SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Munster duo make Toals pay

James O’Donovan and Martin Coppinger made it a fruitless trip south for Armagh brothers Peadar and Cathal Toal when they handed them a double defeat at Whitechurch on Saturday.

Both Munster bowlers struggled before finishing strongly. In the first score O’Donovan trailed Peadar Toal by well over a bowl, but he rallied strongly in the second half. It took two big last shots from Coppinger to see off Cathal Toal in the second.

Peadar Toal opened with a brilliant bowl to just short of Brickley’s. O’Donovan missed that by 50m. He followed with a good bowl, but Toal beat it by 100m. O’Donovan’s third was poor and just beat Toal’s tip. Toal kept up the pressure with a great bowl to the top of the hill and he was down to the wall in four for a clear bowl of odds.

He was just short of Boula lane in six where he was still well over a bowl in front. O’Donovan cut the lead dramatically with two great bowls, the first past Boula and the second past the guard’s house. He followed with a good bowl past Downey’s line, where he took his first lead.

Toal regained the lead and increased his odds to the top of the straight. He then got a massive bowl to the farmhouse to raise the bowl again. O’Donovan then got a good shot to the Devil’s bend, while Toal played two to the right to just hold the lead. O’Donovan led with a good shot past the junior line.

Toal followed with a good bowl to sight. O’Donovan’s bowl was too tight on the right, but it missed the concrete bollards and gave him 100m odds. Toal was just short of the footpath with his next. O’Donovan killed the contest with a brilliant reply that just missed the line by 60m.

In the other score, Cathal Toal opened with a poor shot, but Coppinger drove his reply into the right and missed it. They got good second throws, which Toal also edged. He increased his lead to a full bowl after two more to the wall. Coppinger knocked the bowl with a good shot on the flat, but Toal raised it again at Boula lane.

Coppinger knocked it at Downey’s line, but Toal held most of a bowl to the top of the straight. Toal missed the farmhouse with his next and Coppinger went down to break the bowl again. He followed with a good bowl to the Devil’s bend and pressed on to take his first lead at the wall. He increased his lead to 100m with his bowl past the junior line.

Toal was just short of light with his next. Coppinger looked set to take a decisive lead but he misplayed his bowl and just edged the tips. Toal followed with a good bowl to the speed limit sign. Coppinger missed that tip, but his bowl was called. His second throw was much better and gave him a 70m lead.

Toal got a good bowl towards the line. It was of no consequence though as Coppinger beat the line with a massive last bowl.

Denis O’Driscoll enjoyed a comprehensive win over David Hubbard in the Connie Killarney Cup at the Marsh Road.

Hubbard took the opening tip by 50m with a good bowl to the junior start. He increased his lead to 100m with his second. O’Driscoll then got good third and fourth shots to take the lead. Hubbard hit back with a good fifth to the council yard gate to go back in front. They made the quarry gate in six, with O’Driscoll just to the fore.

O’Driscoll then played a massive seventh that went well past the silvery gate. Hubbard took two to beat it. O’Driscoll made sight at the steps in three more, while Hubbard didn’t. That proved decisive. O’Driscoll reached Ballyhilty in three more, while Hubbard failed and fell a bowl behind. O’Driscoll played two great bowls towards Crowley’s boreen to go almost two bowls clear.

Pat Joe Murphy beat Fachtna Keane in the last shot in the Béal na mBláth final on Saturday. Although they were level from start to finish, Keane’s only fore bowl was his first.

They were just back of the water in three and made sight in four. They reached the bend before Shorten’s cross in six and Long’s lane in nine, where Murphy had better sight. Keane then got a good bowl towards the farmhouse, but Murphy beat it well. Keane kept in touch with three good shots to the garage. Murphy denied him a last shot though with a brilliant bowl past the line.

Peter Nagle beat Terry Sexton in the last shot at Grenagh. They were locked together for most of the score. Nagle played what looked a poor third last, but Sexton just beat it by 10m. Nagle then got a massive bowl through the cross and onto the finishing straight. Sexton missed that well and then missed the line with his next. Nagle beat the line to wrap it up.


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