Mackle’s big finish secures win

THOMAS MACKLE finished with three exceptional bowls to beat Eamon Bowen Jnr by well over a bowl at Carraig na bhFear on Sunday.

He made peeping light with his opening shot to gain a good early lead. Bowen got a good third to the Doctor’s, but Mackle beat it by 20m. Bowen followed with two great bowls to Daunt’s where he had the lead. Mackle regained the lead with his next. Bowen played two poor shots from there, while Mackle was unlucky to miss the creamery with a great bowl.

That cost him almost a shot but he still had a big lead. Bowen got a good bowl from there. Still Mackle had a chance to push clear, but he got a poor bowl from the line. Bowen got a good bowl to the top of the hill and Mackle missed that tip. He only went halfway down the hill with his next, but Bowen did not take advantage. He regretted that leniency when Mackle unwound three sensational bowls from there.

The first put him back into a 30m lead when Bowen blew his bowl to the left. Bowen recovered with a good bowl to the last bend, but Mackle’s bowl went to clear light. Bowen’s troubles doubled when he missed that tip and also picked up a leg injury. He missed the line with his next throw and he then saw Mackle play another sensational bowl past the line that might have raised a second bowl.

Raymond Ryan bowled sublimely at Curraheen where he beat All-Ireland Intermediate champion Brian Wilmot by three bowls in the Hughie Desmond Cup.

He opened with a bowl that narrowly missed James O’Donovan’s record opening shot of a few weeks past. He had almost a bowl after his second to light and he raised it in full with a great third shot to just short of Ryan’s. He held that lead after he lofted his next. He played another great loft from there to make the bridge in five and take his lead to almost two bowls.

He got an extraordinary bowl from the bridge to push his lead well over two bowls. He defied Wilmot’s best efforts from there and extended his lead to three bowls after ten throws to Richard’s lane.

Flor Crowley won the Michael Murphy Cup final at Kilcrohane, where he had too much firepower for Jimmy Hurley in the second half.

Hurley made a promising start to lead each of the first three tips and push almost a bowl in front past the Priest’s Height. Crowley was a different prospect from there. He was a bowl clear after three more to Murphy’s. He was two in front before the gully and made the line in another five to win by almost three bowls.

John Shorten beat Trevor O’Meara in the last shot of their Flor Crowley Cup tie at Newcestown. After five to the corner he had almost a bowl. He held that advantage in a top class exchange between Allen’s lane and Desmond’s. He made O’Brien’s cross in 15 to hold his shot advantage.

He got a poor bowl off the cross though and O’Meara tightened the odds with a good bowl to the bend. Shorten held the lead though and looked to be safe after his good second last towards the line. O’Meara played a massive last bowl, that was unlucky to miss a full break at the wall, but it still ran to the car park. Shorten did well to beat that tip by 30m.

At Cloyne John O’Donoghue beat David O’Mahony by two bowls in the John Cronin Cup. He had a solid lead after four to the cross and increased his odds to a bowl along the flat. O’Mahony closed the gap up the rise and had a chance of levelling the score by making the no-play line in two. He misplayed his bowl at the gates though and instead saw his deficit double at the lines.

John Cahalane beat Donncha O’Brien in the last shot of the Drinagh semi-final. He took advantage of a poor opener from O’Brien to raise a bowl with his first throw to Coakley’s. He held that lead till O’Brien knocked it with a big bowl to the Black Stick. It was still under a bowl at Shandrum cross, but Cahalane raised it again with a good bowl down the hill.

O’Brien knocked it again at the church wall. He continued to press and cut the odds to just 40m with a good bowl to Barry’s cross. He followed with a good last bowl past Young’s cross, but Cahalane held on to beat it by 40m.

James O’Donovan led all the way to a comfortable win over Gary Daly in a fundraiser for the Irish international team at Shannonvale. He had a bowl after four to the quarry and pushed close to two bowls at Buttimer’s pillars. He went out Desmond’s in six and was never seriously troubled again.

Stephen McCann knocked All-Ireland Junior A champion Paul O’Reilly out of the Northern Builders tournament in the last shot at Knappagh. Terence Rafferty bowled well to defeat Gabriel McElvanna by almost a bowl and Philip McKeever edged Mark Kiernan in the last shot.

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