Laois Juvenile Handball News
Laois Juvenile Handball One-Wall Championships 2015
The continued growth of the game of handball within Laois was clearly evident at this year’s county juvenile one-wall championships where our top underage players produced some truly sparkling handball as they went in search of coveted county titles. Ballacolla played host to the action and entered these championships hopeful that their club players could challenge the more established and experienced handballers of Monavea and Culllohill.
In the Girls U13 championship, Lauren McGuigan (Cullohill) performed superbly to take the title. In her semi-final she defeated Emma Delaney (Cullohill) 21-6 and was equally impressive in the final where she outgunned Lucy O’Connor (Cullohill) 21-4. In the Plate final, Emma Delaney bounced back from her loss to Lauren to defeat Sorcha Brennan (Ballacolla) 21-3.
With three of the competitors boasting titles from last year’s Leinster One-Wall championships the quality of handball in the Girls U17 competition was to prove scintillating. Molly O’Connor (Cullohill) was outstanding in her 21-7 victory over Maeve Bergin (Cullohill) and followed this up with another excellent display to defeat Eimear Dunphy (Cullohill) 20-7 to book a place in the Girls U17 final. In the final she faced Emily McGuigan (Cullohill), who had given a dominant display in her semi-final to overcome Maeve MacNeill (Cullohill) 21-6. Both girls played with great determination and skill with the title eventually going the way of Molly O’Connor on a 21-6 score line. The Plate final proved a close encounter with Maeve Bergin defeating Eimear Dunphy 17-10.
The Boys U11 title was to go the way of Monavea with Jonah Kelly proving too strong for the challenge of Cullohill’s Dylan Foyle and Luke Dunphy in the semi-final and final respectively. The Plate final, proved to be a thrilling encounter with Dylan Foyle edging his clubmate Jack Dunphy on a 15-11 scoreline.
Having been drawn in the preliminary round, Conor Delaney (Cullohill) had to progress through three gruelling rounds of games to reach the Boys U13 final where Ben Dunphy (Cullohill) awaited him. The final was tension filled with each ace won hard fought. Come the end of play a mere two aces separated the two players with Conor narrowly defeating his unfortunate club mate 8-6. A special mention must be given to the performances of the Ballacolla players Aaron Boylan, William Rafter, Evan Hawkes and Cillian Dunne who will certainly challenge for county titles in the coming years based on their performances at this year’s county championships. In the Plate final, Tiernach Doheny (Cullohill) proved too strong for Monavea’s Josh Kelly 21-12.
The Boys U17 competition was to prove highly competitive with little separating a number of the competitors. The Ballacolla challenge was very evident at this grade with both Chris Rafter and Diarmuid Conway progressing to the semi-finals after impressive victories in the quarter finals. In the first semi-final, last year’s Leinster U15 one-wall champion Padraig Delaney (Cullohill) had to be at his very best to defeat Chris Rafter 21-10 while Eoghan Doheny (Cullohill) did enough to squeeze past Diarmuid Conway 11-4 in the second semi-final. The final was a fantastic advertisement for all that is good in Laois handball at present with both players showing huge skill, determination and endeavour in their quest to be crowned county champion. After a fantastic battle between two hugely talented handballers it was Padraig who eventually won out 13-10. In the Plate final, there was joy for Ballacolla when Stephen Halley defeated his clubmate Philip Henneberry 12-7.