After the All-Ireland 60×30 Juvenile Semi-Finals Roscommon Handball had three finals to look forward to. However, just two went ahead with the other being held up due to bizarre circumstances.
By Aengus Cunningham
Only four days before the big event, it was discovered that Magomaed Yakhyaev’s Final opponent in the Under 15 grade was an ineligible player! How, in this day and age, a player could illegally win his way through Leinster and All-Ireland Semi-Final matches without being noticed raises a lot of serious questions. This hugely frustrating situation has left Magomed in limbo as he has refused the walkover and there is a CCCC meeting this week to decide if he will get to play a final at all and if so, who his opponent will be.
The other Roscommon Handball representatives lost their Final in very contrasting fashion.
The U17 Doubles final brought up an unusual occurence of two brothers playing two brothers, with both sides being right/left combinations also. Unfortunately Oisin and Fionn Cusack lost an absolute thriller to Kilkenny’s Aidan and Cathal Barry in the match of the day. The first game started with some superb long rallies and scores were very hard to come by, but eventually the Noresiders’ better consistency took them to a deceptive looking 21-8 win. The second saw much improved serving from the Strokestown pair and more power handball which resulted in keeping the smaller Barrys out at the back of the court bore fruit as the St. Coman’s duo won in dominant style 21-10. The tie-breaker is only up to 11 meaning a good start is vital and sadly despite playing some very good handball the Cusacks trailed the whole way and lost 11-4 in a terrific game.
Halid Yakhyaev was really up against it in his Under 17 Singles match when he took on Waterford’s Kavan O’Keefe, a youngster being marked as one to watch in the Minor grade next year by some very knowledgeable handball folk. The difference in size and power was immediately apparent and Halid struggled badly with the pace of the ball. The impressive O’Keefe never let up and wound up winning very easily in two straight games.
Roscommon One-Wall Handball Finals
Elsewhere, at the County One-Wall Handball Finals in Kilglass on Saturday the following players won titles:
Aisling Treacy – Girls U13.
Philip Halliday – Boys U13.
Thomas Mahady – Boys U15.
Diarmuid Treacy – Boys U17.