Five massive shots from the Schoolhouse cross gained him this unexpected win and puts him in pole position for a place in the quarter-final. In Pool B, James Buckley won by a whopping six bowls of odds against Éamon Bowen Jnr. at Ballincurrig.
Wilmot won the opening shot at Templemartin, but Murphy quickly took control. He got the better of the second exchange to Templemartin cross and increased his lead to the church cross. He was almost a bowl in front at Slyne’s and raised the bowl after two more. Just as he looked set to take total control he got two poor shots in succession past O’Riordan’s. This kept Wilmot in contention to the Schoolhouse cross.
Wilmot beat a big bowl from Murphy to light at the Stonefield bend and he then played the shot of the score — a sensational effort that ran past the monument and gave him his first lead since the opening tip. He increased his odds with a great bowl that rubbed at the pub cross. Murphy got a good bowl past the pub, but Wilmot beat the line with his reply.
At Ballincurrig in Pool B, James Buckley just edged the opening shots. Éamon Bowen took his sole lead with a super shot towards Moore’s gate but his bowling then became erratic from there. He was just at the old road in two and struggled to stay just a shot behind to the no-play line. Nothing went right for him from there and he was two bowls down at the start of the long straight.
His challenge had effectively expired by the big corner, but things got even worse when he lofted a dead bowl there to go five behind. Buckley made the top of the short straight with his next; Bowen missed and now it was six.
Jerry Gibbons beat senior player James O’Donovan by two bowls in the Jerry (Blossom) O’Sullivan Cup final at Curraheen. He won the opening shot by 20m, but O’Donovan took the second and third. Gibbons regained the lead with a great bowl to Ryan’s. He reached the bridge in two more to push his lead to a bowl of odds. He defied O’Donovan from there and added a second bowl.
Raymond Ryan had an emphatic win too over Donal Riordan in the Connie Killarney Cup final at Skibbereen. He got two big bowls to the end of the footpath to raise almost a bowl. He made the quarry gate in five where he was over two bowls clear. He was out the steps in nine and he made Ballyhilty in two more to go three clear and end the contest.
Chris Murray beat Joe Tyner by a bowl in the Ballinacarriga final. Tyner won the first four shots. A good fifth gave him 30m at Crowley’s and he had similar odds after six. Murray won his first lead with a great seventh to light at Hurley’s, which gave him 60m odds. Tyner beat that tip by just 20m with his following shot.
Murray had almost a bowl after another two to the creamery. He made Finn’s corner in three more to go a full bowl clear. Tyner knocked the bowl with a big shot from there, but Murray restored it with a great last shot.
Declan O’Donovan was at his best in the Jerry Desmond Cup at the Pike where he beat Aidan Hurley. Four great shots to White’s cross put him two bowls clear. He made Dreaper’s in four more to hold that lead. He got two great bowls to the novice line, but lost ground with his next and just held the second bowl to the line.
John O’Rourke upset the odds in his last shot win over Killian Kingston in the Sean Leahy Cup semi-final at the same venue. Kingston got two short opening shots and O’Rourke was almost a bowl in front at Cooke’s. He raised a bowl with his next and held it to White’s cross. The same odds separated them after the next shots. O’Rourke then got an exceptional bowl to the bridge to raise a second bowl.
Kingston finished strongly, but was still a bowl down facing the line. He played a super last shot past the line. O’Rourke missed the line with his reply, but came close enough to obviate a last shot.
Aidan Murphy had a double at Castletownkinneigh where he beat Gary Daly and Thomas Mackle. Against Daly he broke the early deadlock to raise 60m odds with a good bowl past the round tower. Daly levelled with a brilliant bowl to Nyhan’s crush. Murphy made Forshin’s cross in two more to go a shot clear.
Mackle looked to have his measure for much of the second score. Murphy levelled with a great shot to the round tower and finished strongly to win by almost a bowl.
In the Mid Cork championship, David O’Mahony had an impressive win over Killian O’Sullivan at Béal na mBláth and Denis Wilmot caused an upset at Templemartin where he bowled impressively to comfortably beat Kieran Murphy.