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Seamus Sexton: - All Ireland Champion Road Bowler & The Pride Of DuhallowThe Co. Cork born Duhallow native, Séamus Sexton, reached the pinnacle of his road bowling career in 1987 when he was acclaimed as The All Ireland Champion Road Bowler. To further endorse his supreme mastery of senior road bowling in 1987, the thirty six year
old Duhallow bowler also claimed The King Of The Road champion title to make him the undisputed king of road bowling throughout
Ireland in 1987.
Growing up in the Nadd and Banteer rural areas of north Co. Cork in the 1950’s, and in an area steeped in road bowling traditions, Séamus listened to warrior like stories of the great feats of famous Cork bowlers. In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, legends such as the Barry brothers, Mick and Ned, from Waterfall, Co. Cork, were iconic figures of road bowling. Seamus in his teen years would have witnessed these great bowlers splitting the sop and leaving off such immaculate throws over many years and wondered could he emulate such greatness with the 28 ounce steel ball.
The roads and the miles were many before Séamus claimed ultimate honours and in 1971, aged 20, he won the All Ireland junior bowling title to launch a spectacular career. A major highlight of his blossoming career occurred in 1973, when 22 year old Séamus eliminated the legendary 54 year old Mick Barry in the Cork senior championship.
Another milestone was achieved in 1974 at Jeverin, Germany, when Séamus claimed a European Gold medal .The local Bowling Club now had a player in their ranks who was challenging for all the major senior honours. In 1977 Séamus again won a European Gold medal when least expected to take the title.
In 1981, aged just 30, Séamus would win the Cork senior championship title but lost out to Harry Toal Jnr. in the All Ireland final at Armagh.,
The defeat of Gerry Boylan at Whitechurch in the 1987 All Ireland final, for a stake of £800, announced the arrival of the local bowler on the national stage and a special song was composed to honour the local hero. Maintaining his superb 1987 form, he also won The King Of The Road title, beating Bill Daly in the final.
Selection on the Irish team came in 1988 and in 1999, and now a veteran 48 year old, Séamus would reclaim the Cork senior championship, with victory over Kieran Gould in the final. Harry Toal of Armagh beat Séamus in the All Ireland final at Lyre, Clonakilty.
Séamus Sexton competed for the final occasion in 2010, aged 59.
One of the greatest ever bowlers from Duhallow,Co. Cork, Séamus Sexton of Glen, North Banteer, is a worthy inclusion in our historic collection of famous Irish sporting icons at the All Ireland Hall of Fame Online Gallery.
CAREER SUMMARY & MAJOR HONOURS ROLL CALL:
1971: Cork & All Ireland Junior Champion
1972: Beaten by Mick O’Driscoll in Cork Intermediate final
1973: Defeats Mick Barry in Cork senior championship
1974: Wins European Gold Medal
1977: European Champion (Second Time)
1978: Beat Denis Scully in Cork Senior Championship
1981: Cork Senior Champion
1987: Cork Senior Champion All Ireland Senior Champio King Of The Roads Champion
1988: Selected On Irish Senior Bowling Team Beaten By Mick O’Driscoll Cork Senior Final
1999: Munster Senior Champion All Ireland Runner – up to Harry Toal
2002: Winner Of Pat Barry Cup at Donoughmore
2008: Winner Of Veterans All Ireland.. beat Harry Toal
Derry JF Doody