SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Bohane edges past Buckley in Mick Barry Cup

Michael Bohane advanced at the expense of James Buckley in the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig.

He won the opening tip following a rub off the kerb and was still fore after the second shots towards Moore’s gate. Buckley then got a massive bowl to just short of Geary’s to win the lead. They were both too tight left with their fourth shots and were facing the no-play line after five past the creamery.

Bohane played his bowl from there tight on the left too but it beat the line, while Buckley missed. Buckley just beat the second line in seven, but he levelled with a good bowl to sight at O’Riordan’s.

Buckley then got a brilliant bowl to sight at the top of the long straight, which Bohane followed, but missed. They were out the big corner in two more, where Buckley lofted his odds. He lost the lead again when he failed to follow Bohane’s shot to the top of the short straight.

Bohane increased his odds to Din Tough’s. Buckley only reached the end of the sycamores with his next and Bohane made the elbow. Buckley’s second last was too low on the left and didn’t make the last bend. Bohane sliced the right with his and went out.

Buckley got an unexpected lifeline when his last bowl brushed the left bank, came back onto the road and beat the line. Bohane passed this last-minute test with a well played bowl.

Martin Coppinger is basking in the top class display that won him his fourth All-Ireland title at Madden on Sunday. His next big assignment will be King of the Roads in October. Beaten All-Ireland finalist Bryan O’Reilly and last year’s winner Thomas Mackle are also qualified.

They will be joined in the semi-finals by the Mick Barry Cup winner and the German and Dutch champions.

Munster ended last weekend’s All-Ireland series with six of the seven titles. Teenagers Mairéad O’Driscoll and Hannah Sexton will see those wins as the start of the journey towards ultimately winning the senior title. In Munster, a new generation will be hoping to take on Kelly Mallon over the next few years and start building towards European titles.

O’Driscoll is obviously closer to that goal having just landed the All-Ireland intermediate crown. She was always in control in that final against Emma-Jayne O’Neill.

She got three super first shots and raised a bowl with her fourth. There was still a bowl in it after she missed the bus shelter in two more.

After two big shots to Barrett’s avenue she had close to two bowls and raised it past Red Bray. She held that lead to the line, despite having bad luck with her shot to the graveyard.

Hannah Sexton’s next goal will be to try and win successive All-Ireland titles at U18 as she did at U16. On both a personal and national level it’s a pity she will not be eligible for the Irish youth team for the 2020 European Championships as she would be a very live prospect for a gold medal.

Jordan O’Sullivan had a potential career changing win too when he beat Ruairí Hughes in the U16 final. Hughes was reigning champion, so beating him in Armagh, especially having had a poor start, was an exceptional victory.

O’Sullivan won the lead with a great second throw towards the graveyard. But immediately Hughes pegged him back with two great shots to the Red Bray, he had 60m odds after O’Sullivan’s bowl there hopped a kerb. O’Sullivan edged back in front after three more to the pipe corner. He raised a bowl with a super ninth to the bus shelter and had a second at the line.

O’Sullivan is operating in a very competitive generation of players. That competition could help him become a top-class senior, but it will require a lot of application over the next five or six years.

Conor O’Donovan is in the very early stages of his bowling career, but showed a lot of grit and class in his last shot win over Cathal Maguire in the U12 final. His mettle was tested over the four close opening shots. He pushed clear with a great fifth throw and kept things together as he built his winning odds.

The Munster Junior C and Novice championships, in their new format, continued over the past week.

In the Junior C/Novice A section Ger Connolly beat Jimmy Collins at the Clubhouse. He gained an early lead by reaching O’Brien’s bend in three and put the contest out of reach with another three great bowls to Clonakilty cross to raise almost two bowls. He plays Muiris Buttimer in the Munster semi-final at Caheragh.

In the Novice I section, Liam Dorgan beat Liam O’Driscoll at Carrigaline and Denis O’Sullivan beat Florence O’Sullivan by a bowl at the Clubhouse.

In the Novice II section Gavin Quirke beat Tim Cull at Carrigaline. Séamus O’Regan beat Brian Collins in the last shot at Shannonvale, he gained his advantage with a good bowl past Tobin’s. At Crookstown John McSullivan edged Liam Kearney in the last shot of a great contest.


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