Avondhu Road Bowling
James O’Donovan escaped to victory once again after another dramatic ending to a Willie Whelton Cup contest.
David Murphy was the overwhelming favourite in their semi-final joust at Grange on Sunday last and looked to have the final slot in the bag but was thwarted by a storming finish by the Bandon man.
Murphy made the early running delivering bullet-like casts down to the ‘stud farm’ and on to ‘Holland’s wall’ at which point his lead amounted to a bowl of odds. O’Donovan was struggling to make an impact and Murphy consolidated his lead with a fine effort to ‘DeBarra’s’, and it looked like two in the making until a misdirected underarm attempt on the incline to the ‘school cross’ by the Brinny man kept the odds to the bare bowl.
O’Donovan knocked that with a fine effort to ‘O’Sullivan’s and was soon in front as Murphy’s accuracy left him down.
O’Donovan’s bowling up past ‘Hodnett’s’ kept him front and he took a valuable forty metre lead to the final exchanges. Murphy, from well back got a massive last shot, putting pressure back on the cup holder. O’Donovan missed the mark but was ‘called’ and it was a reprieve he made the most of beating the tip by metres with his second attempt.
Coming just weeks after the narrowest victory over Arthur McDonagh, the Bandon man dutifully stays in contention to retain the impressive trophy dedicated to his late, long time mentor and his final opponent will come from a trio still involved in the other side of the draw, Gavin Twohig, Aidan Murphy or Michael Bohane. The stake at Grange amounted to €4,100.
At Lyre, the intermediate tournament final went the way of Paul Buckley after a big last shot victory over Michael Bohane. Neither were at their best early on with Buckley’s opener just escaping from the left but Bohane did not take full advantage.
Buckley’s second was a good one that gave him the lead, but he lost it again with a poor third. The lead changed again subsequently before Bohane took valuable odds to ‘Crowley’s wall’. Buckley countered this with a big eighth and he was suddenly in front again when Bohane’s reply for sight caught the left.
‘Called’ bowls disrupted the second half of the score. Buckley was called twice on his ninth throwing across the ‘double bend’ but gained good odds to ‘McCarthy’s corner’ when Bohane, also having been ‘called’, missed up on his second attempt.
Bohane levelled with a break and led with a sweeping drive to the ‘ash tree’. From thirty metres hind, Buckley threw the score winning shot, a powerful effort on the centre that his opponent missed well. The Crossbarry man won by a big last shot for a combined €6,800. Back the road, Jordan O’Sullivan defeated Brendan O’Neill for a €5,000 total.
It was tournament final day at Sam’s Cross where, under the commendable guidance of Florence O’Sullivan and his team, an old novice C competition was completed. Lisbealad man William Daly, emerged the winner from Rosscarbery’s Michael Cussen and the pair delivered a lively decider that carried a €1,260 total stake. Daly led by a bowl after two but, Cussen, with big shots to ‘Shorten’s’ quickly levelled.
Around the half-way point, Daly was in control again but a misplaced effort at ‘Collins’ left Cussen with a chance he didn’t spurn, and tips were even once more.
In a thrilling closing sequence both men threw shots of prodigious length. Cussen’s last was a mighty effort but Daly closed out the victory with an even better response. Back the road, Alan Keane defeated Joe Tyner by a bowl for €1,000.
Bol Chumann’s convention held at St Finbarr’s GAA pavilion Togher on Wednesday December 5, heard reports from leading officers all of which professed satisfaction with what was a generally successful year but also one that presented challenges on many fronts.
Susan Greene, who has extended her term as Chairperson for another twelve months, spoke at length in her address on the difficulties the Association faces due to escalating insurance costs. ‘Bowling clubs have been proactive’ she said ‘in ensuring safety measures were adhered to and compliance in all facets was an absolute requirement going forward.
The appointment of safety officer, Michael Brennan, and his subsequent sterling work with club and regional officers has she been hugely beneficial’ she said.
The publication of the ‘Management of Health & Safety Policy Manual in relation to Bol Chumann na hEireann’ has highlighted awareness of all issues relating to responsible running of scores.
The chairperson was fulsome in her praise for those at club and regional level who ensured a championship programme that included twenty-one separate categories ranging from boys and girls U12 to vintage (over 60) men was run off successfully.
She referred too to Bol Chumann’s humanitarian trip to Italy in May as part of the International Bowlplaying Association support initiative in aid of earthquake victims at Ussita and said it was a worthy and worthwhile effort on behalf of the Association.
All-Ireland events at Grenagh, Tullysaran, Boston and Westport were particular highlights and she alluded too to other positive developments such as Carbery regions initiative at Skibbereen Showgrounds and the continuing success of youths team events and the post-primary schools day at Shannonvale.
Honorary Secretary, Brendan Hayes gave a comprehensive overview of all the years activities. On a month to month basis there was a continual programme right through the year. Tournament finals, grading and Bol Fada festival scores were early season highlights and these were followed by an extensive championship programme all of which the secretary outlined in detail.
The trip to Boston, Unlimited All-Irelands at Westport, the King and Queen of the Roads festival and Bol Chumann’s presentation night were also included among the list of events referred to by Mr Hayes.
James O’Driscoll’s treasurer’s report was eagerly looked forward to and it was with relief he said that he was just about able to balance the books given the substantial expenditure incurred by insurance hikes, necessary travels abroad and the upgrading of safety measures by clubs. He too was praiseworthy of the work done by Michael Brennan since his appointment early last year.
Mr Brennan also addressed the meeting, giving details of clubs visited and difficulties arising. Pat McCarthy PRO thanked all who provided details of scores and said the total over the year amounted to several thousand, a figure that represented high level of activity. He thanked the various media outlets and the many people who contributed to them.
Delegates were welcomed by city secretary, Declan O’Leary and there was a special welcome for Association President, Liam O’Keefe, who had stepped won as a city regional officer after a forty-year tenure but retains the position of Association President.
Secretary Brendan Hayes announced that no nominations for officerships had been received. All sitting officers allowed their names go forward for 2019 and were deemed re-elected. Serving for 2019 are: President, Liam O’Keefe; chairperson, Susan Greene; Vice-Chairman, Pat O’Sullivan; Honorary Secretary, Brendan Hayes; Treasurer, James O’Driscoll; Registrar, Billy McAuliffe; Youth’s Officer, Dan McCarthy; PRO, Pat McCarthy; Fixtures Secretary, Harry Jennings; Honorary Life member, Kieran Harrington; Patrons’; Rev Dr, John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross; Bishop Paul Coulton, Church of Ireland.
A special EGM in January will consider rule changes pertaining practice shots (Mid Cork), grading (City region), called bowls (East Cork) and changes relating to safety measures contained in proposals by Michael Brennan.