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Ethan Rafferty to meet Shane O'Neill in Ulster Championship Road Bowls decider

Ethan Rafferty lets fly in last weekend's Ulster semi-final
Andy Watters

THE winding country roads surrounding Armagh City are regularly thronged by road bowlers at this time of the year. 

The ancient game, played with a metal ball or ‘bullet’, attracts large crowds as players compete to travel a set distance in the least number of ‘shots’ (throws).

Players young and old battle it out in ‘scores’ as competition builds towards Ulster and All-Ireland finals at all levels and the annual showdown with Cork. 

The highlight of this weekend’s programme is the meeting of Ethan Rafferty and Shane O’Neill in the Ulster Junior A Championship final on Friday evening. 

Armagh football star Rafferty showed tremendous form to beat Mick O’Neill last weekend, taking the lead with his opening bowl of 20 yards and following it up with a monster second.

O’Neill didn’t do much wrong but Rafferty kept producing the goods and powered on to book a place in the final against Shane O’Neill.

Meanwhile, Bryan O’Reilly beat Cathal Toal in the semi-final of the men’s senior championship last Sunday. 


Ulster Championship finals

Friday, June 23

Village, Junior A final (7pm): Shane O'Neill v Ethan Rafferty

Bagnalls, Boys U18 final (8pm): Patrick Mackle v Ruairi Hughes

Sunday, June 25

Currans, (10.30am) Paul Dobbin Tournament: Martin Toal v Mark Toal; McGrail’s (11.15am): Gerald Conlon v Damian Hughes (+1 shot); Currans (12pm): Paddy Toal v Frank Oliver; McGrails (12.30pm): Ross Gribben v Michael McGeary


Philip White-sponsored Ulster Championship Junior A: Ethan Rafferty bt Mick O'Neill 3bls; Patrick Mackle bt Caoimhin McGleenan 1 bwl; Ruairi Hughes bt Sean McShane L/shot

Tullysaran Championship fixtures

Wednesday, June 21

Ladies Senior semi-final, Chapel (7pm): Dervla Mallon v Kelly Mallon (Ref: Paddy O, Markers: JK and Padraig)

Sunday, June 25

Men's Intermediate final: Mary Ann's, (2.30pm): Paul Rafferty v James Oliver (Ref: Patrick Conlon, Markers: Saran Daly, JK and Eoin Mullen)

Wallace's (4pm), challenge: Stevie O'Neill and Marty Mullen v Paul McVeigh and Fintan Daly (Markers: Frank and Stevie McGurk)

Wednesday, June 28, Ladies Senior final, Chapel (7pm): Siobhan Mackle v Dervla Mallon or Kelly Mallon


Wednesday, June 21, Jackie Connolly Cup (7pm): Malachy Lappin and Dinny Lappin v Paul Grimley and Erin Connolly; (7.30pm) Paul Hughes and Eamon Connolly v Stephen Doran and Roberto

Friday, June 23

(7pm) Nico Kelly and Tony Hughes v Bilko Quigley and Jarlath Devlin, (7.30pm) Marty Cullinane and Tom McKeever v Shorty Grimley and Jim Mcloughan

Saturday, June 24

Felons (1pm) Grade 4: Sean Gibney v Arturaus Cem

Sunday, June 25:

(11am) Grade 1: Paul Doran v Darren Donnelly v Ryan Gamble; (11.30am): Ike Gribben and Ciaran Hughes v Don Stevenson and Barry Corr; (12pm): Nico Kelly v Shorty Grimley

Tieve Tara Road Bowl Fixtures

Junior C Fixtures

(2pm): Shane Feighan v Brian Kinchin; (3pm) Ryan Fay v Rhys Daly; (4pm) Eoin Hughes V Cormac Garvey

Rock Road Fixtures

Saturday, June 24

Boys’ U16 Corrs, 2pm: Caolan Smith v JP Clinton; (2.30pm): Jake Cullan v Darragh Gribben; (3pm): Eugene McVeigh v Ciaran Hughes

Wednesday, June 28

Corrs (7pm): Ruairi Hughes v Trystan Lyttle; (7.30pm): Jake Cullan/Darragh Gribben v Tiernan Killan


Intermediate quarter-finals: Alisha Rooney beat Karen Grimley, Sinead Kiernan beat Elaine McGrady, Emma O'Neill beat Shannon Mallon

Senior semi-final: Siobhan Mackle beat Erin Connolly

Boys U14 Ulster championship: Eugene McVeigh beat Darren Gribben; Felons Grade 3: Shorty Grimley beat Kieran Smyth

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