SEAMUS O'TUAMA: James O’Donovan has a double reason to celebrate

James O’Donovan is celebrating two brilliant wins. He beat Gary Daly in the Paddy Barry Cup at Rosscarbery and followed with a win over Killian Kingston in the Bowel Cancer Research benefit at Shannonvale.

He’s facing a busy end of season as he also takes on David Murphy in the Mick Barry Cup for a place in King of the Roads.

Edmond Sexton has King of the Roads ambitions too, which got a boost when he beat All-Ireland champion Thomas Mackle in the second feature at Shannonvale.

He led from the off and was almost a shot clear after seven to Desmond’s. Mackle snatched his first lead with a brilliant bowl from there.

Sexton edged back in front past Sam’s lane and led to Campbell’s lane. Mackle got a poor shot there. Sexton hit back with a super bowl. Mackle missed that with his next to leave a bowl in it. Sexton closed it out with another big shot towards the line.

O’Donovan was well clear of Killian Kingston after reaching sight at the quarry in four. Kingston got poor third and fourth throws. O’Donovan kept him on the back foot by reaching Desmond’s in seven to lead by a bowl. He followed up with two good shots to Kingston’s wall, where he was edging towards a second bowl. He drove on past Tobin’s in four more where he had well over two bowls.

He was given a sterner test by Gary Daly in the Paddy Barry Cup at Rosscarbery. He had a bowl of odds at the priest’s house. Daly raised his challenge with two big shots from the guesthouse, but O’Donovan kept his lead to the no-play line.

O’Donovan got a poor shot from Cahermore cross. Daly cut the odds with a great bowl on the straight. He then got a good bowl to the bull’s gate and another around the last band to slice the lead to just a metre. He closed with a brilliant bowl past the line. O’Donovan kept his focus though and beat it by five metres.

In the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig David Murphy scored the line in 15 shots to beat Martin Coppinger by a bowl.

He opened with a great shot to just short of sight, which Coppinger missed. He followed with three great bowls to just short of the no-play line. Coppinger was yielding nothing though as he made the line in five to keep the lead under a bowl. He closed the gap with a great bowl to O’Riordan’s.

Murphy was on top of his game as he proved with a brilliant 10th to sight at the big corner to push his lead well over a bowl. Coppinger battled gamely, but Murphy never gave him an opening.

Fenor club, near Tramore, on Waterford’s Copper Coast will host next month’s third All-Ireland final series. Junior C, Novice I and Novice II champions from each of Ireland’s four provinces will be joined by the North American and British champions.

In the Munster Junior C Tony Carey secured a semi-final spot by beating Freddy Scannell at Templemichael. Scannell led to Sarsfield’s Court cross. Carey won the next exchange. Scannell fought shot-for-shot, but Carey held the lead to the finish. Scannell closed with a big last bowl, which Carey beat.

Three players are still in contention to join him in the semi-final. Tonight Shane Shannon plays last year’s Novice I champion Daniel Murphy at Newcestown. The winner meets Denis Murphy at Castletownkenneigh in the quarter-final. In the other side semi-final Paul Walsh plays Adrian Callanan. Callanan beat Alex O’Donovan in the last shot the at Templemartin.

Walsh beat Denis Cronin by a bowl at Kildee. Cronin led by over a bowl after five great opening shots to the double bends. Walsh found his form and cut the lead to a bowl at Ballygurteen cross. He took control with a big 13th.

Frank Kiely gained one of the Novice I semi-final places when he beat Aidan Sexton at Templemichael. Sexton was the last Waterford player in contention for next month’s finals in Fenor.

Kiely will play either Liam Walsh or Dean Sexton who meet at Castletownkenneigh. Walsh beat Brian Coughlan by a bowl at Newcestown. They were deadlocked till Walsh got a great bowl to raise 80m odds at Canty’s. He followed with two more big throws to go a bowl clear.

Trevor Deane and Paul Lombard meet in the other semi-final at Reenascreena tonight.

Lombard opened Slyne’s corner in five against Glen Callanan at Templemartin. He had almost a bowl after three more to O’Riordan’s but Callanan cut it to 40m at the schoolhouse cross. Lombard lifted the siege with a great bowl to the cornfield bend and raised a bowl with his next.

Deane had a big win over Paul Murphy at Ballygurteen. Murphy raised a bowl with his first, but Deane recovered quickly to put the contest to bed with some great bowls on the straight.

Christy McCarthy beat Tadhg O’Driscoll at Templemichael in Novice II. He awaits the winners of Oliver Dempsey and Stephen Sewell who play Kevin Manning in the quarter-final.

In the other side Mike McCarthy plays John Hickey at Kildee with the winner meets either John Connolly or Bernard O’Donovan.


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