A two-day benefit series at Castletownbere attracted much of the attention in a very packed calendar over the festive period. Aidan Murphy and Martin Coppinger saw 2018 out in style there.
Aidan Murphy opened with a brilliant bowl against James O’Donovan to win the first tip by 200m. After O’Donovan’s second the lead was almost a bowl, which Murphy raised with his third.
O’Donovan knocked the bowl with his next, but Murphy held odds between 80m and 100m to the garage.
O’Donovan was left with his shot from there and Murphy increased his lead again.
He was almost a bowl clear after his next, but O’Donovan pushed it to a last shot. He didn’t get enough distance in his last though and Murphy beat it comfortably.
Martin Coppinger finished strongly to beat David Murphy. He won the first shot, but his second took a bad break and missed Murphy’s tip by 100m.
Coppinger levelled with a great fourth and won back the lead with his sixth. Murphy regained the lead to the garage and increased his odds to 70m with his next.
Coppinger took every tip from there. A big ninth bowl gave him a 25m lead and he then beat two big shots in succession from Murphy, extending his odds to 70m.
They both then missed the line, but Coppinger had 50m odds and won the last shot well.
Brian Wilmot edged Christy Mullins in a tight finish. Mullins won the first, Wilmot took the second, but Mullins then led to the garage.
Wilmot got a brilliant seventh to take back the lead and held off Mullins in a great series of bowling.
Mullins looked to have broken the deadlock when he got a brilliant 12th to sight.
Wilmot got a brilliant last, which Mullins unluckily missed when his bowl hit a break in the kerb.
Donal O’Riordan beat Gavin Twohig in the last shot. There was nothing between them for the first five.
Twohig then got a big bowl to gain 100m odds, but O’Riordan cut the odds to 10m past the garage.
Twohig’s next hit a pothole which left him 40m hind. O’Riordan missed a chance to seal it with his tenth, but got back on track with a great 11th.
Jimmy O’Driscoll finished with a brilliant last shot in his win over Craig Moynihan. He led from the off and had 100m odds after four.
He held that to the garage and raised a bowl down the hill. Moynihan finished impressively.
O’Driscoll refused to yield, confirming his Ballinacurra semi-final form where he beat David O’Mahony in the last shot and Cian Boyle by a bowl.
Tim Young handed Boyle his second defeat of the festive season when he beat him by a bowl. He won the first shot well, but Boyle led after four.
Young led at the garage. Boyle then got two short bowls, the second hit a pothole, to leave him a bowl behind. Although he subsequently knocked the bowl, Young raised it again.
Jordan O’Sullivan had a good win over Denis Wilmot. He was a full bowl clear after three. Wilmot won the lead after ten.
He lost the lead with three to go and made a mistake with his second last that handed the win to O’Sullivan.
Michéal O’Sullivan swooped in the last shot to win the Mikie Hourihane Cup final at Bauravilla with his only fore bowl against Adrian Buttimer and Diarmuid Hurley.
Buttimer raised almost a bowl with his two first shots to Robin’s cross. Hurley then led after two big shots to the netting, with O’Sullivan a bowl behind.
Buttimer edged in front at Dekker’s and O’Sullivan was now back in it after a great bowl to there. Buttimer increased his lead to almost a bowl on Hurley and full bowl on O’Sullivan to the rock.
Hurley won the lead from Buttimer with a brilliant 11th, with O’Sullivan still trailing by a bowl.
Buttimer regained the lead at the bridge. A nice break there kept O’Sullivan in touch.
He continued to rally towards the line and relegated Hurley into third place. When Buttimer missed the line it gave O’Sullivan a vital opening.
He snatched that with a huge last shot, which Buttimer missed.
Pat Daly bowled well to beat Michael Carroll by a bowl in the Teddy Kelly Cup final at Derrinasafa.
He reached Daly’s gate in three to lead by 80m. He scorched to Ross’ in another three to go a full bowl clear.
He was out the Darkwood turn in another three to push his lead to two bowls.
He held that lead till he made a mistake from Dwyer’s. He still had a bowl of odds, which he held to the line.
The Carraig na bhFear and Bottlehill annual Christmas team tournaments reached their conclusions on New Year’s Day.
In the Novice final at Carraig na bhFear, Team Denis Murphy (Denis Murphy, Dean Mooney, Adrian Conlon) advanced to meet Team Thomas Walsh (Thomas Walsh, Bernard O’Donovan, Donie Connolly).
The senior final for the John O’Donovan Cup at Bottlehill was between Team Craig Moynihan (Craig Moynihan, Maurice Connolly, Darren Bowen) and Team Éamon Bowen (Éamon Bowen, Declan O’Leary, Pat O’Donovan).