Mixed fortunes in Connacht 40×20 Juvenile “B” Handball Finals
Rory Carthy and Irslam Yakhyaev had a very easy win in the Connacht Final of the ‘B’ Under 11 doubles event in Bofield, Co. Mayo last Saturday. The young St. Coman’s pair already had an impressive win in the semi-final over tough Mayo opposition but the final was a very one-sided affair as the Galway partnership of Darragh O’Connor and Michael Keane were no match for the hard-hitting Roscommon lads. As is often the case at this age, serving was the key and both Roscommon lads served excellently throughout to win 15-0, 15-0. As there is no ‘A’ Under 11 grade the ‘B’ Under 11 is effectively an ‘A’ grade, so this win bodes very well for the future of this strong pairing.
Unfortunately Carragh Kennedy couldn’t make it a Roscommon double when she was narrowly beaten by Galway’s Eadaoin Nic Dhonnacha in the Girls Under 12 singles. Carragh played well during the first and led the whole way but some soft serving let her opponent back into it and she was unlucky to lose 15-14. The second was nip-and-tuck the whole way but Eadaoin’s more consistent handball gave her a close but merited 15-11 win.
Connacht 40×20 Handball Semi-Finals
St Coman’s was host to two Connacht Doubles Semi-Finals yesterday. In the Ladies Junior B doubles, World Champion Ladies C doubles winners Siobhan Tully and Linda Connolly were up against Belcara’s (Mayo) Roisin Scott and Shona Ruane. The Roscommon girls were by far the stronger players, taking the match decisively, in two straight games. Linda and Siobhan both put in accurate serves and power played shots to the ceiling. Truth is, sterner tests lie ahead, but their World’s performance will certainly mark their cards for the Connacht Final and hopefully on the national stage.
In the second match, St Coman’s Darren Beatty and Oisin Naughton carried on their winning streak, after coming through strong tests in the County, to defeat Mayo’s Shane Heraty and Dara Ruane (Aughagower and Belcarra, respectively). This match proved a tighter affair, going to the tie-break. In the first, Roscommon won against the odds, on a score line of 21-19. With Mayo leading for most of this game, this was a psychological advantage. In the second, Shane Heraty imposed himself more on the game and was the stronger of the four players. Ironically, home advantage didn’t help the Roscommon lads serving, which wasn’t accurate enough. Mayo took the second game 21-13. In the deciding game, Darren Beatty changed to straight power serves and weaker returns allowed Darren to quickly finish rallies with kill shots. Roscommon raced ahead and closed out the match 21-6.
Both Roscommon teams mentioned above, along with Seamus McHugh/Liam Grehan, RMAD (St Brigid’s Curraghboy), Aengus Cunningham/Cormac O’Brien SMAD (St Coman’s/Curraghboy) and Ger Walsh/Dermot Doolin EMAD (St Coman’s/Curraghboy) will compete in the Connacht Finals in neutral venues in two weeks time.
This Wednesday sees Aoife McDonagh takes on Limerick’s Katie McCarthy in the Junior B Final at 7pm in St Comans and Saturday sees St Coman’s Fiona Tully and Ger Walshe of Curraghboy compete in the All-Ireland Minor and Emerald Masters singles Finals (respectively) as part of a packed weekend in Kingscourt, Cavan.