Doubles delight for O’Donovan, Twohig

GAVIN TWOHIG and James O’Donovan put in a tremendous second half at Grange where they beat Éamon Bowen and Gary Daly by almost two bowls of odds in the annual St Stephen’s Day challenge.

Twohig gave them the first lead with a great opening shot, which Bowen missed by 20m. Daly edged the second exchange with O’Donovan by 20m. Both Twohig and Bowen played their next bowls to the left and missed light at the stud farm. O’Donovan and Daly made light with their shots, with Daly holding the lead.

The score took a significant shift in the next exchange as Twohig missed light at Barry’s wall and Bowen made full light. O’Donovan lofted his next, but had no chance of making light at the next bend.

Daly comfortably made light and Twohig just beat that with his next throw to leave almost a bowl between them.

Bowen got a great bowl past de Barra’s, but O’Donovan beat the tip to keep the lead under a bowl.

Daly’s next was too tight on the left and just made the school gate. Twohig snatched that opening with a fine bowl. Bowen lofted from the school but his bowl only made the middle of the green.

O’Donovan replied with a good bowl, which Daly beat by just 25m.

Twohig clipped the odds to five metres with a great bowl towards O’Sullivan’s. Both O’Donovan and Daly were too tight on the left with their next shots but Daly managed to hold a slender lead. Twohig got the better of Bowen in the next shots to regain the lead by 10 metres.

Daly was too far left with his next and failed to reach Hodnett’s bungalow. O’Donovan punished him with a great bowl to increase the lead to 100m. Bowen’s next was off target too and only just beat O’Donovan’s tip.

Twohig turned the screw with another great bowl to White’s. Daly and Bowen only beat that in two to leave them almost two bowls behind.

Killian Kingston beat Stephen Desmond by two bowls in the Ballincurrig final in torrential rain on Monday. He won the first three shots past Moore’s gate, but played a poor fourth which left them level again. Desmond got a great fifth shot to the creamery, which gave him his only lead. Kingston got a massive bowl from there towards the no-play line, which gave him almost a bowl of odds as Desmond got two poor throws.

Kingston got a great bowl past Leahy’s to leave a bowl between them again. Desmond just missed light with his next shot up the short straight. Kingston replied with a perfect bowl to clear light. Desmond missed that with his next to leave two bowls between them and he conceded.

Desmond also lost to Vincent Kiely at Donoughmore on St Stephen’s Day. He had almost a bowl of odds after four shots to the bounds. He missed light at Ring’s corner, but still had 50m odds. He then beat two good bowls from Kiely to the end of the wall and he led to the end of the straight. Kiely took over with a brilliant bowl to the nooks which put him almost a bowl clear and he raised it in full in the run in.

Thomas Boyle and Mark Sheahan shared the spoils at Donoughmore on Monday. Boyle won the first and Sheahan the return.

Raymond Ryan, Sean Murphy and Wayne Calnan had wins in the Ballinacurra Christmas festival. Ryan bowled brilliantly on Friday in his win over Paul Buckley and Donncha O’Brien on the Crossbarry road. He made Cronin’s farm in eight shots where he had over two bowls of odds on both his opponents.

On St Stephen’s Day a frozen wheel track diverted Sean Murphy’s last bowl to victory over Ian Callanan.

He was a bowl in front after two great shots towards Brinny cross. Callanan closed the gap to Foley’s and levelled at the bridge. Murphy held the lead till Callanan played a good bowl past the Junior C line.

They were locked together to the finish, with Murphy taking the last tip from hind bowl.

John O’Rourke set the pace on Monday against Wayne Calnan and Brian Wilmot. He was two bowls clear at Perrot’s. Calnan played five brilliant bowls to the bridge. At that stage he was out of sight from both O’Rourke and Wilmot.

Thomas Mackle beat Andrew O’Leary at Ballygurteen. He opened with a great bowl, which helped him make light in two to raise a bowl. O’Leary levelled the score at the women’s lane. He took the lead on the straight, but Mackle was level again at O’Donovan’s. He had too much power for O’Leary however and pushed almost a bowl in front.

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