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All Ireland Colleges Success For Three Tyrone Schools

Wednesday 18.02.2015
Team Talk Mag

Tyrone schools have exhibited highly impressive form in the current 40×20 Colleges championships. Last weekend Tyrone’s young handballers were in superlative form in the Ulster Colleges Boys 40×20 championships winning a total of nine provincial titles from the twelve championship titles on offer with Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore winning four gongs, Omagh CBS claiming two, Loreto Grammar School winning two titles and St. Ciaran’s College taking one title.

This time around seven of those provincial championship winners travelled back to Kingscourt to contest the GAA Handball All Ireland 40×20 Colleges Championship series against the cream of the colleges champions from the other three provinces.

Firstly at Junior level, Tyrone schools emerged victorious in both the Boys and Girls doubles championships.


Ciara Mullan and Elizabeth McGarvey, representing Loreto Grammar College, Omagh, produced two fantastic displays to claim the Girls All Ireland Colleges 40×20 Junior Doubles Championship honours. In  the semis they denied opposition from Colaiste Chiarain Leixlip, Kildare, the semi final as they defeated Mollie Dagg and Ciara Harrington by 15-8, 15-12. That set up a final head to head with Aoife Floyd and Niamh O’ Brien of St Joseph’s College, Tulla (Clare) and this saw a brilliant game develop between the quartet of talented young girls with Mullan and McGarvey eventually claiming their All Ireland Colleges title by 15-10, 14-15, 15-9.

GAA Handball All Ireland Girls Junior Doubles 40×20 Championship Results:
Girls JD SF1: Ciara Mullan & Elizabeth McGarvey (Loreto Grammar College, Omagh) dft Mollie Dagg & Ciara Harrington (Colaiste Chiarain Leixlip, Kildare) 15-8, 15-12
Girls JD SF2: Aoife Floyd & Niamh O’ Brien (St Joseph’s Tulla, Clare) dft Aisling Ni Mhaolain & Aine Nic Giolla Dea (Ghairmscoil Einne Inis Mor, Galway) 15-9, 15-6
Girls JD Final: Ciara Mullan & Elizabeth McGarvey (Loreto Grammar College, Omagh) dft Aoife Floyd & Niamh O’ Brien (St Joseph’s Tulla, Clare) 15-10, 14-15, 15-9


Next up was the Boys Junior Doubles Championship and Omagh CBS’ Antoin Fox and Lorcan McBride had exhibited brilliant credentials in winning the Ulster honours. This time they served up a very polished display with excellent retrieving and pass and kill play to firstly beat Padraig Dunne and Eoin Doheny of Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown, Kilkenny in the semi final by 15-4, 15-11. They followed up with a 15-9, 15-3 All Ireland Colleges final win against last year’s All Ireland Under 14 doubles runners-up, Daire Madden and Sean McAdams (Borrisokane CC, Tipperary), to take the honours to the Omagh school.

GAA Handball All Ireland Boys Junior Doubles 40×20 Championship Results:
Boys JD SF1: Lorcan McBride & Antoin Fox (Omagh CBS) dft Padraig Dunne & Eoin Doheny (Col Mhuire Johnstown, Kilkenny) 15-4, 15-11
Boys JD SF2: Daire Madden & Sean McAdams (Borrisokane CC, Tipperary) dft Stephen Raftery & James Smyth (Glenamaddy CS, Galway)
Boys JD Final: Lorcan McBride & Antoin Fox (Omagh CBS) dft Daire Madden & Sean McAdams (Borrisokane CC, Tipperary) 15-9, 15-3


Tyrone’s All Ireland 40×20 Colleges Championship treble was completed when Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore, became the third schools from the County to claim All Ireland Colleges gold on 2015 finals day in Kingscourt. For the second year running, Aoife Kelly and Eilise McCrory teamed up to take the Girls Senior Doubles honours and they did so in some style against highly regarded opposition. A semi final win over Katie Dagg & Hannah Dagg of Colaiste Chiarain Leixlip, Kildare by 15-5, 15-7 was followed by a most impressive All Ireland final display to beat Catriona Millane and Clodagh Neville of Laurel Hill Colaiste, Limerick by 15-9, 15-5.

GAA Handball All Ireland Girls Senior Doubles 40×20 Championship Results:
Girls SD SF1: Aoife Kelly & Eilise McRory (Dean Maguire, Carrickmore) dft Katie Dagg & Hannah Dagg (Colaiste Chiarain Leixlip, Kildare) 15-5, 15-7
Girls SD SF2: Catriona Millane & Clodagh Neville (Laurel Hill Colaiste, Limerick) dft Karen Cosgrave & Emma Cosgrave (Balla Secondary School, Mayo) 15-1, 15-6
Girls SD Final: Aoife Kelly & Eilise McRory (Dean Maguire, Carrickmore) dft Catriona Millane & Clodagh Neville (Laurel Hill Colaiste, Limerick) 15-9, 15-5


Tyrone also went very close to All Ireland glory in the All Ireland Colleges Championship Boys Junior Singles event. Darragh Canavan, representing St. Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley, has already been highlighted as one of the most improved young players in the game and at national level on Saturday certainly exhibited that he is a name to be very aware off. A 15-7, 15-1 win over the Leinster colleges champion, Eoin Brennan (St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny), saw him face last seasons emphatic All Ireland Under 14 champion, Tiarnan Agnew, and this proved to be one of the matches of the day. In the end Canavan turned in a brilliant display only to lose out in the tie-break game by 15-10, having lost the opener 15-12 and winning the second 15-13.

GAA Handball All Ireland Boys Junior Singles 40×20 Championship Results:
Boys JS SF1: Darragh Cavanan (St. Ciaran’s, Ballygawley) dft Eoin Brennan (St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny) 15-7, 15-1
Boys JS SF2: Tiernan Agnew (St Camin’s College Shannon, Clare) dft Peter O’Donnacha (Ghairmscoil Einne, Inis Mor, Galway) 15-12, 15-7
Boys JS Final: Tiernan Agnew (St Camin’s College Shannon, Clare) dft Darragh Cavanan (St. Ciaran’s, Ballygawley) 15-12, 13-15, 15-10


In the All Ireland Boys Intermediate Singles Championship there were again high hopes for gifted Breacach teenager, Sean Kerr, representing Dean Maguirc College. However, Kerr is considerably young for this grade and lost out in the All Ireland final to last year’s All Ireland Minor Championship runner-up, Fergal Coughlan (Rice College, Ennis) on a 15-12, 15-8 scoreline.

Boys Intermediate Singles Final: Fergal Coughlan (Rice College, Ennis) dft Sean Kerr (Dean Maguire, Carrickmore) 15-12, 15-8

Ryan Mullan, representing Omagh CBS, has also been in solid form of late and went with big hopes in the blue ribband event, the Boys Senior Singles Championship. However after an epic semi final with Keith Armstrong (FCJ Bunclody, Wexford) in which Mullan won the opening game 15-10, he lost out the next two at 12 and 7 against the eventual champion.

Boys SS Semi final: Keith Armstrong (FCJ Bunclody, Wexford) dft Ryan Mullan (Omagh CBS) 10-15, 15-12, 15-7.

Overall another terrific run of form by Tyrone’s young handballers at All Ireland level, in which Tyrone finished joint top of the 2015 All Ireland Colleges Championship roll of honour with three titles alongside county Clare.

All attention for Tyrone’s Juvenile Handballers now turns to this week’s Tyrone GAA Handball Juvenile 40×20 Championship Finals while the Ulster Juvenile 40×20 Championships get underway this weekend.

Ulster Adult Championship success for Tyrone handballers

Tyrone got off to a good start in the weekend programme of Ulster 40×20 Adult Singles Championship finals which are taking place right across the province at eight venues on Saturday and Sunday.

Carrickmore’s Caolan Daly got the weekend off to a winning start for the county, albeit Tyrone were always guaranteed the Ulster Intermediate crown when Daly and Breacach’s Johnny Woods had won through to contest the provincial decider. The title went ahead at Beragh on Friday 13th and it definitely wasn’t an unlucky date for Daly as he delivered an impressive display to defeat last year’s All Ireland minor champion, Woods, on a 21-14, 21-16 scoreline.

Caolan Daly will now go on to contest the All Ireland series in a fortnight’s time but earlier today he flew out to Portland, USA, to compete in the USA Collegiates Championships, where he will no doubt be among the favourite for the top International Intervarsities honours.

Eugene Quinn Handball Club in Armagh hosted a triple bill of finals earlier today and Tyrone had three big challengers for honours in all three finals. In the end Tyrone emerged with one winner from the three finals with Monaghan and Antrim claiming the other tiwo title wins on the day. In the Ulster Junior final, Conor McElduff certainly exhibited that he will be very difficult to stop in the All Ireland Championships in this grade and clearly has big aspirations in this grade in 2015. He produced another impressive and commanding display to defeat Monaghan’s skilful rising star Terry McElvaney on a 21-10, 21-9 scoreline.

The Ulster Under 21 final saw recent USA Nationals 19 & Under champion, Gabhain McCrystall, take on Monaghan’s Darren Doherty, who had recently made it to the All Ireland Intervarsities Senior Singles final and on the day was in unstoppable form. A 21-16, 21-13 victory for Doherty against McCrystall was how it concluded and the Monaghan player is certain to put in a big for All Ireland honours while it should be remembered that McCrystall will again be eligible for the grade in 2016.

That match programme opened with Eamon McCrory challenging for Junior B Singles Championship honours against Antrim’s Conor Flynn. McCrory lost out in the provincial final twelve months ago and was fancied to complete a run of winning form in what was a massive field of players in this event but, after winning the opening game, lost ut in the end in the tie-break game against the Gort na Mona clubman.

Conor Kerr wallowed up with another Tyrone success on Sunday in Armagh when he produced an impressive display to defeat Antrim’s Stephen Roberts in an intriguing Golden Masters B Singles Championship final while Seamus McCrory lost out by 21-8, 21-20 in the Masters B Singles championship final against Monaghan’s Michael Clerkin at the same venue.

Kenny Curran is still to contest the Silver Masters B Championship but faces a tough test against Antrim’s Paddy Nicholl while Barney Corcoran has been in his best form for years too and will definitely put forward a big bid for Silver Masters A championship honours but he faces former Ulster senior champion, Antrim’s Paddy Crothers, in what is a big test.

Tyrone will be guaranteed the Ulster Minor Singles Championship title in 2015 following Sean Kerr and Jack Campbell’s winning run in making it through to contest this year’s final. That promises to be a cracking game on Sunday and while Kerr is fancy to prevail, a close encounter is anticipated.

In the ladies grades, Tyrone will definitely win the Ladies Intermediate championship title following Lisa McAleer’s semi fnial win over Donegal’s Avril McNamee by 21-11, 21-8 and now faces Maeve McElduff in Sunday’s final. At minor level, Eilsie McCrory produced an impressive display to defeat her county colleague, Aoife Kelly, in the provincial decider by 21-7, 21-5.



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