He won the first tip by 30m. O’Donovan was too tight on the left with his second and Mullins beat it comfortably with his shot to the top of the hill. O’Donovan got a good third, which gave him a 30m lead, as Mullins’ reply was accidently blocked. O’Donovan was still just fore after two more to the quarry.
Mullins cut his next bowl very tight and went well past Buttimer’s. O’Donovan’s reply was short, and he missed Desmond’s line with his following shot. Mullins made the line to go a shot clear. He then got two great shots in succession, the first to the top the hill to raise a bowl of odds. His next beat Sam’s lane to keep his lead well over a bowl.
O’Donovan cut the lead to an even bowl with his next. He missed Tobin’s with his following throw and Mullins went well past Tobin’s. Mullins reached Campbell’s lane with his next to push his lead well over two bowls of odds.
Mick Hurley beat Jimmy O’Driscoll by well over a bowl in the Marshall Clarke Cup at Derrinasafa. He won the opening shot, but O’Driscoll took the second and forged ahead. He had a big lead after his shot over the bridge. Hurley wiped out that lead with two great shots to Ross’s. They both reached the Darkwood turn in three more, where Hurley was in front.
O’Driscoll edged the shots to Dwyer’s wall and beat Hurley’s good bowl to Walsh’s lane. Hurley then got a brilliant bowl past the novice line. O’Driscoll just beat that in two. Hurley closed with another big shot, which O’Driscoll took two to beat.
Willie O’Donnell had an easy win over John Young in the Josie Crean Cup at Whitechurch. He led all the way following a good first throw. He had a big lead at the wall, which he converted to a bowl of odds at Boula lane. He increased his odds to the farmhouse and raised a second bowl in the shots to the Devil’s bend.
Diarmuid Cronin got a huge last shot to beat Jimmy Nyhan in the semi-final of the Drinagh tournament.
Nyhan won the first tip with a big bowl to Barry’s cross. Cronin led with his second towards the ‘Barking Dog’. He continued to lead past the church and had big advantage after a good bowl to sight at the rectory gate. Nyhan rallied with a great shot and when Cronin’s reply hit a pillar, the lead was back to just 30m.
Nyhan led again with a great bowl to Shandrum cross. He missed a chance to gain odds with his next and was very lucky to beat Cronin’s bowl to the ‘Black Stick’ by 30m. Cronin made the cut rock in two more, where he had full sight and a 50m lead. He was still fore at the waterfall.
Nyhan then got a good bowl towards the line. Cronin unexpectedly missed that tip, but compensated with a brilliant last shot.
Jim Fitzpatrick survived a late, late challenge from Denis Collins to win the Fisher’s Cross final. Collins had almost a bowl at Footman’s cross. Fitzpatrick levelled to the pond and went well clear past Galley Head cross. He raised a bowl with three to go. When it looked all over, Collins got a sensational last shot to beat the line. Fitzpatrick missed that, but beat it comfortably with his last throw.
Jerry Gibbons led all the way against David Hubbard in the Jerry Desmond Cup at Grange.
He got a super first shot to the end of the wall, which Hubbard was unlucky to miss. Hubbard played his second too tight on the left and Gibbons increased his lead. Gibbons kept a good lead with his next and when his fourth got a lucky cannon to the farmhouse, he was almost a bowl clear.
He was two bowls in front after making the school cross in six. He held that lead in three more to de Barra’s. He closed with another big shot to Holland’s wall.
The annual North East Christmas tournament opened at Bottlehill on Sunday, with Celly Spillane beating Pat O’Donovan to win a team place in the John O’Donovan Cup, with Michael Murphy and Shane Lotty.
Spillane was on fire from the off. He reached Dan’s bend in four great throws to go two bowls clear. O’Donovan wiped out that lead with four equally good bowls past the bridge. Spillane took back control again and won comfortably.
Shane Shannon will play Freddy Scannell and Micheál O’Sullivan in the Mikie Hourihane Cup final at Bauravilla.
He pipped Paul Kingston in the last shot, with Finbarr Coughlan a bowl further back. Kingston started best. He was almost two bowls clear facing the rock, but he missed it in two to lose most of his odds. Shannon levelled to the bridge and went shot-for-shot with Kingston in three more past the line, taking the last off a rub.