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Tyrone Players Bidding For Provincial Glory
A number of Tyrone handballers will be bidding for provincial honours over the next two weekends as the 2013 Ulster 40×20 championships draw towards a climax in both singles and doubles.
Last weekend saw most of the doubles semi-finals completed and Tyrone have made it through to several Ulster finals on Sunday 24th February.
The Ulster minor doubles final will be an all Tyrone affair, after defending champions and last year’s All-Ireland runners-up Pol Clarke and Gabhainn McCrystal defeated Down’s Pat Havern and Stephen Digney to set up a title clash with Patrick McCrory and Johnny Woods, who despatched Monaghan’s Darren Doherty and Eugene McGeough in the other semi-final. It promises to be an exciting contest between the two Tyrone pairings.
Barry Devlin, who reached the junior singles final last week, is also through to the junior doubles final along with Carrickmore’s Ryan Daly, while Finbarr Fullen and Kenny Curran negotiated the challenge of Antrim’s Noel Roberts and Sean McGurn in their masters eliminator on Sunday, eventually prevailing on a scoreline of 21-13 in the tiebreaker.
Shane O’Neill and Gary McCrory had an even tougher battle with Donegal in the intermediate doubles semi-final before emerging with a hard earned 21-18 tiebreaker win.
And Joey Kelly and Mark McCullagh almost made it through to the junior b doubles final, only for Down to stage a big comeback and snatch a narrow victory.
The Ulster adult doubles finals will take place on Sunday week, but firstly the singles finals will take place this Saturday, 16th February, and Tyrone are involved in nine finals, the first of which will be staged tonight (Wed) as Gabhainn McCrystal takes on Monaghan’s Darren Doherty in the minor decider.
Unfortunately Caolan Daly didn’t make it through to an intermediate showdown with Shane O’Neill as he lost to Cavan’s James Brady in the semi-final last weekend, leaving Shane to face the Mullahoran player this Sunday evening in Armagh.
Armagh will host a total of four finals this Saturday, all involving Tyrone players. Loughmacrory’s Mark McCullagh will have to contend with title favourite Sean Digney in what should be a great battle in the junior b singles final at 2pm, with Carrickmore’s Rory Grogan then facing another Down opponent Martin Turley in the over 35b singles final.
The third game on the card will see Loughmacrory’s Kenny Curran up against last year’s masters b winner Kevin McParland from Antrim in the silver masters b final, with Barry Devlin flying the flag for Breacach in the closing game of a busy programme as he confronts defending junior singles champion, Monaghan’s Terry Kiernan.
Conor McElduff will have a great chance of bringing success to Tyrone in Saturday’s under-21 singles final in Tydavnet, although he has the title holder, Monaghan’s Terry McElvaney, to overcome, while Lisa McAleer will defend her Ulster ladies intermediate title against Donegal’s Avril McNamee in Beragh and Michelle Warren will be in action in the junior b singles final at St Mellan’s against Monaghan’s Niamh Farrell.
ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL RESULTS…
Gabhainn McCrystal & Pol Clarke beat Pat Havern & Stephen Digney (Down) 21-12, 21-13
Johnny Woods & Patrick McCrory beat Darren Doherty & Eugene McGeough (Monaghan) 15-21, 21-14, 21-10
Junior b doubles
Sean Digney & Martin Turley (Down) beat Mark McCullagh & Joseph Kelly 10-21, 21-18, 21-16
Barry Devlin & Ryan Daly beat Paul Fitzpatrick & Eddie Halligan (Cavan)
Shane O’Neill & Gary McCrory beat Mark McGowan & Mark Marley (Donegal) 21-14, 18-21, 21-18
Masters b doubles
Finbarr Fullen & Kenny Curran beat Noel Roberts & Sean McGurn (Antrim) 21-19, 16-21, 21-13
James Brady (Cavan) beat Caolan Daly 10-21, 21-10, 21-17
ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES FINALS…
Wednesday 13th February
Minor Singles – Darren Doherty (Monaghan) v Gabhain McCrystal (Tyrone) at Eugene Quinn’s, Armagh, 7pm
Saturday 16th February
Junior B Singles – Sean Digney (Down) v Mark McCullagh (Tyrone) at Armagh, 2pm
Over 35 B Singles – Martin Turley (Down) v Rory Grogan (Tyr) at Armagh, 3pm
Silver Masters B Singles – Kevin McParland (Antrim) v Kenny Curran (Tyrone) at Armagh, 4pm
Junior Singles – Terry Kiernan (Monaghan) v Barry Devlin (Tyrone) at Armagh, at Armagh, 5pm
Ladies Intermediate Singles – Lisa McAleer (Tyrone) v Avril McNamee (Donegal) at Beragh, 2pm
Under-21 singles – Terry McElvaney (Monaghan) v Conor McElduff (Tyrone) at Tydavnet, 2pm
Ladies Junior B Singles – Niamh Farrell (Monaghan) v Michelle Warren (Tyrone) at St Mellan’s. 4pm
Sunday 17th February
Intermediate Singles – James Brady (Cavan) v Shane O’Neill (Tyrone) at Armagh, 6pm
ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES FINALS…
Sunday 24th February
(Venues to be finalised)
Pol Clarke & Gabhainn McCrystal (Tyrone) v Johnny Woods & Patrick McCrory (Tyrone)
Barry Devlin & Ryan Daly (Tyrone) v Terry Kiernan & James Gavaghan (Monaghan)
Shane O’Neill & Gary McCrory (Tyrone) v Patrick Clerkin & James Brady (Cavan)
Over 35 B doubles
Seamus McCrory & Rory Grogan (Tyrone) v Martin Toner & Conal Curran (Tyrone)
Masters B doubles
Finbarr Fullen & Kenny Curran (Tyrone) v Jimmy McKeown & Brendan McCormack (Cavan)