Edmond Sexton edges past Aidan Murphy in cup thriller

Edmond Sexton claimed his place in the Mother Hegarty Cup final in Lyre after a thrilling last shot win over Aidan Murphy.
Edmond Sexton edges past Aidan Murphy in cup thriller

He made an impressive start going past the forestry entrance in two super bowls, while Murphy just beat the soccer pitch in two.

Sexton pressed on with two more huge bowls to the tunnel. Murphy stemmed the tide with a brilliant fourth to cut the lead to just 50m. Murphy lost ground again when he took two more throws to reach Crowley’s wall. Sexton quickly stretched his lead to almost a bowl by making Crowley’s bend in seven.

They both reached the chicane with their next shots.

Sexton was too far left with his next and missed McCarthy’s bend, while Murphy opened it with a super shot.

After Sexton’s next throw, his lead was down to 30m Murphy. They then reached the rose bed and Sexton beat it by 50m.

Murphy followed with a sensational bowl towards the line. Sexton missed that by 30 to lose the lead for the first time.

Sexton followed with a good bowl, but it missed the line by 10m. Murphy looked better placed to beat the line, but he narrowly missed it by five metres.

Sexton snatched his reprieve with a brilliant bowl that sped up the rising road to just short of the forge cross.

Murphy played a good reply, but it missed by 25m.

Martin Coppinger beat Gary Daly by almost a bowl on the Ballyoran Road in Fermoy.

Daly got the better of the first two throws. Coppinger played a great third up the straight towards the concrete.

Daly was too tight with his reply and missed it by 50m, but he cut the lead to 30m with his following shot to the concrete.

Daly got a great fifth shot towards the next bend, but Coppinger beat that by 60m. Daly’s next went past ‘bóithrín-na-h-áth’ and Coppinger increased his odds.

The lead was back to 30m after the next exchange towards Savage’s. Daly then played what looked a lead winning bowl onto the straight, but Coppinger beat it well to keep control.

Daly battled back with a good bowl to the end of the straight, which cut Coppinger’s lead to 30m.

He missed light with his next, but Coppinger’s reply veered left into Spillane’s gate and missed the tip.

Daly shaded the next two exchanges towards Fenton’s.

Coppinger only reached light with his next. Daly now had a chance to push clear, but he played his bowl right and missed Coppinger’s tip. Coppinger stayed in front in the shots to the last bend. Daly’s challenge faded when his next bowl fell left. Coppinger seized that opening to raise almost a bowl with his second last. He just missed the line with his last, but it was enough as Daly just beat it.

The national executive has graded 14 players for the Munster senior championship.

The big changes see Christy Mullins opting out for the first time in decades, Michael Bohane stepping up having won last year’s Munster intermediate title and Arthur McDonagh returning after missing 2015.

Brian Wilmot was relegated to intermediate.

The 2016 senior championship reverts to a straight knockout.

Under this system, up to eight players could have just one championship score and the winner could have as few as three.

On the positive side, it is one of the most competitive for years, with virtually every one of the 14 in with a chance.

The Munster intermediate championship will have 14 players too.

The big news here is the surprising relegation of both John Shorten and Davey Fitzgerald to Junior A.

Denis O’Driscoll moves down too, having served his compulsory period following his Junior A win.

Paul Buckley is automatically promoted having won last year’s Junior A and Billy McAuliffe also steps up.

Denis Wilmot dominated Thomas Boyle at Carraig na bhFear where he won by two bowls.

He led from the off. Although he didn’t make light with his first he reached the doctor’s in three where he had close to a bowl.

He was up to Daunt’s in five and kept the lead close to a bowl to the creamery cross.

He got a short bowl from the cross, but Boyle played his reply right and missed a chance to close the gap.

Wilmot followed with four exceptional bowls.

He made the top of the hill with his first. He reached light past the novice line in three more great bowls to push his lead to two bowls.

John Connolly bowled impressively from Desmond’s to beat Mark Shannon by two bowls at Shannonvale.

He reached Sam’s lane in three against four from Shannon and piled on the odds to Hayes.

In the return Alex O’Donovan beat Shane Shannon in the last shot. He was a bowl clear at Desmond’s, but Shannon closed the gap in a great finish.

Seán Nyhan beat Liam Scannell in the last shot and Dermot Crowley by a bowl in the Ballinacurra festive final.

In the Drimoleague final, Jeremiah Fitzpatrick beat Denis Cronin in the last shot.

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