Daly comes of age with thrilling victory in Castletownbere

GARY DALY’S senior career came of age on Sunday when he beat All-Ireland champion Martin Coppinger in the last shot of a pulsating Joe O’Sullivan Acorn Life Cup final at Castletownbere.

He started well, winning the first tip by 40m after Coppinger’s bowl crossed right. Coppinger’s second drifted right too, but it turned back and cut Daly’s lead. A great third shot to the garage gave Coppinger his first lead. Daly hit back with a great fourth, but Coppinger held his odds. Daly played his fifth to the left and looked to have a big shot to make Roadeen Cross. Coppinger beat that well.

Daly rescued the situation with a brilliant sixth bowl to Roadeen cross. Coppinger’s reply missed the tip by 30m. He bounced back with a great bowl over the hill, but Daly beat it by 20m. Coppinger followed with another great shot onto the flat, but Daly just beat it. Coppinger increased the pressure with three great shots, but Daly matched each one to hold a 50m lead facing the line.

Coppinger played a good last bowl on the centre that swung right and left Daly with 90m to beat. He tracked his reply on the right and beat it to land the first big win in his rookie senior year.

In the Munster senior championship, there were wins for Bill Daly against Eamon Bowen Snr at Ballincurrig and David Murphy against John Creedon at the Clubhouse. Bowen started brightly at Ballincurrig, going almost a bowl in front after Daly missed light in two. He edged closer to a bowl with his third to the black sign. He then took extraordinary play on the left and lost all but 20m of his odds. They were level to the no-play line.

Daly got the better of the shots from the line. Two shots later he was a bowl in front after a great bowl to the top of the long straight. Another big shot to the sycamores had him almost two in front. He raised the second bowl at the elbow.

John Creedon won the first two tips at the Clubhouse. David Murphy got a massive third shot that just missed the no-play line. Creedon played two poor shots in reply to fall a full bowl behind. It was under a bowl at Clonakilty cross, but Creedon missed Murphy’s next shot to concede it again.

Creedon had the odds under a bowl at O’Riordan’s; Murphy restored it at the garage. It was down at the line cross, but despite Creedon’s best efforts Murphy regained it at the last bend and held it comfortably in the last shot.

Brian Wilmot reversed last year’s Munster Junior A final result when he beat Killian Kingston by two bowls in the Munster intermediate championship at Lyre. He led all the way following a big opener to the soccer pitch. Kingston cut the lead to 20m with a great third but after two poor shots fell a bowl behind. He knocked it with his next, but Wilmot regained it to the first bend. There were two between them at McCarthy’s.

Juliet Murphy beat Emma Fitzpatrick by a bowl at Templemartin in the first score of the 2011 Women’s Munster senior championship. She had almost a bowl after six throws to Slyne’s Corner. Fitzpatrick closed the gap on the straight, but a big bowl past O’Riordan’s had Murphy a bowl up again. Every time Fitzpatrick rallied Murphy had the gears to pull away again.

Denis O’Driscoll beat last year’s London Junior A champion, Tim Young, in the West Cork title race at Bantry. Young started well, but O’Driscoll closed the gap to the rock. Young then played three poor shots in succession and O’Driscoll went a bowl in front. He raised a second on Young’s straight.

Pat O’Brien made a successful return to the Junior A championship when he beat PJ Cooney in the last shot at Cobh. They made McCarthy’s Cross in nine each and were still level at Foran’s. O’Brien edged in front to the last bend. Cooney played a brilliant last shot, but O’Brien just beat it after a lucky rub.

David O’Mahony beat Denis Murphy in the Mid Cork Junior A race at Monarone. Murphy won the first three shots but O’Mahony took over and led to the black gate. Murphy rallied and led by 5m after a great shot to the green, He increased his lead with his second last, but played his last to the left and missed a relatively easy last tip.

William O’Driscoll gave a five star display in the Jerry Desmond Cup at Grange where he beat Denis Wilmot by three bowls. Stephen McCann and Shane Feighan will meet in the Northern Builders final in Armagh. McCann beat Brian Kernan in the last shot of one semi-final and Feighan had a clear win over Kevin McQuaid in the other.

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