SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Battling Martin Coppinger stays on track to retain crown

Martin Coppinger’s ambitions of retaining the Munster senior championship are still on track after he survived a great late rally from Gary Daly at Terelton.

Daly got a poor opener after playing his bowl too far right. Coppinger went left with his and only beat the tip by five metres. Daly’s second was also short. This time Coppinger punished him with a perfectly delivered bowl to Cronin’s. He followed with two more good shots to raise a bowl of odds.

He then played a big shot past Buckley’s lane, but Daly held the lead to a bowl. Daly knocked the bowl with a big seventh. Coppinger followed with an equally good one to raise it again. Daly got a good rub with his 10th past the garage, but Coppinger beat it to hold his bowl of odds. They both followed with big bowls to O’Sullivan’s, with Coppinger still keeping his lead.

Daly increased the pressure on the bowl of odds with a big 13th, which Coppinger beat by just 15m. Daly’s next was good too and this time Coppinger missed it by 25m. Coppinger’s next went well towards the line. However, Daly hit back with a massive last bowl past the line. Coppinger was a shade right with his reply, but it beat the tip by 50m.

Séamus Sexton advanced at the expense of 2016 champion Killian Kingston at Grenagh.

He won the opening shot by just two metres and increased his lead to 60m with his second. Kingston made the end of the kerb with his third and Sexton beat that by 80m. They made the start of the S-bend in four with Sexton holding a 60m lead.

Kingston followed with two good shots past the playing fields to edge into a one-metre lead. He held that lead with his next to the farm gate. Sexton edged the next one, but Kingston won the following tip by 30m with a good bowl up the rise. Sexton regained the lead with his next to the ash tree, when Kingston’s reply drifted left. He held the lead with his next.

Kingston then missed Boula lane and when Sexton went down his lead was almost a bowl. He was too tight left with his next and Kingston had a chance to level. He was too far right with his and only beat the tip by 30m.

Sexton then sealed it with a big shot past the cross.

Aileen Murphy and Louise Collins opened their Munster senior championship campaigns with big wins.

At Ballinacarriga, Murphy beat Mairéad O’Driscoll by a bowl. They reached Finn’s corner in two and they were still locked together up the straight. Murphy won her first lead at the cottage and pushed almost a bowl clear with a good shot to sight. She raised a full bowl by reaching the next bend in two and held that to the line.

Louise Collins recovered from a poor start to beat Geraldine Daly-Curtin by almost two bowls at Drinagh.

Daly opened with a good bowl to Hurley’s, which Collins just beat in two. Collins then found her feet and levelled to the church. She forged ahead to raise a bowl and increased her lead towards the line.

Jimmy Cowhig and Denis Murphy both advanced in the Mid-Cork Junior A championship.

Cowhig gave a powerful display against Dan O’Halloran at Castletownkenneigh. O’Halloran started well but missed a chance to extend his lead with his third over the bridge. Cowhig then played a brilliant fourth shot, which put him almost a bowl clear. He raised it with his fifth to Spillane’s.

He increased his odds in three more to the Round Tower pub. He opened Pyne’s corner in three more to raise a second bowl. He played another huge one from there to sight.

Denis Murphy beat Kieran Murphy at Newcestown.

Kieran shaded the first four, but Denis led with his fifth to Allen’s lane. The lead changed hands to Desmond’s lane. Denis then got a great bowl down into the dip and onto Buttimer’s. He held a big lead to O’Brien’s cross. Kieran missed sight in two more, while Denis had bare light. Kieran had no chance of the line and Denis beat it.

Craig Moynihan beat Cian Boyle by a bowl in the Cork City Junior A championship. He opened with a big shot and was almost a bowl clear after three to the first bend. Boyle closed the odds to the wall, Moynihan pushed clear on the straight, but Boyle had it back to 30m at Sarsfield’s Court cross. Moynihan had 70m at the green, but struggled in the next few. He then got two big shots to raise almost a bowl. Another big one to light at the last bend pushed him over a bowl clear.

  • An exhibition of 50 bowling photos by Fergal O’Callaghan of the Blarney Photography Club is on display in the arrivals hall at Cork Airport for the month of April.


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