Sligo handball players aiming for Connacht finals.
Sligo G.A.A Handball P.R.O. Michael McGee previews the Connacht handball 40 x 20 championships semi-finals involving Sligo.Sligo handball players begin their season in earnest this weekend against Galway in the Connacht handball 40 x 20 championships semi-finals. Castleconnor’s Michael Browne faces Roscommon’s Darren Beattie in the Junior B singles. Browne a very underestimated player has the potential of reaching the final. The Castleconnor club man performed well in the recent Gerard Jones Memorial Cup tournament in Castleconnor. If Browne can maintain this form he has every chance of reaching the final.
Castleconnor will host 3 games on Sunday with local player Larry Jones first into action against Galway’s Seamus O’Fatharta. Home venue may just be enough for Jones to gain a narrow victory over the Galway man. The Masters B singles see’s Collooney’s Shane Bruen up against Morgan Duggan. Duggan is an accomplished handball player having reached the World Masters B singles final in Dublin’s Citywest last October where he lost to Dubliner Adrian Benson in a close final. Bruen reached the All-Ireland Over 35 B doubles final with Castleconnor’s Mark Murphy will be hoping to build on last year’s exploits. However he couldn’t have asked for a tougher opening match in this year’s championships. Bruen will have to hit the ground running and keep up the intensity if he is to reach the provincial final. The final match on the Castleconnor programme looks set to be a cracker. Ballymote’s Francis McCann meets his old adversary in Eamon Conneely in a mouth watering clash. McCann played Conneely in last year’s Connacht final and in cliff hanger Mc Cann hung on for victory after 3 absorbing games just winning the tie breaker 21-20. McCann reached the final only to lose to Kildare’s Michael Dowling. McCann will be hoping to repeat his performance over Conneely and advance to the provincial decider.
St. Mary’s will also host 3 games on Sunday. The legendary Paddy Walsh is back again in action as he takes on Colm O’ Culain. The St. Mary’s club man is favourite to advance and add another historical provincial medal to his vast collection. Mick McMorrow has put a lot of work in the handball courts this year and his battle with Galway’s Pierce Lalor has the potential of going the distance. McMorrow’s strength and swiftness could be enough to send the Galway man packing. The All-Ireland Emerald Masters B doubles champion in 2011 will be eager do well and his battling skills should tip the balance in his favour. In the last match in the St. Mary’s programme see’s Seamus Duffy up against Galway’s Tony McInerney. The two players have met in recent championships with little separating them. Duffy playing on his home court will hold the advantage and with a sizeable support from Sligo expected it may be enough to propel Duffy to another Connacht final.Castleconnor’s Micheal Jones travels to St. Coman’s where he will be up against Roscommon’s Darren Beattie. Jones who has showed up well in the Sligo handball team of 6 competition and recent Castleconnor tournament will give a very good account of himself at the Roscommon venue. A determined approach from Jones will see him into the Connacht final.
And in the last remaining singles to played Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney takes on Galway’s Priosias Maughan. Cooney who reached the All-Ireland Silver Masters B singles 60 x 30 final will be hoping to continue on a upward curve in his comeback from injury. Maughan will provide stern opposition for the Castleconnor club man but if Cooney can hit form he has every chance of defeating the Galwegian and reach the decider.
Connacht handball 40 x 20 championships semi-finalsSunday 3rd February in St. Coman’s Roscommon at 2 p.m.
Michael Browne (Sligo) v Darren Beattie (Roscommon)
Sunday 3rd February in Castleconnor at 2 p.m.
Masters B singles: Shane Bruen (Sligo) v Morgan Duggan (Galway)
Golden Masters A singles: Francis McCann (Sligo) v Eamonn Conneely (Galway)
Over 70’s: Paddy Walsh (Sligo) v Colm O’Culain (Galway)
Emerald Masters B singles: Mick McMorrow (Sligo) v Pierce Lalor (Galway)
Diamond Masters A singles: Seamus Duffy (Sligo) v Tony McInerney (Galway)
Thursday 7th February in St. Comans’s Roscommon at 8 p.m.Junior C singles: Micheal Jones (Sligo) v John Kelly (Roscommon)
At venue to be decidedSilver Masters B singles: Martin Cooney v Priosias Maughan (Galway)