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All-Ireland finals confirmed for Tyrone quartet…
It has been confirmed that Tyrone’s last four championship survivors for 2013 will all be in All-Ireland final action on the opening weekend of April, with Loughmacrory’s Lisa McAleer and Breacach trio, Shane O’Neill, Barry Devlin and Elise McCrory, all gearing themselves for the final leg of their 2013 championship journey.
Elise will have Galway opposition to contend with in the All-Ireland under-15 singles final in Belfast on Saturday 6th April at 12 noon, and then later on that same day Tyrone will be hoping to complete a famous doubles in Kells as Shane O’Neill and Lisa McAleer take on Mayo and Kildare respectively in the mens and womens intermediate championship finals, with Barry Devlin completing the county’s four pronged challenge for honours 24 hours later against Kilkenny, a match that will also take place in Kells in County Meath.
Meanwhile, Maeve McElduff”s bid to give Tyrone a first All-Ireland minor singles championship title was ended by the brilliant Ciana Ní Churraoin in Kingscourt last Saturday.
The young Tyrone star was always going to be up against it as the outstanding Galway player is widely regarded as the best underage female player that has ever graced a handball court, and the title favourite was in scintillating form as she saw off Maeve’s brave challenge on a scoreline of 21-4, 21-8.
There was national success for Loughmacrory’s Mairead Fox in Kingscourt on Saturday as the talented St Teresa’s ten year old defeated the champions of Munster, Connacht and Leinster in the girls All-Ireland Cumann na mBunscoil finals.
The Ulster under-11 singles champion negotiated the challenges of Kilkenny’s Roisin O’Keefe, Clare’s Amber Nolan and Galway’s Aoibhe Breathnach to emerge with a 100 per cent record in the competition, finishing in first place in her section.
Tyrone were also represented well in the under-11 doubles competition by Drumduff pair, Sharlene Short and Seana Clarke, and by Caitlin Conway from St Teresa’s in the under-13 singles category. Caitlin put up a great display against last year’s world 11 and under singles champion, Kildare’s Leah Doyle, in one of her three matches.
Meanwhile, there was no joy for any of the Tyrone adult doubles teams that were on championship duty down the country last Sunday. The Daly brothers, Caolan and Darragh, went closest to securing a big win in Ballymore Eustace, only to lose their tiebreaker narrowly, 21-16, against Cork’s Killian Carroll and Brendan Fleming in the mens open doubles quarter-final.
Ulster minor doubles champions, Patrick McCrory and Johnny Woods, found Clare’s Colin Crehan and Barry Nash too strong in their All-Ireland minor semi-final in Tuamgraney, while Conal Curran and Martin Toner also suffered defeat in their over 35 semi-final against Limerick’s John Noonan and Pat Doody in Ballydesmond.
And the long trip to Tipperary also proved fruitless for Ulster intermediate doubles champions Gary McCrory and Shane O’Neill who bowed out at the hands of the host county’s strong pairing, Ger Coonan and Fergal Collins.
However, Shane still has the All-Ireland intermediate singles title in his sights and he is one of the Tyrone quartet who will be striving for All-Ireland glory on the first weekend of April.
All-Ireland Championship results…
Ladies minor singles final: Galway (Ciana Ní Churraoin) beat Tyrone (Maeve McElduff) 21-4, 21-8
Mens Open doubles quarter-final: Cork (Killian Carroll/Brendan Fleming) beat Tyrone (Darragh Daly/Caolan Daly) 7-21, 21-18, 21-16
Intermediate doubles semi-final: Tipperary (Ger Coonan/Fergal Collins) beat Tyrone (Shane O’Neill/Gary McCrory) 21-9, 19-4 (Tyrone player injured)
Over-35B doubles: Limerick (John Noonan/Pat Doody) beatTyrone (Conal Curran/Martin Toner) 21-18, 21-4
Minor doubles: Clare (Colin Crehan/Barry Nash) beat Tyrone (Patrick McCrory/Johnny Woods) 21-14, 21-12
All-Ireland championship final fixtures…
Saturday 6th April…
Under-15 girls singles final: Elise McCrory (Tyrone) v Eimear Ní Bhiadha (Gaillimh) in Gort na Mona, Belfast, 12 noon
Intermediate singles final: Shane O’Neill (Tyrone) v Niall O’Connor (Kildare) in Kells, County Meath, 3pm
Ladies Intermediate final: Lisa McAleer (Tyrone) v Amy Corrigan (Mayo) in Kells, County Meath, 4pm
Sunday 7th April…
Junior singles final: Barry Devlin (Tyrone) v William Love (Kilkenny) in Kells, County Meath, 3pm