Daly and McAleer complete Ulster intermediate double
Tyrone completed a notable double in the Ulster intermediate 40×20 singles competitions at St Mellan’s, Truagh, last Saturday afternoon as Loughmacrory’s Lisa McAleer took the ladies honours and Carrickmore’s Caolan Daly secured the men’s title.
Lisa recorded an impressive 21-12, 21-11 victory over Armagh’s Fionnuala McKenna in the opening Ulster final in Truagh, before the Carrickmore dual star saw off the challenge of Cavan’s James Brady to continue his rise up the handball rankings. Both players are now preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final assault, along with Brackey’s Seamus McCrory in the over 35 singles category.
Unfortunately there was no joy for Caolan’s brother Darragh at the same venue on Saturday, as he succumbed to an in form Brian Carroll of Meath in the All-Ireland men’s open singles competition. Caolan and Darragh had bowed out of the Ulster Open doubles a week earlier following a narrow defeat at the hands of crack Antrim pair, Ricky McCann and Seamus O’Tuama.
Brackey’s Shane O’Neill put up a very good performance in the All-Ireland Open Singles last weekend but eventually went down in a three game match to Mayo’s Joe McCann, one of the form players on the Irish handball circuit so far this season.
Another Brackey star, Niall Kerr, missed out on provincial glory at Armagh last Saturday as the Tyrone man lost out to well known Antrim player, Paddy Crothers, in the Ulster Masters A singles decider. Niall had been nursing an injury leading up to the game and wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders against the Gort na Mona left hander.
All the Ulster adult singles titles have now been decided with the doubles finals still to come. Tyrone’s hopes of glory in the doubles section rest with minor pairing, Gabhainn McCrystall and Pol Clarke, who will take on Monaghan’s Darren Doherty, recent minor singles winner, and his partner Darren Byrne.
The young Brackey duo will hope to follow their clubmates, Seamus and Eamon McCrory, who are already into the All-Ireland over 35 doubles semi-final in early March.
Meanwhile, a strong Tyrone juvenile team will set out in pursuit of provincial championship honours this weekend with first round games taking place at various venues, ranging from under-12 to under-17 competitions for boys and girls.
Martin Kennedy has already got the ball rolling for Tyrone with a slender win in the under-17 singles event over Down’s Rory McQuaid, 21-19, 4-21, 11-10.
The rest of the Tyrone team will be out in force this weekend, with the following players representing the county in each of the different age groups…
Tyrone Boys Team for Ulster Juvenile 40×20 Championships 2012…
U12 Singles – Cormac Munroe; U12 Doubles – Anton Fox & Ronan Curran; U13 Singles – Turlough Clarke; U13 Doubles – Ciaran Cuddy & Tiernan McAleer; U14 Singles – Sean Kerr; U14 Doubles – Matthew McCartan & Shane McCrystall; U15 Singles – Aaron Owens; U15 Doubles – Pauric Mullan & Jack Campbell; U16 Singles – Niall Allison; U16 Doubles – Johnny Woods, Ryan Mullan; U17 Singles – Martin Kennedy; U17 Doubles – Matthew McSorley & Luke Kelly
Finally, there was no joy for any of the Tyrone representatives in the All-Ireland colleges’ semi-finals and finals which took place in Kingscourt last Saturday.
Gabhainn McCrystal, respresenting Dean Maguirc College, made it through to the boys’ senior singles final before losing to Cork’s outstanding young prospect Killian Carroll, while Ryan Mullan made it through to the boys’ junior singles final before going down to Meath’s Evan Sheridan in a closely contested match.