Noel O’Regan wins epic battle for first road bowling crown of 2022


Noel O’Regan became the 16th Mikie Hourihane Cup holder by defeating David Hegarty and Michael Crowley in the first big final of 2022 in Bauravilla on New Years Day.

He overshadowed the first shots. Hegarty played a great second bowl on Robin’s cross to increase the odds by 60m on both of his opponents. He netted in two more where he had a big lead over O’Regan and a bowl over Crowley.

O’Regan regained the lead with a shiny bowl in front of Dekker. All three missed the boulder in two more. After the next trade for rock, Hegarty and O’Regan were tied and Crowley was at a bowl.

All three got bad shots from the rock, which was particularly costly for Crowley in his attempt to reconnect. O’Regan increased his lead to almost a bowl over Hegarty and two over Crowley in the next three at bridge. He didn’t get a good bowl from the bridge and Hegarty grabbed the opening with a good bowl at the top of the climb. O’Regan beat that shot well with a good shot in the hollow.

Hegarty went on to produce a sensational final bowl over the line, despite falling during delivery. This left O’Regan with a sizable 110m target to beat. His cue drifted to the brim, but had enough pep to rub and beat the 10m point.

Since the Beara Peninsula was the last place in Europe to see the light of day in 2021, it was the appropriate venue for the last big bowling event of 2021. The two-day RNLI / Air Ambulance fundraising festival in Castletownbere saw big wins for Aidan Murphy and a smashing brace from first cousins ​​Gary Daly and Patrick Flood among others.

Murphy reversed the recent trend against James O’Donovan in an outright win for € 70,000. O’Donovan overshadowed the first shot a few inches, but Murphy established dominance with a brilliant second and led to the finish. He lifted a bowl of odds with his third pitch and had nearly two after five. The rest of the score hovered around the winning margin, with O’Donovan just saving the second bowl.

Teenager Patrick Flood won the first leg of the double for the Fermoy cousins ​​by beating Tim Young by two bowls. The first exchanges were close. Young led 30m after two, but Flood had a 25m lead after five on GAA. There was little between them after seven at Tallon cross, but from there Flood took over.

He almost threw up a bowl of odds when his eighth rubbed the left. He lifted a full bowl with his neighbor and he quickly turned that into two bowls of odds.

Daly completed the brace in a straight win over Séamus Sexton. An excellent first shot earned him the opening point at 60m. He lifted a bowl with his second and had two bowls ahead at Tallon cross. Sexton rallied to bring the head back to a bowl, but couldn’t get any closer.

Eugene McVeigh also closed 2021 on the right foot when he beat Aaron Hughes by close to a bowl in the main score of the “Aaron’s Mission to Walk” benefit on Cathedral Road on New Years Eve. His first bowl jumped off the curb and Hughes took the 40m point. McVeigh followed up with a series of good bowls to light at the corner of the well, while Hughes didn’t have full light there.

McVeigh increased his odds for McGrath’s Concrete and raised a bowl on Starr Hill. Hughes hit the bowl at the coal sheds. McVeigh got a big bowl away at Brannigan to push his lead again on a bowl, which he held at the big tree. Hughes played a brilliant bowl on Rowntree, McVeigh lucked out with his answer which ensured his victory.

Diarmuid Hurley beat Denis O’Sullivan by a bowl in the Reenascreena final.

The other big winners of the new year were Finbarr Coughlan who beat James Hurley at Bauravilla and Matt McDonagh who beat Shane Keane on the last shot at Baile Bhuirne.

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