Sexton and O’Donovan in Munster showdown

Séamus Sexton and Willie O’Donovan will contest what promises to be an exceptional Munster intermediate final at Jagoes Mills on Sunday.

Sexton has been the form player at the grade, but O’Donovan has massive experience, going all the way to All-Ireland success in 2009. Sexton lost the 2010 Munster intermediate final to eventual All-Ireland winner Paddy O’Donoghue. On the basis of their previous records and current form, there is little to choose between them.

On Sunday, Sexton easily dismissed Davy Fitzgerald in the semi-final at Carrigaline, despite not matching his earlier season form. He led from the off, edging the early shots by margins of 20 to 30m. Fitzgerald failed to settle and was a bowl down at Ashman’s.

Sexton continued to control the score and he raised a second bowl in the shots to Drinan’s. From there, he was never under pressure and had well over two bowls at the end.

O’Donovan beat PJ Cooney in the other semi-final at Cobh. O’Donovan got a huge fourth to Dennis’s to raise a bowl. Cooney got two poor throws to Sam’s corner, which left him almost two off the pace. He brought the lead under a bowl with a great shot to McCarthy’s cross but could get no closer.

Peter Nagle and Sean Murphy contest the Munster Junior A final at Grenagh next Saturday. Murphy easily beat Patrick Butler in his semi-final at Carrigaline on Friday and Nagle overcame John Cahalane at Shannonvale on Saturday.

At Shannonvale, Cahalane was just fore after two shots each to McSweeney’s. Nagle gained traction with a brilliant fourth towards the quarry bend, where he had 50m odds.

Cahalane took two more to reach Buttimer’s pillars where he was almost a bowl behind. Nagle turned the screws with two more good bowls to open Desmond’s in seven, where he was a bowl in front.

Cahalane got a great bowl from Desmond’s to bring the lead 40m under a bowl. Nagle responded with a big shot past Kingston’s. Cahalane pulled his reply into the right and missed that tip by 100m. Nagle followed with another big bowl to push his lead to two bowls. He was just short of Campbell’s lane in another two where he was edging towards a third bowl. His big 13th throw past the novice line wrapped it up.

At Carrigaline, Sean Murphy — brother of senior champion Aidan — opened with a big shot. Pa Butler fought back with good second and third shots. However, Murphy increased the intensity in the next two to raise a bowl of odds. He followed with two more good shots to Ashman’s to increase his lead.

He lost some momentum through the big wind from the pump house, but Butler didn’t make significant gains. Murphy played three brilliant bowls in succession on the straight to push his lead to almost three bowls.

Tonight, Carmel Ryan puts her Munster and All-Ireland titles on the line against Emma Fitzpatrick in the Munster senior final at Lyre. Mairéad O’Driscoll and Megan Collins meet in the Munster U18 final.

Tonight’s winners play Kelly Mallon and Sinéad Kiernan in their respective All-Ireland finals. Mallon retained her Ulster senior crown when she beat Dervla Toal-Mallon by two bowls. Kiernan was lucky to retain her U18 title in the last shot from Orla Vallely.

James Buckley was a lucky last shot winner over James O’Donovan in the Mick Barry Cup at Ballincurrig.

John Shorten beat Paddy O’Donoghue by a bowl in the Jim O’Driscoll Cup.

Christy Mullins bounced back from his Munster final defeat to beat Ulster’s Thomas Mackle by two bowls in the Noel Phair Cup at Shannonvale.

Kieran Sexton and Stephen Moore will contest the Munster U18 final. Moore beat Chris Faulkner at Donoughmore on Monday in the semi-final. Faulkner beat Michael Desmond at Bweeng.

Sexton wiped out a bowl of odds deficit to beat Paul Walsh in his semi-final at Ballincurrig. Walsh beat Johnny Kelly at Macroom in the quarter-final, while Sexton beat Shane Shannon at Ballinacurra.

Darragh Kiely and Conor Creedon meet in the Munster U14 Boys final. Kiely beat Felix Murphy in his semi-final at Ballincurrig. Murphy defeated Michael Nyhan in the quarter-final at Macroom. Creedon beat Simon Dorney in his semi-final at Donoughmore. Dorney beat Joey Walsh at the Bog Road in his quarter-final.

In Novice I, Sean Kelly shockedPaudie Murphy in the Gaeltacht final at the Mons. Clive Cahalane beat Ivan Buchanan in the South-West final at Ballygurteen. Dean Sexton beat Andrew O’Callaghan in the North Cork final at Donoughmore. Roddy O’Mahony beat Ger Kelleher and Shane Collins in the Novice II final.


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