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By tyronepro Tue 2nd Sep

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Tyrone players prepare for All Ireland 60×30 assault
Tyrone collected another four Ulster 60×30 titles at the weekend as the action in the ‘big court’ shifts into the All Ireland semi final stages this weekend. The only all Tyrone provincial final affair at the weekend went ahead at St. Macartan’s College as recently crowned Irish Nationals B doubles champions, Ryan and Darragh Daly, took on the 2013 All Ireland Junior B Doubles champions, Conor McElduff and Pól Clarke. As expected it proved to be a very keenly contested affair with the sides finely balanced throughout the opening game. In the end though McElduff and Clarke’s greater finishing qualities proved decisive as they ran out winners by 21-18 and 21-13.
On Saturday, Tyrone added a further double Ulster success in the Junior B Doubles and  Golden Masters B Doubles. Seamus McCrory and Spillane Martin teamed up in the Junior B grade where they took on Cavan’s Brian Reilly and Declan Smith in Monaghan and had a tough opening game where they lost out by 21-7. A real battling display from McCrory and Martin in the second saw them level the match with a 21-19 win and they went on to claim the provincial honours by securing the third game 21-10. The Golden Masters B doubles title also went to the Breacach club as Tony McElduff and Conor Kerr teamed up against Cavan’s Brendan Gargan and Phil Reilly and they too went to a third game before the honours were decided. Having won the opener 21-14, Cavan took the second by 21-15 and McElduff and Kerr regrouped to win the title with a 21-8 win in the third..  The last of the Ulster 60×30 championship finals takes place this week as Shane O’Neill and Niall Kerr team up against James Brady and Patrick Clerkin in the Ulster Intermediate Doubles final at Loughmacrory on Wednesday night (7.30pm).
Players go in search of All Ireland final places
The All Ireland series gets underway this weekend ahead with Ulster champions facing Leinster in a series of grades across the two provinces. In the Intermediate Singles Championship, Breacach’s Shane O’Neill will travel to Crossakiel in Meath to take on Leinster champion, Gary McConnell. The duo recently met in round one of the All Ireland Open singles championship when McConnell won through in the third game. O’Neill, winner of the All Ireland Junior singles title three season ago, has been in fine form in the big court this term and really could put in a big push in this weekend’s tie.
The Minor singles and doubles All Ireland semi finals will see Tyrone v Kilkenny in both ties and will see a result in both events this weekend in Kingscourt. Breacach’s Johnny Woods will contest both the Minor Singles and Doubles championship semi finals as he bids to continue his impeccable record at this level in 2014. Woods has already picked up the All Ireland minor singles and doubles honours in the 40×20 and added the Irish 17 & Under nationals in the 40×20 and then jumped a grade to win the 19 & Under singles title at the One Wall Nationals. An outstanding campaign for Woods to date and he is fancied in many quarters to progress in the big court too. He takes on Kilkenny’s Brian Mahon in the singles semi final on Saturday at 11am in Kingscourt and will then team up with Ryan Mullan to face Mahon and his partner, Padraig Cooney, in the minor doubles semi final at 2pm on the same day. A big ask for two semi finals on the one day but the Tyrone duo, based on their epic Ulster singles final meeting, should prove very difficult to deny in this match and the series outright.
Loughmacrory will play host to an interesting double bill at 2pm on Saturday as the father and son combination of Tony McElduff and Conor McElduff go in search of All Ireland final places. Conor McElduff, who was the Teamtalkmag Tyrone handballer of the year in 2013, has had another phenomenal season on the courts and just last weekend completed another clean sweep in the junior grade in Ulster. He has a big test in Loughmacrory on Saturday in the All Ireland Junior singles semi final as he takes on last year’s All Ireland runner up in the grade, Wexford’s Paul Lambert. McElduff continues to excel on the courts of play and will be fancied to get over the line in this one but it should be a top class game in store all the same. Tony McElduff will meet another Wexford player in Robbie Doyle in the Silver Masters B Singles semi final and it should prove an intriguing tussle with McElduff’s stylish offensive play sure to give him a major shout in that contest. Elsewhere Conor Kerr will travel to Castlebridge in Wexford on Saturday afternoon as he will take on Stephen Murphy in a tough test but Kerr also has a wide array of smart 60×30 play and will no doubt give this title a real push too.
Tyrone GAA Handball was saddened to hear of the loss of one of the county’s longest serving players last weekend as Loughmacrory’s Michael John Kelly passed away. A former All Ireland Golden Masters doubles champion, with another county great Hugh Duff (RIP), in the nineties, Kelly was a founding member of the Loughmacrory club and had a deep involvement in the sport for almost seven decades. The County committee pass on condolences to the Kelly family at this time.
Tyrone Juvenile 60×30 Team
The Tyrone Juvenile 60×30 handball team will be confirmed after the weekend with Ulster Championship finals scheduled for 13th September 2014. The majority of players in each grade have already been decided with playoffs to be finalised for the Boys Under 14 singles and doubles team.
At under 14 level Cormac Munroe (Carrickmore), Darragh Canavan (Carrickmore), Antoin Fox (Loughmacrory), Ronan Curran (Loughmacrory) and Shane Grimes (Loughmacrory) have been selected for playoff games and all five players are to be at Loughmacrory 60×30 Court for 6.30pm on Thursday evening. Other players will be notified of games and training schedule by this weekend. The full Tyrone Juvenile 60×30 team will be announced next week.
All Ireland 60×30 Championship Semi Final Fixtures:
Saturday 6th September 2014 at 2pm in Crossakiel, Co. Meath:
Emerald Masters B Singles – Louth (John Kelly) v Cavan (Dermot Dolan)
Intermediate Singles – Meath (Gary McConnell) v Tyrone (Shane O’Neill)
Saturday 6th September 2014 at 2pm, in Castlebridge, Co. Wexford:
Junior B Singles – Wexford (Miley Connors) v Donegal (Mark Marley)
Masters B Singles – Wexford (John Roche) v Monaghan (Michael Clerkin)
Golden Masters B Singles – Wexford (Stephen Murphy) v Tyrone (Conor Kerr)
Saturday 6th September 2014 at 2pm, in Loughmacrory:
Junior Singles – Tyrone (Conor McElduff) v Wexford (Paul Lambert)
Silver Masters B Singles – Tyrone (Tony McElduff) v Wexford (Robert Doyle)
Saturday 6th September 2014 at 11am, in Kingscourt:
At 11:00am Minor Singles – Kilkenny (Brian Mahon) v Tyrone (Johnny Woods)
At 2:00pm Minor Doubles – Kilkenny (Brian Mahon/Padraig Cooney) v Tyrone (Johnny Woods/Ryan Mullan)Tyrone Conor McElduff Tyrone Breacach Shane ONeill Tyrone Johnny Woods
By tyronepro Tue 2nd Sep

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