This weekend Leinster will play Connaught in All Ireland Adult Singles and Juveniles semi finals. The fixtures for the weekend are now available in the 40 x 20 Nationals section
Kilkenny's Patrick Funchion may be one of the lesser known names remaining in the 2017 O'Neills 40x20 Singles Championship draw, but the quiet Kells clubman is starting to establish a name for himself as a quality player.
Already in this year’s championship, Funchion overcame Vinnie Moran (Mayo) 21-7, 21-14. That win saw him advance to play Meath’s Brian Carroll last Saturday in the Round of 16, a game where he was the underdog, but came through in a marathon 2.5 hour battle. The win has seen Patrick advance to the QF for the second successive year, having narrowly lost out 21-20 to CJ Fitzpatrick in last years QF third game.
After Patrick winning the first game 21-16 last Saturday, Carroll came back in typical gritty fashion and took the second game 21-16 to force a decider. It was all to play for in the third game but Funchion knuckled down and took home the win with an impressive score line of 21-09. Of the game Patrick said;
“I was disappointed that I didn’t take the second game, but I definitely played much better than I did in the first round. I am delighted to have a match like that under my belt moving forward in the Championship, the game lasted over two hours and I haven’t had a game that tough in over a year. It is always a huge confidence boost when you overcome a player of Brian’s calibre.”
He also went on to note how gracious Brian was in defeat stating:
“Brian has a wonderful sense of sportsmanship and he was extremely humble in defeat. He congratulated me whole heartedly and wished me the best of luck in all of my championship games.”
Preparing for the Handball championship can be a daunting task, but one common struggle of athletes is the recovery period after a particularly gruelling game, especially when your next championship game is so close;
“I definitely needed to take the next day off, I went for a swim and just relaxed. But with the next game so close at hand there is no time to rest on your laurels so I am back in the alley tonight (Monday)”.
Patrick will now face Cork’s Brendan Fleming in Saturday's QF after Fleming took out Antrim's Owen McKenna in the Round of 16.
“I have never played Brendan before, so I am looking forward to the challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see his game last weekend as my own game ran on so long, but I am sure it will be an interesting match to say the least.”
At 26, Patrick is closing in on his best Championship showing by reaching his maiden SF, so we wanted to find out does he attribute his success to age, experience or a better training regime.
“Since my brother, Peter, moved back to Ireland it has made a huge difference to my training, I couldn’t ask for a better training partner. I have also found that travelling to two pro-stops last year has really improved my game. The game is so different over there and experiencing that has allowed me to incorporate new strategies and plays.”
Overall, every handball player has a specific goal in mind at the start of each season, when asked about his aims for the year Patrick was very clear;
“I want to win, just like everyone else does – but all I can do is take it one game at a time, and focus on what’s right in front of me. In the long run, I am looking forward to starting the 40x20 doubles championship, but also, this year I want to get back in the big alley and give that a rattle too.”
“I am so glad to be on the road to Kingscourt, it’s been a long journey getting here, but hopefully I make it a few more steps closer to the destination.”
Given the high quality of players left in the 2017 O’Neill's 40x20 Singles Championship, it will certainly be an interesting journey for the finalists and an exciting time for all Handball spectators.
Conna, Cork @ 12 noon OIC Chris Hurley 086 8972808
Kingscourt Ct 1, Cavan @ 4pm OIC Michael Finnegan 087 9614884
County Fixture List 4 is now available in the Fixtures section.
2017 Leinster Juvenile 40x20
GU12S Emer Barron (Kk) Windgap) lost to Jodie Keeling (Wx)
GU12D Ashling Cooney/Katie Brennan (Kk) Clogh Lost to Farrah Ryan & Holly Wall (Cw)
GU13D Nathania Jackson/Emma Manogue (Kk)Windgap/Talbots inch Defeated Ciara Cummins/Elizabeth Walsh (Wx)
GU14S Amy Brennan (Kk) Clogh Defeated April Moran (Wx)
GU 14D Aine Duggan/Sontae Jackson (Kk) Galmoy /Windgap defeated Danielle Kinsella/Becky O’Neill (Wx)
GU17D Margaret Foley/Kym Ryan (Kk) Windgap/Kells Lost to Cliodhna O’Connell/Eva Crean (Wx)
BU12S Michael Brennan (Kk) Clogh defeated Eoin Roche (Wx)
BU12D James Purcell/Ronan O'Brien (Kk) Windgap lost to Conor Horan/Bobby Doyle (Wx)
BU13S Thomas Sharkey (Kk) Galmoy defeated a game Johnny Goggins (Wx)
BU13D Conor Holden/Sean O'Keeffe (Kk) Kilofane defeated Cian Doyle/Miley Connors (Wx)
BU14S Billy Drennan (Kk) Galmoy defeated Ben Keeling (Wx)
BU14D John Doheny/Gearoid Phelan (Kk) and Galmoy Lost to Conor Murphy/Mark Doyle(Wx)
BU15D Jamie Maher/Padhraic Foley (Kk) Clogh/ Windgap defeated Dean O’Neill/Joe Devereux (Wx)
BU16S Jack Holden (Kk) Kilfane lost to Josh Kavanagh (Wx)
BU15S Jack Doyle (Kk) Windgap defeated Richard Lawlor (Wx)
GU16D Roisín O'Keeffe/Edel Mulholland (KK) Kilfane/ O'Loughlins defeated Ciara Parnell/Leanne Boland(Wx)
BU16D Kyle Dunne/Billy O'Neill (Kk) Clogh defeated Josh McMahon/Cian Kehoe (Wx)
BU17D The Kells Mothel combination Colin McKenna/Robert Dowling (Kk) Lost to Ciaran Power/Colm Parnell (Wx).
Well done to all the players on reaching these finals and the best of luck to those goingforward to the All Ireland semifinals
Angela Mahon, aunt of current County Secretary Liam Mahon.
Leinster Adult Fixture List 21 is now available in the Fixtures section.
Best of luck to Kilkenny Juveniles who play in the Leinster finals at St.Josephs, Wexford on Sunday next. Fixtures are now available in the fixtures section.
Leinster Fixtures Llist 20 is now available in the fixtures section
Saturday 18th February
Aughagower, Mayo @ 2pm OIC Liam Masterson 087 2376628
LSS QF3: Galway (Ciana Ni Churraoin) v Mayo (Pauline Gallagher)
MSS Q21: Galway (Martin Mulkerrins) v Roscommon (Rikki O’Gara)
Ballydesmond, Cork @ 2pm OIC Michael Linehan 087 6287538
LSS QF4: Kerry (Ashley Prendiville) v Limerick (Martina McMahon)
Ballymore Eustace, Kildare @ 2pm OIC Gavin Grace 087 4153720
MSS Q23: Wicklow (Michael Gregan) v Dublin (Eoin Kennedy)
Nenagh, Tipperary @ 11am OIC Eamonn Spillane 087 4185911
MSS Q22: Clare (Diarmuid Nash) v Cork (Tadgh Carroll)
Cullohill, Laois @ 3pm OIC Eamon Doheny 087 6763200
LSS QF1: Cork (Catriona Casey) v Down (Lorraine Havern)
Kingscourt, Cavan @ 2pm OIC Michael Finnegan 087 9614884
MSS Q17: Armagh (Charly Shanks) v Kildare (Paul Moran)
Leixlip, Kildare @ 5pm OIC Andrew Diggins 087 6181247
MSS Q19: Meath (Brian Carroll) v Kilkenny (Patrick Funchion)
Salthill, Galway @ 3pm OIC Pierce Lalor 087 9699892
MSS Q18: Clare (Colin Crehan) v Mayo (Joe McCann)
St. Brigids, Curraghboy, Roscommon @ 12noon OIC Seamus McHugh 087 6307759
LSS QF2: Roscommon (Fiona Tully) v Kilkenny (Ciara Mahon)
MSS Q24: Kilkenny (Peter Funchion) v Westmeath (Robbie McCarthy)
Gu12s Emer Barron dft Laois
Gu12d Aisling Cooney & Katie Brennan dft Laois
Gu13s Lauren Power was dft by Laois
Gu13d Nathana Jackson & Emma Manogue dft Laois
Gu14d Sontae Jackson & Aine Duggan dft Laois
Gu15s Noelle Dowling was dft by Kildare
Gu15d Olivia Mahony & Kelly Ann Ryan were dft by Laois
Gu16d Roisin O Keeffe & Edel Mulholland dft Laois
Gu17s Aoibhlinn Duggan was dft by Laois
Bu12s Michael Brennan dft Laois
Bu12d James Purcell & Ronan O Brien dft Laoid
Bu13s Thomas Sharkey dft Laois
Bu13d Conor Holden & Sean O Keeffe dft Laois
Bu14s Billy Drennan dft Laois
Bu14d John Doheny & Gearoid Phelan dft Laois
Bu15s Jack Doyle dft Laois
Bu15d Jamie Maher & Padraic Foley dft Laois
Bu16s Jack Holden dft Meath
Bu17d Colin McKenna & Robert Dowling dft Laois