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Latest Tyrone GAA Handball News

Wednesday 12.02.2014
Team Talk Mag

McElduff wins first ever She’s Ace Ladies Open title

Breacach’s Maeve McElduff became the first ever winner of the Tyrone Ladies Open Senior Singles Championship when she defeated Loughmacrory’s Lisa McAleer in a thrilling inaugural final at Beragh on Saturday evening. McAleer was on fire in the early stages and her powerful low serving and pass and kill-shots had McElduff on the back foot for much of the opening game. The Loughmacrory player took that opening game 21-5 but a more measured defensive approach by the Breacach star in the second began to pay dividends. McElduffs strong play on the ceiling and pinpoint long range shooting saw her seize control at that point and saw her claim the second game 21-7.

The tie-break proved finely balanced for much of the way and they were deadlocked at 7-7 and following a long series of super rallies, found themselves with four serves each with the score at 9-8 in favour of McElduff. Maeve held out though with strong centre-court play and claimed the first ever honours, and the Brenda Logue Memorial Cup, on an 11-8 tie-break scoreline.

This was undoubtedly a great opening series in the newly introduced Ladies Open Championships in Tyrone and would suggest that both Maeve and Lisa can have a big season ahead in the upcoming 40×20 All Ireland championships.

Breacach’s Eilise McCrory continued an impressive run of results for her club in the first Ladies Junior Singles Championship when she defeated Loughmacrory’s Aoife Kelly in the final on Saturday evening. The recent double US Junior National champion, had to call on all her reserves in a fantastic contest with Kelly with both players delivering super offensive play allied to strong pass and retrieving all around the court. In the end McCrory ran out the winner on a 21-15, 21-16 scoreline. Eilise received her Tyrone Attic Stairs Junior Championship medal from She’s Ace Officer, Paula Clarke.

Tyrone players reach Ulster Championship finals

Tyrone GAA Handball players have really been showing up well in this year’s Ulster 40×20 Championships in the adult grades, with the Juveniles to get underway in just over two week’s time.

Last weekend saw a double Ulster Minor Singles Championship success for the county in the Mens and Ladies Minor Grades as Johnny Woods collected the Boys Minor crown with an impressive 21-10, 21-9 win over Monaghan’s Eugene McGeogh in the Ulster minor decider in Gort na Mona, Belfast. Maeve McElduff then added the Ladies Minor championship honours as she denied her county colleague, Aoife Kelly, by 21-12, 21-5 in the Ladies Minor final.

A host of other Tyrone players have also booked their places in the Ulster Championship finals next weekend. Conor McElduff had an impressive 21-7, 21-14 win over Antrim’s Jordan O’Neill and will now face Monaghan’s Darren Doherty in the Under 21 Championship decider, the latter beating Gabhainn McCrystal i their semi final meeting. Eamonn McCrory will contest the Ulster Junior B Singles final against Cavan’s Cormac McMahon, having impressed in his four wins to get to the decider, and he will also be fancied to go well in the Junior B Doubles where he teams up with Jack Campbell this Saturday at the semi final stages.

In the Junior Singles Championship, Tyrone’s Ryan Daly has been in eye-catching form with wins over Terry McElvaney (Monaghan) and county colleague, Patrick McCrory. Daly will now meet either Monaghan’s Terry Kiernan or Paudie McKenna in the final while he teams up with McCrory in the semi final of the doubles of that series on 16th February, with Barry Devlin and Pol Clarke in the other half of the draw in that series.

Shane O’Neill has rubber stamped his very strong Intermediate Championship credentials following an emphatic win over Donegal’s Mark Magowan 21-2, 21-5 in the semi final stage to set up an all Tyrone final with Carrickmore’s Caolan Daly, who showed immense character to come back and beat Cavan’s James Brady in the other semi final 17-21, 21-20 21-9. O’Neill and Daly will now meet in the Ulster final this evening (Thursday 13th February).

Conal Curran and Martin Toner have been in good form and will contest the 35+ Mens B Doubles final on 2nd March against Cavan while Tyrone have dominated in the Masters B Singles championships, having defeated Antrim and Down opponents at the quarter final stages to set up an all Tyrone semi final line-up. Chris Curran defeated Seamus McCrory 21-15, 21-16 in the first semi final and will meet Ruairi Grogan in the final, the latter denying Mark McCartan 17-21, 21-19, 21-7. Rory Grogan and Seamus McCrory are also into the semi finals of the doubles in that grade this Sunday.

Niall Kerr has had a top class season in Tyrone to date and will bid for glory in a highly competitive Silver Masters A Singles Championship having won through to the final where he will meet Antrim’s Paddy Crothers. Tyrone will also contest the final of the Silver Masters B Singles Championship with Kenny Curran to meet Antrim’s Kevin McParland. Curran also teams up with Finbar Fullen to meet Monaghan’s Eugene McGeogh and Peter Duffy in the semi final of the doubles on Sunday.

Darragh Daly and Caolan Daly will represent the County in the Ulster Mens Open Doubles Championship when they face Antrim’s Ricky McCann and Paul Graham in the semi final of the series on February 22nd. Woods will also team up with Ryan Mullan and will be a fancied partnership in the Ulster Minor Doubles Championship final on 2nd March.

Ulster titles already won by Tyrone players include Ciaran Curran (Masters A Singles Champion), Ciaran Curran and Chris Curran (Masters A Doubles Champions), Lisa McAleer (Ladies Intermediate Singles Champion).

Loughmacrory win All Ireland Gael Linn

Tyrone GAA Handball continues to go from strength to strength and the All Ireland Gael Linn Championships emphasised the point today in Mayo as the county’s two young club teams from Loughmacrory and Breacach won through to contest the final of the national tournament with Loughmacrory enjoying a terrific All Ireland title win on the day.

The event, which saw the winning two club teams from each province, brought a winning start for Dara Curran and Mairead Fox against Tuamgraney of Clare. In game one, Mairead had to battle from behind to finish all square with Roisin Minogue at 11-11 before Dara delivered a fine display to defeat Conor Downes 17-5. A 19-6 win then followed by Dara and Mairead in the doubles match as they booked their All Ireland semi final place with a 47-22 win overall.

In the All Ireland semi final the club duo then faced a highly regarded young Leixlip (Kildare) team. Mairead was really up against a top notch performer as she faced World 11 & Under champion from 2012, Leah Doyle, in the opening game but played fantastic in the timed game to lose out by just 6-5. Dara Curran then produced possibly his finest display of the day to score an impressive 24-3 win over Sean Muddiman and they went on to claim their All Ireland final place with a 20-6 win in the doubles match, to win overall by 50-14.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw the other Tyrone team who had qualified for the All Ireland stages were producing superb form to claim their place in the All Ireland final. They firstly had to deliver an excellent display to beat Mallow of Cork by . In game one Elizabeth McGarvey got off to a flying start with a most impressive win 31-3 against Sarah Kelly. Caolan McCartan battled resolutely then against talented young star Cian O’Driscoll, losing out 15-6 and when the doubles finished 19-10 to Mallow, it was still enough to see Breacach go into the semi final on a 47-37 scoreline overall.

In their semi final match, Breacach were excellent to serve up a fantastic win over Galway’s Micheal Breathnach’s and thus for the second year running, the Gael Linn event brought an all-Tyrone final.

That title decider saw Elizabeth McGarvey and Mairead Fox produce a superb contest in the opening game with Elizabeth just winning out 9-4. Dara Curran had a great battle early on with Caolan McCartan with super offensive play and retrieving by both players but Curran’s high rate of corner kill-shots saw him open up and win 22-4 overall. In the doubles Dara and Mairead again played as they had all through the series and were in excellent form, winning that game 11-9 and thus claiming their first All Ireland championship medals on a 37-22 overall score.

A great day overall for Tyrone’s young handballers again at National level and further emphasises how bright the future is in the sport for the Red Hand County, this being the second successive year of success for the county in this prestigious event.

Daly falls in Intervarsities decider

Carrickmore’s Caolan Daly exhibited an impressive return to form last weekend at the All Ireland Intervarsities Championships where he won his way through to the Senior Open Final. Daly lost out in the end to one of the top ranked senior players, Martin Mulkerrins, by 21-10, 21-20 in a fascinating contest, having overcome Cork’s Pa Herlihy in the semi final stages. This is one of the most prestigious titles in offer in Irish handball, the previous winners list making impressive reading. The Carrickmore player will now travel to the USA on Monday next to put in a bold bid for a first US International Collegiates title.

Tyrone players prepare for All Ireland Colleges Championships

A number of Tyrone players will be in action this Saturday in the All Ireland Colleges Championship semi finals and finals, with the action starting from 10.30am in Kingscourt.

The county will be represented on the day by Aoife Kelly & Eilise McRory (Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore) in the Girls Senior Doubles, Sean Kerr (Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore) in the Boys Junior Singles, Maeve McElduff (Loreto Grammar School, Omagh) in the Girls Senior Singles, Pauric Mullan & Turlough Clarke (Omagh CBS) in the Boys Junior Doubles and Pól Clarke & Niall Allison (Omagh CBS) in the Boys Senior Doubles.

Best wishes to all our players and to the schools involved in their quest to bring such prestigious All Ireland gold medals home this weekend.

Tyrone Attic Stairs 40×20 Championships reach fever pitch

The last of the Juvenile Doubles Championship finals will go ahead this Thursday evening in Beragh at 6.30pm, with the Under 17 Doubles Championship. Meanwhile the Under 10 doubles (girls and boys) and B Singles championships are all being staged this week ahead and full details are below. The Mens Junior Doubles Championship final involving Rory Grogan and Niall Allison (Carrickmore) against Eamon McCrory and Seamus McCrory (Breacach) will go ahead following that match in Beragh.

The 2014 Mens Open Senior Doubles final has been put back with Caolan Daly due to meet Shane O’Neill now this Thursday evening in the Ulster Intermediate Singles Championship final (Loughmacrory, 9pm). The Doubles final will involve Ryan Daly/Barry Devlin (CM/BR) v Darragh Daly/Caolan Daly (CM) and will probably be played in two week’s time, following Caolan’s return from the US Collegiates championships. Details to follow when known.

The Ladies Open Doubles and Mens Minor Singles Finals are also back now until next Wednesday evening (19th February) in Loughmacrory. These three remaining finals will conclude the Adult championship 40×20 action in Tyrone for 2014.

At Juvenile level, there were again a number of finals played over the weekend. In the Boys Grades, at Under 12 level it was Carrickmore’s Cahir Munroe who completed the double by teaming up with Tiarnan McGarrity to collect the doubles honours with a 15-7, 15-3 win over Killyclogher’s Brian and Orrin McAleer. Cormac Munroe, a brother of Cahir, then completed his own impressive County double as he followed up his singles triumph when teaming up with Darragh Canavan to defeat Loughmacrory’s Ronan Curran and Shane Grimes in the Under 14 doubles final by 15-3, 15-8. There was a Carrickmore treble when the Under 15 doubles partnership of Ciaran Cuddy and Conor Kelly secured that title following a 15-3, 15-9 win over Loughmacrory’s Colm Logue and Cathaoir Gallagher. The Loughmacrory club did get their name on the honours list when Dara Curran and Diarmaid Gallagher teamed up to get the better of Breacach’s Caolan McCartan and Fionn Given in an excellent final, winning 15-3, 14-15, 11-1. in an all Breacach Under 16 doubles final it was the partnership of Matthew McCartan and Turlough Clarke who had the better of the exchanged with singles champion, Sean Kerr, and Patrick McGinn, winning out in the end by 15-11, 8-15, 15-9. The Under 17 Doubles final involving Breacach and Loughmacrory will be staged on Thursday evening at 6.30pm in Beragh while the opening round of the Under 10 Doubles will be in Loughmacrory from 6.30pm on the same day.

The Boys and Girls Under 10 A Singles Championship Finals on Saturday in Beragh provided brilliant handball from some of the most exciting young stars of the future in the county.  In the Boys Final, Breacach’s Conor Owens showed terrific consistency and battling qualities to come back from behind against 8 year old Eoin McElholm (Loughmacrory). A fantastic game with great skill exhibited by both young players with Conor Owens claiming his first county medal on a 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 scoreline. Conor certainly has an exciting future while Eoin will enjoy another crack at the honours again in 2015. In the Girls final it was Carrickmore’s Clodagh Munroe who claimed her second in a row in the event when she denied another exciting young player in Clodagh McNamee (Carrickmore) by 11-6, 11-5. Fantastic handball by the youngest of our handball stars in the county and with all set to feature in the Boys and Girls Under 10 Doubles coming up while there are also large numbers set to compete in the Boys and Girls Under 10 B Singles Championships in the coming week.

She’s Ace finals show top quality in Tyrone

In the She’s Ace Girls Juvenile Doubles Championships, Breacach had a very productive day on the courts of play in Saturday’s finals. In the Under 15 doubles championship decider, Breacach’s Michaela McCartan and Elizabeth McGarvey teamed up for a title win on a 15-7, 15-10 scoreline against Carrickmore’s Ciara Mullan and Bronagh Allison. The Under 16 Doubles final then saw Eilise McCrory and Emer Kerr team up to take the honours against Loughmacrory’s Sinead Donnelly and Aoibheann McAnespie by 15-3, 15-4. The Under 10 and Under 12 doubles remain to be played with those taking place on Wednesday evening in Loughmacrory.

Woods and Campbell claim Minor double honours

Breacach continued their impressive run of form in county finals at the weekend when Johnny Woods and Jack Campbell teamed up to collect the County Minor Doubles Championship honours in Loughmacrory on Sunday evening. Their opening game against Carrickmore’s Ryan Mullan and Niall Allison was finely balanced early on with some excellent retrieving and absorbing rallies served up by the four young players. In the end though Woods’ ability to execute ace winning serves and powerful low finishing proved decisive and they ran out winners by 21-9, 21-4. County Chairman, Paul Allison, presented them with their medals as the Tyrone Attic Stairs Minor Champions of 2014.

Third county title for Niall Kerr

The Tyrone Attic Stairs Mens 35+ Singles Championship proved a highly competitive one in 2014 with 18 players starting out in the challenge for honours. The final in Loughmacrory on Sunday evening saw reigning champion, Loughmacrory’s Martin Toner, bid for glory again as he faced recent Senior B Singles Champion, Niall Kerr. The duo provided some super rallies on the evening and both games saw Kerr open up a big lead with precise ceiling and passing shots to deep back court. In the first he held a 10-2 and 15-6 lead bt Toner’s battling qualities saw him deliver a surge of impressive corner killshots to claw back the deficit to 17-18. Niall held out though to win the first 21-17 and although he lead 13-3 in the second and saw that lead closed to 14-16, Kerr ran out the title winner with a 21-14 win in the second. This was a third domestic title of the season for the rejuvenated Breacach player, having won the Division 1 league, Senior B Singles Championship and now the Mens 35+ Champioonship.

Ruairi Kelly secures Japan Open title

Congratulations to Breacach’s Ruairi Kelly, the 2014 Japan Open Handball Champion. Ruairi won a hard fought final in Tokyo in the earlier hours of Monday morning by 21-19 21-17. This adds to his Australian Open title won in 2013 and crowns a remarkable year for the extremely talented Breacach player and his club.



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