Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sligo handball singles players disappoint but doubles pairs expected to fare better

Francis McCann & Hugh McGarry. Sligo Golden Masters A doubles

Sligo’s Connacht 60 x 30 season began with disappointment last weekend in Collooney, writes Michael McGee.

Unfortunately all 4 singles representatives lost out. Peter Chambers put up a brave defence against Leitrim’s Eddie Lee and with a little more potency could have caused a major shock. In the end the Leitrim man won out on a scoreline of 21-14, 21-15. Shane Bruen gave a spirited display against Roscommon’s Billy Kelly in the Over 35 singles grade. The opening game was very even with Kelly just shading it by 21-17. In the 2nd Kelly’s greater fitness came to the fore as he surged well clear to win by 21-5. Castleconnor’s Mark Murphy took on Martin Conroy of Roscommon in the Masters B singles and had chances to win it. Conroy a left hander like Murphy had an accurate high serve that bounced off the right side wall and landing in Murphy’s left corner. The Castleconnor man was unable to counteract this to a great extent. The Sligo man should have taken the 1st but lost out by 21-18. Things didn’t improve in the second as the Roscommon man took a sizeable lead. Murphy mounted a late fight back but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Roscommon man winning out by 21-10 in the second. Peter Davey in the Emerald Masters singles lost out to the stronger James Coughlin of Roscommon. Despite an encouraging first game Davey faded in the second as Coughlin ran out a comfortable winner by 21-14, 21-4. In the remaining singles fixture to be played see’s Colin Slevin taking on Roscommon’s Liam O’Ceallaigh on Friday evening in Collooney. This will be an interesting tie as Slevin is more accustomed to the smaller 40 x 20 court while O’Ceallaigh is from the one-wall Mount Talbot club. Slevin will be making his debut in the Connacht 60 x 30 championships.

Results: Connacht Handball 60 x 30 championships semi-finals:
Golden Masters B singles: Peter Chambers dft by Eddie Lee (Leitrim 14-21, 15-21.
Over 35 B singles: Shane Bruen dft by Billy Kelly Roscommon 17-21, 5-21
Masters B singles: Mark Murphy dft by Martin Conroy Roscommon 18-21, 10-21
Emerald Masters B singles: Peter Davey dft by James Coughlin Roscommon 14-21, 4-21

Connacht handball 60 x 30 championships
Friday 29th June in Collooney at 7 p.m.
Junior C singles: Colin Slevin (Sligo) v Liam O’Ceallaigh (Roscommon)

McCann & McGarry to lead Sligo doubles challenge

Sligo handball doubles pairs begin their quest for Connacht titles with away fixtures against Roscommon at the weekend. St. Coman’s in Roscommon town will be venue for all of Sligo handball doubles ties.
The Golden Masters A doubles pairing of Francis McCann & Hugh McGarry look to have the best chance of recording outright glory. Last year they reached the All-Ireland semi-finals, but were beaten by a very strong Tipperary pairing of Pat Griffin & Tony O’ Flaherty by 18-21, 13-21. Both McCann & McGarry are experienced players and have a settle look about them. McCann will run and run all day while McGarry an able athlete with his powerful right hand will help to keep the Rossie men on the back foot. In the Emerald Masters A singles Mick McMorrow and John McLoughlin will take on Roscommon’s Martin Bruen & ptr. McMorrow & McLoughlin went all the way in 2011 winning the All-Ireland Emerald Masters B doubles final against Kilkenny’s Gerry Murphy & Jim Dooley. The duo have yet to play a competitive game together in 2012 and the step up to the A grade maybe beyond their reach this time round. However McMorrow has excelled in recent challenge games and will no doubt throw the gauntlet down to the Roscommon pairing.
The Junior C pairing Castleconnor’s Tom Foody & Joe Gorman will also be hoping for progress. Foody & Gorman beat another Castleconnor pairing of Michael Browne & Tom Tuffy in the County final two weeks ago. Connacht 40 x 20 doubles 40 x 20 champions in 2009 the pair be going all out to add to their 40 x 20 title.
Peter Chambers & Stanley Harte have a bye to the Connacht final in the Golden Masters B doubles.

Sligo handball doubles v Roscommon
Junior C Doubles: Tom Foody & Joe Gorman v Roscommon
Masters B Doubles: Martin Cooney & ptr v Mick Kennedy & Seamie Connolly
Golden Masters A Doubles: Francis McCann & Hugh McGarry v Dermot Doolin & Ger Walsh
Golden Masters B Doubles: Peter Chambers & Stanley Harte bye
Emerald Masters A Doubles: Mick McMorrow & John McLoughlin v Martin Bruen & Ptr
Connacht singles finals will be on the weekend of 8th July & doubles 15th July

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