Murphy rallies to take Desmond Cup

DAVID MURPHY won the Jerry Desmond Cup final at Grange on Saturday where he beat Gavin Twohig by a bowl of odds.

He won the opening shot, but conceded the lead with his second and trailed to the halfway stage. Twohig got a brilliant second to just short of the stud farm bend. Murphy missed that tip by 70m and then missed light with his next bowl to leave almost a bowl between them.

Twohig kept the lead close to a bowl with his fourth shot towards de Barra’s. Murphy reached the school cross in three from there against four for Twohig to cut the lead to five metres.

He made O’Sullivan’s in two more where he led by 40m. Twohig got a poor shot at Hodnett’s farm and Murphy hit back with a huge bowl to Hodnett’s bungalow to raise a bowl. He comfortably held that lead to the line.

Conor McGuigan is the Ulster Intermediate champion after holding off a strong late challenge from Martin Toal in Sunday’s final on the Markethill Road in Armagh.

Toal who had been unbeaten through the round-robin series, was strong favourite. McGuigan put him on the back foot from the off with three great bowls in succession around Twynam’s corner to raise a bowl. He followed with two poor bowls and Toal was back in contention at the creamery lane.

McGuigan restored his bowl of odds with three super shots past McCann’s. He increased his lead to the bridge. He played poorly to the first line though and Toal hauled himself back into contention. McGuigan held on to dethrone Toal and gain his place in next Sunday’s All-Ireland final against Paddy O’Donoghue over the same course.

Carmel Ryan beat Juliet Murphy by two bowls of odds in the John Lowney Munster senior women’s final at Carraig na bhFear.

Murphy edged the first two shots by 10m each, but Ryan took the third by 15m. She gradually increased her lead over the next few shots and was 80m clear after seven to Daunt’s. Murphy missed that tip to concede a bowl. She knocked the bowl with her next shot through the bend and won the next exchange too to keep the lead under a bowl.

Ryan’s next bowl was too far left, but Murphy missed a chance to close the gap. Ryan was left too with her following shot and although Murphy beat it by 40m it was another missed opportunity. Ryan punished her with a great 12th throw to the creamery line to regain her bowl of odds.

She got a sensational bowl from the cross, which put her two bowls in front. Murphy rallied with a brilliant bowl from there to bring the lead well under two bowls. Ryan responded with another great bowl to push her lead to two bowls of odds again.

On Monday night Damien O’Gorman and Evan Murphy claimed the last two spots in next weekend’s All-Ireland series in Armagh when they won the Munster U14 and U12 finals at Clondrohid.

O’Gorman beat last year’s All-Ireland U12 champion Shane Shannon comfortably in the last shot of the U14 final. O’Gorman raised big odds early on. Shannon gradually eat into that lead and went in front at the Black House. He led to the Bell Inn. O’Gorman got a great bowl from there to take good odds again. Shannon then missed the line and O’Gorman beat it well.

Evan Murphy beat Mark Shannon, a cousin of Shane’s, in the U12 final. He opened with a serious bowl, which helped him raise a bowl at the Bell Inn. He was untouchable from there and won by over two bowls.

Denis Collins retained the Munster Vintage A title when he beat Mick Murphy (I) in the last shot at Grange. Murphy led by 60m after four to Hodnett’s, but Collins took a 30m lead when he got a super shot from there. He was 50m in front at the school cross and beat the line in another four to hold his lead.

There are only five players still in contention in the Mick Barry Cup in the race to fill the last available qualifying position for the 25th King of the Roads at Ballincurrig in October. Eamon Bowen Jnr had a comprehensive win over John Creedon to secure a semi-final meeting with James O’Donovan.

James Buckley is in the other semi-final, where he will play the winner of the Willie O’Donovan – Eamon Bowen Snr quarter-final.

Wayne Calnan beat Brian Wilmot by a bowl in the Lyre semi-final. He got a brilliant third shot to the forestry entrance to take a big lead when Wilmot got poor third and fourth shots. He was almost a bowl in front after his fourth and eventually raised it with his shot to Crowley’s bend. He came out well on top in the shots through the bends to push his lead to almost two bowls.


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