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Handball Round up

posted 2 Mar 2016, 14:26 by Martin Lalor

Funchion Tops In US College Championships

In the USHA Collegiate Championships played last week in Minneapolis Kilkenny players contested the finals of both the Mens and Ladies Open championships. Congratulations goes to Peter Funchion, representing IT Tralee, as he defeated all comers on his way to the Men’s title. In the final the Kells player faced the highly rated American, Tyler Stoffal, but there was no stopping the Kilkenny man as he took the crown, 21-8,21-14.

In the Ladies Open championship, Ciara Mahon (Clogh) won her way through to an all Ireland final where she faced Ciana Ni Churraoin (UL). This was an opportunity for Ciara, representing Trinity, to make amends for her recent loss to the same opponent in the Irish Colleges final. However, once again the UL player confirmed her superiority over the North Kilkenny lady with a 21-3, 21-10 victory. This Wednesday, Ciara has an opportunity to quickly get back to winning ways as she plays Martina McMahon (Limerick) in the quarter finals of the Ladies championship in Nenagh.

Also played at the weekend were the qualifying rounds of the All Ireland Mens Singles championship. In action on Saturday was Patrick Funchion (Kells) who played Joe McCann (Mayo) in a last 16 clash at Crinkle. Going into the match as an underdog against the experienced Westerner, the Kells player took the fight to McCann, and in a very competitive contest, Patrick came out on top in a tight finish, winning 18-21, 21-8, 21-18. This last 16 win set him up for a quarter final clash on Sunday, at the same venue, against the Munster champion CJ Fitzpatrick (Limerick). This turned out to be another wonderful performance by Patrick which, unfortunately, ended in a 21-20 defeat in the third set. Patrick has certainly been the star performer of this year’s championship, having played some great handball over the last couple of weekends.

Last weekend was a very busy time for Kilkenny Juveniles as they contested Leinster finals at three different venues. Kilkenny were successful in a number of grades and will now contest the All Ireland semi- finals next weekend against the Munster champions.

In the All Ireland adult series, Kilkenny will be represented in three grades in the semi finals due to be played this weekend. In Ladies Intermediate Singles, Maria Walsh (Kells) will play Clare at Cullohill on Sunday, and on the same day at Dungarvan, Joe Anthony travels to play Tipperary in Diamond Masters B Singles and Ducksy Walsh also faces premier county opposition in Masters A Singles in Cashel.