THE 25th annual Golden Gloves handball tournament in Belfast venues over the weekend involved four Kilkenny players.
In the open competition Michael ‘Ducksie’ Walsh won his opening game, beating home town player Owen McKenna convincingly. In the quarter-finals ‘Ducksie’ met Mayo’s Joe McCann but he never got going and the westerner won 21-14, 21-10. McCann went on to win the tournament.
In the men’s B competition Ciaran Neary won three rounds before losing out in the final to Tipperary’s Michael Carroll 16-21, 21-20, 11-6. The Talbot’s Inch man will felt he left the title behind him.
In the Masters grade Johnny Brennan and Jim Neary battled gamely. Both notched up great first round wins which set them up for a quarter-final meeting. Johnny pulled through 21-16, 21-14. In the semi the Mothel man lost to the eventual winner, Thomas Maguire of Belfast.
Kilkenny Open fixtures
Saturday at Windgap (6.30pm) Open S, Eamon Purcell (Windgap) v Andrew O’Dwyer (Kells); 7pm Open S, Peter Funchion (Kells) v Eoin Brannigan O’Loughlin’s).
At Clogh (5.30pm) Open S, Johnny Brennan (Mothel) v Jim Neary (Talbot’s Inch).
At Goresbridge (5pm) Open S, Chris Dunne (O’Loughlin’s) v Eamon Foley (Kells); 5.30pm Open S, Anthony Martin (Kells) v Stephen Hally (O’Loughlin’s).
At Kells (5pm) Open S, Ollie Falsey (O’Loughlin’s) v Jimmy Purcell (Windgap); 5.30pm Open S, Nicky Reilly (Talbot’s Inch) v Jimmy Shanrahan (Kilfane).
At O’Loughlin’s (1) 5pm Open S, Brendan Burke (Kells) v Keith Walsh (O’Loughlin’s); 5.30pm Open S, Paul Dowling (Mothel) v Diarmuid Burke (Kells).
At O’Loughlins (2) 5pm Open, Shem Kelly (Mothel) v Fergal Lalor (Talbot’s Inch); 6pm Open, Martin Lalor (Talbot’s Inch) v John Fitzgerald (Kells).
Thursday (5.30pm) 2 Kells (Kilkenny) v Kells (Meath) at venue TBA; Saturday (5.30pm) 3 Colboy (Wicklow) v winner 2 at Ballymore Eustace.