Edmund Sexton had an exceptional weekend. On Saturday at Ballinagree he won the feature score of the Donagh Murphy-Kingston Fund and on Sunday he won the Dutch Moors European championship trials at Castletownkenneigh.
At Ballinagree he went neck-and-neck with Killian Kingston in five brilliant opening shots. Kingston won the first, but Sexton took the second with a super shot. They were level after four each to the big turn. Kingston got a brilliant fifth up the straight but Sexton just edged it. Kingston narrowly missed sight with another big shot.
Sexton replied with a massive bowl that went well past the corner and effectively pushed him a shot clear. He controlled the rest of the score. Jerry O’Riordan beat Olan Noonan on Saturday in the first of 11 scores over two days. They both made sight in four to the big turn. O’Riordan then got a big fifth down the hill to push him almost a bowl clear and he held the lead to the line.
Brian O’Halloran beat Derry Cooney by close to a bowl. A nice rub with his first kept O’Halloran level and they stayed together for much of the score. O’Halloran edged clear into the closing quarter and when Cooney’s bowl was blocked short of light for the last shot it was over.
John O’Rourke had a double over Cian Boyle, the first on the way down in the last shot. The second became tense at the tips and was on a knife-edge till O’Rourke broke the deadlock with a great second last.
Denis Cronin gave a top-class display in his two bowls of odds win over Daniel Murphy. Murphy led early and had a chance to push clear when Cronin got two poor shots in succession. Cronin hit back with a succession of brilliant bowls to take total control.
Thomas Boyle came with a late burst to beat David Hubbard. Hubbard looked to be set for a win till he played a very short third last.
Trials for the Ireland team for the 2016 European Championships continued at Castletownkenneigh in both Dutch Moors and German Lofting.
A dry sod made conditions perfect for the Moors. Edmond Sexton and European champion Aidan Murphy did best in the senior men’s category. Catriona O’Farrell-Kidney showed she is in top shape for Queen of the Roads by winning the senior women’s class with Geraldine Daly finishing second.
Tom O’Donovan showed good form ahead of his visit to Ballincurrig too by winning the youth section, with Eoin Healy second. Maria Nagle continued her excellent form in the Girls u18 category with Chloe O’Halloran finishing second. Players will have just one more run over the Dutch Moors course and two over the road, before a panel is selected for training ahead of the European championships in May.
Aidan Murphy had an important win on Saturday over Ulster champion Thomas Mackle in the last shot of an O’Connell-Dullea Cup second round tie at Ballygurteen.
Murphy’s win was fashioned through three big shots in an otherwise mixed performance.
Peter Murray beat Séamus O’Sullivan in the last shot of the Three Patriots Monument benefit final at Rosscarbery. He led past the priest’s house and into Barry’s hill. O’Sullivan then took control, but he played a poor second last and Murphy won comfortably in the last throw.
Ger Connolly beat Seán Twomey with an exceptional last shot at Ballinacurra. The early exchanges were close, but Connolly gained a nice lead past Foley’s. Twomey levelled to Perrott’s and took a big lead with his next. Connolly levelled again with a big shot to the bridge. It looked over after Twomey’s great second last had him facing the line. Connolly snatched it though by beating the line from what looked an impossible tip.
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