Ulster stars Cathal Toal and Thomas Mackle secure impressive wins

Ulster visitors Cathal Toal and Thomas Mackle pulled off a significant double over Munster rivals at the weekend. Toal beat James Buckley at Ballincurrig in the Mick Barry Cup and Mackle beat Aidan Murphy in the Sonny O’Donovan Cup in Ardcahan.

At Ballincurrig, Toal opened with a good bowl past the school, which Buckley beat by 20m. Toal clipped the left bank with his second and missed Moore’s gate. Buckley increased his lead with a fine throw to the black sign. Toal then got a good bowl to Geary’s. Buckley played his to the left and missed that by five metres.

Toal increased his odds to 50m with a fast bowl to the end of the creamery. Buckley hit back with a super shot to the pony’s gate, which Toal beat by just 20m. Buckley followed with a great bowl to Heaphy’s to regain the lead by 20m. Toal got a good bowl to just short of O’Riordan’s and Buckley beat it by 20m.

They both fluffed their next shots. Toal was too wide with his and Buckley was too tight and his bowl hopped onto the bank 20m hind.

Buckley then played a great bowl to the half-way line. Toal’s reply was incredibly tight, but it brushed the edge and ran to sight. After the next exchange Toal was almost at the big corner and Buckley was 80m back at Leahy’s. Buckley had a chance of levelling by making the corner, but he missed Toal’s tip to concede a bowl of odds. After three more to the start of the sycamores Toal had a well over a bowl. Buckley brought it back to an even bowl with a great shot to the elbow. They were on the same tip after the shots to sight at the last bend. Buckley closed with a massive shot to the end of the green, which saved the bowl of odds.

Mackle beat Aidan Murphy by close to a bowl too at Ardcahan. Murphy won three of the first four shots. Mackle took the fifth to O’Farrell’s and beat Murphy’s two big shots to Crowley’s. Murphy edged the shots to Ardcahan cross. His following bowl brushed perfectly off hoarding and reached sight to raise a bowl of odds.

Murphy’s next two were poor though and his lead dropped to 25m. He hit O’Mahony’s house with his next, but he still had 70m odds. Mackle reached Murray’s cross from there. Murphy looked set to beat it well, but his bowl was blocked.

Mackle regained the lead with his next towards the bridge. Murphy missed the rub at the bridge with his next. Mackle’s reply hopped the end of the bridge and went close to the finish line. Murphy’s reply just beat it to leave almost a bowl between them.

Joanne Carroll created history on Sunday when she brought the first Munster title to the east Waterford village of Fenor. She beat Laura O’Callaghan by almost a bowl in the Junior women’s final at the Bog Road.

She was in the zone for the off. She raised a bowl after three to Danny’s lane and held it to the Major’s. O’Callaghan bowled on strongly. She knocked the bowl before Eudie’s, but could get no closer.

Donal O’Donovan reached the Munster Vintage A final with an impressive win over Christy Butler at Ballinacarriga. Despite missing the first bend in two, Butler was in contention after four to the bridge. He got two poor shots there to fall almost a bowl behind.

O’Donovan raised a full bowl with a good shot onto the straight. Butler held the lead at a bowl to the creamery. He then missed sight at Hehir’s corner and when O’Donovan went well around it he was two clear.

Hannah Sexton won her second Munster title of 2016 when she beat Anna Hurley in the girls u14 final at Jagoes Mills. She raised a bowl with a huge first shot, but Hurley stayed with her for the next series. Sexton got two more big bowls to Hayes’ corner to raise a second bowl, there was no way back after that.

Natalie Dempsey just edged Marie Russell in the girls U12 final at the same venue. She won the first four shots. Russell led after a big bowl around Hayes’ bend and stayed in front into the last quarter. It was decided when Russell missed the line with her last and Dempsey beat it.

Wayne Callanan beat David Hubbard by almost a bowl in the Hughie Desmond Cup at Curraheen. He was a bowl in front after six to the bridge. Hubbard knocked the bowl with his next, but Callanan raised it again after two more towards the riding school. He held that in the next three to sight at Richard’s lane.

Hubbard knocked the bowl with his second last to Lane’s, but Callanan beat the line with his next to ensure victory.

Meghan Collins is through to the Gretta Cormican Cup final after a last shot win over Emma Hickey at Grange.

At Derrinasafa, James Nagle beat John Shorten in the last shot.


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