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Tyrone Handballers Aiming For Gold Medals

Friday 06.10.2017
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone will feature in six All Ireland 60×30 championship finals over the next two weekends following impressive semi-final wins for some of the county’s juvenile stars in Tipperary last Sunday.

The quest for All Ireland glory will see two Tyrone doubles teams head for Kells this Saturday morning to take on Westmeath and Kilkenny at adult level, and then the following weekend it will be the turn of Tyrone’s juvenile players to bid for gold medals against formidable Leinster opponents from Kildare, Kilkenny and Wexford.

A total of ten Tyrone players will feature in the forthcoming All Ireland finals, beginning with the four players who will be in action this Saturday in Kells.

Finbarr Fullen and Kenny Curran will get the Tyrone challenge for honours underway at 11am when they face Westmeath at silver masters level and this one looks set to be a tightly contested match, with Westmeath showing their capabilities by hammering Roscommon at the semi-final stage after coming through a difficult Leinster series.

The Loughmacrory duo work well together and they have been knocking on the door for a few years now, plus they’ll be keen to go a step further than they managed earlier this year when they lost the 40×20 doubles final to Kilkenny back in March. They also lost the 60×30 doubles final to Tipperary two years ago, so they will feel confident that a national doubles title breakthrough is getting close now.

Ryan Mullan has also been pushing hard for a 60×30 championship title at under-21 level over the last couple of years and the Carrickmore player gets another chance to secure his gold medal when he joins forces with the talented Sean Kerr to take on Kilkenny’s Brian Mahon and Emmet Landy.

Ryan lost out to Mahon in the recent singles decider but bounced back with a superb semi-final win over Tipperary in the doubles semi-final and the Tyrone pair produced some really slick handball together and will now fancy their chances of going all the way. It should be a great contest on Saturday and the Tyrone lads will have to be on top of their game to see off the Leinster champions.

Tyrone will also meet Kilkenny in two All Ireland juvenile finals the following weekend, with Cloda McNamee taking on Amy Brennan for the girls under-14 singles title following her outstanding win over Tipperary’s Amy McKeogh last Sunday.

Caitlin Conway and Elizabeth McGarvey will also have to deal with strong Kilkenny opposition in the under-16 grade after they maintained their unbeaten record in doubles this year with an emphatic semi-final win over Tipperary in Lahorna. The Tyrone pair have become a serious partnership and will take some stopping but the final is sure to be a tough one.

Mairead Fox will face the biggest challenge at the All Ireland juvenile finals when she meets Kildare’s Mollie Dagg but the Tyrone star, last year’s multiple under-14 All Ireland champion, showed promising form in disposing of Tipperary’s Laura Shinners in her semi-final last Sunday.

Brian McAleer and Jack Darcy combined superbly to record a convincing win over Cork in their All Ireland under-15 doubles semi-final and will now take on Wexford in the decider.

Gary McAleer and Eoin McElholm, despite being eligible for under-12 handball, produced a fabulous effort in their All Ireland under-14 doubles semi-final clash with Cork, taking the match to a tiebreaker before eventually bowing out, while Conor Fox, still under-13, took on a high quality singles opponent in Tipperary’s Rory Grace and will benefit hugely from his experience on the big stage.

Tyrone featured in a total of six All Ireland semi-finals in Lahorna on Sunday and gained impressive victories in four matches, paving the way for some exciting finals now.

Meanwhile, Tyrone’s one wall star Conor McElduff pulled off a stunning success in Valencia last weekend when he completed a remarkable double in the Spanish Open, securing both the singles and doubles titles after coming through a gruelling schedule of 13 games to remain unbeaten. Conor teamed up with Dutch star Kees van der Schoot to add the doubles title to his amazing singles triumph.


60×30 Juvenile All Ireland Championship semi-final results…

Munster v Ulster – Sunday 1st October:
GU14S Tyrone (Cloda McNamee) beat Tipperary (Amy McKeogh) 15-13, 15-6
BU14S Tipperary (Rory Grace) beat Tyrone (Conor Fox) 15-1, 15-0
BU14D Cork (Kealin Murphy & Gearoid Healy) beat Tyrone (Gary McAleer & Eoin McElholm) 15-3, 14-15, 15-2
BU15D Tyrone (Brian McAleer & Jack Darcy) beat Cork (Calvin Conroy & Donal Jones) 15-6, 15-7
GU16S Tyrone (Mairead Fox) beat Tipperary (Laura Shinners) 21-3, 21-8
GU16D Tyrone (Caitlin Conway & Elizabeth McGarvey) beat Tipperary (Siobhan Prentice & Isobel Farnan) 21-7, 21-16

All Ireland 60×30 Juvenile Championship Finals 2017…

14th/15th October in Leinster (details to be confirmed):
GU14S Tyrone (Cloda McNamee) v Kilkenny (Amy Brennan)
BU15D Tyrone (Brian McAleer & Jack Darcy) v Wexford (Diarmuid Moore & Dean O’Neill)
GU16S Tyrone (Mairead Fox) v Kildare (Mollie Dagg)
GU16D Tyrone (Caitlin Conway & Elizabeth McGarvey) v Kilkenny (Noelle Dowling & Roisin O’Keeffe)

All-Ireland 60×30 adult doubles championship finals…

Saturday 7th October at Kells, 11am:
SMBD Tyrone (Kenny Curran & Finbarr Fullen) v Westmeath (Joe Mulvanney & Mike Naughton)
U21D Tyrone (Sean Kerr & Ryan Mullan) v Kilkenny (Brian Mahon & Emmet Landy)



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