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Mulkerrins and Casey are Inaugural Breacach Open Champions

Monday 23.12.2019
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

Last weekend saw Venue of the Year, Breacach Handball Club filled to capacity as the top Handball Players in Ireland competed in the Premier Breacach Open. The action got underway on Friday evening playing the Mens Open down to the last 16.

In the first event of its kind to be staged in Tyrone, 24 men competed in the elite ranking tournament Open and 7 of the World’s top players in the Ladies Open . There was an 11&U grade also in this weekend’s tournament with over thirty 11 and Unders competing.

The future of Tyrone Handball looks very promising when you see the standard of the competitors in this group. This category was played down to the semi finals before the weekend which left us with three Breacach Boys, Eoghan Mullan, Ben McGarvey, Cathal Farley and Greencastle youngster Tarlac Tracey all contending for the title. In the girls semi finals we had Cara McCrory, Breacach, Karla Corcoran, Killyclogher, Alice McGlinchey, Greencastle and Lucy McCullagh, Loughmacrory vying for glory.

All these young players should be very proud of themselves. The semi finals for these were held early on Sunday morning leaving Karla Corcoran and Lucy McCullagh playing their final before the Ladies Open and Ben McGarvey and Eoghan Mullan playing their final before the Mens Open.

Both games were entertaining with victories being claimed by Loughmacrory lass Lucy McCullagh and Breacach’s Eoghan Mullan. Well done to everyone who took part.

The last 16 kicked off at 10am on Saturday morning with Diarmaid Nash defeating Daniel Relihan, Peter Funchion taking out Breacach player Sean Kerr, Colin Crehan besting Kevin Diggins and Fergal Coughlin Jnr losing out to Eoghan McGinnity in the third game.

Michael Hedigan overcame Jordan O’Neill,  Patrick Funchion was beaten by Gavin Coyle, Charlie Shanks defeated Ger Coonan and number 1 seed Martin Mulkerrins beat Paul Moran. All games were of outstanding quality and were viewed by two full galleries at all times.

The drop down group playing off for fifth place played a large amount of games and both of the finalists were absolutely exhausted going into the final game. Patrick Funchion from Kilkenny was victorious over Tipperary’s Ger Coonan in the last game of the evening.

The Ladies drop down section had a round robin competition with Fiona Tully from Roscommon defeating both Breacach’s Eilise McCrory and Mollie Dagg from Leixlip.

After another early start on Sunday and the 11&U semi finals completed, the two Ladies Open Semi Finals began. Catriona Casey sailed through to her place in the final with a convincing win over Armagh’s Megan McCann. Martina McMahon had to secure her place in a third game after two time World Champion Aisling Reilly put the pressure on and took the first game from Martina.

Both of the Mens Finalists claimed all their victories throughout the competition in two straight games. Diarmaid Nash(Clare) denied Monaghan’s Gavin Coyle a place in the final on a scoreline of 15-9, 15-3, whilst Galway‘s Martin Mulkerrins secured his place in the final with a 15-7, 15-6 win over Armagh stalwart Charlie Shanks.

The Ladies final began at 2.30 on Sunday with Catriona Casey (Cork) taking the first game. Martina also trailed in the second game but pulled it back little at a time, but unfortunately for the Limerick girl it wasn’t to be hers this time. This leaves Casey now ahead in the rankings. The athleticism and skill of both these Ladies is unbelievable and an absolute pleasure to watch.

The Mens Final proved to be as exciting as everyone hoped. With unbelievable rallies, passes, kills and retrieves the crowd were in awe as both players gave their all. Another pleasure to watch both players skills were outstanding, but Mulkerrins edged ahead and sealed his victory claiming the inaugural Breacach Open Title in two straight games against a very worthy opponent, Diarmaid Nash. Very well done to both players.

Breacach would like to thank everyone who travelled to take part in this tournament, to everyone who helped out,  and to all the sponsors especially the main sponsors TClarke Formwork and Martin Kerr Construction without their support it wouldn’t be viable. Also thanks to Sona Pub and Kitchen and Adrenaline Sport for sponsoring our tournament jersey.

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