SEAMUS O'TUAMA: Slick Shorten first to get his name on Johnny Holland Cup

John Shorten’s name is the first on the Johnny Holland Cup after a line-to-line win over Wayne Callanan and Killian Kingston at Bauravilla on Sunday.

Kingston got three poor opening bowls to the cross, which gave both Shorten and Callanan a bowl of odds start.

The leaders were short of the netting in two more. Shorten then got a great bowl to Dekker’s to stretch his lead to almost a bowl on Callanan and well over a bowl on Kingston. He made the rock in two more where he was a bowl clear of Callanan and almost two on Kingston.

He was at the bridge in three more where he held that lead. Kingston’s bowl was blocked there, had it run he would be just a bowl behind and in a position to challenge Callanan for second. The rest remained under Shorten’s control as he scored the line in five more to beat Callanan by a bowl and Kingston by two.

Christy Mullins also had a fruitful week. He won a place in the Paddy Barry Cup final with an impressive display against Éamon Bowen Jnr at Rosscarbery and he followed up with a good win in partnership with Jerry Gibbons in the feature score of the Unlimited Bowling benefit at Bantry.

The early exchanges at Bantry were close and it was virtually level at Barry’s guesthouse. Mullins then played two brilliant bowls to the no-play line, which put him a bowl in front. Bowen got the better of the shots to Froe Cross, but Mullins kept up the pressure and advanced to play Gary Daly.

At Bantry he opened with a massive bowl, which Raymond Ryan and Aidan Hurley just beat in two. He combined well with Gibbons to raise a second bowl at the halfway. Ryan and Hurley came more into it from there and were back in contention with four to go. Hurley then played what looked a lead winning bowl, but Gibbons beat it by 40m. That proved decisive as it gave them an advantage all the ways to the finish.

Chris Murray and Eoin O’Riordan contest Saturday’s Munster Junior C final at Newcestown. Murray had a last shot win over Mackey in his semi-final at Jagoes Mills, while O’Riordan had to produce a big last shot to deny Denis O’Sullivan at Enniskeane.

It took both players nine shots to reach the dump in the Jagoes Mills score. Mackey led all those shots and was still ten metres fore at Lawton’s. Murray got a great bowl from there to win his first lead by 20m. He had almost a bowl at the power station, but a mistake at Ballinvard cross saw his lead tumble to five metres. Mackey gained what looked a winning 40m lead with a good second last to Griffin’s. The line looked too far for Murray but he played a sensational last shot and beat it by 40m. Mackey missed the line with his reply.

At Enniskeane Denis O’Sullivan opened with four good bowls to the Mill to lead Eoin O’Riordan by a bowl. O’Riordan cut the odds with a good bowl to Crookstown cross and he levelled to O’Driscoll’s. They were locked together to the bridge, but O’Riordan got a big bowl past ‘the garden’ and was now almost a bowl clear.

O’Sullivan rallied to Kingston’s where O’Riordan was just ten metres fore. O’Sullivan then missed light at the cut rock and O’Riordan went out. He held a bowl from there to the second bridge. O’Sullivan played a sensational last shot that went well past the line.

O’Riordan had to produce a good reply to beat the line and guarantee his place in the final. Gene Twomey bowled impressively to beat Glen Callanan by two bowls in the Munster Novice II final at Bottlehill. Callanan started well and won each of the first four shots to Dan’s corner. Twomey got a great bowl from there, which turned the score. It gave him almost a bowl, which he held to the bridge.

He increased his lead to two bowls when he later played two great bowls in succession.

Eddie Carr returned to form at Knappagh where he beat Ulster champion Conor McGuigan in the last shot in the Bill Hillock Cup. He started well and was a bowl in front at Rowntree’s. McGuigan levelled to Starr’s Hill, but Carr kept in contention and snatched it in the last shot. PJ Cooney reached the Jim O’Driscoll Cup semi-final at Ballincurrig when he beat Andrew O’Leary in the last shot. He opened strongly, but O’Leary levelled to the no-play line and it was competitive to the sycamores. When O’Leary missed light for the last shot it looked over, but Cooney’s reply lodged in surface water. However, he held on.

Vincent Kiely eliminated the holder, Denis Wilmot, from the Tim White Cup at Rosscarbery. He took advantage of a slow start from Wilmot to lead by a bowl at the foot of Barry’s hill and held it to the line.


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