Roscommon Handball players claimed three titles at the Connacht Colleges 40×20 Finals this weekend. Aengus Cunningham rounds up the action from them and all the weekend’s games.
Connacht Colleges 40×20 Handball Finals
Roscommon Handball had four representatives in the Connacht 2nd Level Colleges Finals held in Mayo venues last Saturday.
It was business as usual for Fiona Tully (Convent of Mercy) as she took the Senior Singles easily with a straight-forward two game win over Laura Finn of Colaiste Mhuire, Ballymote.
Representing Roscommon Community College the Egan brothers Michael and Liam (who was making a welcome return after a long absence) had a much tougher than expected Intermediate doubles match against Colaiste Baile Chlair’s Shane Lawless and Darragh Jordan before eventually winning 15-6, 13-15, 15-10.
Strong Roscommon CBS duo Philip Halliday and Eanna Moran had the frustrating experience of travelling all the way to Aughagower before discovering that their Galway opponents didn’t bother informing anybody that they had pulled out of the First Year Doubles event.
The Treacy twins Aisling and Siobhan will play their First Year Doubles event at a later date.
Roscommon 40×20 Junior Doubles Semi-Final
Lisacul’s Denis Creaton and Sean Jennings had a very tough win over Curragboy’s Philip O’Connor and Paul Kelly in their Junior Doubles County Semi-Final played in Ballaghaderreen last Friday. The south Roscommon pair had narrowly beaten Denis and Sean only a few weeks ago in the Curraghboy tournament, so this was always expected to be a tight affair and so it transpired.
The first game was very close throughout with numerous long rallies. Although Philip and Paul were killing more balls there was a little more consistency to the Lisacul duo and it was they who took the first 21-17.
With the pressure now on to win the second Philip and Paul lowered the error count and took an impressive game 21-13.
The third was terrifically hard-fought with very little room available in the court. Denis and Sean seemed to last the pace that little bit better and ended up the right side of a 21-13 scoreline.
Gael Linn All-Ireland Finals
The U13 boy/girl combination of Rory Carthy and Cara Kennedy put in a very impressive display in the Gael Linn All-Ireland series where they were only pipped by the eventual winners in the semi-final. The competition requires timed singles matches of boy v boy, girl v girl and a final doubles after which the side with the highest aggregate score wins.
In their quarter-final they faced Clare’s Rossa Keehan and Leah Minogue and after both singles matches they were 6 points down, but in a very tense doubles match they managed to claw back the defecit and ended up level at full time. The match was decided by a doubles tie-breaker to 11 and the Roscommon pair made the most of their opportunity winning 11-6.
In their semi-final they faced a Kilkenny combination of Dominic Bolster and the best player in the tournament Amy Brennan. While Amy took a 16 point lead from her singles, she got a tougher game from Cara than anybody else gave her. But Rory managed to turn the tables with a stunning display of mature handball by beating Bolster 30-1 giving Roscommon a 13 point lead. In the doubles it looked to be going Roscommon’s way until the very last few minutes when the Kilkenny pair managed to just scrape past and win by 2 points.
Both players can be very happy with their day but special mention must be given to Rory who hammered two players a year older than him with displays that mark him out as a player with a very bright future.
Junior 40×20 Finals
The Roscommon 40×20 Singles Finals were due to be played at the weekend but for a variety of reasons they were all postponed.