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Thursday 17.03.2016
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone will have a total of 12 players featuring in seven All-Ireland juvenile championship finals in Kingscourt on Sunday and there are some mouthwatering matches in prospect, not least in the elite under-16 boys division where Tyrone could claim the singles and doubles titles together for the first time.

Antoin Fox, Cormac Munroe and Lorcan McBride are among the most talented juvenile handballers to ever come out of Tyrone and they could complete a first ever under-16 boys clean sweep for Tyrone on Sunday, although Loughmacrory’s Antoin Fox faces the biggest challenge of his career in the singles decider when he faces world champion, Tiernan Agnew from Clare.

Antoin is hoping to become only the fourth Tyrone player in history to claim the All-Ireland under-16 singles gold medal in the 40×20 court, with his clubmate Ciaran Curran winning back to back titles in 1989 and 1990. More recently, Padraig McGlinchey and Sean Kerr were victorious in the under-16 singles championship.

The young Loughmacrory star, who was All-Ireland under-15 champion last year, is playing the best handball of his young career in 2016, as shown in his stunning semi-final win over defending champion, Galway’s Peter Donohue.

Antoin is ready to have a serious crack at the highly regarded Agnew and many handball observers are predicting one of the best under-16 championship deciders in years.

Cormac Munroe and Lorcan McBride are also two very talented players and the Carrickmore pair will face Kilkenny’s Ciaran Cooney and Conor Drennan in the under-16 doubles final on Sunday.

Having claimed the All-Ireland under-14 singles title and the under-16 singles silver medal in the 2015 championships, Lorcan and Cormac will be fancied by many to take this prestigious title back to Tyrone.

Also at under-16 level, Tyrone have a great chance of winning the girls doubles title courtesy of Ciara Mullan and Caitlin Conway, who have been combining brilliantly in their first doubles campaign together, while the county will feature in two more girls doubles finals on Sunday at under-14 and under-15 level, courtesy of Breacach quartet, Emer Kerr, Meabh McCrystall, Seana Clarke and Sarah Devlin.

Loughmacrory’s Mairead Fox, sister of Antoin, has also been producing quality handball in 2016 and has her sights on a title that Tyrone has never captured before as she prepares to meet Clare’s Amber Nolan in the girls under-14 singles final, while Tiarnan McAleer and Rian McCaul have enjoyed a great run at under-17 and will fly the Killyclogher flag very proudly when they contest the under-17 doubles final against Kilkenny.

It has all the makings of a massive day for Tyrone handball, which will hopefully bring the curtain down on a history making weekend for the county.


Sunday 20th March in Kingscourt @ 10am…

Girls U14 singles: Tyrone (Mairead Fox) v Clare (Amber Nolan)

Girls U14 doubles: Tyrone (Sarah Devlin & Seana Clarke) v Clare (Orla O’Brien & Shauna Doyle)

Girls U15 doubles: Tyrone (Meabh McCrystall & Emer Kerr) v Kilkenny (Laura Foley & Edel Mulholland)

Girls U16 doubles: Tyrone (Caitlin Conway & Ciara Mullan) v Clare (Aoife Floyd& Niamh O’Brien)

Boys U16 singles: Tyrone (Antoin Fox) v Clare (Tiernan Agnew)

Boys U16 doubles: Tyrone (Cormac Munroe & Lorcan McBride) v Kilkenny (Ciarain Cooney & Conor Drennan)

Boys U17 doubles: Tyrone (Tiarnan McAleer & Rian McCaul) v Kilkenny (Aidan Barry & Cathal Barry)


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