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Success for St Colmcilles at Handball CnaB Day

Tuesday 05.03.2013
Team Talk Mag
Club


 All that is good about GAA Handball was in evidence in Kingscourt Handball Club, Cavan on Saturday, where numerous young families travelled from all corners of the country to compete in the Boys National Cumann na mBunscoil Day. 

From Galway to Wexford, from Tyrone to Kerry, young stars of the future, having won their way through their Provincial Championships, got the chance to represent their Provinces, and compete against top players in singles and doubles across the U11 & U13 grades.  What was clear from the abundance of matches throughout the day is that the future is bright for GAA Handball, with the standard of play increasing year on year. Boys, some as young as 8-9 years of age displayed skill levels beyond their years, which clearly highlights the hours upon hours of volunteer coaching and effort that is taking place nationwide is paying dividends.

But it is the endless wave of talent coming from Tyrone that became more evident, with St Colmcille’s PS in Carrickmore’s pupils LorcanMcGarrity and Cahir Munroe proudly flying the flag of Tyrone and Ulster this time around. Having dispatched Monaghan in last week’s Ulster Final, the young stars continued their good form in the National Day against their Connaught, Leinster and Munster counterparts. The playing format saw each Province play off in a league, with points scored on an aggregate basis.

Up first was the challenge from Wexford, who with their large supporting contingent provided a stern challenge. In fact the Wexford boys stole a march in the match, taking the first game 11-8. That slow start was soon to be forgotten though, with McGarrity’s pin point serving and Munroe’s consistency around the front court saw the Carrickmore youngsters fight back to take game 2, and the match, 11-7. This proved to be the positive start the lads needed, and with confidence high, further wins against pairings from Leitrim and Tipperary saw them come out top of the pile in the U11 Doubles section

An additional treat was on offer for all the young enthusiasts in the form of two top class Men’s All-Ireland Open QF’s, with the top two players in Ireland on court.  Robbie McCarthy of Westmeath had to pull out all the stops to withstand a gutsy challenge from Meath’s Brian Carroll, winning in a tiebreaker, whilst arguably the game’s best ever player Paul Brady putting in a mesmerizing display to defeat Antrim’s Owen McKenna. At the current rate of progress, Munroe and McGarrity, both of whom are eligible for the same grade next year, will be aiming to emulate the playing levels of McCarthy and Brady in the future.

Pictured is St Colmcille’s Teacher Emmet O’Neill (left), and Darragh Daly, GAA Handball National Development Officer (right), with the two players.

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