Latest Laois Sport: Double All-Ireland glory for Laois Handballers
Laois celebrate double All-Ireland 60×30 Handball Success
The All-Ireland 60×30 championship season concluded this weekend with Laois in the hunt for two All-Ireland 60×30 titles. In the Men’s Over 35B, Monavea’s Andrew Dowling and Tómas Lennon were firm favourites to overcome the challenge of Galway’s Trevor Donovan and Brendan McDonagh while Cullohill’s Aoife Brophy and Éadaoin Whyte faced a strong Tipperary pairing in Christine Percy and Ali O’Reilly in the Girls U17 doubles final. Having played some superb handball in their Leinster final success, hopes were high that the Laois girls would challenge their Tipperary counterparts strongly for All-Ireland glory.
The Men’s O35B final was played in Crinkle and a large Laois support travelled to the Offaly venue in high hopes that Andrew Dowling and Tómas Lennon would add the 60×30 All-Ireland title to the 40×20 All-Ireland title they captured earlier in the year. The Laois handballers found their rhythm early in the opening game and soon built up a sizeable lead thanks largely to Dowling’s accurate serving and Lennon’s ability to kill the ball when the opportunity presented itself. The Galway handballers had no response to the clinical nature of the Laois display and succumbed 21-11 to give Laois the opening game.
It was imperative for the Laois handballers to make a fast start to the second game to ensure that Galway’s chances of mounting a comeback were quickly eradicated. Dowling and Lennon duly obliged, taking control of the encounter with an impressive array of passing, precision and kill shots that put their Galway counterparts on the back foot right from the very off. With the All-Ireland title now firmly within sight, Dowling and Lennon pressed the accelerator button once more to power their way to victory and take the title on a commanding 21-11 21-08 score line. The Galway handballers must be commended for their efforts as they remained competitive throughout but the Laois pairing of Dowling and Lennon were always a class part. In winning the 60×30 title it completes a truly remarkable double for the Laois pairing who exceeded their expectations for the year by capturing All-Ireland titles in both the 40×20 and 60×30 codes.
Men’s O35 B All-Ireland Finalists- Andrew Dowling & Tómas Lennon (Laois) defeated Trevor Donovan & Brendan McDonagh (Galway)
There was also huge anticipation that Cullohill’s Orla Brophy and Éadaoin Whyte could follow suit and capture a second All-Ireland title for Laois when they travelled to Cashel to face Tipperary’s Christine Percy and Ali O’Kelly in the Girls U17 All-Ireland Doubles Final. The Laois girls went into the final full of confidence after their truly outstanding Leinster final victory over the highly talented Kilkenny pairing of Aisling Cooney and Orlaith O’Shea. In the opening game, the Laois pairing played some truly scintillating handball of the highest quality that was a joy to watch for those in attendance. The Tipperary handballers had no answers to the onslaught of top quality serving and ball returns that kept them routed to the back of the alley. In the end, the Laois girls deservedly took the opening game on a 21-04 score line.
The Laois girls never dropped their standards in the second game and continued to play with huge confidence and maturity. The Tipperary handballers were much improved in the second game and matched their Laois counterparts at certain stages in the game. However, Brophy and Whyte were never going to be denied and they finished the game with great aplomb to record a brilliant 21-04 21-10 victory and capture the highly coveted Girls U17 60×30 All-Ireland doubles title. This is a very well deserved All-Ireland title for the Cullohill pairing who showed huge commitment to their training in preparation for these championships.
Girls’ U17 All-Ireland Finalists- Orla Brophy & Eadaoin Whyte (Laois) defeated Christine Percy & Ali O’Kelly (Tipperary)
All-Ireland 60×30 Doubles Final Results:
Men’s O35 B All-Ireland Doubles Final– Andrew Dowling & Tómas Lennon (Laois) defeated Trevor Donovan & Brendan McDonagh (Galway) 21-11 21-08.
Venue: Crinkle, Offaly
Girls’ U17 All-Ireland Doubles Final– Orla Brophy & Eadaoin Whyte (Laois) defeated Christine Percy & Ali O’Kelly (Tipperary) 21-04 21-10.
Venue: Cashel, Tipperary