Latest Laois Sport: No Joy for Laois Handballers at Leinster Finals

Latest Laois Sport: No Joy for Laois Handballers at Leinster Finals

Men’s Leinster 40×20 Handball Championship

Last Wednesday night, two Laois handballers were in Leinster Final action with Andrew Dowling (St. Brigid’s, Monavea) facing Anthony Martin of Kilkenny in the Men’s O35B final and Ray Fogarty (Cullohill) up against the strong challenge of Robert Byrne of Wexford in the Men’s Silver Masters B final. 

The Men’s 035B final saw Anthony Martin enter into the contest as favourite having captured the Leinster title at this grade last year and only barely losing out in a thrilling All-Ireland final to John Horgan of Cork after a pulsating tie-breaker, which the Cork man narrowly won 21-15.  Martin lived up to the favourite’s tag in the opening game, playing some highly impressive handball with an array of kill shots and accurate serving. Martin deservedly saw out the opening game 21-2. The second game proved to be a much tighter affair with Dowling upping the intensity of his play throughout. Both players traded scores with never more than a few aces separating either player. However, the Kilkenny player showed why he is one of the form players in 2022, winning some crucial aces when it mattered the most to edge a highly entertaining second game on a 21-16 score line. While Dowling will be disappointed having lost out on a Leinster title he will take some consolation for having pushed his opponent all the way in the second game. 

In the second Leinster Final played last Wednesday, Ray Fogarty entered into the encounter off the back of a thrilling semi-final victory the previous week. However, Fogarty has been carrying a couple of niggling injuries this year and with little time to recover from this semi-final victory those injuries were to have a bearing on his performance. The first game saw a very determined Fogarty start the stronger, dictating the play and taking control of the centre court. Gradually, his Wexford opponent, Robert Byrne, found his rhythm and matched the efforts and intensity of the Laois man’s play. However, Fogarty was not to be denied in the opening game, seeing it out on a 21-16 score line. The second game saw a role reversal in fortunes, with Byrne the more dominant player. Fogarty was now struggling as his injuries were having a telling impact on his level of performance. As a consequence, the Wexford man easily saw out the second game 21-2. The momentum was now firmly with the Byrne and despite Fogarty’s best efforts, he powered his way to the Silver Master’s Leinster title with a comfortable 11-4 victory in the tie-breaker. While victory evaded Fogarty on the night, he displayed great battling spirit to play through the pain-barrier and must be commended for never yielding to his opponent. 


Men’s O35B Leinster Final Result:  Anthony Martin (Kilkenny) defeated Andrew Dowling (Laois) 21-2 21-16.

SMBS Leinster Final Robert Byrne (Wexford) defeated Ray Fogarty (Laois) by 2 games to 1. Scoreline: 16-21 21-4 11-4

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Men’s O35B Leinster Final:  Anthony Martin (Kilkenny) defeated Andrew Dowling (Laois)

Ladies Leinster JBS Handball Semi-Final:

Hard luck to Aoife Brophy (Cullohill) who was defeated by a very strong opponent in Holly Hynes of Wexford in her Ladies Junior B singles Leinster semi-final. Aoife is an up and coming handballer within the county and will have gained a lot experience from playing against a player of the calibre of Holly Hynes. 

LJBS SF Result: Holly Hynes (Wex) defeated Aoife Brophy (Laois) 21-8, 21-9. 

Leinster Juvenile 40×20 Championships: 

Well done to all of the Laois juvenile handballers that took part in Leinster semi-final action last weekend. In opposition were some exceptionally strong players from Kilkenny with a number of them expected to challenge strongly for Leinster and All-Ireland titles as the championships progress. Unfortunately, results did not go the way of the Laois players in action at the weekend. However, many of our juveniles did show huge promise in their performances. With further coaching and a continued commitment to training, these players will be strongly placed to challenge for titles in twelve months’ time.

Laois will have representation in the Juvenile Leinster finals at the weekend with Sinead Kirby (GU13s), Aoife Kelly and Ellie Lafferty (GU13d), Orla Brophy (GU15s) and Éadaoin Whyte and Emma Delahunty (GU17s). The best of luck to all of the players representing Laois at these finals.

The Leinster Juvenile 40×20 semi-final results were as follows:

Friday, 11th February 


7.15pm BU12S Kilkenny (Shane Doyle) defeated Laois (Michael Brennan)

8.30pm BU14S Kilkenny (Rian Dowling) defeated Laois (Jack Doyle)


7.15pm BU15D Kilkenny (Cian Doherty/Padraig Egan) defeated Laois (Ethan Lafferty/Jack Whyte)

8.30pm GU15D Kilkenny(Mia O’Connell/Jenny Saunders) defeated Laois (Catherine & Aoife Kirby)

Saturday, February 12th


10.00am BU15S Kilkenny (Anthony Clifford) defeated Laois (Ross Deegan)

11.15am BU16D Kilkenny (John Hayes/Cathal Buckley) defeated Laois (Simon Comerford/Donal Deegan)


11.00am BU14D Kilkenny Andrew Brennan/Matthew Murphy)  w/o Laois (Eoin Delaney/Eoin Holland)

12.15pm BU17S Kilkenny (Rory Glynn) defeated  Laois (Jack Dunphy)


12.00pm BU16S Kilkenny (Connor Doyle) defeated Laois (John Delahunty)

 1.15pm BU17D Kilkenny (Ronan O’Brien/Evan Doyle) defeated Laois (Martin Drennan/Liam Kirby)

2.30pm BU13D Kilkenny (Jake O’Neill/Jack Egan) defeated Laois (Mark Dowling/Cian O’Sullivan)


3.30pm BU13S Kilkenny (Conor Manogue) defeated Laois (Fionnan Brennan)

4.15pm BU12D Kilkenny (Stephen Hoyne/Matthew Corr) defeated Laois (Daire & Aaron Brennan)