10 Aug 2022

Kilkenny handball: A 100% strike rate in finals

Kilkenny handball: A 100% strike rate in finals

In the All-Ireland 60x30 singles finals weekend when games were played at various venues around the country, there was tremendous joy for Kilkenny players.
They won all three deciders that they contested, which was fair going.
Playing matches in Mullingar on Saturday and Kells on Sunday, Clogh’s Brian Mahon and the Kilfane uncle and niece combination, Willie and Aoife Holden, brought home gold medals when turning in impressive performances.
On Saturday the under-21 final was played in Mullingar, with Clogh’s Brian Mahon facing the tough challenge of Ryan Mullan from Tyrone.
The North Kilkenny player has improved steadily over the last couple of years and was an All-Ireland finalist earlier this year in under-21 doubles. He was definitely in the mood for this challenge.
On this occasion it was an opportunity for Mahon to claim a singles title, and he seized the opportunity with a comprehensive win over the Ulster player.
On top in both games, Brian confirmed his dominance with a 21-12, 21-9 victory to claim his first title in the grade.
With matches starting at 12 noon on Sunday it was an early start for the large Kilfane contingent who travelled to Kells, County Meath to support Willie Holden and Aoife Holden in their quest for All-Ireland glory.
Holden dominated
First up at the midlands venue was Willie as he attempted to add the Silver Masters A singles title to his ever growing trophy cabinet.
Standing between him and success was Jimmy McKeon, a very experienced player in his own right. On the day there was only going to be one winner as the Kilfane player completely dominated from start to finish.
Willie was in total control and he sealed this latest win 21-5, 21-1 to add to the 40x20 Silver Master doubles he won earlier in the season.
In the second final at the Meath venue, Aoife Holden contested the ladies intermediate singles decider against her long time rival, Fiona Tully from Roscommon.
Both players are very familiar with each other having clashed many times at juvenile level.
In this latest match the outcome was in doubt right up to the end of the third and deciding set.
The first game went to the Roscommon girl, 21-17 and in a nail biting second set, Aoife levelled the tie when winning 21-19.
Tense affair
The third game was a tense affair with the Kilfane player clinching the title, 21-13, playing some outstanding handball to seal her place in next year’s senior ranks.
In other 60x30 news, the Kilkenny senior doubles pairing of Ciara Mahon (Clogh) and Aoife Holden (Kilfane) have made history by becoming the first duo from the county to contest the All-Ireland ladies Open doubles final when they received a walk over from Mayo in their semi-final.
In the decider in late September they await the outcome of the other semi-final between Limerick and Cork.
Leinster fixtures
Today (Wednesday) at Kilmyshal (8pm) SMAD Pat Quaile/Paddy O’Donnell (Wicklow) v Willie and Noel Holden (Kilkenny); at Garryhill (7.30pm) LMD final, Holly Hynes/Emma Sweeney (Wexford) v Dearbhail O’Keeffe/Sorcha Delaney (Kilkenny).

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