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Lough Showdown This Weekend

Friday 01.09.2023
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

Guaranteed thrills at Lough showdown with 400 games set to be played this weekend!

There will be almost 400 games of handball played in Loughmacrory this weekend as  the elite players in the one wall code arrive from Spain, England and all over Ireland to take part in the annual Lough Showdown.
There will be a fantastic atmosphere at this unique setting for one wall handball and the standard of play promises to be spectacular as Tyrone star Conor McElduff attempts to retain the mens open title for a fifth time.
Conor is carrying an injury into the event but is fresh from beating the best in Ireland to clinch a record breaking sixth Irish Nationals title two weeks ago.
This time however he will face the added challenge of trying to beat the best of England and Spain with Luke Thompson and Lur Ziarrusto Intxaurtza arriving with big reputations and aspirations of lifting the Tyrone man’s title.
Conor defeated Luke Thompson 25-24 last year in an epic mens open final and he will need to be on fire to prevail again.

The Lough Showdown entries are back at pre covid levels with over 300 players converging on the Lough this weekend from all over and ensuring the event’s status as one of the jewels in the Irish handball calendar.


Young stars from handball strongholds such as Cork, Wexford, Galway and Kilkenny will be arriving in force to treat spectators to some wonderful attacking handball at the edge of the lough.
The men’s open field is as strong as it’s ever been and the reigning champion can’t wait to get started. He’s been all over the world displaying his talents but the Lough showdown will always hold a special place in his heart.
“I can’t wait for the Lough showdown coming up this weekend,” enthused Conor, “as it’s become the second biggest Irish tournament of the year behind the nationals and it always attracts players from overseas too.
“We have two of the top European players coming over to compete this year which will leave the men’s open very competitive,” he pointed out.
“I’m really looking forward to it as last year turned out to be the best final anyone could have hoped for,” stressed Conor, “so I hope it brings the same entertainment and of course I will try my best to capture my fifth lough showdown title!
“It meant a lot to me winning a sixth open title at the Irish nationals last week,” he reflected, “and to have the all time record now for the most open one wall titles in Ireland is something I can’t quite believe.
“It’s something I’m very proud of and it also feels great to finally collect a major title this year.
“Earlier this year I reached the All Ireland senior semi final but I will be hoping to go even further next year!
“For now I’ll be just playing one-wall until November. After the Lough showdown I’ll be heading to the Belgium open on the 4th November and then it’s straight back into the 40×20 for the golden gloves a few weeks afterwards,” he concluded.
Apart from watching the incredible skills of Conor McElduff in Loughmacrory this weekend there will be plenty of extra Tyrone interest in the men’s open with Cahir Munroe, Paddy McCrory, Paul Donnelly and Sean Kerr all ready for battle.
Sean made a sensational return from injury at the Irish nationals and reached the mens open final with a thrilling semi final win over Armagh’s Fiachra O’Duill, another big player to look out for this coming weekend.
Sean has been one of the finest handball talents that Tyrone has ever produced and it was wonderful to see him back competing on the big stage after being out of action for almost a year.
Eilise McCrory will spearhead the Tyrone challenge in the ladies open this weekend, backed up by Clare Conway and Aoife Kelly, with Down star Lorraine McNally and Wexford’s Jodie Keeling among the players bidding for the title.
In the underage categories there will be some of Ireland’s most exciting prospects taking part over the weekend, including Cork’s Cian Dunning, Galway’s Caleb Donnellan and Bertie Donohue and the most exciting juvenile handballer in Ireland right now, Kilkenny’s Anthony Clifford.
Loughmacrory will have their own young stars bidding for showdown glory with renowned players such as Laura Duff, Lucy McCullagh and Ciaran McCrystal set to challenge strongly in their respective categories.
It promises to be another huge weekend of handball in the Lough this weekend with high standards and brilliant entertainment guaranteed from  Friday evening through to Sunday evening.

https://loughmacrorygaa.com/2023/06/lough-wallball-showdown-2023/

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