Donncha O’Brien claims last-gasp victory at Derrinasafa

Donncha O’Brien closed with three sensational bowls to snatch the Marshall Clarke Cup from Mick Hurley in the last shot at Derrinasafa.

Donncha O’Brien claims last-gasp victory at Derrinasafa

Hurley won the opening shots by 20m. O’Brien got a brilliant brush off the wall to take the second by 10m, he increased his lead 40m with his third to the rock.

Hurley then got a super bowl over the bridge to lead by 25m. There were only centimetres between them after the next exchange, but Hurley gained a valuable 10m with his next to Ross’s wall.

O’Brien regained the lead after his bowl rubbed nicely to Cotter’s cross. They both fluffed their shots from there, but Hurley was back in front. He was well on top in the shots to the Darkwood turn, which led to a period of dominance. He raised a bowl with a great throw up from the bend and he held it past Walsh’s lane.

The next exchange ultimately decided the outcome. O’Brien got an incredible bowl to the novice line.

Hurley lined his reply perfectly, but it drifted right and unluckily hopped onto the fence. His next bowl drifted right too before O’Neill’s lane and now his lead was down to 30m. O’Brien followed with another huge bowl, which Hurley missed by 30m. He closed with another big one to claim the cup.

James O’Donovan beat Edmond Sexton by a bowl in the Kelleher-Hurley Cup at Drimoleague. He got a good opening shot up the hill, which Sexton beat by just 50m in two. O’Donovan raised a bowl with a good second throw and he increased his odds with his third to the end of Caheragh cross.

He held that in the next two to the start of the straight. Sexton got a brilliant bowl to the middle of the straight to bring the lead well under a bowl.

O’Donovan restored with his next to the lane. Sexton knocked it immediately with another brilliant bowl but was close to a bowl down again after the following shots to the lag.

Sexton kept the lead under a bowl to sight. He missed a chance to close the gap when O’Donovan got a poor shot to the wide road. O’Donovan followed with two great bowls over the hill to push his lead to almost two bowls, but lost ground to the cottage. Sexton played a brilliant bowl towards the line, but O’Donovan’s reply rubbed the wall and beat it.

The 2017 Munster senior championship draw sees defending champion Killian Kingston in a repeat of his epic Munster final battle with Edmond Sexton, with a change of venue to Whitechurch. At Macroom European champion David Murphy faces Séamus Sexton, a repeat of last year’s first round, in which Sexton caused a major upset.

James O’Donovan faces Michael Bohane at Derrinasafa. Recently promoted Gavin Twohig plays Éamon Bowen at Templemartin, James Buckley and Gary Daly meet at Fermoy and John Creedon and Arthur McDonagh bowl at Kilcorney.

Former champions Martin Coppinger and Aidan Murphy have byes to the quarter-final.

In the Munster senior women’s championship, Claire O’Sullivan beat Aileen Murphy in the last shot at Drinagh. Catriona Murphy beat Meghan Collins by two bowls at Grange.

James Nagle is in pole position in the Carbery Junior A championship following his second win from two starts, this time at the expense of Declan O’Donovan at Rosscarbery. He won the opening shots to the Mill cross and led to the line.

He had almost a bowl after his second and kept the lead close to a bowl in the next four to Barry’s hill. He raised a bowl with his next and beat the line in 12.

Tony O’Sullivan beat last year’s All-Ireland Junior B champion, David Shannon, by a bowl in the same championship at the Marsh Road.

John Shorten beat Kieran Murphy by a bowl in the Mid-Cork championship at Crookstown. He won the first two, but Murphy led after a great third shot. Shorten gained an important lead with his good fourth shot to sight at the Mill wall. He raised a bowl passing the novice line and held it to the finish.

Cian Boyle joined his father Thomas in the final of the Josie Crean Cup when he narrowly beat John O’Rourke at Whitechurch.

O’Rourke led by 100m after two to the top of the hill. Boyle won the shots to the wall and pushed clear to Boula lane. O’Rourke regained the lead after a big shot past Downey’s. There was nothing between them to the farm. Boyle beat two big shots from O’Rourke past the Devil’s bend. The last exchange was tight too, with Boyle just edging it.

Jerry Gibbons was brilliant at Ballydehob where he beat David Hubbard by two bowls. He was almost a bowl clear after two to sight and raised it with his next past The Eagles. He was close to two bowls in front after seven to the cottage. He raised the second bowl at the novice line and held it to the end.

Michael Bohane finished strongly at Lyre to beat Raymond Ryan by a bowl. At Ballinacurra, Michael Harrington had his first competitive outing for a number of years, where he teamed up with Jim Coffey to beat Seán Murphy and Noel O’Donovan in the last shot.

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