Paddy Walsh in All-Ireland handball final on Sunday
Disappointment for McMorrow & McGarry in handball semi-final
It was a case of so near and yet so far for Sligo’s Michael McMorrow & Hugh McGarry in the All-Ireland 40 x 20 doubles semi-final played in St. Mary’s Kent Park on Sunday, writes Michael McGee
The Sligo men had a whirlwind start with McMorrow & McGarry opening up Louth and going into a big 17-7 lead in the opening game. The Louth men looked shell shocked from the initial Sligo barrage. Instead of pushing on the Yeats County men allowed the Leinster champions a foothold in the game. Louth’s Charlie Kelly an ever present danger man with his adept left hand hit back in tremendous style and rocked the Sligo men back on their heels. Kelly & Tiernan battled back to only 17-16 behind. The concession of 9 straight points certainly asked question of the Sligo men. McMorrow & McGarry reacted well and they in turn had the strength to quell the Louth men in their tracks. Sligo managed to gain the next 5 points to take the opening game by 21-16.
Sligo started well in the second going into a 12-3 lead. McMorrow was missing nothing on the left and McGarry full of running and strong play put Sligo into the driving seat. Louth’s Michael Tiernan changed serve and put pressure on McGarry’s right hand side that yielded the Louth man a number of scores. Sligo looked to be in control when leading by 14-7. Just like in the first game Sligo let a big lead slip and let the Leinster champions breathing space to storm back into it. Needing no invitations Kelly & Tiernan rallied strongly to surprisingly draw level at 17-17. Questions were now posed of the Sligo men but none was forthcoming and Kelly & Tiernan combined well to bring the match to a deciding tie breaker winning game two by 21-17.
In the deciding game there was very little to separate the teams. The tie break game was level on no less than 4 occasions at 8, 12, 14 & 17 mark. Both sets of supporters got fully behind their heroes going into the closing stages. Tiernan put Louth into the driving seat at the crucial time with 2 scores. The versatile Kelly was simply outstanding all throughout and his duel with Michael McMorrow (also outstanding) was the catalyst for the O’Raghallaigh’s pairs spirited comeback. Louth were serving for the match but Sligo gained service but could not add to their overall tally. Louth made no mistake at the second time of asking with Sligo left pondering how they managed to lose this contest after controlling the game for long stretches, yet it was Louth who came away from Kent Park the happier and a place in this year’s Emerald Masters B doubles finalAll-Ireland 40 x 20 Championships semi-finals result:
Emerald Masters B doubles: Michael McMorrow & Hugh McGarry (Sligo) lost to Charlie Kelly & Michael Tiernan (Louth) 21-16, 17-21, 17-21.
Louth's Michael Tiernan & Charlie Kelly defeated Sligo's Hugh McGarry & Michael McMorrow in the Emerald Masters B doubles semi-final today
Walsh’s wizardry to win historic All-Ireland handball title
Legendary Sligo Handball Paddy Walsh take on Cork’s Pat O’Brien in the All-Ireland Over-70 singles final in Crinkle on Sunday. Walsh from the St. Mary’s club in Sligo is going for an unprecedented 29th All-Ireland handball title in an illustrious career. Veteran Walsh won his first All-Ireland title back in 1974 and thirty nine years later he is aiming for his twenty nine title. Walsh has also won 7 Senior County GAA titles with Collooney/Ballisodare in the 1970’s and 1 title with St. Mary’s.
The Sligo stalwart was never really troubled in the All-Ireland semi-final defeating Dubliner John Kiely in 2 straight games in an overall resounding win for the St. Mary’s Club man. Walsh has met O’Brien on at least three previous occasions winning all three. In the 2002 All-Ireland singles semi-final Walsh defeated O’Brien 21-11, 21-13. Walsh & doubles partner Mick Kelly also defeated O’Brien & Tim Healy 21-14, 21-17 in the All-Ireland doubles final in 2007. While three years ago Walsh & Kelly repeated their final success over O’Brien & Michael Jordan. Walsh is as determined and hungry for even more success. The experienced Sligo man has trained hard in the last number of months. “Walsh, Sligo handball’s senior statesman has the tenacity to go on to record another historic achievement in an astounding and memorable handball career.” Also on the 3 match programmes see’s Paddy Walsh’s famous namesake Kilkenny’s Michael “Ducksy”Walsh (the holder of 38 All-Ireland senior titles) take on Tipperary’s David Maloney in the Masters A final.
All-Ireland Handball championships finals:Sunday 31st March in Crinke at 2 pm Over 70’s: Paddy Walsh (Sligo) v Pat O’ Brien (Cork)
Castleconnor hosted the Sligo Juvenile B championships finals. The winners will play Leitrim in the Connacht Juvenile B semi-finals on Saturday.
Under 11 singles: Conor Finn bt Cormac Finn (both Ballymote)U-11 Doubles: Cormac Finn (Ballymote) & Oisin Harte (Collooney)
U-12 singles: Jason Dwyer (Ballymote ) bt Paul Layden (Collooney)
U-12 Doubles: Paul Layden & Colm Naughton. (Castleconnor)
U-13 singles: Barry Mulderrig (Castleconnor)
U-13 doubles: Diarmuid & Vincent Harte (both collooney)
U-14 singles: Odhran Quinn (Castleconnor)
U-14 doubles: Michael Cahill & Tony Fox (Castleconnor/ Collooney)
U-15 singles: Brendan Foody (Castleconnor) bt Johnny Devaney (Ballymote)
U-17 Doubles champions: Pauric O’ Dowd and Sean Golden both Ballymote
Girls U-14 singles: Catronia Swift (Castleconnor)
The qualifying rounds for the Irish 40 x 20 get underway on Saturday and Sligo’s Odhran Quinn has an opening tie against Tipperary’s Ronan Tucket in Leixlip. There is forty grades ranging from Boys & Girls U-11’s right up to Ruby Masters (Over 65’s) The finals will take place in Clare venues from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st April in Junior grades and Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April in and around Kingscourt Co.Cavan for the adult grades.
Irish 40 X 20 NationalsAt Leixlip @ 11am
Boys 15 & Under: Odhran Quinn (Sligo) v Ronan Tucker (Tipperary)