Catriona O’Farrell-Kidney is All-Ireland senior champion for the first time since 2001 following a determined and focused finish that denied Kelly Mallon the three-in-a-row at Markethill Road in Tassagh.
Mallon got the better of two good opening shots and shaded the next two tips. Kidney got poor fourth and fifth throws to miss light at Twynam’s and fell almost a bowl behind. Mallon’s next three were not great and Kidney closed the odds to the creamery lane. Mallon got the luckier break at McCann’s to push 70m clear again.
Kidney briefly led after a big next shot. Mallon regained the lead and followed with a great second last to beat Kidney’s tip by 50m. Kidney then produced the coup de grace with a magnificent bowl past the line. Mallon’s reply fell well short of that tip.
Liam O’Sullivan had an important win too on Saturday when he beat Donal Daly in the Junior A final. At McCann’s Daly led for the first time. They both bowled well down the hill. O’Sullivan pushed clear after Daly missed the wall and was a shot in front at the bridge. He raised a bowl up the hill and held it past the line.
Up to the last shot of the Intermediate final Trevor O’Meara looked set to tie the series at three wins each and secure the third big title for Munster. Thomas Mackle had the last say though with a bowl that looked too wide to begin with, but settled perfectly and kept winding to present O’Meara with a 145m target. O’Meara opted to play the left side and his bowl fell left well short of Mackle’s tip.
O’Meara was almost a bowl in front after four to just short of Twynam’s. He had a full bowl after eight to the creamery lane, but Mackle knocked the bowl to McCann’s. Mackle led after a big shot to the wall and Mackle cut the odds to 50m with a great bowl up the hill. O’Meara didn’t enjoy the best of luck with his next two, but was well placed when Mackle got a poor second last. He drove a good bowl towards the line, but it missed it by seven metres. Mackle then snatched an unlikely win.
The most disappointing of the underage losses for Munster was Megan Collins’ last shot defeat by Sinéad Kiernan in the U18 final. Having produced a miracle last shot, she found herself on the receiving end from Kiernan on this occasion. Kiernan’s win means she completed a double-double for Ulster. She is now the holder of both the All-Ireland U16 and U18 crowns matching the achievement of Colm Rafferty who did the boys U16 and U18 double at Derrinasafa last month.
Christy Mullins is through to the Mick Barry Cup final after a comfortable last shot win over Paddy O’Donoghue at Ballincurrig. He started with two good bowls to Moore’s gate where he had a 50m lead. He lost ground with his third, but regained control when he made the no-play line in six, while O’Donoghue missed it. He increased his lead to O’Riordan’s, but O’Donoghue got a super shot from there to take a big lead.
Mullins closed the gap with a good bowl to the big corner followed by a fine loft. They were level at the top of the short straight and onto the sycamores. O’Donoghue missed from there and Mullins just made the point of the bend, which ensured his win.
Gary Daly, who meets Aidan Murphy in the other semi-final, beat John Creedon in the Paddy Barry Cup semi-final at Rosscarbery. He was almost a bowl behind at de Barra Lodge, but converted that into a bowl lead in the shots to the no-play line. He consolidated his position with three great shots from Cahermore cross.
Aidan Murphy looked to be heading for victory too against Conor McGuigan at Madden. He opened with seven super shots to Barrett’s corner when he led by a bowl. He bowled poorly from there though and McGuigan fought back to win in the last shot.
Chris Murray beat Noel Bowen in the Munster Junior C quarter-final at Baile Mhuirne. In the Novice I at Carraig na bhFear Thomas O’Callaghan scorched to the creamery in eight shots to raise a bowl on Niall Walsh, he added a second before the line. Joe Murphy beat Colin O’Donovan at Baile Mhuirne. In Novice II Finbarr Ross beat Kevin Manning by a bowl at Togher Cross. Michael Ahern beat Denis Cronin at Baile Mhuirne and Glen Callanan beat Ethan de Burca by two bowls at Jagoes Mills.
Nigel Quinlan beat Mick Murphy (I) by a bowl in the Paddy Mulcahy Cup final at Jagoes Mills. Jeremiah Fitzpatrick beat Aidan Murphy (Blackrock) by a bowl in the Dan Coomey Cup final at Grange. Wayne Callanan will contest the Billy Molloy Cup final at Whitechurch following his win over Seamus Sexton. Andrew O’Leary beat John Shorten in a Marymount Hospice fundraiser at Killumney.
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