SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Gary wins battle of Dalys to secure last eight spot

Gary Daly secured his place in the Munster senior quarter-final draw with a good win over Bill Daly at Clashmore on Sunday.

He won the first two to the tarmac and increased his lead to 40m with his third through the cross. Bill Daly closed the gap with his next. Gary looked set to push clear again, but his perfectly played fifth veered in before the boreen to leave them virtually level.

Neither player got a good bowl from there, but Gary followed with a good bowl over the top of the hill to gain a valuable lead. He lost some of his advantage with his next shot, but regained a 50m lead facing Mulcahy’s cross. Bill got a super shot to there and cut the lead to a few centimetres.

Gary had 20m odds after reaching the dip with a good bowl from the cross. He held that in the next exchange. Bill then got a great bowl onto the straight and made the lay-by with another great shot. Gary denied him a last shot by beating the line. However, Bill closed with a super shot to keep the lead well under a bowl.

Defending champion David Murphy also won his pass to the quarter-final with an easy win over Eamon Bowen Snr at Carrigaline on Saturday. He led from the off, opening with two good bowls to light to go a bowl in front. Bowen knocked the bowl at Ashman’s. Murphy raised the tempo by reaching the pump house in eight where he was almost two clear. He was almost three in front after another two and the contest was over.

After this round of scores six of the eight quarter-finalists are known. David Murphy is joined by rookie Brian Wilmot from Pool C; Gary Daly and Christy Mullins qualify from Pool D and Pat Butler and James Buckley from Pool B. In Pool A there will be a three-way play-off between Aidan Murphy, James O’Donovan and Martin Coppinger.

The pool stages have probably asked more questions than they answered and it looks as if the system will need an overhaul for 2013. The dilemma in Pool A, where three of the top players in the country are tied, raises a question about why they are in the same group and suggests the seeding system at the very least needs to be a bit more nuanced.

Tim Young was past the novice line in 11 excellent bowls in his clear win over Teddy O’Driscoll in the West Cork Junior A semi-final at the Clubhouse. He led from the off and was almost a bowl in front after this second shot. He got a poor third though, which meant they were level after four each to the chips.

From there O’Driscoll got two good bowls past Dineen’s lane, but Young beat both tips. O’Driscoll was up to Clonakilty cross with his next. Young beat that comfortably and he went out to Murray’s with his following shot to go almost a bowl in front. He raised the bowl to O’Riordan’s. He got another massive shot to the garage to go close to two bowls clear. He raised the second bowl at the line cross. He plays Aidan Hurley in the final.

John O’Rourke led all the way against Mark Burke at Béal na Marbh in the North Cork semi-final. He was a bowl in front after six good shots to the rock. He held that lead in two more to the start of the straight. He was at the end of the straight in 11, where he was two bowls clear. Burke brought the lead under two bowls at the finish. O’Rourke plays Vincent Kiely in the final at Sally’s Cross.

John O’Donoghue beat Michael Murphy by almost two bowls in the North East round-robin stages at Carraig na bhFear. He had a 100m lead after two shots to light. He dominated until Murphy came within a whisker of the creamery line to level. Murphy got a poor loft there and O’Donoghue was a bowl in front after his next shot. He followed with two big throws to push his lead close to a second bowl.

James O’Donovan beat Christy Mullins in the last shot in the Mother Hegarty Cup at Lyre. He won the first three shots to the forestry. Mullins led briefly with his fourth, but O’Donovan won the next tip and led to Crowley’s bend. He was 50m clear after two more to McCarthy’s. Mullins cut the odds to 20m after two more, but O’Donovan came out well on top in the last two.

Killian Kingston beat Michael Bohane and Billy McAuliffe in the Noel Phair Cup at Shannonvale. He trailed by 80m after three, but snatched the lead with a brilliant fourth to the quarry. Both he and Bohane made Desmond’s in seven to go a bowl clear of McAuliffe. He had a bowl on both his opponents at Kingston’s. Bohane knocked the bowl and finished second after a big rub at Campbell’s.


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