Huge praise must be extended to all the members of Mount Talbot Handball Club for running a fantastic One Wall tournament over three days last weekend in both the Mattie McDonagh sports centre in Ballygar (which had three indoor courts) and also the outdoor handball court in Mount Talbot.
This is the first year in which this tournament has been staged and going by the over 170 players that competed at the weekend there is huge appetite in Ireland for the One Wall code of Handball. With this top class facility there is no doubt that the tournament will continue to flourish in the future.
From a Roscommon point of view there was some very good success, most notably Marianna Rushe securing a fine victory over Lorrraine Havern of Down. Havern won the ladies open One Wall tournament at the Irish Nationals in 2010 so she was definitely the player to beat. Marianna lost the first game 15-13 but performed brilliantly to take the second comfortably at 15-3. A fantastic tie-breaker was in store and these players didn’t disappoint the huge crowd, with Rushe securing the match win on a scoreline of 11-9.
After having taken some time out from handball Marianna has come back to win the Williamstown One Wall and also this latest tournament so she will now be very confident going into the Irish One Wall nationals in Breaffy House sports hotel over the July bank holiday weekend.
Lauren O’Riordan of St. Comans also had a good run in the Ladies Open, which was her first adult event – however she lost out to the eventual winner, Marianna Rushe, in the semi-final, but the experience at this level will stand to O’Riordan.
Philip O’Connor (St. Brigids) had a fantastic win over Daniel Fenlon of (Carlow) in the Mens C division. Fenlon was hotly-tipped coming into this event, having won the recent 40x20 Irish Nationals, but O’Connor wasn’t fazed by his reputation and went on to beat the Carlow man in a great match.
Well done also to St. Comans player Dermot Doolin who beat Robbie McCarthy Senior (Westmeath) in the final to take the Golden Masters title. In the Mens Open it was Robbie McCarthy Junior who took the title after a comprehensive win over David King of Carlow in the final.
In the underage grades Fiona Tully (St. Comans, Roscommon) was in fine form over the weekend to take the girls U-14 title, which was well deserved. It has been quite the year so far for Fiona having been part of the recent winning Community Games team.
Dylan Hanley, also of St. Comans, won the boys U-10 title after playing some very consistent handball en-route to the final. Dylan played a fantastic match against his club-mate Liam Egan and beat him by only one point in the final. Considering that Liam is eight years old and playing U10 this was a great achievement for him and something he can definitely build on.
Conor Egan did brilliantly to get to the U-16 boys plate final but he lost out narrowly. Mark Featherstone also did well to get to the U-14 boys semi-final.
Mary Heneghan-Grehan of the Mount Talbot Club also had success when she won the final in the ladies novice grade. Mary is a physical education teacher in Dunmore N.S. in Galway and she now intends to introduce the game into the school, knowing the benefits it can bring to her students.
Well done to all the Roscommon winners and indeed to all the competitors for making this tournament such a huge success. Full results can be found at www.gaahandball.ie
Action will be commencing this year again with a 12 noon start for most grades on Friday 1st July with the action completed by Sunday 3rd July with the Mens Open Final.
FEILE: The annual Feile competition is just around the corner in County Galway venues, starting on 24th June. Roscommon players will be taking to the courts in Williamstown. The other facilities in use are Salthill and Moycullen. Best of luck to all involved. Full details and fixtures can be found at www.gaahandball.ie