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Paddy Grogan Handball Tournament

Thursday 01.05.2014
Team Talk Mag

In only its 4th year, the Paddy Grogan Memorial tournament hosted by the Carrickmore Handball Club has grown into one of the most prestigious juveniles’ events on the calendar. The tournament commemorates former club member Paddy Grogan, who played a pivotal role in developing the club’s current batch of Irish & World titleholders.

A unique format sees the top juvenile players in the country in both boys and girls come together to play in a team of four event, with matches decided on an aggregate basis. The format is something new to most of the players, and has often led to several big shocks as some players can adapt more quicly than others. This year the line up is packed with talent as among the 24 players there are seven of the eight winners and runners up of the four blue ribbon All-Ireland Finals of this year; U14 (Boys & Girls), U16 & U18.


The six minor players form the six team captains for the course of the weekend, with past winning captains including Gary O’Donoghue (Wicklow), Killian Carroll (Cork) & Colin Crehan (Clare). Tyrone’s Johnny Woods will arguably be the captain most of the young players would like, as Woods has had a sensational year thus far, winning the slam of All-Ireland Minor Singles & Doubles, and the 17&U Junior Nationals. In each of these finals he has met a rising star from Clare, Fergal Coughlan Jnr. Coughlan will be out for revenge, and will be hoping he has the skills to adapt accordingly to the new format.

Another Tyrone star, Sean Kerr is the top juvenile, possibly in world Handball right now in his age bracket, but he has a number of fierce competitors vying for his crown. Wexford’s Daniel Kavanagh, and Tipperary trio of Jason English, Colin Ryan & Jerome Cahill will all be quietly confident of causing an upset.

Top of the billing in the U14 section is Inis Mor’s Peter Donohue, who last month became the first player from the island to win a national title. Donohue has grown into a very physically strong and dominant player for his age. The local club’s trio of Cormac Munroe, Lorcan McBride & Darragh Canavan will all prove difficult to beat on their home court, with McBride pushing Donohue to an 11-8 tiebreaker in the Junior Nationals.  All-Ireland and Junior Nationals Finalists Ciaran Cooney & Sean McAdams make up that competitive grade.

Irish Handball is currently witnessing a boom of girls’ talent and the standard of competitors in the U14 Girls section is evident of this. Clare’s All-Ireland U14 Champion Bridin Dinane is particularly impressive, however she was pushed close in a tiebreaker by Limerick’s Catriona Millane in the Munster final. Armagh’s Dearbhla Coleman, fresh from her 13&U Nationals win, alongside Dinane and Carrickmore’s beaten All-Ireland finalist Ciara Mullan will be among a few others capable of an upset on their day.

The weekend promises to be a fantastic festival of Handball, with the standard of  competition sure to be at the highest in Irish juvenile Handball. This seems fitting for the club as the tournament coincides with their 25th Anniversary celebrations.

All spectators are welcome, with admission free of charge on both days.


When:                        Saturday May 3rd       (Group Stages)

Sunday May 4th          (SF’s & Finals)


Where:           Carrickmore HC, Tyrone



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