Patrick Flood (Intermediate) and John Creedon (Junior A) secured the first two Munster titles of 2022 and their places in next month’s All-Ireland finals at Ballincurrig. Armagh’s James Oliver joins them after defeating Tyrone dynamo, Gene McVeigh, in the Ulster Junior A final.
Nineteen year old Patrick Flood won a gripping Intermediate final by five metres against Donal O’Riordan at Ballincurrig on Sunday. O’Riordan opened with a sensational bowl to full sight and then made the black sign to lead by 200m. He lost momentum with his next three and had just five metres odds after six to just short of the no-play line.
Flood won his first lead with a fine ninth onto the long straight. He followed with a great bowl to the top of the straight, which put him within a metre of a bowl of odds. He raised the bowl with his next one to the elbow. O’Riordan then opened the big corner. Flood misplayed his reply, missed light and lost virtually all his odds.
O’Riordan played a brilliant bowl to full sight at the top of the short straight, which Flood narrowly missed. O’Riordan led the next one to Din Tough’s too. Flood was back in front after a great bowl to the elbow. They opened the last bend with big shots, with Flood still fore O’Riordan’s last bowl was right, but it came back off the avenue and wheeled into the middle of the green. Flood delivered a lightening bowl up the middle, it ran into the green too and just beat O’Riordan’s tip.
The Munster and Ulster Junior A finals, were also battles between youth and experience, in both the young guns failed. John Creedon beat Timmy McDonagh comfortably in the Munster final at Ballincurrig. A mistake by McDonagh from the top of the short straight deflated what to that point was a magnificent contest.
McDonagh raced clear with three great bowls to the green. Creedon rallied with a perfectly weighted loft that turned with the road and made the creamery. McDonagh beat that by just 80m, when he might have stayed further in front. They made Heaphy’s in two more, with McDonagh 30m fore.
Creedon closed the gap to five metres as the bottom of the long straight. McDonagh stretched clear in the next two to Leahy’s. Creedon then made the elbow with a smartly lofted bowl. McDonagh replied with another great bowl, which narrowly missed the big corner. Had it gone out, he would have been hard to reel in.
Creedon played a brilliant bowl to light at the top of the short straight, which McDonagh beat by two metres. Creedon lofted again and made the middle of the wind at Din Tough’s. In a flash the contest was virtually over. McDonagh landed his reply in the righthand dyke and his follow up bowl caught the left to leave him a full bowl adrift.
Creedon held his lead in the next one and sealed it with a perfectly played bowl that scorched out the last bend. So ended his quest for the famous Fr Michael O’Driscoll cup that started in 1990 as an 18-year old.
In Ulster James Oliver beat Gene McVeigh in the last shot at Eglish. Oliver took advantage of a flaky start by McVeigh to race over a bowl clear. McVeigh found his rhythm and led with two to go, but Oliver produced a massive last shot to take it.
Paddy O’Donnell beat Mark Dean at Jagoes Mills and Cillian Kelleher beat Josh Murphy at The Clubhouse to reach the Munster under-18 final. The winner will play Tyrone’s Anthony McVeigh who beat Ciarán Corrigan in the Ulster final at Eglish.
Natalie Dempsey beat Ciara Creedon at the Clubhouse to advance to meet European champion Rachel Kingston in the girls under-18 final.
In the Munster U14 semi-finals Jonathon O’Callaghan beat Ross O’Brien at Castletownkenneigh. At Timoleague Daniel O’Sullivan beat Tom McCarthy who beat 2021 under-12 champion Ben Cooney in the quarter-final. Ethan Hughes and Ryan Connolly contest the Ulster under-14 final First cousins Thomas Mackle and Colm Rafferty will meet in the Ulster senior final after topping their qualification groups.