Latest Laois Sport: Your Laois Handball Update

Latest Laois Sport: Your Laois Handball Update

Review of all the latest Handball News and Events from Laois

Thrilling end to The Kathleen Burke Cup Tournament

After a three year hiatus, The Kathleen Burke Cup made a welcome return to the Laois GAA Handball calendar. St. Brigid’s, Monavea played host to the tournament with a strong line up of top-level handballers both from within and outside Laois all competing for the highly coveted Kathleen Burke Cup. 

The Division One semi-finals witnessed two tremendous games with Ollie Ryan of Garryhill defeating the very talented Kilkenny handballer Billy O’Neill. In the other semi-final, Tinryland’s Martin Mullins impressively defeated the hugely experienced John Ryan of Garryhill. The final proved to be a high quality affair which ended up being decided in a dramatic and tension filled tie-breaker. Ryan made a fast start to win the opening game 21-15 having built up an insurmountable lead early on. Mullins responded impressively in the second to take it 21-11. The tie-breaker was a ding dong battle that could have gone either way with both players producing some scintillating handball throughout. In the end Mullins prevailed 11-9 to deservedly capture the Kathleen Burke Cup for 2023.   

In the Division 2 Final, Monavea’s promising handballer Brian Brennan faced a skilled opponent in Kevin Rossiter of Garryhill. This was an extremely hard final to call with both players showing excellent form in the earlier rounds. Rossiter was quick to settle into his stride and gained the upper hand in the opening game. Brennan never found his rhythm and the opening game went the way of the Carlow man on a 21-6 score line. The second game saw a rejuvenated Brennan mount an excellent fightback to win the second game on a 21-8 score line. The tiebreaker proved a nip and tuck affair with both players having chances to claim the Division Two title. Unfortunately for Brennan, luck deserted him on some of the crucial aces with the game firmly in the melting pot and Rossiter showed immense composure to edge a high quality tie-breaker 11-9. While the young Laois handballer will be disappointed to miss out on the Division Two title, his performance on the night suggests that he will be competing at the business end of future Kathleen Burke Cup Tournament Finals in the years to come. 

St. Brigid’s lose out in competitive Duffy Cup Semi-Final

St. Brigid’s, Monavea crashed out of the Duffy Cup at the semi-final stages after a narrow loss to a very strong Tinryland HBC side. After two highly competitive games of handball, the Monavea players fell just short by a couple of aces. The team on the night was Andrew Dowling, Tómas Lennon, Eamon Brennan and Brian Brennan. Tinryland HBC now progress to the final of the Duffy Cup where they face Carlow neighbours Garryhill HBC. 

The Kathleen Burke Cup Tournament Division One Finalists: Martin Mullins (Tinryland) and Ollie Ryan (Garryhill)

The Kathleen Burke Cup Tournament Division Two Finalists: Brian Brennan (St. Brigid’s, Monavea) and Kevin Rossiter (Garryhill)

The Duffy Cup 2023 semi-finalists: St. Brigid’s, Monavea and Tinryland HBC

The Duffy Cup 2023 semi-finalists: St. Brigid’s, Monavea and Tinryland HBC