SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Mick Hurley digs deepest to claim win at Ballinacurra

A determined, focused, and confident finish saw Mick Hurley beat Denis Wilmot and Jim Coffey in the Ballinacurra final.

He opened with a great bowl to take the first tip by 30m. Wilmot won the second and Coffey the third with a super bowl towards Brinny Cross. 

Hurley edged the shots through the cross, but wouldn’t lead again till the second last. Coffey took the fifth shot past Foley’s.

Wilmot regained the lead with his next and extended his odds with a good bowl towards the gas line. He was 60m clear of Coffey after a great bowl to the end of Perrott’s, with Hurley struggling in third. 

He lost ground with his next one, but got a dream turn with his following bowl and it ran to the bridge. Hurley missed that to concede a bowl of odds, but that throw ironically marked the start of his fightback.

Hurley brought Wilmot hind with a good bowl up the rise past Innishannon cross. He was unlucky with his next and fell a bowl down again. By contrast Coffey got two great bowls in succession onto the straight. 

Hurley got a brilliant bowl around the bend and well up the straight. Wilmot cut his reply too tight into the bend and missed Coffey’s tip. Now Coffey was back in front and Hurley back in contention.

Hurley closed the gap further with a good bowl to the laurels. He followed with another big one to Cronin’s. Wilmot beat that tip, but Coffey missed it to fall back into third place. Coffey was too tight to Cronin’s gate with his next and that ended his challenge.

Hurley played a massive second last bowl that swung past the corner onto the finishing straight. Wilmot did well to miss that by just a few centimetres. 

Wilmot was tight on the left with his last shot, which reached the avenue. Hurley closed with another big one that ran perfectly on the centre to complete a gutsy comeback.

Ger O’Driscoll won the Mickie Hourihane Cup final at Bauravilla where he beat Shane Shannon in the last shot and Alex O’Donovan by a bowl.

Shannon had close to a bowl on both his opponents at Robin’s cross. But when he missed the rock, O’Driscoll was back in contention, with O’Donovan still a bowl down. Shannon still had an important 30m lead at the bridge.

O’Driscoll levelled with his good shot to the grotto and was five metres fore for the last shot. Shannon beat the line and gave O’Driscoll a tricky tip to beat. He answered well and beat it by 15m.

Donncha O’Brien beat Kieran Murphy by two bowls in the Jerry Desmond Cup at Kildee. 

They were level after four to McCarthy’s bend. O’Brien then opened the next bend to push his lead to almost a bowl and raised it at Boreen-na-Parach. They were both just shy of the stickeen in two more.

O’Brien extended his lead to almost two bowls with a great shot up the hill. He went over two bowls clear after a super bowl to sight at Reenascreena cross.

Thomas Boyle edged Brendan O’Neill in the last shot to reach the semi-final of the Josie Crean Cup at Whitechurch. They were level in the first four to the top of the hill. Boyle took a big lead after two big shots to Boula Lane and had almost a bowl at Downey’s.

O’Neill levelled after two great shots to the top of the straight and won the lead after two more towards the Devil’s bend. Boyle shaded the shots past the bend and had 20m odds for the last shot. He needed a rub to just beat O’Neill’s last shot.

James Nagle advanced in the Patsy Walsh Cup at Grenagh where he beat Darren Oliver in the last shot. Oliver was a bowl in front after four to the playing field and held it past the half-way line. 

Nagle cut the odds to 30m after two good throws to Boula Lane. He won the lead after two more to the cross. He beat a good second last shot from Oliver and won the last exchange well.

Craig Moynihan beat Adrian Callanan in the last shot of a great contest at Curraheen. The score was close to the Mill cross. Callanan held the lead up the hill. 

Moynihan won his first lead with a brilliant bowl to Richard’s Lane. It stayed in the balance to the end, but despite getting an unlucky hop Moynihan’s last bowl beat the line to take it.

Jimmy O’Driscoll closed with three sensational bowls at the Pike to beat John Young by two bowls. Seán Murphy held his recent good form by beating PJ Cooney in the last shot of a Tim Foley Cup tie at Templemartin.

Shea Gamble beat hot favourite Seán O’Reilly by almost a bowl on the Cathedral Road. He was a bowl behind at Campbell’s but turned the score in a strong finish. 

David Devlin bowled well from Brannigan’s to Starr’s pump to get clear of Paul Murphy. Niall Smyth led Johnny Kelly all the way to win by a bowl. Mark Kiernan led from line to line too against Darren Hughes.



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