Roscommon Junior Doubles 40×20 Handball Final
Darren Beatty and Oisin Naughton (St Coman’s) took the Junior Doubles County title last weekend in Lisacul. The St Coman’s pair defeated Denis Creaton and Sean Jennings (Lisacul) in two straight games 21-10, 21-18.
Darren and Oisin were underdogs going into this encounter, in an away venue, however, the St Coman’s pairing got off to a strong start in the first game, running up a 15-3 lead, before the Lisacul pair rallied. After clawing back to double figures, the St Coman’s pair closed out a game they dominated from the start.
The second game was a tighter affair, although the Coman’s players kept a slight lead for most of the game. Denis Creaton started to impose himself on the game, changing to a slow lob serve. Sean was finding his groove, too, with power serving and killing and brought the game to 18-18. After getting to 20-18, the Coman’s players found it hard to score the finishing point, much like last year’s three games final, but eventually closed out the game with a characteristic kill shot from Darren Beatty. Darren and Oisin will go on to play the Mayo winners in two weeks time.
Connacht Juvenile 40×20 Handball Finals
Roscommon had four finalists in the 40×20 Connacht juvenile finals held in Mayo venues last Sunday and had a 50% success ratio with the two doubles combinations of Dylan Hanley and Gareth Delaney and the Treacy twins having comfortable wins.
In the Boys U16 doubles St. Coman’s pair Dylan Hanley and Gareth Delaney came up against a Moycullen duo with very famous surnames – Conneely and Mulkerrins. However, luckily for the Roscommon lads Paul and Fiachra aren’t quite up to the same standard as Eamon and Martin. With Dylan’s control and Gareth’s power they were never in any trouble and won in two quick games. Much tougher opposition awaits in the All-Ireland semi-final against Ulster next weekend.
Siobhan and Aisling Treacy made it a two-in-row of Connacht titles when they had a very easy win over Claregalway’s Hannah Walsh and Chellene Trill in their Girls U13 doubles final. Some excellent cross serving from the left was really the story of the game as the Galway girls struggled badly to even return the ball and the twins never let up to win in two straight-forward games.
Fionn Cusack had the misfortune to come up against the reigning All-Ireland Boys U16 singles champion in Inis Mor’s excellent Peter O’Donnacha. Obviously underage again this year the powerfully built Aran lad got down to business quickly with superb serving and two-handed killing. Fionn tried his best and showed some lovely touches in the second game but was well beaten in both games.
It was a case of ‘action replay’ for Philip Halliday and Eanna Moran in their U13 doubles final against their conquerors of last year, Moycullen’s Michael Moughen (son of former Roscommon player Prionsias) and Dara Kyne. As happened in 2015, the talented Roscommon lads looked the better players and were in a strong position to win, but made far too many unforced errors against two solid but unspectacular players and ended up on the wrong end of a 12-15, 9-15 scoreline.
Mens 40×20 Handball All-Ireland Open Singles
St. Coman’s hosted four outstanding Senior championship games last weekend. On Saturday in the round of 32 Dublin’s legendary Eoin Kennedy proved there’s life in the old dog yet when he defeated Clare’s Colin Crehan in a display of craftiness and control. Following that Wicklow’s lightning-quick Michael Gregan overcame Belfast’s power-hitting Owen McKenna in a three game cracker. On Sunday Kennedy was narrowly defeated by Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins in a superb clash of styles, while Gregan unfortunately had to pull out of his game with Armagh’s Charlie Shanks after suffering a twisted ankle in the first game of what was looking like a very hard game to call.