl past the Junior C line. They both covered the straight in two, but Wilmot held the upper hand. Murphy was 50m hind facing the line, but he still had a small chance. He played the left track and his bowl fell left before the line, handing victory to Wilmot.

Dan O’Halloran secured the last of the Mid-Cork semi-final spots when he beat John Butler at Jagoes Mills.

Neither player took a decisive advantage in the first four to the landfill. O’Halloran broke the deadlock with a great bowl from Lawton’s to the railway line, which put him almost a bowl clear. He lost most of his lead after a poor shot at the power-station. He had just 30m odds at Ballinvard cross. That changed dramatically when he got a super shot past Griffin’s to push his lead to a bowl and secure his place inthe semi-final O’Halloran will now play John Shorten in one semi-final, while Wilmotmeets Noel O’Donovan in the other.

Craig Moynihan beat Dave Mackey and Anthony Gould in the three-way Cork city quarter-final at Templemichael.

Gould opened with a sensational bowl, which beat Moynihan’s fine first shot well, with Mackey back in third place. Despite this big opener it took Gould three to make the first bend, where he led Moynihan by 30m.

Mackey missed sight in three and was just 20m shy of being a bowl behind Gould after his fourth past the bend.

Gould raised the bowl on Mackey with his next and still held the lead. Moynihan edged into the lead with his next and just beat Gould in the following exchange towards Sarsfield’s Court cross. He had 70m on Gould and almost a bowl on Mackey after a great bowl to the green. He extended that to almost a bowl on Gould by making sight in two more. Mackey was gathering momentum too and pressing Gould for second place.

Moynihan edged closer to a bowl on both players with a good bowl to the novice line. Another big shot from Moynihan put him over a bowl clear, with Mackey pushing Gould into third place. Moynihan secured his semi-final spot with a good bowl to light facing the line. Mackey beat Gould for second place. In the semi-finals Moynihan meets Cian Boyle and Brian Daly plays Thomas Boyle.

From next weekend the bowling season will take on a more Summer feel with the opening round of the Munster intermediate championship.

On Saturday, PJ Cooney meets Nicholas Carey in an East Cork derby at Ballincurrig. On Sunday, former champion Willie O’Donovan faces Brian Wilmot at Jagoes Mills. The entire slate of eight first round ties will be completed by May 14, with the senior championship kicking in the following week.

While the top echelons were engaged in the Ból-Fada festival in Armagh a whole slew of middle ranking players saw action at the Carbery-South West festival at Lyre. Over 30 individual scores were contested from Friday to Monday.

Patrick Butler was razor sharp in his two bowls of odds win over Craig Moynihan inthe Moss Twomey Shield at Ballincurrig. Moynihan opened with four super shots past the creamery to take a clear lead. He missed the no-play line with his next and Butler levelled with his sixth shot. From there he did everything right. He was a bowl clear after four to the big corner and had two bowls after another four.

Once again Thomas Mackle grabbed the headlines when he beat Killian Kingston by over a bowl in the Joe McVeigh Cup final on the Viaduct Road at Tassagh. That win saw Mackle complete an astonishing run of six straight wins in the major national events since winning King of the Roads in 2015. He followed that by winning the Joe McVeigh Cup, the Ulster senior final, the All-Ireland senior final and King of the Roads in 2016.

While Killian Kingston will be shattered to have lost a final that was well within his grasp, he too will have to look back with immense pride on the past year. He won the Munster senior title and pushed Mackle to the last shot in the All-Ireland. He had a hugely impressive win over Aidan Murphy in Saturday’s semi-final and faces into next month’s championship with a genuine shot at retaining his title.

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