SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Creedon maintains unbeaten record

John Creedon maintained his perfect record in 2013 when he beat Edmund Sexton by a bowl of odds at Baile Mhuirne on Sunday to complete an early season three-in-a-row.

He was on form from the off, edging Sexton in the first two shots to sight. Sexton then got a massive third bowl, but Creedon beat it by 30m. He continued to dominate up the rise and was a bowl in front at the top of the hill. He set the pace to the slippery rock, which he reached in nine to hold his bowl of odds.

Sexton fought back in the next two to knock the bowl of odds. Creedon kept control though and began to increase his lead down the hill. He restored his bowl of odds with two go.

Gavin Twohig beat Arthur McDonagh by a bowl of odds at Kildee. McDonagh edged the first three shots to Rodger’s. They both then missed sight at McCarthy’s, where Twohig took his first lead. He quickly increased odds to almost a bowl by making sight before O’Sullivan’s with two good throws, while McDonagh played three poor shots in succession.

Twohig missed a chance to increase his lead to O’Suliivan’s when he played his bowl too far to the right. McDonagh closed the odds with a good bowl towards the no-play line, but because he missed the line it was of little advantage. After the shots through the lines the lead was just five metres short of a bowl again.

Twohig got a great bowl off the line, but McDonagh beat it by ten metres with an equally good reply. Twohig missed the last bend in two more, but McDonagh actually lost ground as he missed Twohig’s second tip to fall a bowl behind again. Twohig now extended his lead to 60m over a bowl with two good throws to Reenascreena cross. He held the bowl of odds in the last exchange.

Thomas Mackle beat Conor McGuigan on the Viaduct Road at Tassagh in very heavy rain on Sunday. He hit the ground running with two massive opening bowls, which put him a bowl in front at the iron gate. He continued to set the pace to the garage where he was almost two in front. McGuigan rallied from there and had the lead under a bowl at the line.

Plans for the Ból-Fada festival at Easter are coming into place with the announcement of the two semi-finals for the Joe McVeigh Cup. All-Ireland champion and King of the Roads Martin Coppinger takes on European champion David Murphy in one semi-final. In the second semi-final Ulster champion Conor McGuigan meets the winner of a special qualifier between Thomas Mackle, Eddie Carr and Martin Toal on Sunday, March 24.

Dave Fitzgerald led all the way against Johnny Murphy at Ballinacurra. He went through Brinny cross in three where he led by 100m. Murphy got a poor shot through the cross and beat Fitzgerald’s tip by just ten metres. Fitzgerald was still just under a bowl in front at Foley’s, but Murphy gradually began to rally. He got a great bowl past Perrott’s and the lead back to just ten metres after ten shots to the GAA.

Murphy lost ground by failing to cross the bridge with his next and Fitzgerald gained the upper hand again. Murphy then got a great bowl past the novice line and another good one to the Junior C, but Fitzgerald beat both to push his lead to 60m. He held vital odds all the way to the last shot where he was still 40m fore. Murphy could do little with his last shot and Fitzgerald beat it comfortably.

Anthony Gould continued his championship preparations with a one-sided win over Jimmy O’Donoghue at Whitechurch. He opened with a good bowl, which O’Donoghue just beat in two. Gould made the pump in two more against three for O’Donoghue, which put almost two bowls between them. Gould raised the second bowl with his eighth shot past the wall. He added another bowl by making Boula lane in three more, where O’Donoghue conceded.

On the Cathedral Road, Michael O’Neill beat an unlucky Philip Corrigan in the last shot. Thomas O’Callaghan had a double at Shannonvale where he beat both Christy Butler and John Butler. At Pouladuff Thomas Boyle beat David O’Mahony in the last shot. Alan Butler beat Clive Cahalane twice at the Pike, in the last shot and by a bowl of odds.

The first round draws for the Munster Intermediate championship were made last Wednesday, with two former big names in the senior championship – Bill Daly and Éamon Bowen – going into the draw for the first time.

Daly is drawn against Michael O’Leary at Carraig na bhFear and Bowen plays the in-form Gavin Twohig at Templemartin. Other interesting ties are the meeting of East Cork rivals Killian Kingston and Tim-Pat O’Donovan at Ballincurrig and the only three-hand score of the round is an intriguing battle between Liam O’Sullivan, PJ Cooney and William O’Driscoll.

The first round winners advance to the third round. All the first round losers go into the second round, which is effectively a backdoor.

There is a two-day fundraising festival at Tullysarn next weekend.

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