SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Murphy edges out Mackle in final

Aidan Murphy beat Ulster’s Thomas Mackle in the last shot of the Mother Hegarty Cup final at Lyre on Sunday.

Mackle started with two good bowls to the forestry entrance, where he led by 60m. He then beat a big shot from Murphy to hold his odds. Murphy cut the lead to just five metres with a good fourth throw. He followed with another big bowl over the hump, but Mackle replied with an even better one to increase his lead to 25m.

Murphy kept pressing and reduced the lead to just four metres with his bowl to sight at Crowley’s, though Mackle should have done better with his reply. A great ninth across towards McCarthy’s finally put Murphy into the lead. They both made sight at McCarthy’s with their next bowls, with Murphy 30m fore.

Mackle regained the lead with a super shot to the end of the railings, which Murphy missed by 30m. Murphy played his next shot to the left and Mackle looked certain to push clear, but he missed the tip by 20m. Neither player got a good follow-up shot, but Murphy was 15m fore facing the line. Mackle then missed the line and Murphy beat it to win the cup.

His cousin, Kieran Murphy, made it double disappointment for Ulster when he beat Sean Donnelly in the last shot in the return score.

They made sight in three good shots each and stayed in top gear to the finish. Murphy beat Donnelly’s big third last bowl over the hump it virtually guaranteed a last shot. There was just a metre between them after the next and Donnelly then beat the line. Murphy stayed tight on the right with his reply and beat that tip.

Gavin Twohig will contest the Ballinacurra final against Liam O’Sullivan following a last shot win over Donal Riordan.

Riordan won the first two tips, but Twohig rallied with good third and fourth shots through Brinny cross. He then gained a big lead with his bowl to Foley’s after Riordan made a mistake at the church. Riordan levelled in shots to Perrott’s, but Twohig was well clear again at the end of the GAA pitch.

Riordan then lofted brilliantly over the bridge and his bowl ran to the silver gate. Twohig beat that by just 40m in two shots. Riordan held his lead to the concrete. Twohig then got a good bowl to the Junior C line and Riordan missed the tip. Twohig edged the next two and extended his lead to 50m for the last throw. Riordan’s last beat the line, but Twohig beat it comfortably.

Éamon Bowen and Edmond Sexton ended in a dead-heat at rain drenched Whitechurch on Sunday morning, with Bowen winning the tiebreaker comfortably.

Sexton got a great first bowl towards Brickley’s to raise almost a bowl of odds. He held that lead in his next two to the top of the hill. Bowen then got a brilliant bowl down the hill and onto the flat, which Sexton took two to beat and he was now almost a bowl down. When Bowen missed Boula lane and Sexton got a great bowl to the Guard’s house the score was level.

They were still level after five more to the farmhouse. Bowen then lofted over a pool of rainwater to make the Devil’s bend, but Sexton followed with an equally good bowl. There was little between them in the next two shots to the middle of the wall. Sexton then got a huge last shot, which looked a winner. Bowen lined his bowl perfectly too and it stopped dead on the chalk line at Sexton’s tip.

In the tiebreaker, to the senior line, Sexton was in trouble from his first shot and Bowen won by close to a bowl of odds.

Martin Coppinger had a comprehensive win over James O’Donovan at Grenagh without hitting many high notes. O’Donovan had almost a bowl after two shots to the speed limit. Coppinger levelled with a good bowl to the playing field and took 70m odds with his following shot to the straight. Neither player got into a decent run though as the lead changed hands to the halfway line.

Coppinger then got his best shot to the double gates, which gave him almost a bowl of odds. He kept that lead past the novice line without getting any big shot. He then missed sight with his next through the cross, but O’Donovan responded with two poor shots to go well over a bowl behind.

The Munster senior and intermediate grading freshened up both grades for 2014. Killian Kingston and Arthur McDonagh will bring an infusion of new blood to the senior championship.

Conversely, the relegation of Nicholas Carey and Willie O’Donovan should have a positive impact on the intermediate championship. Denis O’Driscoll was a mandatory addition to intermediate as All-Ireland Junior A champion.

The Junior A championship will benefit from four additions from intermediate: David Hubbard, Anthony Gould, Noel Gould, and Michael O’Leary.


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