Boys U17 40x20 Singles: In early April, Cathal Connelly of St. Coman's (formerly Ballincurry) won his first All-Ireland title when he defeated a hard-working Philip Duffy of Armagh in the boys U-17 40x20 singles. After an understandably tentative start, when he trailed 4-9, Cathal finally got into his stride and using his clever mix of roof shots and kills mixed with his superb retrieving of the ball he pulled away to win 21-13. From this point on it was clear he was the better handballer and although his opponent tried hard the second game was never in doubt with Cathal again winning 21-13.
Over this campaign Cathal has impressed many knowledgable handball folk from outside Roscommon and hopefully this will only be the first of many honours he will win.
Irish Nationals 40X20 Qualifiers results at Claremorris 22nd April – Mens C Singles Preliminary Round: Brendan McDonagh (Roscommon) beat Joseph Gallagher (Mayo) 21-10, 21-7. At Curraghboy 25th April Preliminary Round Mens C: Sam Temple (Kildare) beat Barry Phair (Cavan) 21-3, 21-1. Round 1: Brendan McDonagh (Roscommon) beat Sam Temple (Kildare) 21-3, 21-5. At St. Comans on 25th April Joe McCann (Mayo) in Mens Open and also Oisin Naugthon (Roscommon) in Mens B both received a bye to the quarter-finals next weekend in Wexford.
Quarter-final fixtures, Mens C: Brendan McDonagh (Roscommon) plays Peter Flanagan (Meath) on Friday 29th April in Wexford.
Upcoming tournaments….All-Ireland Hardball Championships: The 2011 GAA Handball All-Ireland Hardball Championships will commence on the weekend of 14th/15th May. Entry forms are now available and players are advised to submit their entries by the deadline of Wednesday 4th May to be entered in this year’s championship. There were record entries in the events in 2010 with Eoin Kennedy enjoying a Mens Senior Singles and Doubles (alongside Egin Jensen) triumph to maintain his stranglehold in the competition.
An announcement will be made following Congress 2011, regarding plans to send a GAA Handball Ireland HARDBALL Team to compete in an International Hardball Event later in the year. More details to follow on this after Congress on 1st May 2011. From May 20th-22nd Williamstown Handball Club will be holding their annual One Wall tournament. This competition was a huge success last year with Roscommon players doing very well. Please see www.gaahandball.ie for entry form.
Also for the first year Inis Oirr Handball Club, Aran Islands, Co. Galway are holding their inaugural One Wall Tournament ‘One Wall on the rock’ on May 13th-15th. This promises to be a fantastic tournament and it’s great to see new clubs being formed and organising tournaments. Please see www.gaahandball.ie for entry form, accommodation and ferry details, etc.
Inis Oirr Handball Club are also holding a 40x20 tournament on 23rd and 24th April including Mens Open, Junior A and B grades and also Ladies grades. Please see www.gaahandball.ie. The sunny southeast, Co. Wexford, is the venue this year for the Irish 40x20 Adult Handball Nationals which runs from 29th April-30th May. Qualifier rounds will be April 23rd and 24th. Please see www.gaahandball.ie for entry form.