Aidan Murphy got the first big win of 2015 when he beat James O’Donovan and Gary Daly by over a bowl in the opening round of the Kealkill Cup.
A perfect rub off the kerb won him the first tip. He was 50m clear after three. O’Donovan played his fourth to the right, but Daly got a great fourth to lead Murphy. Daly just edged Murphy again at the cross, with O’Donovan 70m off the pace.
O’Donovan clipped the odds with a great bowl past the creamery. In reply, Murphy regained the overall lead by 25m on Daly and 100m on O’Donovan. He still had 50m on Daly and 100m on O’Donovan short of the bend before the guesthouse. O’Donovan made sight with his next. Daly got a massive bowl well onto the straight, which Murphy missed by 100m.
After O’Donovan’s next he was almost a bowl behind Daly, but had edged Murphy for second place. Daly’s next was too far right, but he still had a commanding lead. Murphy regained the initiative with a brilliant ninth throw, which both O’Donovan and Daly missed. O’Donovan and Daly got poor shots from there that fell left, with O’Donovan just fore.
Murphy hit them with a super shot to take a clear bowl after the replies from Daly and O’Donovan fell left. Daly missed the graveyard with his next to drift out of contention. O’Donovan reached the graveyard, but Murphy beat his tip by 50m to keep his lead well over a bowl. He followed with another huge shot to consolidate his winning margin, with O’Donovan taking second.
Shane Shannon won the Mikie Hourihane Cup final at Bauravilla, where he beat Micheál O’Sullivan in the last shot and Freddy Scannell by a bowl.
He started impressively to go almost a bowl clear after two to the cross. With his next, he raised a bowl on O’Sullivan and almost a bowl on Scannell. Scannell cut the odds to just 20m with a great fourth past Coppinger’s, with O’Sullivan a bowl back in third.
Scannell won the lead with his next to the netting and O’Sullivan closed the gap too. Scannell increased his lead with his next and made the rock in three more to lead by most of a bowl on both opponents.
O’Sullivan then got two great bowls to the end of the railing, where he led for the first time. Meanwhile Scannell hit a poor patch and fell a bowl behind. O’Sullivan and Shannon stayed level in two more to the bridge. O’Sullivan got a good shot from there, but Shannon got an exceptional one to just short of the line. O’Sullivan closed with a big bowl, but it was not enough.
Éamon Bowen was the star of the John O’Donovan Cup final at Bottlehill where he led his teammates Maurice Connolly and Michael Barry to a clear win over Davey Fitzgerald, Darren Bowen and Denis Connolly.
He opened with a great bowl and Maurice Connolly added a good second to give them a bowl of odds. They reached the halfway in eight to lead by almost two bowls. They were almost three in front at the well and romped home. Tony Dunlea, Aidan Condon and Pat Cahill won the junior section, beating Kieran McCarthy, Liam Buckley and Davey Barry by a bowl. Dunlea and Condon were the standout players.
Gary Daly beat James O’Donovan by a bowl at Ballygurteen. They were level to the Women’s lane. Daly turned the score with two massive bowls on the straight to go a bowl clear. O’Donovan cut the odds to O’Donovan’s and got even closer at Burke’s. He increased the pressure with a good bowl to the bridge, but, when Daly followed, he kept his lead at a bowl. Daly closed with another big shot.
Edmond Sexton beat Brian Wilmot by a bowl at Sally’s Cross. They were level to Dennehy’s, but Sexton edged ahead to the mart farm. Wilmot won a good lead with a brilliant shot from there. Sexton levelled with his next and was well clear at O’Shea’s avenue. He raised a bowl on the long straight and held it to the line.
Thomas Boyle beat Johnny Murphy in the last shot at Donoughmore. Murphy had a chance to raise a bowl with his fourth to the Bounds, but he misplayed to the right. Boyle got two great bowls from Ring’s to the straight to go a bowl in front. He held that to sight at the last bend. He missed the line in two and, though Murphy cut the odds, he missed out by 20m.
Ger O’Driscoll beat Andrew O’Callaghan by a bowl at Gortroe. He was a bowl in front after his fourth to the bridge. He held that to the Well Bar. O’Callaghan knocked the bowl with a great shot from there, but O’Driscoll got a big shot to the last bend to raise it again.
At Conna, PJ Cooney beat Andrew O’Leary. Thomas Boyle and Jimmy Cowhig had a win each at Templemartin.