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Latest Handball News

Friday 19.03.2021
Team Talk Mag
Latest News


Thirteen Tyrone players who were denied the chance to play in All Ireland handball finals or semi finals in 2020 may still get their opportunity to challenge for the titles they thought they’d missed out on.

This weekend last year was to see the All Ireland finals festival staged in Kingscourt and Tyrone were due to have six representatives featuring in those 40×20 singles deciders following some great semi final victories over the Munster champions at the beginning of March. 

The fixtures were then cancelled as the country went into lockdown, and exactly a year on they remain unplayed.
In recent weeks, the All Ireland contenders were beginning to accept that the 40×20 finals were almost certain to be declared null and void as we were getting too far down the road in 2021 to reschedule outstanding fixtures.
Last week however there was some hope in the air.

GAA Handball issued a statement advising that they still intend to stage the unfulfilled 2020 fixtures if permitted, including the unplayed All Ireland 40×20 finals along with the semi finals and finals of the national 60×30 championships which were halted in the autumn.

“Following a thorough discussion, it was unanimously agreed that GAA Handball will continue to monitor the ongoing situation with regard to restrictions,” the official statement declared, “and that everything possible will be done to endeavour to complete the outstanding finals and semi finals in both codes from 2020 once restrictions allow.

“As always this is an ever changing situation and completely dependent on government advice and further updates will issue as they occur.”

The GAA Handball communication has provided a fresh boost to all those players who were in the mix for national honours in 2020 and the hope is that restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently in the months ahead to allow the safe return of competitive handball.

The sport has been affected more than most sports during the covid pandemic as it is largely played indoors.
While some sports have had their periods of activity during the pandemic, and produced memorable uplifting moments, there has been very limited action on the handball courts of Ireland and most competitions remain unfinished. There is no doubt that handball has been hit hard and will take a while to bounce back.

However this new intent to complete the 2020 roll of honour is good news for the Tyrone players who had given up hope of getting their big day out.

The list includes five players from the Breacach club, namely Eilise McCrory (ladies intermediate singles), Gabhain McCrystal (junior), Michaela McCartan (ladies junior), Shane O’Neill (over 35) and Niall Kerr (golden masters).
Loughmacrory have five young players still harbouring 2020 All Ireland hopes, including Mairead Fox who is striving for an All Ireland minor singles victory to complete a clean sweep of elite 40×20 underage titles, having captured U14 and U16 gold medals in previous years.

Her four young clubmates, Gary McAleer (U16), Dearbhail Fox (U15), Ruairi McCullagh ((U14) and Laura Duff (U14) all have All Ireland 60×30 semi finals carried over from last summer which they are still keen to compete in if the chance arises.

Carrickmore, meanwhile, have three U16 girls awaiting news of the U16 singles and doubles finals in 40×20, namely Clodagh Munroe, Cloda McNamee and Aoibhinn Daly.

With so many Tyrone players affected by the cancellation of All Ireland semi finals and finals last year, it is hoped that their opportunity will now come in the months ahead.

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