SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Murphy battles back to squeeze past Wilmot

Aidan Murphy beat Brian Wilmot in the last shot at Newcestown to stay toe-to-toe with Martin Coppinger in Pool B of the Munster senior championship.

He looked set to dominate after raising a bowl with his first throw, but Wilmot found his feet and pressed him strongly in the closing stages. Murphy kept the lead over a bowl after five to Mac’s lane, where he was 50m fore of Wilmot’s sixth.

He held that lead until Wilmot reduced the odds with a good bowl past Allen’s lane. Murphy stayed a bowl in front to Desmond’s. Wilmot then got a great bowl down the hill, which Murphy beat by 80m in two. The same metres separated them in the shots up the hill, but Murphy had effectively increased his lead as he was nearer the top.

Wilmot cut the leeway with a good shot to peeping light at Collins’ lane. Murphy regained most of a bowl of odds again to O’Brien’s cross, which he reached in 15 throws. Wilmot then played a great bowl to light at the water. Murphy’s reply went into the stream, but he made the bungalow with his next to hold what looked a winning advantage.

Wilmot kept up the pressure with another fine effort to the last bend, but it was just short of light. Murphy’s reply hit a pillar, but it was already on straight road. Wilmot followed with a great bowl to within 20m of the line. Murphy’s reply had the legs, but it looked vulnerable when it went in short of Wilmot’s tip, but it got a nice rub to give him the verdict.

Meanwhile, Edmund Sexton beat Nicholas Carey in the last shot at Glanworth. He was called twice on that final throw, which meant he had to play the shot three times — and he beat Carey’s tip each time with the aid of a rub.

They both reached Clontinty boreen in five. They were at Ahern’s in five more where Sexton had a good lead. Carey was just fore after another four to Ballinamona turn. Sexton took a good lead in the next exchange. He had a great chance to consolidate his position when Carey missed light with his following shot, but he made poor light to leave Carey still in contention.

Carey lofted his next and Sexton beat that by just 20m. They both played their next shots to the left, with Sexton 30m fore. They were just short of the line in another with Sexton 10 ten metres fore. Carey’s last bowl went right, but rubbed to give Sexton a stern test. He answered that in each of his three throws.

At Castletownkenneigh James O’Donovan beat Raymond Ryan by a bowl. Ryan got three poor opening shots, which left him a bowl behind. He recovered with a good fourth shot, but O’Donovan beat it. The latter continued to lead by a bowl after eight shots to Long’s pub. Ryan got a brilliant bowl from there, which knocked the bowl and cut the lead to just 60m.

Ryan lost most of his gains by not opening O’Leary’s bend, while O’Donovan made full sight. He built on that in the next two towards the big bend where he had almost a bowl. Ryan rallied with a brilliant following shot, which O’Donovan missed by 30m and only beat with his next shot. Ryan now had a great chance to make an impact, but he went left and just beat O’Donovan’s tip.

O’Donovan had almost a bowl of odds at the big bend, but he played his next bowl to the left and Ryan had a chance again. Ryan pushed his bowl to the right and just beat the tip. O’Donovan raised a bowl and finished the contest with his next shot towards the line.

Peadar Toal had a surprising three bowls of odds win over Brian O’Reilly at Port Mór in the Ulster senior championship. O’Reilly made a mistake with his second after which he never got back in contention. He was lucky to be just a bowl behind at the orchard but after that, Toal stretched his lead.

In the Munster senior women’s championship Louise Collins beat Sharon Russell by three bowls at Drinagh while Aileen Murphy beat Martina Foley by a bowl at Shannonvale.

James Cooney beat Dave Dennis in the East Cork Junior A at Cobh. He got an incredible bowl from Sam’s corner to McCarthy’s cross to go almost a bowl in front. Dennis got an equally good one to the end of Clash to level again. Another huge bowl from Cooney over the top of the hill decided it. In the West Cork semi-final Denis O’Driscoll beat John Young at Ballinacarriga.

Kieran Murphy showed his class by beating Jimmy Cowhig by almost two bowls in the Mid-Cork Junior B final at Newcestown while Gary Daly beat James O’Donovan by almost a bowl in a benefit score at Grange on Monday.


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