Bryan Wilmot launched the John-John O’Driscoll Cup at Grange with an impressive win over Tommy O’Sullivan to extend his sensational run to six-in-a-row.
He opened with a great bowl, which O’Sullivan missed by 30m. He kept control and made the stud farm bend in two more, while O’Sullivan missed it in three. O’Sullivan got back in the frame with a super fourth to Holland’s wall. He followed with a brilliant one past Barry’s farm to take his first lead. They reached the start of the school cross in seven each. Wilmot made light at Hegarty’s with a good loft there, while O’Sullivan’s only made the green.
Wilmot turned the screw by making light facing up to O’Sullivan’s next, after O’Sullivan had missed. He raised a bowl with another big one up the hill towards Hodnett’s. He then beat two big shots in succession from O’Sullivan to hold his bowl of odds past the bungalow. He drove on to reach the pub in 15 super throws.
The Ból-Fada Easter classis at Keady-Tassagh has an exciting combination of top quality senior men’s competitions interspersed with the best from the underage and junior ranks. It starts with a super mixed-doubles involving four young players of real quality in Ethan Hughes and Lily O’Rourke for Ulster against Laura Sexton and Daniel O’Sullivan for Munster.
Arthur McDonagh defends the Joe McVeigh Cup against All-Ireland champion Thomas Mackle on Easter Sunday. These two played out a brilliant All-Ireland final two years ago at Baile Bhuirne, which McDonagh won. He will want to set the tone for 2023 by repeating that result. Mackle showed so much of the x-factor in his sensational second half of last year’s All-Ireland final. For both there is no better place to put down a marker for 2023 than at Ból-Fada.
Patrick Flood has a chance to frank his credentials as a serious senior championship contender when he plays Colm Rafferty on Saturday. Equally, nothing short of an impressive win will sit well with Rafferty. Michael Bohane will want momentum ahead of the defence of his Munster title too. He takes on Bryan O’Reilly who had a nice win over Flood at Eglish during the Imbolc weekend.
It was a big weekend for brothers Brian and Colman Murray. Together with Danny O’Donovan and Ian O’Sullivan, they formed the Ardcahan team that won the Munster novice team championships at Castletownkenneigh. Their win coincided with the semi-final of the John Murray Cup, in honour of their late father. O’Donovan was the go to player. He got a massive bowl from Spillane’s to Hennessy’s that was instrumental in giving them a 16.4 m edge on Cill na Martra, after both teams beat the line in nine.
Michael A. Cronin reached the John Murray Cup final at the expense of Padraig O’Callaghan at Ardcahan. He raised a bowl after three to O’Leary’s and had almost two at the top of Broderick’s hill. He raised the second bowl at Healy’s.
Lisa Hegarty beat Margaret Sexton in the Munster intermediate championship at Shannonvale. They made sight in one and were locked together in the next eight to Desmond’s. A combination of strong play from Hegarty and a blocked bowl for Sexton, gave Hegarty a big lead at Buttimer’s pillars. She raised a bowl with her next, which proved decisive.
John Shorten beat David O’Mahony in the Hancy Hubbard Cup at Béal na Marbh. He got an early advantage by making light in two. O’Mahony followed with two big bowls to win the lead. Shorten edged back in front after seven to the railings and gained almost a bowl in 12 to the end of the straight. He raised the bowl with his last shot up the hill.
Denis O’Sullivan beat Jimmy O’Driscoll in the last shot of an exciting Junior A tie at the Pike. He was a shot in front after five to White’s cross. O’Driscoll levelled and put it up to O’Sullivan in the second half. He closed with a brilliant bowl towards the line, but O’Sullivan beat the line with his reply.
Noel O’Donovan was sensational against Brendan O’Neill in the Junior B championship at Newcestown. O’Neill raised almost a bowl in three to Mac’s lane. From there O’Donovan was on another plane. He just missed Allen’s lane next to win his first lead. He scorched to Buttimer’s in four more to go almost two clear. He was at O’Brien’s cross in 13, where he was three clear.