SEAMUS O'TUAMA: No problems for confident Murray in Junior decider

Chris Murray bowled with great dash and confidence in his win over Eoin O’Riordan in the Munster Junior C final at Newcestown on Saturday.

He opened with a brilliant bowl up the hill from Mac’s Cross. O’Riordan’s first bowl was too far left and missed that tip by 60m. He was still not at the top of the hill with his second. He then saw Murray play a great second bowl over the brow and out the bend, which put him a bowl of odds clear. Murray was past Fehilly’s after two more top class bowls and now had a lead of almost two bowls.

He made Desmond’s lane with his next to raise the second bowl. He held that lead down the hill and he looked to be heading for a third bowl at Collins’ lane. O’Riordan stemmed the tide with two great bowls to O’Brien’s cross which brought the lead back to an even two bowls of odds. He followed with another great shot down past the water and when Murray missed down the lead was under two bowls.

Murray quelled that revival with a massive shot past the bend and he was facing the village in another with the lead now just under two bowls again.

Thomas O’Callaghan is Munster Novice I champion following his bowl of odds win over Joe Madden at Kilcorney on Sunday.

Madden started brightly and led the first four shots to Cooney’s. O’Callaghan then played a big shot down the hill, but Madden beat the tip. The lead was hotly contested to Coleman’s bridge with both players leading. O’Callaghan exerted more influence to McKerring’s road where he was a bowl clear. Madden fought back with a great shot to Cullinane’s to bring the lead under a bowl.

O’Callaghan was off target with his next and it looked as if Madden had a chance to level. He attempted to cross his bowl from the middle and it went awry and with it went his last hope. He was now a bowl behind again and O’Callaghan held that lead in his grip to the line.

Killian Kingston and John Shorten both advanced to the Jim O’Driscoll Cup quarter-finals at Ballincurrig. Kingston was a clear winner over Arthur McDonagh and David Hubbard, while Shorten beat Michael Bohane.

Hubbard started well against Kingston and McDonagh and was almost a bowl clear at the creamery. He made a mistake with his next and McDonagh just led after six past the play line. Hubbard’s form dipped in the next few shots and it turned into a duel between Kingston and McDonagh — Kingston took his first fore bowl at Leahy’s.

McDonagh missed the big corner with his next shot and Kingston punished him with a brilliant bowl to clear light. McDonagh missed light again with his next to fall well over a bowl behind. Kingston easily negotiated the short straight and when McDonagh failed to follow there were two bowls between them. Kingston lorded it from there and was well over two bowls clear after 14 shots to just short of the last bend.

Shorten had a comfortable last shot win over Bohane. Bohane won the opening shot, but Shorten edged the next series. They were level at the no-play line and the following tip, but Shorten was in front again at O’Riordan’s. He had a chance to extend his lead to the big corner but missed light. He regained his advantage up the short straight but missed a chance to kill the score to the sycamores.

Bohane never quite bridged the gap in the run in. He made good light with his second last but he was still relying on Shorten missing the line. Shorten dealt with that challenge competently.

Mark Kiernan is the Ulster Junior C champion following an easy win over Paul Murphy. Murphy won the opening tips, but it was all Kiernan from there. He was a bowl in front after four and he controlled the rest of the score. Niall Smith is in the Ulster Novice I final following his win over Pat Cullen. He faces either Frank Oliver or Damien McCreesh in the final. The Ulster Novice II final between Austin McKeown and Frank Donnelly will be played tonight at Tassagh.

It was a bad weekend for All-Ireland Intermediate champion Thomas Mackle who suffered two defeats. Paul O’Reilly eliminated him from the Madden tournament and he was later defeated in the last shot by Paul Rafferty in the Bill Hillock Cup at Knappagh.

Gary Daly beat David Murphy in the last shot at Donoughmore. He won the first three shots. Murphy missed light at the bounds, which allowed Daly raise a bowl at Ring’s. After two more Murphy’s bowl hit a pillar and Daly extended his lead to almost two bowls at the start of the straight.

Murphy rallied and brought the lead under a bowl at the end of the straight. Daly made a mistake with his next and Murphy led after two more. Daly regained the lead for the last shot and easily won the last exchange.


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