Timmy Murphy will lead the Munster team in the third All-Ireland series in Boston in October following his bowl of odds win over Michéal O’Sullivan in the Junior C final at Clondrohid.
O’Sullivan missed the first bend in three. Murphy’s third was right and only beat it by 40m. O’Sullivan lost ground with his fourth and Murphy reached the layby to raise a bowl. O’Sullivan knocked the bowl with a big sixth towards Tirbeg cross. Murphy pushed clear again with a super seventh to sight at the old house. He was close to a bowl ahead after 10 to the Bell Inn.
He raised a bowl with his next. O’Sullivan closed the gap with a brilliant bowl to Goff’s lane. Murphy then missed light, but O’Sullivan didn’t capitalise. Murphy regained almost a bowl after two more to the farm. He then played a big bowl that rubbed to light. O’Sullivan missed this to concede a bowl. It was all over when O’Sullivan missed the last bend.
O’Sullivan’s preparations were hampered by a delayed flight pushing his semi-final with Jordan O’Sullivan to Thursday, just 48 hours before the final. And then this was a battle to the death.
Jordan O’Sullivan went almost a bowl clear after two huge opening shots. It was still just under a bowl after four and five to the wire. Michéal gained his first lead with a perfectly played sixth. He pushed on with two more big bowls, raising a bowl and going almost two clear at the bottom of the hill.
Jordan brought it back to an even bowl at Daly’s. He knocked the bowl at Blair’s Cove and was back in contention after a great second last. Michéal denied him by playing a great bowl towards the line.
Darren Bowen beat Eoin Healy in the Munster Novice I final at Killumney. He raised almost a bowl with his his first and was two in front after his second. Healy settled with a good fifth which brought the lead back to a bowl. He increased the pressure with a big sixth, but Bowen held his odds.
Healy cut the lead to just 55m after nine. He lost momentum with his next and Bowen restored his bowl of odds with a big shot to the layby. He was almost two clear at Connie’s corner and held that in 12 to just short of the line.
The Munster Novice II final between Richard Murphy and Damien Healy is tonight at Timoleague. Healy had two wins in the past week to reach this decider.
In the semi-final he beat Mike White by a bowl at Togher Cross. They were locked together for most of the this score. Healy gained big odds with a good bowl of the bridge and led to the line. He raised a bowl approaching Cronin’s. He extended his lead over the next few shots, but White finished well to bring it back to a bowl.
In the quarter-final he beat Stephen O’Connell at the Clubhouse. He raised a bowl with his second, but O’Connell fought back to level it at Murray’s pillars. Healy then got two great bowls to the garage to go well over a bowl clear. O’Connell got a great bowl to sight at the school to cut the odds to 60m. He beat the line with his next, but it was not enough.
Colm Rafferty (36 points), Martin Coppinger (34), Killian Kingston (32) and Arthur McDonagh (29) have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Mick Barry Cup, with two places up for grabs in next month’s King of the Roads. After three rounds at Ballincurrig each player gets the benefit of his two best performances.
Rafferty, first cousin of Thomas Mackle and nephew of the great Michael Toal, got the maximum score of two full houses of 18 points, 15 for the best of the day and three for winning his individual score. Coppinger broke the course record on day two and on last Saturday Kingston got perhaps the longest first shot ever at Ballincurrig. In general the bowling was exceptional, helped by the warm summer keeping the verges hard and bare and bringing up the tar.
Rafferty was formidable at times in his win over Aidan Murphy on Saturday. He was way past the line in 15 shots, despite a dip in form from the no-play line.
Coppinger was always in command against Bryan O’Reilly, beating the line also in 15. Kingston beat the line in 15 too, ahead of Coppinger. McDonagh was breathing down his neck, he just missed the line in 15.