Cathal Toal caused the first major upset of the 2019 All-Ireland race when he eliminated Thomas Mackle from the Ulster senior championship at Tullysaran on Saturday.
Toal shaded the first two. Mackle got a great third to sight at the pub and Toal’s bowl hit the kerb and missed it by 60m. Mackle raised a bowl with his next past the pub after a poor fifth from Toal. They had sight at the Orange Hall in two more with the lead just under a bowl. They were at the start of the double bend after another three.
Toal drew level after two good shots to the straight. Three shots on he opened a big lead with a great bowl through Knappagh Angles. Mackle kept the lead in check with a good reply, but fell almost a bowl behind in the next two. Toal raised a full bowl with his shot to light at the last bend and increased his odds with a big last one.
On Sunday Paul O’Reilly beat his cousin Bryan O’Reilly by almost two bowls in the same championship. He had almost a bowl after four. Bryan rallied to O’Neill’s but was almost two adrift after a dip in form to Knappagh Angles and never recovered.
In Munster Aidan Murphy beat Gary Daly by two bowls at Béal na Marbh. He gained good odds after four to the top of the hill. Daly closed the gap in two more past the rock. Murphy then got a great bowl to Hubbard’s to raise a bowl, which he held onto the straight. He followed with two huge bowls over the straight to raise a second bowl. Daly conceded at the junior line.
Champion Carmel Ryan-Carey will play Meghan Collins in the Munster senior women’s final. She beat Mairéad O’Driscoll at Ballinacurra. She had 80m odds after five to Foley’s, but that was back to 20m after two more. O’Driscoll lost ground with her next, but levelled with a super shot to Perrott’s. Ryan-Carey gained odds past the GAA, but O’Driscoll pushed her to the last shot.
At the Clubhouse Collins beat Veronica O’Mahony who shaded the first five. Collins led with her sixth and raised a bowl just before O’Riordan’s. O’Mahony knocked the bowl until she missed the line with her last and Collins beat it.
Raymond Ryan had a clear win over Seán Murphy in the Munster Intermediate championship at Newcestown. He led all the way, but there was little between them in five to Mac’s cross. He raised almost a bowl in three big shots to Fehilly’s. He raised a second bowl to O’Brien’s cross and sealed it with his next to light.
Peadar Toal overcame a slow start to beat Ruairí O’Reilly by over a bowl in the Ulster Intermediate on the Cathedral Road. He wiped out a bowl of odds deficit with two brilliant bowls to Brannigan’s. He fell almost a bowl down again to Rowntree’s, but O’Reilly got two very short shots from there to fall out of contention.
James Oliver beat Ethan Rafferty by two bowls in the same championship. He raised almost a bowl after two and held that lead to McGrath’s. He made a mistake there, but Rafferty didn’t take the opening. From there Oliver was on fire and won by two. His brother Darren was through to the Munster Junior A final, but Andrew O’Callaghan snuffed out that leg of a potential double at Newcestown Both had leads in the first five past Allen’s lane. O’Callaghan edged the sixth and followed with two great bowls to Desmond’s lane to raise almost a bowl. After two more he was a full bowl clear. They contested that lead till Oliver missed O’Brien’s cross. O’Callaghan made it to go over a bowl clear and he put it out of reach with a great throw from there to sight.
Bill McAuliffe plays Pat Butler in the other semi-final on Saturday at Ballincurrig. He beat Colin O’Donovan by almost a bowl at Templemichael. He led the first three. O’Donovan then took over and raised a bowl after seven. McAuliffe knocked the bowl with a brilliant ninth past Sarsfield’s court cross.
It was still almost a bowl at the green and O’Donovan raised it again with his next. McAuliffe then got a sensational bowl past the next bend and onto the straight to cut the lead to 30m. After two more he led by five metres and he closed with two big bowls.