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Tyrone still going strong in Ulster handball championships…
Tyrone enjoyed another fruitful weekend in the Ulster handball championships as ten players came through their quarter-final assignments successfully to qualify for the semi-final stage of their respective competitions.
At minor level, Tyrone went into battle last weekend with a strong quartet of title challengers and three of those players advanced to the semi-finals, with Pol Clarke just losing out to his own clubmate Johnny Woods in a thrilling tie which could have gone either way.
Johnny, last year’s All-Ireland under-16 doubles champion, now faces a daunting task against Monaghan’s Darren Doherty on Sunday in Armagh, while Patrick McCrory and Gabhainn McCrsytal will go head to head in an all Tyrone affair following their wins over Antrim’s Jordan O’Neill and Down’s Pat Havern.
Conor McElduff remains on course for a tilt at the Ulster under-21 title and will go into his semi-final encounter this weekend with high hopes of making the final.
Tyrone still have two title challengers in the junior b championship field, which is now down to the last four after three rounds of action. Doubles partners Joey Kelly and Mark McCullagh will strive to set up an all Loughmacrory title decider when they square up to Down’s Sean Digney and Monaghan’s John Farrell in their semi-finals this Sunday. The Tyrone men survived two tough bouts last weekend to reach the penultimate stage, while Eamon McCrory and Mattie McSorley evenutally bowed out of the junior b race at the weekend, Eamon winning his Saturday game before exiting at the quarter-final stage on Sunday.
Barry Devlin signalled his intentions in the junior championship last weekend with two impressive wins over Monaghan’s Michael Duffy and Armagh’s Thomas Turley, while two other Tyrone players made it to the quarter-finals on Saturday, with both Ryan Daly and Brian Donaghy then having their Sunday fixtures rescheduled for midweek against Antrim’s Sean Clarke and Down’s Paul Shields.
Shane O’Neill remains very much in the frame for the provincial intermediate title, and he kept the possibility of an all Tyrone title clash with Caolan Daly alive when he defeated Donegal’s Mark Marley on Sunday. If Shane and Caolan are to clash for the title, they will first have to take care of two tricky Cavan opponents in this weekend’s semi-finals, James Brady and Patrick Clerkin.
Meanwhile, in the masters grades, Finbarr Fullen and Kenny Curran have made it through to the semi-finals of the masters b and silver masters b competitions and the two Loughmacrory men, who also have a doubles semi-final to come alongside each other, will try to keep their winning run going this Sunday against Cavan and Monaghan.
Also in semi-final action this coming weekend will be Seamus McCrory and Rory Grogan in the over 35b singles against Down pair Martin Turley and Colm Turley, while Lisa McAleer faces Donegal’s Tracey Floyd in the ladies intermediate singles semi-final.
ULSTER 40X20 CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS…
Johnny Woods beat Pol Clarke 21-13, 11-21, 21-18
Patrick McCrory beat Jordan O’Neill (Antrim) 21-11, 21-9
Gabhainn McCrystal beat Pat Havern (Down) 18-21, 21-16, 21-9
Conor McElduff walkover v Conall McCavitt (Armagh) injured
Junior B singles
Eamon McCrory beat Daniel Connolly (Down) 21-9, 21-6
Joseph Kelly beat Peter Carleton (Antrim) 21-14, 21-11
Mattie McSorley lost to Cormac McMahon (Cavan)
Mark McCullagh beat Richie McNally (Down) 21-10, 21-11
Eamon McCrory lost to John Farrell (Monaghan) 21-14, 21-12
Joseph Kelly beat Conor O’Gorman (Monaghan) 21-15, 21-20
Mark McCullagh beat Cormac McMahon (Cavan) 21-13, 21-8
Michael Donnelly lost to James Gavaghan (Monaghan) 21-15, 21-9
Ryan Daly beat Padraig Cahill (Cavan)
Barry Devlin beat Michael Duffy (Monaghan) 21-14, 21-14
Brian Donaghy walkover v Eddie Halligan (Cavan)
Barry Devlin beat Thomas Turley (Armagh) 21-10, 21-6
Ryan Daly v Sean Clarke (to be rearranged)
Brian Donaghy v Paul Shields (Wed 30th Jan @ 8pm in Loughmacrory)
Intermediate singles quarter-final
Shane O’Neill beat Mark Marley (Donegal) 21-9, 21-13
Masters B singles quarter-final
Finbarr Fullen walkover v Paddy Nicholl (Antrim)
Silver Masters B singles quarter-final
Kenny Curran beat Stephen Roberts (Antrim) 21-3, 13-21, 21-10