SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Mackle lands Ulster title with last shot

Thomas Mackle is Ulster senior champion following a last shot win over his uncle, Martin Toal, at Port Mór-Blackwatertown.

He won the first shot, but Toal stayed level in the next three to the orchard bend. Toal won the lead with his fifth and extended his odds after Mackle’s poor eighth. Mackle closed the gap with a great bowl to McCusker’s and regained the lead with a massive throw to McGreil’s.

He lost ground with a poor 12th. Toal led with his next, but followed with two poor throws past Connolly’s. Mackle seized the opening to take a big lead. He increased his odds to almost a bowl, but he made a mistake with his second last to give Toal a chance.

Toal snapped the half-chance with a big bowl, from poor sight, that beat the line Mackle kept his composure though and beat it comfortably.

Either Gary Daly or David Murphy, who meet in next Sunday’s Munster final at Macroom, will be Mackle’s All-Ireland final opponent. Daly beat James O’Donovan at Kilcorney. Murphy had a second bloodless win as Martin Coppinger was late presenting to the referee at Ballygurteen for the second semi-final.

At Kilcorney Daly won the opening shot by 40m and extended that to 70m after three more to Cooney’s. He missed Coleman’s bridge in two more, but he had a nice lead after getting a run in the field with his bowl over the bridge. O’Donovan rallied with two good shots. Daly kept control though and played a brilliant bowl to sight past McKerring’s to go almost a bowl clear.

He followed with another big shot to go well over a bowl. He was at the junior line in two more with O’Donovan holding the lead under two bowls. Daly misplayed his next and beat O’Donovan’s tip by just 15m. They both closed with big shots, but Daly won that exchange too to hold his bowl of odds.

Bryan O’Reilly beat Arthur McDonagh in a sensational Mick Barry Cup tie at Ballincurrig. McDonagh had almost a bowl after two huge openers. O’Reilly levelled with two equally brilliant bowls to the no-play. McDonagh pushed clear again, but a mistake on the long straight cost him most of his gains.

O’Reilly then got two incredible bowls to open the big corner in a record ten shots – McDonagh just missed in ten. O’Reilly missed up the short straight with his next and McDonagh was back in the frame.

O’Reilly pushed clear past the sycamores, but McDonagh’s super second last cut the odds to 20m for the last shot. Both last shots drifted right at the line, but O’Reilly’s hopped a series of ruts in the lawn to edge home.

Cian Boyle and Pat Callanan will contest the Munster Junior B final at Killumney. Callanan beat Damien Murphy at Jagoes Mills and Boyle beat Noel O’Donovan at Ardcahan.

Murphy led the early shots at Jagoes Mills. Callanan won his first lead, by a metre, with his fourth towards O’Brien’s cross. He raised a bowl in the next four. Murphy clipped the lead to 60m with a brilliant bowl to the racetrack. After two more Callanan raised the bowl again and held it to the end.

At Ardcahan O’Donovan led to Crowley’s shop. Boyle’s next bowl ricocheted perfectly off the boards at Burns’ and went to the top of the hill to give him his first lead. He gained almost a bowl when O’Donovan’s next missed sight.

Boyle’s bowl hit a pillar at O’Mahony’s to leave only ten metres between them. He recovered with a good bowl to sight at Murray’s cross. He missed the line with his last, but O’Donovan’s reply was too tight and just beat the tip to leave almost a bowl between them.

Dan O’Halloran beat Michael Gould by two bowls at Berrings in the Munster junior veteran final. He got a super fourth from the old pub that catapulted him a bowl clear at the graveyard. He held that to the dump and raised a second at the start of the last straight. He covered the straight in four, leading by close to three at one point.

He beat Eugene O’Sullivan by a bowl at Clondrohid in the semi-final.

In the overall Munster final he plays Kevin O’Donovan who won the novice final against Paddy Kinsella at Curraheen. The lead was contested till O’Donovan got a great second last. He beat Kinsella’s last shot by 20m.

Paul Grimley had an easy win over Anthony O’Neill in the Ulster veteran final.

Emma Hickey and Aileen Murphy are the Munster intermediate women’s finalists. Hickey pushed clear of Ciara Buckley up the hill in Macroom and at Shannonvale Aileen Murphy bowled strongly from Desmond’s to beat Bernadette Murphy.

Tom O’Donovan beat David O’Connor in the Munster boys u16 semi-final and meets the winner between Timmy McDonagh and David Hegarty. In the girls u16 semi-finals Katie Fickweiller beat Siobhán Kelleher and Katie Sexton beat Chloe Connolly. The boys u12 semi-finalists are Brian O’Driscoll v Darragh O’Driscoll and Darragh Dempsey v Eoin O’Donovan.

Nicholas Carey advanced in the Jim O’Driscoll Cup with a last shot win over Andrew O’Leary and John Shorten at Ballincurrig.


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