All-Ireland champ Kelly Mallon withdraws from Queen of the Roads 

Meanwhile, All-Ireland men’s champion, Thomas Mackle beat Gary Daly in the Joe O’Sullivan Cup final at Castletownbere, giving him a huge boost ahead of King of the Roads.
All-Ireland champ Kelly Mallon withdraws from Queen of the Roads 

Road Bowling action. Picture: Cathal Noonan

All-Ireland senior champion and six times winner, Kelly Mallon, has confirmed that she will not be able to contest the 2022 Queen of the Roads.

The sensational news means that All-Ireland intermediate champion Denise Murphy could close the year as Queen of the Roads. Mallon’s withdrawal opens up an extra wild card place. So Murphy having beaten Emma Fitzpatrick in the Gretta Cormican Cup semi-final at Ardcahan on Sunday goes through with Maria Nagle, whom she was scheduled to meet in the final.

Meanwhile, All-Ireland men’s champion, Thomas Mackle beat Gary Daly in the Joe O’Sullivan Cup final at Castletownbere, giving him a huge boost ahead of King of the Roads. He got the better of the great opening shots by a metre. Daly won the second one by 25m and led the next three to light past the graveyard. Mackle regained the lead at the quarry, but there was no significant gain on either side to light facing the council yard, where Mackle had 40m odds after ten.

Mackle gained critical odds when he made the end of the council yard with his next one. Daly missed light with his reply and Mackle went out to extend his lead. Daly only beat that tip by 40m to fall almost a bowl behind. Mackle held the lead close to a bowl with a great 13th shot past Teach Maoldia. He edged even closer to a bowl with his next and then beat the line with his 16th to seal it.

In the Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads semi-final at Ballincurrig he plays James O’Donovan and Dutch champion Bas Senger. The other side of the draw has defending champion David Murphy, Munster champion Michael Bohane and Germany’s Ralf Look. Look came with a late surge in the European championships and threatened to knock Séamus Sexton out of the gold spot.

Champion Silke Tulk opens her defence of the Kingston Homes Queen of the Roads against Maria Nagle and Denise Murphy in the absence of Kelly Mallon. European champion Lindsay Leussink takes on Munster champion Hannah Sexton and German champion Martina Goldstein. For the first time, there will be two Dutch players in contention.

Mackle beat Martin Coppinger by over two bowls in Saturday’s Joe O’Sullivan Cup semi-final. Coppinger’s first bowl hit a pillar, which presaged one of his more difficult days. Mackle beat that well, but Coppinger followed with two good bowls to the truck park to cut the lead to 60m. Mackle kept control by making light at the graveyard in two more. Coppinger had missed light in five, so was almost a bowl behind after his sixth. Mackle’s next to the quarry was not his best, but Coppinger only beat it by 40m.

One bowl morphed into two bowls after Coppinger lofted a dead bowl at the wind. There was little chance of reeling in Mackle from there and he went on to comfortably make the final. Earlier Gary Daly beat James O’Donovan in the last shot.

O’Donovan won the opening shots to the Cope centre. He followed with a huge second bowl to raise a bowl of odds. They contested that lead to the graveyard. O’Donovan increased his lead past the industrial units, but Daly brought the lead under a bowl with a great eighth shot around the wind. He followed with two more brilliant bowls to win a 40m lead. He increased his lead to the council yard and went on to raise a bowl with his 12th to the bungalow.

O’Donovan knocked the bowl with his following shot on the straight and had the lead back to just 15m after Daly made a mistake with his 15th. They were locked together in the closing sequence, but Daly got the better of the last shot to advance.

Denise Murphy led Emma Fitzpatrick in the early shots at Ardcahan. She raised a bowl with her fifth to Dickson’s. Fitzpatrick gradually cut the odds and levelled with a big bowl to the silver gate. She won her first lead at the oak tree. She lost vital odds when she unluckily missed the last bend. She recovered with a great last bowl, but Murphy impressively beat it by 30m.

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