Admin Login

Juvenile County handball finals produce wonderful drama…

By tyronepro Wed 1st May

Juvenile County handball finals produce wonderful drama…
Juvenile County handball finals produce wonderful drama…

The 2013 Tyrone juvenile championship finals have served up a wonderful feast of handball in Carrickmore over the last few weeks, with a total of eleven finals completed in three stages.
The opening instalment two weeks ago saw six county juvenile finals contested in front of a sizeable crowd that was thoroughly entertained by the twelve young finalists from Carrickmore, Loughmacrory and Breacach.
In the end, the first six titles were captured by Clodagh Munroe, Caitlin Conway, Lorcan McBride, Ciara Mullan, Maeve McElroy and Eilise McCrory, but the new champions were only crowned after some great battles in which the pendulum could have swung either way in the closing stages.
Carrickmore’s Clodagh Munroe set the ball rolling with her impressive win over Dervla Farley in the girls under-10 singles final, with Clodagh showing that she has picked up many of the skills that have been displayed regularly in the last couple of years by her two older brothers, Cormac and Cahir. Dervla made it a really good game but the first county title of the day went to the host club on a scoreline of 15-8, 15-7.
The under-12 girls final was expected to be a close affair as the Ulster under-12 singles champion, Elizabeth McGarvey from Breacach, took on Loughmacrory’s Caitlin Conway, the provincial under-12 doubles winner.Elizabeth showed her quality in the opening game as she came from behind to record a 15-10 win, hitting some lovely kill shots along the way, but Caitlin raised her performance superbly in the second game and sent the match to a tiebreaker with a 15-9 scoreline. The Loughmacrory girl then upped her game even further in the tiebreaker and produced some fantastic handball to beat the pre-match favourite on a scoreline of 15-8.
The under-12 boys singles decider also turned out to be the quality contest that many were expecting as world champion Lorcan McBride faced Loughmacrory’s world one wall gold medalist Dara Curran in a repeat of the county under-10 final from two years ago. The opening game was point for point for most of the way until the Carrickmore player edged in front and went on to register a 15-10 win, thanks to some brilliant power play and precise passing shots. Lorcan continued to show why he was the favourite to prevail as he raced into the lead in the second game but the response from his opponent was outstanding as Dara began to produce his best handball, which included a sequence of spectacular kill shots which brought him right back into contention. For a while it looked like a tiebreaker would be required to settle the issue but Lorcan found a bit extra to get over the line in the second game, clinching the title with a 15-13 success.
The under-13 girls final featured Ulster winning under-13 doubles partners, Ciara Mullan and Michaela McCartan, and yet another exciting match was guaranteed.The opening game showed how evenly matched the two players were but it was Ciara who managed to grab the all important last couple of aces to take a decisive one game advantage. Michaela bounced back in style in the second game as she began to find her very best form and soon stormed into a commanding lead, but the Breacach player couldn’t quite finish the game off to set up a tiebreaker and Ciara showed amazing character to stage a brilliant comeback. The Carrickmore player, displaying wonderful skills, brought the second game level at 13 points each and then sealed the title in style with the last two points.
The under-14 girls county final was an all Carrickmore encounter featuring close friends, Eve Loughran and Maeve McElroy, and it turned out to be the closest match of the afternoon as Eve took the opener with three points to spare before Maeve hit back and enjoyed a six point winning margin in the second game. The two girls gave everything they had in the tiebreaker and they deserve great credit for the entertaining action they served up before Maeve earned herself a county winner’s medal with a narrow 15-13 triumph.
The final match of the opening day saw Ulster and All-Ireland under-15 singles champion Eilise McCrory make her bid to complete a clean sweep in this age group and she was a hot favourite to add the Tyrone title against Sinead Donnelly. Sinead is a fine player herself, as she showed when winning the Ulster under-15 doubles title this year, but she was up against a player in magnificent form with a serve that would win points against any opponent. Eilise proceeded to add yet another title to her growing collection as she swept to victory, completing a great day’s handball.
There were still five more county juvenile finals to be played and the next instalment saw two exciting finals contested in Carrickmore last week as Lorcan McGarrity saw off the challenge of his cousin, Ruairi Canavan, in the county under-10 singles final and Sean Kerr defeated Niall Allison in the under-16 decider.
The under 10 final was a very good match which produced plenty of skillful action, with Lorcan’s extra power proving the decisive factor in the end.
And in the under-16 county final, Sean Kerr was at his brilliant best in the opening game, with some great serving complemented by precise roof shots and an array of wonderful corner kills.
In the second game Niall Allison began to apply greater pressure on the Breacach star and showed great character to send the match into a tiebreaker, but Sean Kerr then recovered his composure and produced some very smart handball to race into a ten point advantage. Niall showed great fighting spirit once again to hit six aces in a row but Sean managed to halt the comeback and he finally secured the county title on his fourth attempt at match point.
The last three finals of the 2013 juvenile championships conjured up incredible drama last Tuesday night as they all went right to the wire before delivering a title winner.
Amazingly, the last two games of the championships resulted in a 15-14 scoreline in the tiebreaker as Turlough Clarke and Tiarnan McCrystal from Breacach both achieved victory by the slenderest of margins, inflicting the cruellest of defeats on Carrickmore pair, Ciaran Cuddy and Ciaran Daly, in the under-14 and under-15 county finals.
Remarkably, the two winners had also won the opening game of their respective matches on a 15-14 scoreline, before being pegged back in the second game.
Turlough Clarke had actually lost his second game heavily and was 10-5 behind in the deciding game, but he suddenly clicked into top gear again and a brilliant sequence of kill shots saw him carve out a 14-11 lead, only for Ciaran Cuddy to fight back in superb style to level the match at 14 points each. It was a case of ‘next point wins’ and after Ciaran missed his chance to score the decisive ace, Turlough got back inside and clinched the title in dramatic fashion.
There was even more drama in the under-15 singles final as Ciaran Daly bounced back from a 15-14 reversal in the first game with a 15-8 win in the second and he was almost over the finishing line as he stormed into a 14-8 lead in the third game, but his opponent wasn’t finished and somehow managed to register the seven consecutive aces he required to snatch the title.
And Cormac Munroe also needed a tiebreaker to see off the brave challenge of Antoin Fox in the under-13 county final. Cormac had looked in command in the opening game but the Loughmacrory player responded in great style and took the second game with five points to spare before the pair went point for point for much of the third game. But the Carmen player got the last seven points of the match to secure a hard earned victory.
All eleven county juvenile singles finals have now been completed and the standard of this year’s finals was exceptionally high across all categories, as was emphasised in County Clare when county finalists Elizabeth McGarvey, Lorcan McBride, Eilise McCrory and Ciaran Cuddy all won national titles, and Cormac Munroe reached the final in his age group, at the 2013 Irish Junior Nationals.
Finally, a special mention to Tyrone’s new handball sponsor, Kevin McCrystal from Tyrone Attic Stairs, whose support for the county handball team and the Tyrone championships in 2013 has been invaluable.
U10 Girls final: Clodagh Munroe (An Charraig Mhór) beat Dervla Farley (Breacach) 15-8, 15-7
U10 Boys final: Lorcan McGarrity (An Charraig Mhór) beat Ruairi Canavan (An Charraig Mhór) 15-9, 15-8
U12 Girls final: Caitlin Conway (Loch Mhic Ruairí) beat Elizabeth McGarvey (Breacach) 10-15, 15-9, 15-8
U12 Boys final: Lorcan McBride (An Charraig Mhór) beat Dara Curran (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-10, 15-13
U13 Girls final: Ciara Mullan (An Charraig Mhór) beat Michaela McCartan (Breacach) 15-12, 15-13
U13 Boys final: Cormac Munroe (An Charraig Mhór) beat Antoin Fox (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-2, 10-15, 15-8
U14 Girls final: Maeve McElroy (An Charraig Mhór) beat Eve Loughran (An Charraig Mhór) 12-15, 15-9, 15-13
U14 Boys final: Turlough Clarke (Breacach) beat Ciaran Cuddy (An Charraig Mhór) 15-14, 1-15, 15-14
U15 Girls final: Eilise McCrory (Breacach) beat Sinead Donnelly (Loch Mhic Ruairí) 15-3, 15-1
U15 Boys final: Tiarnan McCrystal (Breacach) beat Ciaran Daly (An Charraig Mhór) 15-14, 8-15, 15-14
U16 Boys final: Sean Kerr (Breacach) beat Niall Allison (An Charraig Mhór) 21-6, 10-21, 11-6

Under-15 girls county finalists Sinead Donnelly and Eilise McCrory U14 county finalists Turlough Clarke (winner) and Ciaran Cuddy Under-12 boys county finalists Dara Curran and Lorcan McBride Under-16 county finalists Sean Kerr (winner) and Niall Allison, pictured with Martin Mullan from the county handball committee- U12 girls winner Caitlin Conway receives her medal from Maeve McCrystal representing county sponsor Tyrone Attic Stairs U10 county finalists Ruairi Canavan and Lorcan McGarrity with sponsor Kevin McCrystal Under-14 girls finalists Eve Loughran and Maeve McElroy

By tyronepro Wed 1st May

Related News

View All

Main Sponsors

Our Partners