Michael Harrington franked his All-Ireland intermediate credentials with an impressive win over Christy Mullins in the Cancer Research benefit at Shannonvale on Saturday.
He established control when he opened with four super shots to the quarry. He was close to two bowls clear at that point. He held that lead by reaching Desmond’s in three more. He raised two clear bowls in the next three to past Kingston’s.
He lost momentum with a poor shot towards Hayes’s which saw his lead cut to an even bowl. He stayed on track for a comfortable bowl of odds win by beating the line in four more.
That was his second win in a week. He finished with two extraordinary bowls at Pouladuff to grab an unlikely victory from Trevor O’Meara.
O’Meara was well placed to open Corcoran’s bridge in nine to go a shot in front. He not only missed light, but Harrington’s tip. Harrington lofted odds there, but O’Meara regained the lead at the junior A line. He increased his lead close to a bowl towards the farm. His bowl past the farm hopped left and they were level again.
Harrington then got the first of his huge shots to sight, which put him almost a bowl in front. He followed with another great bowl past the line.
Pa Butler got the better of Jerry Murphy at Ballincurrig.He won the first two shots, but Murphy led with a good third. Butler regained the initiative with two great shots past the creamery. They both missed the no-play line and were level onto the long straight. Butler edged clear towards the big corner, but missed up the short straight.
Murphy carried an advantage to the sycamores. Butler got the better of the next two shots. Murphy got a sensational last shot to the end of the green. Butler was given little chance, but his bowl followed the line of the road and just edged it.
Jimmy O’Driscoll beat Tim Young at Derrinasafa. Young was a shot clear after seven to Ross’. O’Driscoll got two great bowls to the Darkwood turn to lead by ten metres. From there he dominated as Young faded.
The race for the third All-Ireland series at Westport in September continues apace. All four Irish provincial champions will be joined by the North American and British winners in Junior C/Novice A, Novice I (B and C) and Novice II (D).
Ger Connolly beat Muiris Buttimer in the Munster Junior C/Novice A semi-final at Caheragh. He was impressive from the off. He gained control with a brilliant second shot to Lisangle cross which put him a bowl in front. Buttimer dug deep with a big bowl the bridge and another towards Reenrue cross but he couldn’t dent Connolly’s lead.
In the Munster final he plays the winner of tomorrow night’s semi-final between Tony O’Flynn and Liam Walsh.
Liam Walsh had an impressive win against Martin Scully at Donoughmore. A scintillating first shot that covered the entire opening straight gave him an instant bowl of odds. He was two bowls clear at the bounds and he had it wrapped up well before the end.
Tony O’Flynn beat All-Ireland U18 champion Conor Creedon at Crookstown. Creedon got a poor opening shot and O’Flynn forged clear. He was a bowl in front after five to the castle. Creedon struggled find his All-Ireland form, but won the lead with his second last. O’Flynn kept his composure and beat the line and Creedon missed the tip.
Ciarán Nyhan is through to the Munster Novice I final following a last shot win over Denis O’Sullivan at Ballygurteen. He got a big opening shot and was a bowl in front at the women’s lane. O’Sullivan countered strongly. He had the lead under a bowl at Burke’s and down to 70m for the last shot. He played a good last bowl, which Nyhan beat.
In the final he plays the winner of Saturday’s semi-final between Kevin Ruby Jnr and Mick Callanan at Carraig na bhFear.
Callanan played a huge last shot to deny Diarmuid Dorgan in the quarter-final at Donoughmore. Dorgan looked to have enough done when he led by 60m for the last shot. Callanan got an amazing bowl that wound with the road to give Dorgan no chance.
Ruby bowled beat Cathal Vaughan at Crookstown. Vaughan, who played senior county football championship with Muskerry the previous evening, carried an injury into that contest.
In Novice II Gavin Quirke beat Denis O’Donovan in a good quarter-final at Donoughmore. He gained control with three good bowls to the end of the straight followed by three more to Ring’s to raise a bowl. He held that to the line. He plays John McSullivan tonight in the semi-final at Killumney Two quality underage players, Séamus O’Regan and Matthew Limerick, meet in the second Novice II semi-final at Ballygurteen on Saturday. Limerick controlled his clash with Michael White from start to finish at the Clubhouse. O’Regan won through the previous week against Brian Collins.
Bowling fans were shocked and saddened last Thursday when former All-Ireland champion Dan-Joe Holland died suddenly while bowling at the Pike. He won All-Ireland veteran titles in 2005 and 2006 and was a leading junior player for decades. He was universally respected as a top class competitor and as a genuine sportsman.
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