Fox girls secure One Wall Nationals glory
A fantastic weekend of One Wall Handball action in the brilliant Breaffy Sports Arena Complex, came to a close on Sunday evening and what an event it again proved to be for Tyrone players. There is no doubt that this is another golden era on the courts of play for Red Hand County handballers and over the weekend the O’Neill County possibly enjoyed it’s best ever National event.
Tyrone contested a total of 14 finals over the course of the Nationals weekend and secured an impressive tally of nine of those titles.
Loughmacrory contested two of the main finals at the One Wall Nationals at the action packed Breaffy Sports Arena in Castlebar and enjoyd succes in one of the main events.
The club picked up their first One Wall Nationals title at the weekend in the Girls 11 & Under Doubles event as Mairead Fox and Dearbhail Fox, added the One Wall Nationals title to the 40×20 title won in April, defeating the strong Clare/Monaghan partnership in the final. A brilliant semi final performance by the girls against a very strong Kilkenny partnership of Kelly Ann Ryan and Noelle Dowling, winning through in the end of their time game by 15-13. That impressive win set up a final against Louise McGinnity (Monaghan) and Chloe Philpott (Clare) and the young Loughmacrory duo produced a terrific display to run out convincing winners in the end. This win adds to Mairead and Dearbhail’s Irish Nationals 40×20 Juniors success back in April to continue the amazing run of Mairead Fox who began the season with two USA International triumphs in the same age-group. For Dearbhail it is a remarkable achievement to have won two national titles at just 9 years of age.
In the Masters Singles final, Loughmacrory’s Chris Curran came up against Kilkenny legend, Ducksy Walsh and it proved to be a tough encounter against the reigning champion in this event. Curran eventually lost out by 22-18 at the end of the timed game.
Caitlin Conway also came away with some silverware in the event. Cailtin, who had a fantastic win in the Ulster One Wall 13 & Under Championships one week earlier, still has another year in the grade and was a most unlucky 5-3 tie-break loser in her opening game against the eventual runner-up, Kildare’s Leah Doyle. Caitlin did team up then in the Girls 13&Under Doubles Plate event with Keri Murphy, and claimed those honours.
Loughmacrory had other players who competed admirably at the One Wall Nationals at the weekend. Antoin Fox lost out to Cian Kehoe in very close Boys 13&U quarter final by 21-19 after their 15 min game. Dara Curran was also very unlucky in his quarter final to lose 20-19 to last years 11s Champion, Galway’s Eibhin Dillon in their 15 minute game, with his opponent going on to draw and then lose 5-3 in a tie-break to eventual champion, Lorcan McBride. Caitlin Conway was level at 19-19 with Kildare’s Leah Doyle in the Girls 13&U Quarter Final and lost 5-3 in a brilliant tie break. Shane Grimes had 3 brilliant wins in the Boys 15&U B Singles and despite having another year in the grade went very close in a tough semi final losing out 22-16 to his Mallow opponent, Niall Delaney, in the end. Kenny Curran enjoyed a very good quarter final win in the Silver Masters but lost to a strong Wicklow opponent, Matthew Patterson, in the semi finals. Aideen Curran had an excellent opening game win in the girls 13 & Under B singles event before losing out narrowly to eventual close runner-up, Aoibhe Breathnach in the last 16 tie by 26-22. Niamh Curran also did well with Caoimhe McElduff in the Girls 11&U Doubles, losing in the quarter finals.
A massive weekend of handball in spectacular surroundings. Once again the atmosphere was electric all weekend in Castlebar and with non-stop high octane action from the opening games on Friday afternoon, this will again be a handball weekend which will provide great memories for all who attended.
Tyrone certainly dominated on the courts of play and Conor McElduff’s Mens Open title win at the Nationals undoubtedly ranks as the greatest achievement of the weekend. Conor was in spectacular form all weekend and his semi final win, after a thrilling tie-break, against three-times champion, Charly Shanks, in particular was the highlight match of the weekend in front of a capacity crowd. WEll done to Conor who becomes the first Tyrone player to win a Mens Open National title.
Next up for the Loughmacrory players and indeed the national handball community on the one wall circuit, is the eagerly awaited ‘One Wall Tourney by the Lough’ over the weekend of 15th-17th August 2014. Loughmacrory GAA Handball Club have very exciting news to announce soon regarding this event. After a hugely successful Ulster One Wall Championships, hosted at the venue just over one week ago, there was major talk and positive feedback from all the national handball community in Castlebar, looking ahead to the next exciting tournament at our new complex.
Significantly in a Q&A with Charly Shanks on the growth of One Wall Handball on RolloutHandball.com, the new Loughmacrory complex was described as a ‘jaw-dropping facility’. Read the article – CLICK HERE.
Finals Results – Tyrone players:
Mens Open Singles Final: Conor McElduff (Breacach, Tyrone) dft Darragh Daly (Carrickmore, Tyrone) 15-9, 15-3
Silver Masters Singles Final: Niall Kerr (Breacach, Tyrone) dft Matthew Patterson (Wicklow) 31-9
Masters Final: Ducksy Walsh (Kilkenny) dft Chris Curran (Loughmacrory, Tyrone) 22-18
Ladies Challenger Singles Final: Michelle Warren (Breacach, Tyrone) dft Annie Havern (Tyrone)
Boys 13 & Under Singles Final: Lorcan McBride (Carrickmore, Tyrone) dft Eoghan McGinnity (Monaghan) 20-19
Boys 13 & Under B singles Final: Cahir Munroe (Carrickmore, Tyrone) dft Conor Drennan (Kilkenny)
Boys 15 & Under Singles Final: Sean Kerr (Breacach, Tyrone) dft Daniel Kavanagh (Wexford)
Boys 15 & Under B Singles Final: Ciaran Cuddy (Carrickmore, Tyrone) dft Niall Delaney (Cork) 24-13
Boys 17 & Under Singles Final: Jamie Kelly (Galway) dft Niall Allison (Carrickmore, Tyrone)
Boys 17 & Under B Singles Final: Ben Walsh (Limerick) dft Matthew McCartan (Breacach, Tyrone) 18-18, 5-3 tie-break
Boys 19 & Under Singles Final: Johnny Woods (Breacach, Tyrone) dft Ryan Harkin (Cork)
Girls 11 & Under Doubles Final: Mairead & Dearbhail Fox (Loughmacrory, Tyrone) dft Louise McGinnity & Chloe Philpott (Monaghan/Clare)
Girls 15 & Under B Singles Final: Clodagh Neville (Limerick) dft Michaela McCartan (Breacach, Tyrone)
Girls 17 & Under Singles Final: Niamh Coleman (Armagh) dft Eilise McCrory (Breacach, Tyrone)