SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Declan O’Donovan claims Tim White Cup with impressive display at Rosscarbery

Declan O’Donovan beat John Young by almost a bowl in the Tim White Cup final at Rosscarbery.

He shaded the first three shots to Seán Mac’s lane where he had 30m odds. He was still 10m in front after another two to the end of the Priest’s House.

Young then played a brilliant shot tight on the right to take his first lead at the start of Barry’s Hill. O’Donovan went back in front following a rub on the left with his next.

He increased his lead in the next exchange to Barry’s boreen. Young then played two poor shots in succession. The first missed the Guesthouse and O’Donovan beat it well. His second beat O’Donovan’s tip by just a metre. Young conceded a full bowl with his next shot. He recovered with a great bowl towards the line. O’Donovan missed that, but beat the line well with his last throw.

Aidan Desmond is one of the busiest sportsmen in Ireland. On Sunday, he was bidding for a place on the Ireland team at the Dutch Moors and German Lofting trials at Castletownkenneigh. Next Saturday, he represents Munster in the All-Ireland Junior C semi-final in Drogheda.

He lines out for Dripsey against Aghada that evening in Páirc Uí Rinn in the Cork intermediate hurling semi-final.

A win in Drogheda on Saturday would see him back on the M8 early on Sunday morning to contest the All-Ireland final. That is a very real possibility given the sheer quality of his bowling. London’s Chris Murray is his biggest challenger in the semi-final with Armagh’s Conor O’Neill likely to reach the final from the other semi-final.

The first Novice I semi-final between 2009 winner Shane Feighan, 2013 Novice II winner David Hughes and former Armagh player Pádraig Nugent could be the score of the weekend. In the second semi-final, Louth’s Gary Shevlin is bidding for his third All-Ireland title, Daniel Murphy should be his closest rival.

The Novice II All-Ireland title could hinge on the first semi-final, which involves Armagh’s Fergal McCreesh, who won in 2006 and Seán Nyhan who came through an exceptionally tough Munster campaign. Former Junior C finalist Peter Clinton should benefit from home venue against Ger Kennedy (Mayo) and Danny O’Shea (London) in the other semi-final.

It is a huge weekend for West Virginia which provides both of the North American novice champions, Steve Wallington (Novice I) and Travis McClintic (Novice II). Both have very difficult semi-final draws. Wallington is in against twice All-Ireland champion Gary Shevlin and Cork’s Daniel Murphy. McClintic is in even hotter water against joint-favourites Fergal McCreesh and Seán Nyhan.

In the Ireland Dutch Moors trials, Edmond Sexton led the way in the senior men’s with Donncha O’Brien second. Catriona O’Farrell-Kidney and Geraldine Daly were the best of the senior women. Mark Shannon and Tom O’Donovan were top in the boys u18, Katie Sexton and Maria Nagle led the girls u18.

Jerry Gibbons won the O’Donovan Rossa Centenary challenge at Reenascreena where he beat David O’Mahony by a bowl. Gibbons was more economical throughout. A massive third shot gave his a decisive advantage. He gave O’Mahony an opening with his next and again at the halfway, but he failed to close the gap.

Éamon Bowen advanced to the semi-final of the Mick Barry Cup at the expense of James O’Donovan at Ballincurrig. Both players were rusty, as neither had a recent competitive outing.

Bowen won the first two shots past Moore’s gate. O’Donovan edged in front with his next to Geary’s and increased his lead past the creamery. They were level after two more to the no-play line. O’Donovan got two good bowls from the lines and Bowen got three short ones to fall a bowl behind.

Bowen knocked the bowl at the top of the long straight and reached the big corner in two more to cut the lead to 50m. He then got a super shot to sight, which O’Donovan beat by 15m. After two more, Bowen was just fore again. O’Donovan then missed sight at the last bend. Bowen went out and took his lead to almost a bowl.

Edmond Sexton and Gary Daly will contest the Noel Phair Cup final at Shannonvale. Sexton beat Arthur McDonagh on Saturday and Daly beat Killian Kingston on Sunday.

Daly and Kingston were locked together after eight to Desmond’s line. Daly then got two huge shots to Sam’s lane to go almost a bowl clear. He followed with four more good throws to Campbell’s lane where he was a full bowl in front. He closed in three more, but Kingston finished strongly too to save the bowl.

McDonagh got the better of two great opening shots in the other semi-final. There was little between them to Desmond’s where McDonagh lofted 20m odds. Sexton had a solid lead at Sam’s lane and he piled on the odds on the straight to win by well over a bowl.

Paul Buckley fought back to beat Dave Fitzgerald in the last shot at Ballinacurra. Thomas Boyle beat Denis Wilmot by two bowls at the same venue.


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Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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