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Brilliant All-Ireland win for Tyrone’s Eilise McCrory…

Wednesday 10.04.2013
Team Talk Mag

Four Tyrone handballers had a date with destiny last weekend and the end result was an outstanding All-Ireland success for Eilise McCrory, with Shane O’Neill, Barry Devlin and Lisa McAleer having to content themselves with an All-Ireland runners-up medal.
The Tyrone quartet all had high hopes of claiming the spoils in their respective All-Ireland finals, but for the trio who travelled to Kells aiming to cap a memorable championship campaign in glorious fashion, the eventual outcome wasn’t the one each player had hoped for.
Thankfully, everything went perfectly to plan for Tyrone’s sole flag bearer in the All-Ireland juvenile championship finals which were staged in Belfast last Saturday, as Eilise McCrory produced the performance of her life to capture the All-Ireland under-15 singles crown.
Eilise faced a formidable opponent from Galway, Eimear Ní Bhiadha, and was expected to be pushed all the way as she went in search of her first All-Ireland championship winner’s medal.
Cheered on by her handball mad family, including her father Sean and her uncles Seamus and Eamon, all of whom wore the Tyrone jersey this year, the young Breacach player wasn’t overawed at all by the occasion.
Eilise rose to the challenge in brilliant style, delivering a series of stunning serves which helped to keep her in the driving seat throughout the match.
The Connacht champion tried her best to make the match competitive but there was no stopping the Tyrone star as she seized her big opportunity and raced clear in both games to register an impressive 15-4, 15-5 victory.
After some near misses in big games over the last few years, this was a richly deserved triumph for Eilise, who has recently brought her game to another level since collecting a silver medal at the world handball championships in October and, more recently, an All-Ireland colleges doubles title in February.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” declared Eilise following her smooth display.
“Winning this All-Ireland means so much to me,” she continued. “I’ve trained for what feels like forever to achieve this goal and it feels amazing to be an All-Ireland champion,” she concluded, with a very broad smile on her face.
Elise has turned out to be Tyrone’s solitary All-Ireland winner in the 2013 40×20 championships, but realistically last year’s record breaking tally of four juvenile All-Irelands was never going to be repeated.
Three other Tyrone players came close to adding to Eilise’s success story, only to fall at the final hurdle in their respective adult competitions last weekend.
Shane O’Neill came up against an inspired Niall O’Connor in the All-Ireland intermediate singles final in Kells last Saturday and was restricted to 21 aces in total over two games.
This was considered to be an even contest beforehand but the young Kildare man can be spectacular on occasions and he produced some scintillating handball to halt Shane’s title challenge, although it was only after a competitive opening game that the Leinster champion stamped his authority on the proceedings.
Lisa McAleer also went into the ladies intermediate decider with genuine title aspirations and for much of the first game she looked to be on course for a famous victory. But Mayo’s Amy Corrigan is an accomplished player and she showed her quality to come from behind and take the first set with six points to spare.
The Loughmacrory player tried her best to retrieve the situation in the second game but her Connacht opponent was buoyed by her win in the opener and completed her title success in straight games, registering a 21-13 win in the second.
And Barry Devlin suffered the same fate as Shane and Lisa 24 hours later at the same venue as he lost to Kilkenny’s William Love in the All-Ireland junior singles final.
Barry has had a brilliant season but he just couldn’t get firing on all cylinders against the world C singles champion and succumbed in straight games, 21-12, 21-10.
Despite their weekend defeats, Shane, Lisa and Barry have all represented their county with great distinction in 2013 and can feel proud of their achievements so far this year.
But for now, pride of place goes to Eilise McCrory who, after conquering all before her in the Ulster and All-Ireland championships, will bid to complete a clean sweep of under-15 titles in the rearranged Tyrone juvenile singles finals in Carrickmore this Sunday.
A packed programme of eleven county underage championship finals gets underway at 1pm, although some matches will have to be rescheduled as the Tyrone under-14/under-15 ‘Team of Six’ will challenge for the All-Ireland title this weekend when they face Cork in the semi-final in Curraghboy, County Roscommon, at 1pm on Sunday. And if they beat the Munster champions Tyrone will then meet the winners of the other semi-final between Kildare and Galway in the All-Ireland final in Curraghboy at 4pm on Sunday.
The Tyrone team is comprised of Tiernan McAleer, Tiernan McCrystal, Ciaran Cuddy, Cormac Munroe, Ciaran Daly and Eoin Quinn. The Cork squad they will come up against in the semi-final is made up of David Walsh, Tadgh O’Neill, Darragh Moynihan, Pauric O’Leary, Oisin Hickey, Eoghan Sheehan, Jerry Cronin and David O’Connor.
Tyrone lost out in the Ulster team final at under-12/under-13 level last week to a strong Monaghan panel. The Tyrone team consisted of Dara Curran, Ronan Curran, Lorcan McBride, Cahir Munroe, Antoin Fox and Caolan McCartan. Monaghan led for most of the way but a great comeback by Antoin and Caolan in the final doubles encounter brought the deficit back to three points, which was just enough to earn Monaghan the provincial title.
Finally, Tyrone will have five players in the Ulster girls juvenile ‘Team of Ten’ taking part in the inter-provincial competition in Kingscourt this Saturday. The Tyrone players involved will be Ciara Mullan, Michaela McCartan, Eilise McCrory, Maeve McElduff and substitute Elizabeth McGarvey.

GAA Handball All Ireland 40×20 Singles Finals 2013

Intermediate singles: Kildare (Niall O’Connor) beat Tyrone (Shane O’Neill) 21-15, 21-6

Ladies Intermediate singles: Mayo (Amy Corrigan) beat Tyrone (Lisa McAleer) 21-15, 21-13

Junior Singles: Kilkenny (William Love) beat Tyrone (Barry Devlin) 21-12, 21-10

GAA Handball All Ireland 40×20 Juvenile Finals 2013

Girls U15 Singles: Tyrone (Eilise McCrory) beat Gaillimh (Eimear Ní Bhiadha) 15-4, 15-5


U10 BOYS: Lorcan McGarrity v Ruairi Canavan
U10 GIRLS: Dervla Farley v Cloideach Munroe
U12 BOYS: Lorcan McBride v Dara Curran
U12 GIRLS: Elizabeth McGarvey v Caitlin Conway
U13 BOYS: Cormac Munroe v Antoin Fox
U13 GIRLS: Ciara Mullan v Michaela McCartan
U14 BOYS: Ciaran Cuddy v Turlough Clarke
U14 GIRLS: Eve Loughran v Maeve McElroy
U15 BOYS: Tiernan McCrystal v Ciaran Daly
U15 GIRLS: Elise McCrory v Sinead Donnelly or Aoibhinn McAnespie
U16 BOYS: Sean Kerr v Niall Allison



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