Murphy back in the groove at Kealkill

David Murphy has his Munster senior championship campaign back on track after a last-shot win over John Creedon at Kealkill.

Murphy’s form was patchy by his own standards but he was past the line in 15 shots. Creedon will look back on the contest with some regrets as he had chances to pull off a famous win.

Neither player had a good opening shot from the castle as they both missed the kerb, but Murphy was just fore. He won the second tip too, but Creedon took the third. Murphy got a great fourth. Creedon’s reply caught the left and missed that by 60m.

Murphy then got a huge fifth bowl past the post office, but it was called. His second effort caught the slight bend and his following shot just beat his original tip. Creedon had 60m odds after his sixth towards the creamery. He increased that to 100m with a good bowl to O’Sullivan’s. He held that lead by beating Murphy’s next shot to sight.

Murphy’s next was not great, but Creedon only beat it by 30m and lost a key chance to take control. They both made Kingston’s in two more with Creedon still 30m fore. They reached the graveyard in another shot, with Murphy closing the gap to just 10m.

Murphy then played a great bowl past the graveyard. Creedon’s reply went right and missed that by 60m and only beat the tip by 50m with his following shot. Murphy was just 40m short of the line in another throw. Creedon went right with his last shot, but it brushed the edge and beat the line. Murphy beat that comprehensively.

His brother Aidan Murphy beat Trevor O’Meara by over a bowl in their Pool D tie at Donoughmore. This score decided the order in which they go into the last eight. O’Meara won the opening tip, but that was his only lead. Murphy’s second bowl got redirected off a pothole and O’Meara’s reply hit a wall and missed it by 40m.

Murphy then played two great bowls to the bounds to go a bowl in front. He held that to Ring’s. O’Meara then got two great bowls in succession. The first made the lane past Ring’s and Murphy missed that by 50m as his bowl hit a pillar. Murphy followed with a good bowl onto the straight but O’Meara beat it well with his shot to the wall. Murphy’s next beat that by just 50m.

O’Meara kept pressing, but his bowl for light at the novice line hit a pole. Murphy made light with his reply and moved up a few gears in the run-in. Two good shots through the bends pushed his lead to a bowl and his next had him a bowl and 30m clear.

The Murphys’ first cousin, John O’Rourke, reached the North Cork Junior A semi-final when he beat Mark Bourke by almost a bowl, also at Donoughmore. He was 50m fore after three and extended his lead with a great fourth. He was a shot clear at Ring’s corner. He hit a pillar with his next, but Bourke just beat that tip.

O’Rourke followed with a great bowl to the middle of the wall to take his lead well over a bowl. He kept that lead to the end of the straight. A good bowl through the S-bend kept his lead close to a bowl and he beat the line with a good last shot.

Kieran O’Driscoll beat Ger Fitzpatrick by a bowl in the South West Junior A championship at Ballygurteen. He started with three good shots to clean light, which gave him a nice lead. He stayed in front until Fitzpatrick got a good bowl past the women’s lane.

O’Driscoll regained the lead with a big shot to the avenue. He increased his lead to almost a bowl at O’Mahony’s and was a full bowl in front at O’Donovan’s. He held that in the next three past Burke’s.

Denis Cronin bowled brilliantly to win the Newcestown final by three bowls from Joe Tyner. He won the first shot by 20m and increased his lead with a great second to Allen’s lane. Tyner just beat that in three and fell a bowl behind after Cronin’s great third to the bungalow. He held that lead past Fehilly’s.

Cronin was very tight with his shot past Desmond’s lane, but it came back onto the road and reached the bottom of the hill. That put him two bowls clear. He was just short of O’Brien’s cross in 10, where he was three clear.

In Armagh, Stephen McCann and Malachy Lappin had Junior A championship wins at Tullysaran. McCann beat Mark Toal in the last shot of a tight contest. Lappin was pressed all the way too by Kieran Morgan. Conor McGuigan beat Cathal Toal in the Madden tournament and Brian O’Reilly beat Toal at Knappagh.

Dave Fitzgerald and Thomas Boyle beat Nicholas Carey and Pa Butler in the last shot at Grenagh. They were locked together after four to the playing field and were still level at Boula lane. After two more there was just 10m between them facing the line. Carey just beat the line with his last and Fitzgerald beat it comfortably.

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