Crowley sets up final clash with Kingston

WAYNE KINGSTON and Tadhg Crowley will contest next Saturday’s Munster Junior C final at Killumney following impressive semi-final wins.

Crowley beat Mick Murphy by two bowls at Derrinasafa and Kingston beat Donie Harnedy in the last shot at Béal na mBláth.

Kingston bowled well in the second half at Béal na mBláth, breaking Harnedy’s strong challenge. In the early exchanges both players had leads. Harnedy made the first break when a good fourth shot put him 40m clear, but missed a chance to extend this lead with his fifth. His next caught the left and Kingston grabbed the opening to take valuable odds at Shorten’s Cross.

Kingston held the initiative by making Long’s Lane in nine. Harnedy then played a good bowl to the big tree, but Kingston beat it by 50m. His next past the farmhouse was even better, but again Kingston beat the tip to hold a 30m lead.

He needed another good bowl to keep his challenge on track, but he played his bowl to the right. Kingston beat that tip by 80m and controlled the rest of the score.

Tadhg Crowley took the lead with his third shot at Derrinasafa and gave Mick Murphy few chances after that. Murphy won the first two tips. Crowley took the score to a higher level with four good bowls to Ross’s to go well over a bowl in front.

He continued to turn the screws to the Darkwood turn where he had two bowls of odds. Murphy kept pressing from there to the line, but Crowley dealt comfortably with his best efforts.

Aidan Desmond took two giant steps towards the Munster Novice I title when he beat Denis Whooley in the quarter-final at Castletownkenneigh on Sunday, having beaten Aidan Murphy at Carraig na bhFear in the opening round on Wednesday.

He made an explosive start against Whooley. He raised a bowl by coming down to the first bend in three. Whooley shook up the score by playing two good bowls to the second no-play line, which wiped out Desmond’s lead. He went further by taking a nice lead as they approached the triangle. He lost a chance to copperfasten that lead though and Desmond was quick to punish him.

Desmond really opened up on the straight, brushing Whooley aside in a sustained barrage of good shots that catapulted him into a two-bowls-of-odds winning margin.

He was equally impressive in his dismissal of Aidan Murphy at Carraig na bhFear. He made the creamery in eight to go two bowls clear and held that lead to the line. His next assignment is Shane Lotty in the Munster semi-final at Whitechurch. Michael Ward and Paudie Murphy meet in the other semi-final at Newcestown.

The Munster Novice II final is between Tadhg O’Driscoll and Pat Gould at Ballyclough. Gould won the high-profile semi-final against Michael Foley at Donoughmore. O’Driscoll beat Brian Murray at Dunderrow.

Gould led from start to finish at Donoughmore. After four he had close to a bowl of odds. He made a mistake with his next and had his following bowl accidently blocked. Foley took that opening with a great bowl to Ring’s corner which cut the lead to a metre. Gould put his ambitions back on track with a good bowl from there and dominated into the straight where he was a bowl in front. Foley finished with three great bowls, but Gould had too much in hand to be deflected.

Tadhg O’Driscoll recovered from a poor opening shot at Dunderrow to get past Brian Murray. Murray had closed the gap with a good fifth, but O’Driscoll held his nerve and secured his place in the final.

The winners of those Munster finals will contest the third All-Ireland series in Clashmore on the second weekend of September. Their North American opponents were decided in New York. Their standard bearer will be Adrian Lappin, formerly of Keady, who won the Junior C title.

The biggest cheer of the championship came when Barry Curran from Clashmore earned a ticket back to his native place by virtue of a last-shot win over Con O’Callaghan in the Novice II final. O’Callaghan scorched into a two-bowls-of-odds lead after five and was close to three clear at the halfway.

He made two mistakes and Curran was only a bowl behind. Curran had five great bowls to cut the lead to 50m for the last shot. He pulled off a remarkable win with a brilliant last, which O’Callaghan missed by 40m.

The Novice I champion is Tom O’Sullivan who beat Florrie O’Mahony by a bowl of odds.

Jerry Gibbons won the Tim White Cup at Rosscarbery where he beat Brendan O’Neill and John O’Rourke.

Thade Murphy won the Munster Vintage (over-60) B final against Oliver Searles at Waterfall. Willie Dennis won the East Cork derby C semi-final against Tom Browne at Cloyne.

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