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Tyrone players staking their claims for Ulster handball honours…

Monday 21.01.2013
Team Talk Mag

Tyrone players have been achieving some positive results in the opening stages of the 2013 Ulster handball championships, which will really take off this coming weekend with the launch of the minor, under-21, junior and intermediate competitions.
So far there has been action in the mens open singles and doubles, as well as in the masters divisions and in the highly competitive junior b grade.
In the mens open singles, Brackey’s Shane O’Neill reached the semi-finals by virtue of his win over Carrickmore’s Darragh Daly, but then lost in the semi-final to world champion Paul Brady, who will now meet Cavan colleague Michael Finnegan in the provincial decider.
In the open doubles, Carrickmore brothers, Darragh and Caolan Daly, qualified for the Ulster semi-finals last weekend before going down narrowly to Ricky McCann and Paul Graham, losing 21-16 in the tiebreaker. The Antrim pair subsequently lost the Ulster final to the reigning All-Ireland champions, Brady and Finnegan.
Meanwhile there were great wins on Saturday for Eamon McCrory and Mark McCullagh in the junior b singles championship, with Joseph Kelly and Mattie McSorley also progressing to the last 16, while Paul Donnelly lost his first round tie in Belfast.
McCullagh and Kelly also teamed up to record a fine victory over Cavan in the junior b doubles quarter-final on Sunday, completing a great weekend for the Loughmacrory duo.
Finbarr Fullen registered a comprehensive win in Monaghan in the masters b singles competition on Saturday, while Brackey’s Mark McCartan was unlucky to bow out after losing his tiebreaker 21-18 to Antrim’s Noel Roberts in Belfast on Friday night.
Fullen enjoyed his second victory of the weekend on Sunday but didn’t have things quite as easy as he joined forces with Kenny Curran to see off Michael McMahon and Cormac Sherry in a tiebreaker which produced nine match points, including five for the Monaghan men, before it eventually ended 21-20 in favour of the Loughmacrory pair.
There’s a very busy programme of fixtures coming up across the province, with lots of Tyrone players in action on Saturday and Sunday.
The junior b championship continues for Mark McCullagh, Joseph Kelly and Brackey pair, Eamon McCrory and Mattie McSorley, on Saturday, with a second fixture lined up 24 hours later for Saturday’s winners, while Finbarr Fullen continues his masters b title challenge on Saturday and Kenny Curran sets out in the silver masters b singles on Sunday.
But a lot of attention will focus on the opening games of the Ulster minor and under-21 championships, two competitions in which Tyrone hold high hopes. Conor McElduff will fly the Tyrone flag at under-21 level and has a great chance of success, but he has a tough opener against Armagh’s Conall McCavitt.
At minor level Tyrone’s four-pronged assault comes from Gabhainn McCrystal, Patrick McCrory, Pol Clarke and Johnny Woods, with the latter pair having to face each other in an all-Brackey contest on Saturday. Patrick has Antrim’s Jordan O’Neill to contend with, and Gabhainn has the challenge of Down’s Pat Havern to negotiate.
Shane O’Neill will begin his quest for intermediate honours in Ballybofey on Sunday, hoping to join Caolan Daly in the next round, while five Tyrone players will set out in pursuit of junior championship glory. Ryan Daly, Brian Donaghy and world b silver medalist, Barry Devlin, will all travel to Truagh on Saturday, while Michael Donnelly is in Monaghan and Barney Corcoran heads to Armagh.
Meanwhile, after several weeks of trials, the Tyrone juvenile team for 2013 is due to be finalised later this week and the county is certain to have another strong squad of players heading into the Ulster juvenile championships, although it will be a tall order trying to emulate last season’s record breaking achievements on the national stage.
Also this week, the Ulster colleges championships are due to take place on Wednesday and Tyrone will be very well represented across all categories, courtesy of Omagh CBS, Dean Maguirc College, Loreto Convent, St Ciaran’s Ballygawley and Omagh College of Further Education.


Mens Open Singles
Quarter-final: Shane O’Neill beat Darragh Daly 21-16, 13-21, 21-15
Semi-final: Shane O’Neill lost to Paul Brady (Cavan) 21-5, 21-6

Mens Open Doubles semi-final
Darragh Daly & Caolan Daly lost to Ricky McCann & Paul Graham (Antrim) 21-18, 15-21, 21-16

Junior B singles
Mark McCullagh beat Thomas Maguire (Antrim) 21-14, 21-20
Eamon McCrory beat Shane Briody (Cavan) 21-11, 21-9
Paul Donnelly lost to Myles McCann (Antrim) 21-19, 21-8
Mattie McSorley w/o Gearoid O Muiri (Antrim)
Joseph Kelly w/o Marcus Sheridan (Cavan)

Junior B doubles
Joseph Kelly & Mark McCullagh beat Cormac McMahon & Daryl Dolan (Cavan) 21-11, 8-21, 21-3

Masters B singles
Finbarr Fullen beat Cormac Sherry (Monaghan) 21-2, 21-14
Mark McCartan lost to Noel Roberts (Antrim) 21-5, 20-21, 21-18

Masters B Doubles
Finbarr Fulllen & Kenny Curran beat Michael McMahon & Cormac Sherry (Monaghan) 13-21, 21-9, 21-20


Minor singles
Saturday 26th January
Johnny Woods v Pol Clarke in Beragh, 1.00pm
Sunday 27th January
Patrick McCrory v Jordan O’Neill (Antrim) in Armagh, 4pm
Gabhainn McCrystal v Pat Havern (Down) in Armagh, 5pm

Under-21 singles
Sunday 27th January
Conor McElduff v Conall McCavitt (Armagh) in St Mellan’s Truagh, 2pm

Junior B singles
Saturday 26th January
Eamon McCrory v Daniel Connolly (Down) in Carrickmore, 2pm
Joseph Kelly v Peter Carleton (Antrim) in Tydavnet, 3pm
Mattie McSorley v Cormac McMahon (Cavan) in Clann Eireann, Lurgan, 2pm
Mark McCullagh v Richie McNally (Down) in Clann Eireann, Lurgan, 3pm
(Note: winners of Saturday’s games will play again on Sunday)

Junior singles
Saturday 26th January
Michael Donnelly v James Gavaghan (Monaghan) at Monaghan Harps, 3pm
Ryan Daly v Padraig Cahill (Cavan) at St Mellan’s, Truagh, 2pm
Barry Devlin v Michael Duffy (Monaghan) at St Mellan’s, Truagh, 3pm
Brian Donaghy v Eddie Halligan (Cavan) at St Mellan’s, Truagh, 2pm
Barney Corcoran v Paul Shields (Down) in Armagh, 4pm
(Note: winners of Saturday’s games will play again on Sunday)

Intermediate singles
Sunday 27th January
Shane O’Neill v Mark Marley (Donegal) in Ballybofey, 2pm

Masters B singles
Saturday 26th January
Finbarr Fullen v Paddy Nicholl (Antrim) in Loughmacrory, 2pm

Silver Masters B singles
Sunday 27th January
Kenny Curran v Stephen Roberts (Antrim) in St Paul’s Belfast, 12 noon



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