Vincent Kiely’s win in the Tim White Cup final at Rosscarbery was the highlight of a weekend in which North Cork bowlers took four big victories.
Séamus Sexton won the Pat Barry Cup semi-final at Donoughmore, his brother Edmond won the Mick Crowley Cup semi-final at Bauravilla and John O’Rourke made a significant step towards completing the three-in-a-row in the Sean Leahy Cup at the Pike.
Kiely turned what looked a lost cause into a last shot win over Declan O’Donovan at Rosscarbery. He edged the first five towards the priest’s house and was still just fore after three more.
O’Donovan won his first lead after ten to Barry’s boreen. He followed with two big shots to the guesthouse to go almost a bowl clear.
He then played a great bowl to just short of the line. Kiely produced a miracle last bowl that ran close to Cahermore cross. O’Donovan’s reply went right and missed it by 30m.
Two big last shots gave Seamus Sexton a five-metre win over Gavin Twohig at Donoughmore. Twohig was almost a bowl in front after three to the bounds.
His next was too tight and missed Ring’s corner, but he regained lost ground to the half-way line.
Sexton got two massive bowls onto the straight, but Twohig easily beat both. Sexton’s next was poor which left him almost a bowl behind. Twohig critically missed light at the end of the straight. Sexton made double light in two to cut the lead to five metres.
Twohig still held a vital 20m odds at the last bend. Sexton got a great second last though to snatch a lead. Twohig closed with a big bowl up the hill, but Sexton just had its measure.
Edmond Sexton kept his perfect record at Bauravilla, where he beat Gary Daly. Daly was just fore after two to the cross and he was 20m fore after three more past the netting.
He followed with three good throws to raise almost a bowl at the rock and held that in another three to the bridge.
Sexton knocked the bowl with his next, but Daly had it close to a bowl again at the end of the railing. Daly’s lead fell to 20m after he got two poor shots past the junior line.
Sexton won his first lead with his next to the river gate. Daly got a poor last shot and Sexton beat it well.
John O’Rourke’s explosive finish beat Aidan Hurley by two bowls at the Pike. He had 30m odds after three to Cooke’s.
He got a nice rub with his next and made White’s cross with his fifth to go a shot clear. He got a poor shot from the cross, but compensated with a super bowl over the bridge to raise a bowl.
He held that to Dreaper’s and increased his lead with a good loft. Hurley then got three brilliant bowls to the end of the straight, but O’Rourke beat all three. O’Rourke got another big shot to the top of the hill to push his lead to two bowls.
Denis O’Driscoll beat Wayne Callanan by a bowl in the semi-final of the Connie Killarney Cup at Kealkill. He was 50m fore at the post office. A rub past the council houses helped him lead to O’Sullivan’s.
Callanan won the next exchange. O’Driscoll was back in front at O’Mahony’s and led to the graveyard and a massive shot there put him a bowl clear facing the line.
Gerry Gibbons beat Paul Buckley in Béal na mBláth. Buckley won the first three to the water. Gibbons led before Shorten’s cross.
Buckley pulled clear to Long’s lane and led past the big turn. Gibbons then missed the line and Buckley surprisingly missed his tip. Gibbons easily won the last exchange.
Michael Foley closed with four great shots to win the three-hand final at Ballinacurra. PJ McCarthy had a bowl on Foley and almost a bowl on Niall Deasy after three to Brinny cross. Foley got back into contention with a great shot to Foley’s.
McCarthy pushed clear again to Perott’s. Foley and Deasy got two good bowls each to the GAA, where Deasy led.
Foley then got a great shot to Innishannon cross for his first lead and he beat the line with his next. Deasy came second, with McCarthy third.
Chris Cronin beat Barry O’Donovan in the Reenascreena final. He won the first three. O’Donovan edged the fourth and led to the cross in six.
Cronin got a big seventh, which O’Donovan was unlucky to miss. He raised a bowl with a great eighth and was two in front at Cual boreen.
Mick Hurley scorched to Boula lane in 11 great bowls on his way to a two bowls of odds win over Denis Murphy at Grenagh. Jimmy Cowhig did similar bowling in his win over Thomas Boyle and Jim Coffey.
George Smith’s death has saddened the bowling world. He was an influential Ulster chair from 1993 to ’96.