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Tyrone GAA Handball News

Thursday 13.03.2014
Team Talk Mag

Four Tyrone players book All Ireland final places

Breacach’s Johnny Woods has maintained his excellent form this season with an impressive All Ireland Minor Singles Championship semi final win in Beragh on Saturday. Johnny booked his ticket to the All Ireland Minor final with a fine 21-16, 21-14 win over Meath’s rising young star, Robert Fox and will now contest the All Ireland minor singles championship final prior to the eagerly awaited All Ireland Senior Singles Championship final on Saturday 22nd March in Kingsourt. Clare’s Fergal Coughlan will provide the opposition in one of the biggest games of the year in the 40×20 court, with many of the winners of this event going on to play major roles at the highest level. Tyrone have won the All Ireland Minor crown just twice in the past through Ciaran Curran (1991) and Caolan Daly (2009) and Woods looks to hold strong claims of bringing this honour to a Breacach club, who have enjoyed unprecedented success in the past 18 months, for the first time.

Breacach’s Conor McElduff undoubtedly pulled off one of the best championship wins of the weekend as he travelled to Leixlip in Kildare to defeat the 2013 All Ireland Intermediate champion, Niall O’Connor, in his home court. This All Ireland Under 21 Singles championship semi final always had the makings of a tough one but McElduff showed incredible resilience in the first to come back from 14-2 down to win 21-20. He equalled that character with amazing retrieving in particular in the second game to win 21-19. That eyecatching win puts Conor into the All Ireland Under 21 Singles Championship decider where he will meet Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins in two weeks time and what a game in prospect there.

The excellent day for Tyrone handballers continued in Leixlip in Kildare and what a trip it proved for the McElduff clan. Breacach’s Maeve McElduff is into another All Ireland championship final following a fantastic win over Kildare’sKatie Dagg by 21-5, 21-7 in the All Ireland Minor Singles Championship semi final. This win will see Maeve also into a final against a Galway player, Ciana Ní Churraoin, who Maeve defeated in the 2013 One Wall final, in opposition. The recently crowned Tyrone Senior champion has the potential to complete a remarkable All Ireland minor double for her club in a season where she continues to exhibit improvement in every contest.

Loughmacrory’s Chris Curran had to put in a real battle in the end before booking his place in the 2014 All Ireland Masters Singles final. Curran won the opening game against Kilkenny’s Stephen Barcoe by 21-14 and looked very good to progress when he lead by 16-8 in the second. However his opponent rallied to win the second by 21-19 but Curran found his range in the third to win through to the All Ireland Masters B final in 10 days time with a 21-10 win in the third deciding game.

That win means that a total of four players will contest All Ireland Singles Championship finals on the weekend of 22nd/23rd March. Tyrone players also went very close to adding other semi final wins at the weekend in top flight grades. Ulster Intermediate Singles Champion, Shane O’Neill, lost out at the All Ireland semi final stages on Saturday in his bid to go one better than last year in the All Ireland title race. Shane pulled out all the stops to win the opening game 21-20 against Kilkenny’s Peter Funchion but the Kilkenny player was in excellent form in the next two games, winning out 21-12, 21-15.

Following a very impressive Ulster championship title win, Carrickmore’s Ryan Daly fell at the penultimate stage in the All Ireland series to a very impressive Wicklow’s Jerome Willoughby. Ryan lost out in today’s All Ireland Junior Singles Championship semi final by 21-8, 21-18 in the end but still has the All Ireland Junior doubles championship semi final to look ahead to. Loughmacrory’s Lisa McAleer put in a brave bid in her All Ireland Intermediate Singles Championship semi final in Loughmacrory but in the end found herself facing a bang in-form Aoife McCarthy. The Westmeath player was in superb form in this contest and in the end defeated Lisa on a 21-10, 21-8 scoreline.

Next up is the All Ireland doubles championship semi finals next weekend with Tyrone represented in a total of seven All Ireland semi finals, which again include all four of the singles finalists.


Seven Tyrone teams in All Ireland doubles bids

A number of All Ireland doubles championship semi finals will involve Tyrone players in a very busy weekend ahead. On Saturday morning, Ryan Daly will team up with Carrickmore club colleague, Patrick McCrory, in the Junior semi final against a formidable Kilkenny partnership in Beragh. The O’Neill County will then be involved in three tough away semi fixtures. Loughmacrory’s Martin Toner and Conal Curran make the long journey to O’Loughlin’s in Kilkenny for the Mens Over 35 Doubles against the home side and have very strong claims of negotiating this hurdle successfully. The Carrickmore and Breacach combination of Rory Grogan and Seamus McCrory came through a tough Ulster Masters B Doubles Championship in Ulster and will serve up a strong challenge against Dublin’s Christy Donnelly and George Ryan in Kildare.

Breacach’s Johnny Woods is bidding for a top notch double in the prestigious Minor championship and he travels to Kells in Meath alongside his partner, Carrickmore’s Ryan Mullan, to take on a highly regarded Meath pairing. Woods and Mullan won the All Ireland Under 16 doubles championship title two seasons ago and face Robert Fox and Dylan Sheridan, who will provide a very tough test. However, hopes are high that the Red Hand pair can secure another final place in a remarkable campaign.


Kilkenny star DJ Carey and Ducksy Walsh in Beragh

All eyes will then turn to Beragh at 11.30am on St. Patrick’s Day with the visit of Kilkenny legends, Ducksy Walsh and 9 times hurling all star, DJ Carey, in Beragh. The duo have been All Ireland Senior doubles champions on four occasions in the nineties and will be hot favourites for the All Ireland Masters Doubles crown in 2014 and on Monday will take on Chris Curran and Breacach’s Niall Kerr in the All Ireland Masters A Doubles semi final.

Tyrone are already into the All Ireland Under 21 doubles championship and ladies minor doubles championship finals. Conor McElduff and Gabhain McCrystal will await the winners of Galway and Cork in the Under 21 doubles decider while Maeve McElduff and Aoife Kelly will take on Galway in the Ladies minor doubles final in just over two weeks time.


O’Neills GAA Handball All Ireland 40×20 Adult Doubles Championship semi finals:

Saturday 15th March, in Beragh, Co. Tyrone, 10.30am: Junior Doubles: Tyrone (Ryan Daly/Patrick McCrory) v Kilkenny (Ciaran Neary/Brendan Burke)

Saturday 15th March, in Kells, Meath, 3.00pm: Minor Doubles: Meath (Robert Fox/Dylan Sheridan) v Tyrone (Johnny Woods/Ryan Mullan)

Saturday 15th March, in O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny, 3.00pm: O35 B Doubles: Kilkenny (Stephen Barcoe/John Morrissey) v Tyrone (Martin Toner/Conal Curran)

Saturday 15th March, in Leixlip, Kildare, 3.00pm: Masters B Doubles: Dublin (Christy Donnelly/George Ryan) v Tyrone (Rory Grogan/Seamus McCrory)

Monday 17th March, in Beragh, Co. Tyrone, 11.30am: Masters A Doubles: Tyrone (Niall Kerr/Chris Curran) v Kilkenny (Michael Walsh/D J Carey)


Thirteen Ulster Juvenile titles for Tyrone

Tyrone’s highly regarded young juvenile 40×20 GAA Handball team lined out in an impressive 20 of the 24 provincial finals on Sunday last in Kingscourt and in the end secured the largest haul of medals on the day, with 13 titles in all.

In the Under 12 grades, Tyrone found it tough on the day and lost out in both Boys finals in singles and doubles and also in the Girls Under 12 doubles. Cahir Munroe was really up against it with the 2013 champion in the grade, Eoghan McGinnity, back again in the final and despite a valiant attempt, Cahir lost out by 15-3, 15-5. Brian McAleer, replacing the injured Lorcan McGarrity, teamed up with Tiarnan McGarrity in the under 12 doubles and lead against Monaghan by 8-2 in the opening game but Davyl Kakiauskas in particular was most impressive and the Farney doubles paircame back to win 15-10, 15-3. Clodagh Munroe and Sarah Devlin were also competing in their first final but lost out to Down by 15-8, 15-11. In the end Tyrone’s only Under 12 title on the day went to Loughmacrory’s Mairead Fox as she produced a terrific display against Antrim’s Carragh Shannon to win through 15-3, 15-6.

In contrast, Tyrone produced four very impressive displays to enjoy a clean sweep of all four titles at Under 13 level. In the Boys Under 13 singles, Lorcan McBride was given a stern test against Monaghan’s Jacob Szkup and trailed in the opening game by 12-10. However, the 2012 World champion dug deep with an excellent serve and corner killshot play to take control and claim the honours on a 15-12, 15-0 scoreline. In the doubles, Dara Curran and Caolan McCartan also had to dig deep against a resilient Monaghan partnership before running out winners and Ulster champions by 15-10, 15-3. Elizabeth McGarvey had a terrific match with Antrim’s Grace Shannon in the Girls Under 13 final and it took controlled shooting from deep court to see her claim the title by 15-8, 15-4. Caitlin Conway and Emer Kerr delivered a very commanding display in the Girls Under 13 doubles final and ran out emphatic 15-1, 15-1 winners against Down.

Under 14 level is the first of the juvenile grades which advance to All Ireland level and in the Boys doubles, Tyrone have strong claims in their all Ireland challenge in the form of Cormac Munroe and Darragh Canavan who delivered a powerful 15-0, 5-2 win against Monaghan on Sunday. Ronan Curran went in to his delayed final on Tuesday due to illness and this clearly had an effect on the young Loughmacrory player, who lost out to Monaghan’s Justas Dambinskas 15-7, 15-5, having defeated his opponent previously in the colleges decider. Ciara Mullan was a most decisive winner in the Girls Under 14 singles final and served up a 15-1, 15-1 win over Monaghan’s Neda Pasakinskaite. Tyrone added the Girls Under 14 doubles title when Meabh McCrystal and Bronagh Allison emerged 15-8, 15-5 winners against Down.

In the Under 15 championships, Tyrone’s Ciaran Cuddy exhibited strong credentials looking ahead to the All Ireland stages also as he powered his way to a 15-5, 15-3 win over Monaghan’s Cillian Sherry. Monaghan proved very strong in the Under 15 doubles however and their 15-3, 15-5 win against Tyrone’s Conor Kelly and Tiarnan McAleer would suggest they could go far in the national series also. Tyrone also contested the Girls Under 15 Singles final and Michaela McCartan put in a terrific display against highly regarded Armagh teenager, Dearbhla Coleman, before losing out on a 15-13, 15-13 scoreline.

Sean Kerr is a player who many see as one of the Juvenile stars of the game in Ireland and the Breacach teenager will go into the All Ireland Under 16 singles championship as one of the undoubted top challengers for gold. Kerr was a most impressive 21-9, 21-8 winner over Cavan’s young hotshot Stephen Smith. Matthew McCartan and Pauric Mullan had to pull out all the stops in the Boys Under 16 doubles though as they lost the opening game to Armagh 21-17 before bouncing back to claim the title with a 21-2 and 11-4 tie-break victory. Breacach’s Eilise McCrory is another young Tyrone star with major All Ireland ambitions and this was proven in her Ulster Under 16 singles triumph against Armagh’s reputable young star, Aoibheann Henderson by 21-12, 21-18 in a fantastic game.

The Boys Under 17 doubles final provided the closest call of the day and saw a win by the narrowest of margins in the end for Tyrone. Aaron Owens and Tiarnan McCrystal lost the opening game 21-16 before they battled back to level the match with a 21-15 win in the second. The tie-break went to the wire before they eventually triumphed and secured their All Ireland semi final place with an 11-10 victory. Ryan Curran was forced to withdraw from the Boys Under 17 singles Championship final after sustaining an injury in a weekend club football match.

Ulster GAA President, Martin McAviney, was special guest on Ulster juvenile finals day to present all the winners medals. Tyrone’s newly crowned Ulster Juvenile champions have had little time to celebrate as they now prepare for All Ireland championship semi final challenges this St. Patrick’s weekend.


GAA Handball Ulster Juvenile 40×20 Championship Final Results:

Boys U12 Singles Final: Eoghan McGinnity (Monaghan) dft Cahir Munroe (Tyrone) 15-3, 15-5

Boys U13 Singles Final: Lorcan McBride (Tyrone) dft Jacob Szkup (Monaghan) 15-12, 15-0

Boys U14 Singles Final: Justas Dambinskas (Monaghan) dft Ronan Curran (Tyrone) 

Boys U15 Singles Final: Ciaran Cuddy (Tyrone) dft Cillian Sherry (Monaghan) 15-5, 15-3

Boys U16 Singles Final: Sean Kerr (Tyrone) dft Stephen Smith (Cavan) 21-9, 21-8

Boys U17 Singles Final: Gavin Coyle (Monaghan) dft Ryan Curran (Tyrone) w/o inj

Boys U12 Doubles Final: Tiernan O’Rourke & Davyl Kakiauskas (Monaghan) dft Brian McAleer & Tiarnan McGarrity (Tyrone) 15-10, 15-2

Boys U13 Doubles Final: Dara Curran & Caolan McCartan (Tyrone) dft Konrad Kowal & Conor Myles (Monaghan) 15-10, 15-3

Boys U14 Doubles Final: Darragh Canavan & Cormac Munroe (Tyrone) dft Caolan Myles & Hubert Sheinback (Monaghan) 15-0, 15-2

Boys U15 Doubles Final: Ryan Mohan and Aaron Mohan (Monaghan) dft Conor Kelly & Tiernan McAleer (Tyrone) 15-3, 15-5

Boys U16 Doubles Final: Matthew McCartan & Pauric Mullan (Tyrone) dft Jordan Murtagh & Eoghan Heaney (Armagh) 17-21, 21-2, 11-4

Boys U17 Doubles Final: Aaron Owens & Tiarnan McCrystal (Tyrone) dft James Curley & Conor Mohan (Monaghan) 16-21, 21-11, 11-10

Girls U12 Singles Final: Mairead Fox (Tyrone) dft Carragh Shannon (Antrim) 15-3, 15-6

Girls U13 Singles Final: Elizabeth McGarvey (Tyrone) dft Grace Shannon (Antrim) 15-8, 15-4

Girls U14 Singles Final: Ciara Mullan (Tyrone) dft Neda Pasakinskaite (Monaghan) 15-1, 15-1

Girls U15 Singles Final: Dearbhla Coleman (Armagh) dft Michaela McCartan (Tyrone) 15-13, 15-13

Girls U16 Singles Final: Eilise McCrory (Tyrone) dft Aoibhinn Henderson (Armagh) 21-12, 21-18

Girls U12 Doubles Final: Eilish Murphy & Cara McKervey (Down)  dft Clodagh Munroe & Sarah Devlin (Tyrone) 15-8, 15-11

Girls U13 Doubles Final: Caitlin Conway & Emer Kerr (Tyrone) dft Racheall Doherty & Mary Martin (Down) 15-1, 15-1

Girls U14 Doubles Final: Meabh McCrystal & Bronagh Allison (Tyrone) dft Erin Rafferty & Ciara Cowan (Down) 15-8, 15-5


GAA Handball All Ireland Juvenile 40×20 Championship Semi Final Fixtures:

(matches involving Tyrone players)

Saturday 15th March, in Beragh, 12noon:

BU16 Singles: Tyrone (Sean Kerr) v Wexford (Daniel Kavanagh)

BU16 Doubles: Tyrone (Matthew McCartan/Pauric Mullan) v Kilkenny (Roy Cullen/Conor Murphy)

GU16 Singles: Tyrone (Eilise McCrory) v Kilkenny (Aoife Holden)

BU17 Doubles: Tyrone (Aaron Owens/Tiarnan McCrystall) v Kilkenny (Mark Purcell/David Doyle)

Saturday 15th March, in Carrickmore, 12noon:

GU14 Singles: Tyrone (Ciara Mullan) v Kildare (Leah Doyle)

BU14 Doubles: Tyrone (Cormac Munroe/Darragh Canavan) v Laois (Eoghan Doheny/Padraig Dunne)

BU15 Singles: Tyrone (Ciaran Cuddy) v Louth (Ben Devlin)



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