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Devlin And O’Neill Enjoy Success At Irish Nationals.

Tuesday 19.07.2011
Team Talk Mag

Barry Devlin and Shane O Neill from the Brackey Club pulled off a surprise result when they won the C Doubles title at the inaugural 60 x 30 Irish Nationals last weekend. O Neill who would be better known for his exploits in the 40×20 court teamed up with Devlin whose introduction to handball came in the now defunct Cloughfin court to form a formidable partnership.

In their opening match in Kingscourt they were slow to settle and trailed Limerick’s Alan O Neill and J R Finn 10-3 in the early exchanges. However once they got to the pace of the game they gradually asserted their superiority and looked very impressive as they scored a 31point to 15 victory. Next up was local Kingscourt pair Cormac McMahon and Brendan McCormack who were hoping to make home advantage work in their favour but again the Brackey men held the upper hand running out convincing 31-18 winners to book a semi-final slot against No1 seeds Ken Bourke and John Keyes in Crossakiel Co Meath on Sunday.

The Limerick pair are proficient big court players and it took a mighty effort by Devlin and O Neill to see off their challenge getting home 11-8 in the tiebreaker of a match that on occasions looked to be slipping away from them.

Abbeylara in Co Longford was the venue for the final and once again Devlin and O Neill found themselves locked in an almighty tussle this time against Kilkenny pair Brendan Hosey and Andrew Lawless. Once again they had to go the tiebreaker route before edging a high calibre encounter 11-6 to round off an excellent weekend’s handball for the Brackey pair who showed that they are able to adapt to the challenge that playing big court handball poses.

Both O Neill and Devlin now embark on the trail of an All Ireland title in the junior grade and as they have already beaten some of their main opposition in the Nationals their chances of victory are very realistic. However they first have to navigate the Ulster Championships where players of the calibre of Cavan’s James Brady, Patrick Clerkin and Paul Fitzpatrick and Donegal pair Mark McGowan and Mark Marley lie in wait.

Both singles and doubles are on this weekend in Kingscourt

Brackey lose to Castlebridge

The Brackey team of Barry Devlin Tony McElduff Barney Corcoran and Ruairi Kelly were no match for Wexford side Castlebridge in the All Ireland Junior Club Semi-Final played at Crinkle Co Offaly on Sunday. Barry Devlin had a good contest with 18 year old Dean Corrigan losing the first game 21-13 but recovering well to take the second 21-15 to leave just a 2 point gap going into the doubles. However that was as close as they ever got because Barney Corcoran and Tony McElduff found the much younger Wexford pair of Jason Murphy and David Kenny too hot to handle and the match was effectively over after their 21-6 21-8 defeat. Trailing by 30 points Ruairi Kelly had to restrict Eugene Kelleher to 11 points over the next 2 games so once he lost the first 21-16 the Brackey challenge was over and Castlebridge went on to subsequently beat Cork’s Ballydesmond in the final.

Ulster Juvenile Championships Entry Deadline

Any Handballer who wants to play in the Ulster Championships in the following grades Boys under 14  15  16  and  17 singles or doubles and Girls under 14  15  16  and 17 singles or doubles must contact County Secretary Martin Toner by Sunday 24th July.



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