Laois Handball News
Double Success for Laois Handball
Last weekend, Laois handballers recorded two notable successes with victories at the Golden Gloves and the Leinster One-Wall Doubles Championships. In the Golden Gloves played in Belfast, Andrew Dowling and Pauric Buggy both entered the tournament with realistic ambitions of claiming the Men’s C competition. At the same time in Ballacolla, Michael Donovan and Kevin Brennan teamed up to form a formidable partnership in the Leinster Doubles One-Wall Championships.
In the opening round of the Golden Gloves, Andrew Dowling and Pauric Buggy gave impressive performances to progress to the semi-finals. Andrew recorded an emphatic 21-4 21-8 victory over Anthony Crotty of Tipperary while Pauric was in equally devastating form defeating Fergal McWilliams of Wexford 21-12 21-16. The semi-final draw was to pit both Laois handballers in opposition with Pauric progressing to the final with a surprisingly one-sided 21-5 21-12 victory.
Pauric faced a dangerous opponent in Aaron Geoghegan of Carlow in the Men’s C final. The Laois handballer seemed to be in complete control of the opening game, building up a 20-12 lead. Unbelievably, Geoghegan was to reel off the next 9 aces to snatch the opening game 21-20. Pauric remained unfazed by his opening game loss and displayed great mental resolve to power his way to parity, winning the second game 21-8. With the momentum now firmly behind him, the Laois handballer seized the initiative and never allowed his opponent gain any foothold in the tie-breaker. Pauric deservingly claimed the Golden Gloves Men’s C title on a scoreline of 20-21 21-8 11-0.
In the Boys U15 competition at the Golden Gloves, Padraic Delany of Cullohill added to his growing reputation as a future star of the game by qualifying for the U15 final where he faced Antoine Fox of Tyrone. Unfortunately it was the Tyrone handballer who prevailed in two games but Padraic will learn and improve greatly from this experience.
In the Leinster Doubles One-Wall Final played in Clough-Ballacolla, Laois duo Kevin Brennan and Michael Donovan went into their encounter with Darren Carter and Jack McCarthy of Westmeath as slight favourites. The Laois handballers lived up to their billing as skilful one-wall players by giving a dominant display to outclass their up and coming opponents from Westmeath in two games.
This victory capped off a memorable week for Laois handball and adds two more titles to a hugely successful 2015 for Laois handball. With so many of our top handballers in excellent form at the moment the competition for the Laois One-Wall championships and the prize of the Mick Dunne Cup will be stiff. Michael Donovan will go into the championships as defending champion but he will face formidable opposition in All-Ireland Golden Masters champion Paddy Donovan, Leinster Junior 40×20 Doubles champion Pauric Buggy, World Men’s C Doubles champion Tómas Lennon and Leinster Junior B Doubles 60×30 champion Ray Fogarty to name but a few with Kevin Brennan leading host club Clough-Ballacolla’s challenge for county championship success.