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Tyrone handball finals produce loads of drama…
The 2013 Tyrone juvenile championship finals have served up some wonderful handball in Carrickmore over the last fortnight, with the last three finals conjuring up incredible drama on Tuesday night as they all went right to the wire before delivering a title winner.
Amazingly, two of Tuesday’s fixtures resulted in a 15-14 scoreline in the tiebreaker as Turlough Clarke and Tiarnan McCrystal from Breacach both achieved victory by the slenderest of margins, inflicting the cruellest of defeats on Carrickmore pair, Ciaran Cuddy and Ciaran Daly, in the under-14 and under-15 county finals.
Remarkably, the two winners had also won the opening game of their respective matches on a 15-14 scoreline, before being pegged back in the second game.
Turlough Clarke had actually lost his second game heavily and was 10-5 behind in the deciding game, but he suddenly clicked into top gear again and a brilliant sequence of kill shots saw him carve out a 14-11 lead, only for Ciaran Cuddy to fight back in superb style to level the match at 14 points each. It was a case of ‘next point wins’ and after Ciaran missed his chance to score the decisive ace, Turlough got back inside and clinched the title in dramatic fashion.
There was possibly even more drama in the under-15 singles final as Ciaran Daly bounced back from a 15-14 reversal in the first game with a 15-8 win in the second and he was almost over the finishing line as he stormed into a 14-8 lead in the third game, but his opponent wasn’t finished and somehow managed to register the seven consecutive aces he required to snatch the title.
And Cormac Munroe also needed a tiebreaker to see off the brave challenge of Antoin Fox in the under-13 county final. Cormac had looked in command in the opening game but the Loughmacrory player responded in great style and took the second game with five points to spare before the pair went point for point for much of the third game. But the Carmen player got the last seven points of the match to secure a hard earned victory.
Last week there had been two exciting finals contested in Carrickmore as Lorcan McGarrity saw off the challenge of his cousin, Ruairi Canavan, in the county under-10 singles final and Sean Kerr defeated Niall Allison in the under-16 decider.
The under 10 final was a very good match which produced plenty of skillful action, with Lorcan’s extra power proving the decisive factor in the end.
And in the under-16 county final, Sean Kerr was at his brilliant best in the opening game, with some great serving complemented by precise roof shots and an array of wonderful corner kills.
In the second game Niall Allison began to apply greater pressure on the Breacach star and showed great character to send the match into a tiebreaker, but Sean Kerr then recovered his composure and produced some very smart handball to race into a ten point advantage. Niall showed great fighting spirit once again to hit six aces in a row but Sean managed to halt the comeback and he finally secured the county title on his fourth attempt at match point.
All eleven county juvenile singles finals have now been completed and the standard of this year’s finals was exceptionally high across all categories, as was emphasised last weekend in County Clare when county finalists Elizabeth McGarvey, Lorcan McBride, Eilise McCrory and Ciaran Cuddy all won national titles, and Cormac Munroe reached the final in his age group, at the 2013 Irish Junior Nationals.
Finally, a special mention to Tyrone’s new handball sponsor, Kevin McCrystal from Tyrone Attic Stairs, whose support for the county handball team and the Tyrone juvenile championships in 2013 has been invaluable.
2013 TYRONE JUVENILE FINAL RESULTS…
U10 Girls final: Clodagh Munroe (An Charraig Mhór) beat Dervla Farley (Breacach) 15-8, 15-7
U10 Boys final: Lorcan McGarrity (An Charraig Mhór) beat Ruairi Canavan (An Charraig Mhór) 15-9, 15-8
U12 Girls final: Caitlin Conway (Loch Mhic Ruairí) beat Elizabeth McGarvey (Breacach) 10-15, 15-9, 15-8
U12 Boys final: Lorcan McBride (An Charraig Mhór) beat Dara Curran (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-10, 15-13
U13 Girls final: Ciara Mullan (An Charraig Mhór) beat Michaela McCartan (Breacach) 15-12, 15-13
U13 Boys final: Cormac Munroe (An Charraig Mhór) beat Antoin Fox (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-2, 10-15, 15-8
U14 Girls final: Maeve McElroy (An Charraig Mhór) beat Eve Loughran (An Charraig Mhór) 12-15, 15-9, 15-13
U14 Boys final: Turlough Clarke (Breacach) beat Ciaran Cuddy (An Charraig Mhór) 15-14, 1-15, 15-14
U15 Girls final: Eilise McCrory (Breacach) beat Sinead Donnelly (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-3, 15-1
U15 Boys final: Tiarnan McCrystal (Breacach) beat Ciaran Daly (An Charraig Mhór) 15-14, 8-15, 15-14
U16 Boys final: Sean Kerr (Breacach) beat Niall Allison (An Charraig Mhór) 21-6, 10-21, 11-6