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Handballers Claim Four All Ireland Titles

posted 4 Oct 2016, 14:22 by Martin Lalor

In what was a very busy weekend for Kilkenny handballers, there was success for eight local players when winning four All Ireland Doubles titles. On the Juvenile front there was plenty of action in All Ireland semi-finals which were played at Kilfane and Talbots Inch on Sunday.

Doubles Finals

On Saturday, handballers from Clogh and Kilfane travelled to Roscommon and Abbeylara, Longford to take on Connaught and Ulster opponents in four different All Ireland grades.

First up at St.Comans, Roscommon on Saturday morning were Clogh duo, Ned Lawlor and Billy Love who played Sligo in the Emerald Masters B Doubles. From the start, the North Kilkenny pair were in control, and with the aid of some excellent serving, they were deserving 21-2, 21-17 winners. In the second set, Ned and Billy were led 14-2, but recovered to tie at 15 all, before closing out a famous victory.

In the other match at the mid-west venue, defeat was the order of the day for Daniel and William Love in their Intermediate Doubles clash with Cavan. Going into the final, the Love brothers were confident of success. However, on the day Daniel and William played well below par and came off second best to the Ulster men, losing in two sets 21-6, 21-13.

In the afternoon at Abbeylara, there were two All Ireland Ladies titles up for grabs in the Intermediate and Minor grades. Representing Kilkenny in the Intermediate Doubles grade were Rachel Hogan (Kilfane) and Clare Love (Clogh), and in this final they faced Roscommon. The Kilkenny ladies got off to a great start, winning the first set 21-0, and even though they were under some pressure in the second they still were convincing winners on a 21-12 scoreline.

The second match at the Midlands court was the Ladies Minor Doubles, again between Kilkenny and Roscommon. Having overcome Tipperary in three sets in their semi-final, Kilfane’s Aoife Holden and Ailis O’Shea again went three games, before claiming the victory, against the Westerners. Losing the first game 21-12, the Kilfane ladies produced some top quality handball in the next two games, winning 21-20,21-20 to secure a memorable victory for the Kilkenny players.

In the EMAD final, Johnny Brennan and Joe Hennessy continued their recent good form with victory over Galway at Crinkle on Sunday. Having already collected the 40 x 20 title earlier in the year in this grade, the Mothel/O’Loughlins combination added the All Ireland 60 x 30 crown with this convincing win in two games over the Westerners at the Offaly venue.



In the All Ireland Juvenile semi- finals played at Kilfane and Talbots Inch on Sunday, there was a mixed bag of results for Kilkenny players. In the Boys matches at Talbots Inch, Kilkenny’s U14 Doubles pairing of Jack Doyle and Padraig Foley defeated Tipperary in two sets. There was disappointment for Kilkenny in Boys 16 Singles and Doubles. The Clogh pair of Ciáran Cooney and Billy O’Neill lost to Cork, 11-7 in the tie break of their Doubles match, and in the Singles contest, Eoin Brennan also lost in the tie break, 11-9, to Kerry’s Daire Keane in a hard fought contest.

At Kilfane, Sorcha Delaney scored a 21-13, 21-3 victory over her Cork opponent to reach the Girls U17 Singles decider, and in Girls U16 Singles, Dearbhail O’Keeffe secured an All Ireland final place by defeating Aoife Hurley (Cork), 21-14, 21-4.

Intermediate Final

This Saturday at Croke Park, William Love has a chance to make up for last weekend’s Doubles defeat when he plays in the All Ireland Intermediate Singles final against Ollie Conway (Galway).With handball recently returning to GAA headquarters, William can achieve Senior status by overcoming the challenge of the Galway player. On his way to the final, the Clogh player has been in impressive form, no more so than in his semi-final win over Limerick. Hampered by illness in his doubles final last Saturday, a return to his semi-final form will give him a great opportunity to record a victory.

All Ireland Juvenile 60 x 30 semi- finals - Results 

BU14D Jack Doyle/Padraig Foley{KK} beat Conor O'Dwyer/Jack McGrath {Tipperary} 15-9,15-8.

BU16S Daire Keane (Kerry) beat Eoin Brennan (Kilkenny) 13-21, 21-17,11-9

BU16D Conor Walsh/Cian O'Driscoll (Cork) beat Ciaran Cooney/Billy O'Neill {KK} 21-18,18-21,11-7

GU17S Sorcha Delaney {KK} beat Anna Dunne {Cork} 21-13,21-3

GU16S Dearbhail O’Keeffe (KK) beat Aoife Hurley (Cork) 21-14,21-4


All Ireland 60 x 30 Doubles Finals - Results

ID Cavan (James Brady/Paul Brady) dft Kilkenny (William & Daniel Love) 21-6, 21-13

EMBD Kilkenny (Billy Love/Ned Lawlor) dft Sligo (Peter Chambers/Michael Murphy) 21-2, 21-17

LMD Kilkenny (Aoife Holden/Ailis O'Shea) dft Roscommon (Fiona Tully/Jennifer McCormack) 12-12, 21-20, 21-20

LID Kilkenny (Clare Love/Rachel Hogan) dft Roscommon (Siobhan Tully/Laura Mannion) 21-0, 21-12

EMAD Kilkenny (Johnny Brennan/Joe Hennessy) dft Galway (Jimmy Connaughton/(Martin Ward) 2-0