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Tyrone GAA Handball Review

Wednesday 19.03.2014
Team Talk Mag
Club


Four Tyrone players in All Ireland Singles finals

Following a bumper weekend of GAA Handball All Ireland Adult and Juvenile 40×20 Championships, Tyrone handballers are on the pinnacle of surpassing all previous exploits in the series. Following record breaking Ulster championship success across all grades, a total of 18 Tyrone players have now qualified for All Ireland Championship finals in the coming fortnight in 14 All Ireland title deciders.

This weekend ahead will see the first of those four All Ireland finals take place with the singles deciders down for decision in adult grades. Top billing will go to the All Ireland senior final programme in Kingscourt where Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy faces Diarmaid Nash (Clare) in the mens final with the guarantee of a new name on the GAel Linn Cup there. The Ladies Senior final will see Cork’s Caitriona Casey take on Wolrd Champion, Antrim’s Aisling Reilly. But first up on the programme at 1pm will be Tyrone’s Johnny Woods in the Minor Singles final. The Breacach teenager lost out in the final of the US National 17 & Under decider at Christmas and also made it to the Tyrone Premier League final despite his young age. He has since upped his game significantly too and powered his way to the All Ireland final with an emphatic win over Meath’s Robert Fox. He faces 2012 World 15 & Under champion, Fergal Coughlan and that promises to be a brilliant contest. Johnny Woods is fancied to become just the thirs Tyrone player to ever win this title, and the first from his club, following previous triumphs by Ciaran Curran (1991) and Caolan Daly (2009).

Conor McElduff and Maeve McElduff have enjoyed phenomenal campaigns to date also and will be hoping they can complete a very unique family double in Kells (Meath) on Sunday. Conor McElduff was a brilliant semi final winner against Kildare’s Niall O’Connor in his semi final encounter and his recent sensational form puts him in with a big shout in the All Ireland Under 21 decider. He will face the reigning champion, Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins, in that final with his opponent also now competing on the US WPH Race4Eight Pro circuit. Conor has shown immense form in recent victories though and a big challenge is anticipated.

Maeve McElduff became the first ever winner of the Tyrone Ladies Open Championship recently and will go in search of her first ALl Ireland Minor Singles title in Kells also. Maeve has delivered massive progress in her game in the past two seasons and was a convincing All Ireland semi final winner against Kildare’s Katie Dagg. She takes on one of the rising stars of the game in Galway’s Ciana Ní Churraoin, a player who has already won 3 world titles, 3 US titles and six All Ireland singles titles. However, in their last meeting at the final of the Girls 17 & Under One Wall Nationals, Maeve came out on top and hold strong claims going into this latest test.

Loughmacrory’s Chris Curran completes the Tyrone list of players in weekend All Ireland finals. Curran, who was the CEO of GAA Handball for over 4 years had not competed in his time in that role and has come back to book his final in the Masters B Singles Championship. A tough Ulster championship was followed by a tie-break victory over Kilkenny’s Stephen Barcoe. He now travels to Leixlip in Kildare on Sunday to take on Tipperary’s John Corbett in what looks set to be a very close affair.

Fixtures:

Saturday 22nd March

in Kingscourt, Cavan, 1pm: Minor Singles – Tyrone (Johnny Woods) v Clare (Fergal Coughlan)

Sunday 23rd March

in Leixlip, Kildare, 2pm: Master B Singles – Tyrone (Chris Curran) v Tipperary (John Corbett)

in Kells, Meath, 2pm: Ladies Minor Singles – Tyrone (Maeve McElduff) v Galway (Cianna Ni Churraoin)

in Kells, Meath, 2pm: U21 Singles – Galway (Martin Mulkerrins) v Tyrone (Conor McElduff)

Two weekend doubles victories

Last weekend as the All Ireland doubles championship semi finals and Johnny Woods and Ryan Mullan booked their place in the All Ireland Minor doubles final following a 21-8, 21-14 win over Meath’s Robert Fox and Dylan Sheridan in Kells. They will now meet Clare in the All Ireland final in 2 weeks time. Seamus McCrory and Rory Grogan travelled to Leixlip and scored a very impressive win over Dublin by 21-9, 21-4 to also book their Masters B Doubles All Ireland final place in a fortnights time. Conal Curran and Martin Toner made the long trip to O’Loughlins in Kilkenny but found Stephen Barcoe and John Morrissey in top for on the day as the home partnership ran out winners by 21-5, 21-13. In the Junior Doubles semi final in Beragh, Ryan Daly and Patrick McCrory found the Kilkenny combination of Ciaran Neary and Brendan Burke in top form as they fell to a 21-7, 21-9 defeat. Meanwhile a packed crowd in Beragh enjoyed a fascinating All Ireland Masters A Doubles championship semi final on St. Patrick’s Day with Kilkenny legends Ducksy Walsh and DJ Carey in action. The four-times All Ireland Senior doubles champions took on home team, Chris Curran and Niall Kerr, and ran out winners on a 21-13, 21-12 scoreline in a keenly contested affair. Darragh Daly and Caolan Daly have the Mens Open Doubles Championship last 16 on Sunday in Kingscourt where they will face former All Ireland champions, Mayo’s Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann.

Juvenile excel in All Ireland semi finals

The Tyrone Juvenile team had high hopes going into the 2014 Championships and last weekend exhibited that level of belief in the All Ireland semi final stages. Overall Tyrone won out in six of the sixteen All Ireland semi finals played across 3 venues on Saturday and will thus be strongly represented in the All Ireland Juvenile Finals on Saturday 29th March.

Breacach’s Sean Kerr had a terrific battle on Saturday in the All Ireland Under 16 Singles semi final with Wexford’s gifted teenager, Daniel Kavanagh, before winning through in the end by 21-18, 18-21, 11-4. That win sends Sean into the All Ireland Under 16 decider where he will meet Tipperary’s Jerome Cahill.

Matthew McCartan and Pauric Mullan will contest the All Ireland Under 16 Doubles final after defeating Kilkenny in the semi final where they again showed terrific resolve to come back from losing the opening game 21-20 to win 21-17 and then take the tie-break by 11-8. Eilise McCrory is also into the All Ireland Under 16 singles final after serving up an eyecatching win against Kilkenny’s Aoife Holden. Eilise again had to deliver her best form against the talented Leinster champion to win 21-17, 21-11 and set up an intriguing All Ireland final with Roscommon’s fiona Tully. Aaron Owens and Tiarnan McCrystal also booked their place in the All Ireland final when overcoming Kilkenny in the Under 17 Doubles semi final in impressive fashion by 21-5, 21-10, thus making it four from four for Tyrone in Beragh on the day.

Carrickmore’s Ciara Mullan delivered an excellent display to score an eye-catching win against Kildare’s Leah Doyle to claim her place in the Girls All Ireland Under 14 Singles final. At the same venue, Cormac Munroe and Darragh Canavan had another superb win to maintain their fine season with a win against Laois. Ciaran Cuddy was unlucky to fall to Louth’s Ben Devlin in the Boys Under 15 singles semi final.

Results:

All Ireland Adult Championship Semi finals:

Junior Doubles: Kilkenny (Ciaran Neary/Brendan Burke) dft Tyrone (Ryan Daly/Patrick McCrory) 21-7, 21-9

O35 B Doubles: Kilkenny (Stephen Barcoe/John Morrissey) dft Tyrone (Martin Toner/Conal Curran) 21-5, 21-13

Masters B Doubles: Tyrone (Rory Grogan/Seamus McCrory) dft Dublin (Christy Donnelly/George Ryan) 21-9, 21-4.

Minor Doubles: Tyrone (Johnny Woods/Ryan Mullan) dft Meath (Robert Fox/Dylan Sheridan) 21-8, 21-14

Masters A Doubles: Kilkenny (Michael Walsh/D J Carey) dft Tyrone (Niall Kerr/Chris Curran) 21-13, 21-12

All Ireland Juvenile Championship Semi finals:

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

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

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

BU16 Singles: Tyrone (Sean Kerr) dft Wexford (Daniel Kavanagh) 21-18, 18-21, 11-4

BU16 Doubles: Tyrone (Matthew McCartan/Pauric Mullan) dft Kilkenny (Roy Cullen/Conor Murphy) 20-21, 21-17, 11-8

GU16 Singles: Tyrone (Eilise McCrory) dft Kilkenny (Aoife Holden) 21-17, 21-11

BU17 Doubles: Tyrone (Aaron Owens/Tiarnan McCrystall) dft Kilkenny (Mark Purcell/David Doyle) 21-5, 21-10

18 Tyrone Handballers already into 2014 GAA Handball All Ireland 40×20 Championship finals

Upcoming Juvenile All Ireland Finalists:

Girls Under 14 Singles: Ciara Mullan

Boys Under 14 Doubles: Cormac Munroe & Darragh Canavan

Boys Under 16 Singles: Sean Kerr

Boys Under 16 Doubles: Matthew McCartan & Pauric Mullan

Girls Under 16 Singles: Eilise McCrory

Boys Under 17 Doubles: Aaron Owens & Tiarnan McCrystall

Upcoming Adult All Ireland Finalists:

Minor Singles: Johnny Woods

Minor Doubles: Johnny Woods & Ryan Mullan

Ladies Minor Singles: Maeve McElduff

Ladies Minor Doubles: Maeve McElduff & Aoife Kelly

Under 21 Singles: Conor McElduff

Under 21 Doubles: Conor McElduff & Gabhain McCrystal

Masters B Singles: Chris Curran

Masters B Doubles: Seamus McCrory & Rory Grogan

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