SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Murphy edges out Ryan in quality score

Aidan Murphy beat Raymond Ryan comfortably in the last shot of a great score — they both beat the line in 14 throws — at Ballinacurra on Saturday.

Ryan reached Brinny cross in three to take a solid lead. He was still 40m fore at Foley’s. Murphy got a fine loft there. Ryan played his reply into the right and missed that tip by 35m. Murphy held the lead with his next and then played a brilliant bowl past Perrot’s which put him a bowl in front. He held the bowl past the Novice D line.

Ryan knocked the bowl with a great shot past the Junior C line. Murphy then got a poor shot up the straight and Ryan lined a perfect reply on the left to cut the odds to 50m at Cronin’s. He kept challenging with a brilliant last shot past the line, but Murphy beat it comfortably.

In the Michael Tom Bradley Cup at Macroom, Noel Murphy and Dónal Óg O’Leary beat Patrick Moynihan and Neilly O’Brien by over two bowls. They were level after three each to Bantry’s cross and little changed in the next two to the waterfall. The winners then got three exceptional bowls to well past the gap. That put them over two bowls clear and it took the spark out of the score.

Terry Sexton was the man of the hour at Cobh where he was on the winning side in three of four scores. In the first he teamed up with Patrick Butler to beat Thomas Boyle and Jim Coffey comfortably in the last shot. There was little between them to Dennis’. Coffey and Boyle then got three brilliant bowls to just short of light at Sam’s corner where they were almost a bowl in front.

Coffey completely misjudged the next shot and the lead was back to seven metres. They were level at McCarthy’s cross and Sexton and Butler were just fore at the bottom of Clash. It was still all to play for till Sexton got a massive bowl past Foran’s to gain a big cushion for the last shot. Boyle and Coffey won the return, but Sexton then beat Coffey and Boyle in turn, in two singles.

In the Drinagh doubles final, Deckie O’Mahony and Dan O’Sullivan beat Vincent O’Mahony and James O’Sullivan by two bowls. They were level after five each to the church. Vincent O’Mahony got a poor shot there and they took another five to make the black stick where they were a bowl behind. The winners took total control from there to the line.

Daniel Murphy and Thomas O’Callaghan shared the spoils at Killavullen. O’Callaghan raised almost a bowl in his first throw, but Murphy levelled in the next four to the pump house. He then forged ahead and was well over a bowl in front at the bridge. O’Callaghan stormed back and was unlucky not to take it in the last shot. In the second score it was O’Callaghan all the way.

Denis Murphy beat Vincent Kiely by two bowls at Lyre. He opened with two long shots past the forestry entrance where had almost a bowl. After two more towards the hump he had over a bowl. He took four more to Crowley’s, but Kiely’s form dipped too as he fell two bowls behind. Murphy made McCarthy’s bend in four more where he still led by two bowls.

At Ballygurteen, Deckie O’Donovan beat David O’Mahony by two bowls. They were level after three to sight, but O’Donovan took control from there. He was a bowl in front at the women’s lane and was two clear at O’Donovan’s.

Denis Wilmot had an easy win over Tony O’Sullivan at the Marsh Road. He raised two bowls early on and held it to the steps on a modest 11 and 13 shots. He dominated the rest of the score.

Connie Connolly beat Alan Butler by close to a bowl at Timoleague. There was little between them till Connolly opened a gap with a sweet bowl past the senior line. He extended his lead when his bowl to the cross got a good rub. Butler levelled with an exceptional shot to the monument, but he made a mistake with his next and Connolly was back in control.

Derry Cooney had a comfortable last shot win in the Ballinacurra semi-final on Sunday morning. He was 50m clear after three to Brinny cross. He had almost a bowl at Foley’s and raised it with his next shot. He held that lead past the bridge. Murphy cut the odds with a great shot past the Junior C line, but he never looked likely to overhaul Cooney.

Jerry Gibbons beat John Young in the last shot at Drinagh. Young got a great first shot, but he hit a branch with his second and lost most of his odds. Still he made the waterfall in three more to raise almost a bowl. Gibbons levelled with four great shots from the pond to the church. They beat the line in five more with Gibbons winning by ten metres.

Special benefit scores for the family of the late JJ Crowley, grandnephew of the legendary Red Crowley, will be held in Ballinacurra, Upton next Saturday.


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