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Loughmacrory handballers make their mark at worlds…

Friday 26.10.2012
Team Talk Mag

Loughmacrory handball club made its mark at the 2012 World handball championships as the club’s players returned home with two gold medals and five silver medals following eleven memorable days in the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
The club had already picked up five silvers going into the final day of the championships and Antoin Fox and Dara Curran put the icing on the cake when they defeated Lorcan McBride and Eoghain McGinnity, 15-7, 15-11, to capture the world one wall under-11 doubles title.

It was a superb performance by two players who had produced some wonderful handball over the course of the eleven days, and Sunday evening’s result was just reward for their efforts.

Antoin and Dara had qualified for the 40×20 doubles final earlier in the championships, picking up silver medals following a string of impressive wins.

Aoife Kelly also had a very successful championship campaign, reaching two world finals in the girls under-15 40×20 competitions.

Aoife was involved in a cracking under-15 singles final with Niamh Coleman and when she went into a 14-13 lead in the opening game it looked like she was about to take a decisive advantage, but the Armagh girl showed great fighting spirit to come back and win by the narrowest of margins, 15-14.

Having snatched the first game, Niamh Coleman grew in confidence and although Aoife continued to battle valiantly until the end, the title eventually went to Armagh as the second game ended 15-8.

Aoife went on to reach her second final a few days later when she partnered Brackey’s Elise McCrory in the under-15 doubles but the girls just missed out on gold when they lost to Armagh in a tiebreaker.

Ciaran Curran also guaranteed himself a medal with some impressive wins in the over 35 singles competition in 40×20, including emphatic victories over Paul Flynn and Gavin Buggy.

But the former world under-23 champion was eventually denied gold in cruel fashion in the final against Dominic Lynch of Kerry.

After losing the first game 21-7, he bounced back superbly to win the second, 21-16, despite being involved in his fifth game in three days.

But after just two points of the tiebreaker, Ciaran sustained a nasty injury to his shoulder and after taking an injury time out to get it treated, he returned to the court but was unable to move his left arm. There was nothing he could do as Dominic Lynch served out the rest of the match to take the honours.

Overall it had been a very good championship for Ciaran up until that point and it was great to see him back in top level handball.
Lisa McAleer almost made it another medal for Loughmacrory as she reached the semi-final stages, and Mairead Fox and Caitlin Conway showed great potential throughout the championships, particularly in making it through to the one wall under-11 doubles semi-finals.

Conal Curran and Martin Toner had a great run in the mens b doubles before going out to the eventual winners in the quarter-final, while Shane McCrystall and Ronan Curran both had some great wins in their 40×20 singles competitions. Ronan also lost out in the one wall singles to a strong Belgian player who went all the way to the world title.

Cathair Curran, Ryan Curran, Patrick Curran, Finbarr Fullen, Kenny Curran, Michaela Curran, Aideen Curran and Maria Curran all produced great efforts in their respective competitions, while Joseph Kelly was playing well until he suffered a shoulder injury which sadly ended his participation.

Overall, the Loughmacrory team performed with a lot of credit, made a lot of friends at the world championships, and showed a lot of potential for the future.

The club was also extremely proud that one of its own, Chris Curran, was the brainwave behind the 2012 world championships in the Citywest, which turned out to be the most spectacular handball championships in history.



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