O’Halloran to lead Munster

Brian O’Halloran will lead the Munster team in the third All-Ireland series in Westport in two weeks following his bowl of odds win over Michael Ward in the Junior C final at Kildee. 

Brian O’Halloran will lead the Munster team in the third All-Ireland series in Westport in two weeks following his bowl of odds win over Michael Ward in the Junior C final at Kildee.

O’Halloran got a big first shot to full sight and Ward missed. He raised a bowl with his second to Roger’s. Ward levelled with a great bowl towards McCarthy’s bend, which O’Halloran just beat in two. They were level at the next tip. Ward followed with a big bowl to sight past McCarthy’s. O’Halloran beat that by just ten metres in two to fall almost a bowl behind.

O’Halloran bounced back with two great bowls to O’Sullivan’s. The first onto the straight cut the lead to 20m and he led with his next. The pendulum swung back to Ward when he got a good bowl to sight at the big bend to go almost a bowl clear. He raised it with his next. O’Halloran hit back with a big bowl towards the novice line to cut the odds to 20m. He followed with another big bowl around the last wind, which put him a bowl in front and he won comfortably.

Chris Faulkner beat Ritchie Harnedy in the Novice I final at Newcestown. The first half of this score was on a knife-edge, with both players leading by narrow margins. Faulkner broke the deadlock with a big bowl from the farm. Harnedy missed that by cutting his too tight on the right, but more importantly he was too far back to make the cross with his next. Faulkner was tight with his bowl to the cross, but it just made it.

That shot gave him a bowl of odds and he held with his next to sight. Harnedy then missed the last bend and Faulkner made it to put the contest out of reach.

Peter Burns beat Damien O’Gorman in the Novice II final at Ballinacurra. He opened with three brilliant bowls through Brinny cross and was at Foley’s in four where he had close to two bowls. He edged closer to a second bowl at Perrott’s. O’Gorman cut the lead to under a bowl with two good shots past the GAA and onto the bridge. Burns steadied things with two good closing bowls to secure his win.

Austin McKeown beat Enda O’Leary in the Ulster Novice I at Tullysarran. O’Leary had a good lead at the Orange Hall, but McKeown levelled at the farmyard. He raised almost a bowl with his ninth and defended it against a strong finish from O’Leary. At Newtownhamilton Shane O’Neill beat Joe Shortt by two bowls.

Jerry Murphy added to his sensational 2014 by beating Cian Boyle in the Mick Long Cup final at Curraheen. Boyle started well and led by 20m after three. Murphy led by 40m with a great fourth to sight at Ryan’s. Boyle levelled with his next and increased his lead to the bridge. Murphy regained the lead by 60m with a huge bowl from there and led to the riding school. After three good shots Boyle was just five metres hind at Richard’s lane. Murphy killed that challenge with a great shot towards Jimmy’s cross.

James O’Donovan and Gavin Twohig will contest the Paddy Barry Cup final at Rosscarbery. O’Donovan beat John Creedon by almost a bowl and Twohig beat James Buckley in the last shot.

O’Donovan got the better start against Creedon in his semi-final and had almost a bowl facing the priest’s house. Creedon bowled strongly from there but O’Donovan was still a shot in front at the line. He pushed that to well over a bowl with a sensational shot past Froe Cross. Creedon followed with two brilliant throws to save the bowl of odds.

After a close start Twohig took a nice lead on Buckley with a great bowl to Barry’s lane and was still well fore at the guesthouse. Buckley then got two great bowls to 20m shy of the no-play line. Twohig was at the farm in two, but played a sensational bowl and beat the line. Buckley’s reply was as extraordinarily short and missed it to leave a full shot between them.

Buckley got three great bowls in succession from Cahermore cross to sight facing the line. Twohig was well hind in three and his fourth veered into a concrete drain, but it ran perfectly to keep him in front. He then beat a fine second last from Buckley and won the last exchange

There is a two-day international event in Skibbereen next weekend involving an Irish and Dutch 15 player selection. Each team has five senior men, three senior women, four u18 boys and three girls. On each day they will contest ten scores of ten shots, with points accumulated over Saturday and Sunday.

The Dutch team includes Silke Tulk, Lindsay Leussink and Harold Dollerman and their top underage players. The Ireland selection includes senior All-Ireland champions Aidan Murphy and Kelly Mallon as well as European champion David Murphy and most of the top senior and underage players nationally.

The event starts on Saturday afternoon with ten scores and reconvenes on Sunday morning at 9 am. All score will be played over the Marsh Road between the candle factory and Ballyhilty.

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