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Laois Handball Scene
Sport

Laois Handball Scene

Laois Handballers in Irish One-Wall Nationals

 

The Irish One-Wall Nationals was recently played in front of huge crowds and an electric atmosphere in Breaffy House, Castlebar. Laois were well represented at these championships with four of our players battling for honours at various grade levels. Paddy Donovan was considered by many as a strong contender for the Golden Masters title considering the impressive form he has shown throughout 2015.

In the Girls 19 & Under, Niamh Dunne (Cullohill) found herself in a strong group with Maeve McElduff (Tyrone), Ciana Ní Churraoin (Galway) and Niamh Coleman (Armagh). Niamh entered the Nationals carrying an arm injury but played through the pain barrier in her opening game with Maeve McElduff to match her opponent ace for ace. In a game of high skill and intensity it was the Tyrone girl who narrowly edged the encounter on a 16-14 scoreline. Having agonizingly lost out in a scintillating game of handball, Niamh failed to reproduce her best form in her remaining games going down 29-6 to Ciana Ní Churraoin and 21-8 to Niamh Coleman.

 

In the Masters competition, Kevin Brennan (Ballacolla) was confident he could give a good account of himself considering the impressive form he has shown in the Laois One-Wall League where he has registered a number of notable victories. Kevin was drawn against a strong opponent in Seamus McCrory (Tyrone) in his first round game and it proved to be a thriller between two fine exponents of the game of One-Wall handball. Unfortunately for Kevin a solidarity ace was to decide the contest with the Tyrone man progressing on a 15-14 scoreline.

 

Padraig Delaney (Cullohill) was in action in the Boys 15 & Under and was drawn against a strong opponent in Antoin Fox (Tyrone). He gave a good account of himself but Fox showed his greater One-Wall experience to prevail 31-11.

 

In the Golden Masters, Paddy Donovan (Monavea) recorded hugely impressive victories over Oisin Quinn (Sligo) 31-4 and Sean McNally (Down) 28-13 to progress to the final where he faced Robbie McCarthy Snr. (Westmeath). The opening stages of the encounter were close with both players showing incredible skills and ability to kill the ball from all areas of the court. Crucially for the Westmeath man, he was to enjoy a purple patch midway through the encounter to open up a 5 ace lead. Paddy now had to throw caution to the wind in an attempt to reel back the deficit before the game clock expired. Despite his best efforts, Robbie McCarthy Snr. held on to win a very competitive affair 17-12.

 

In the premier competitions, Catríona Casey of Cork took the Women’s Open title and Conor McElduff of Tyrone was victorious in the Men’s Open.