MARTIN COPPINGER and Brian Daly beat Gary Daly and Thomas Boyle by well over a bowl at Grenagh, thanks mostly to Coppinger’s brilliance.
Brian Daly won the first tip from Thomas Boyle. Gary Daly followed with a big shot to the end of the kerb, which Coppinger missed by 60m. Brian Daly played his next bowl to the right and beat that tip by just 50m to leave almost a bowl between them.
Boyle got a good bowl to the ‘S’ bend, which Coppinger beat by 60m. Gary Daly extended the lead to almost a bowl with his next shot onto the straight. He and Boyle were a full bowl clear at the halfway line. Coppinger wiped most of that lead out with a brilliant bowl from the farmhouse to the white wall. Boyle missed that tip by 70m and Gary Daly beat it by just 30m.
Boyle extended the lead to 80m in the next exchange with Brian Daly. Coppinger and Brian Daly rallied again with three good throws to Boula lane, where they led by just under a metre.
Gary Daly was just short of the novice line after his next shot. Coppinger grabbed victory with a sensational reply. That bowl went past the novice line, through the cross and out sight at the last bend. Boyle missed that by a distance and the score was over.
John Shorten raised the first flag in the Johnny Holland Cup at Bauravilla when he beat Donal Riordan by almost a bowl.
Riordan raced almost a bowl clear in the shots to the cross. He held that lead to the netting. Shorten rallied strongly to the rock where he was level. He won his first lead with his next and began to exert more pressure with two more good shots to the bridge, where he had full sight and Riordan hadn’t.
Riordan lofted well and held the lead under a bowl in the shots to the top of the hill. Shorten then made the paling. Riordan now needed a perfect bowl tight on the left to level it, but he was too tight and missed Shorten’s tip. He fought on well and brought the lead back under a bowl, but Shorten never loosened his grip and beat the line in 16 throws.
Maurice Connolly beat Mick Gould with a brilliant last shot in the Templemichael tournament. Gould won the first two tips. Connolly took the third with a great shot to full sight. Gould went back in front with a perfectly played bowl around the bend and was still in front after six onto the straight past the white wall.
Connolly bowled strongly past Sarsfield’s Court cross to go back in front. Gould edged in front again at the green and stayed in front to the bend. Connolly led after a great bowl to the novice line and tightened his grip with a good bowl to the last bend. Gould hit back with a magnificent last bowl that beat the line. Connolly produced the big reply he needed to beat it well.
Pat O’Donovan beat Derry Crowley by a bowl in the Bog Road tournament. They got three good shots each to Danny’s lane. O’Donovan won the shots to the factory and increased his lead at the next tip. Crowley edged the following tip, but O’Donovan got a great bowl towards the Major’s to go back in front. He increased his odds in his next to sight and went further in front to the Bog gate. He stretched ahead with a good bowl to the last bend and raised a bowl with another good throw to Eudie’s to seal it.
Pat Broderick bowled very well to beat Ger Connolly in the Ballygurteen final. He was a bowl in front after three shots to sight. He made the women’s lane in three more where he was two in front. Connolly rallied on the straight, but Broderick pulled clear again and raised a third bowl.
Craig Moynihan had two wins from three starts. The first was a last shot win over Frank Kiely at Donoughmore. Kiely won the first three tips, but Moynihan led after a great fourth to the bounds. He lost momentum to Ring’s corner where Kiely was a bowl in front. Kiely increased his lead to almost two bowls at Ring’s house.
He made a mistake with his next and Moynihan fought back. He got two massive bowls from the halfway line to lead for the last shot and won the last exchange. Kiely beat him in the return. A big bowl to light at Ring’s corner turned this one for Kiely. Moynihan beat a huge last shot from Jimmy O’Donoghue at Templemichael for his third win.
There was a Drinagh double at Ardcahan where John Young beat Denis Wilmot by three bowls and Donncha O’Brien beat Johnny Murphy by a bowl.
Chris Mallon is the new Ulster chairperson, taking over from Mick Nugent who retired. He is father of Kelly Mallon, one of Ireland’s leading senior women bowlers. The other officers remain in place.
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