This weekend handballers from Kilkenny will contest All-Ireland semi-finals in juvenile and senior championships.
The winners will contest the finals at the Festival of Handball in Kingscourt on the St Patrick’s weekend.
In the juvenile championships the Leinster winners will travel across the Shannon to play the Connacht champions. At adult level the Leinster champions will contest three semi-finals against Ulster opposition in minor singles, under-21 singles and ladies junior ‘B’ singles.
Following the completion of the Leinster juvenile championships in which Kilkenny players produced some brilliant performances, the winners qualified for the All-Ireland series against Connacht this weekend.
In the boys competitions the county will contest semi-finals at under-14 singles and doubles, under-15 singles and doubles, under-16 doubles and under-17 singles.
In girls matches Kilkenny will play the hosts in under-14 singles, under-16 singles and under-17 singles and doubles.
Kilkenny representatives - boys under-14S, Kyle Jordan (Kilfane); under-14D, Daniel Hanrahan/ Thomas Sharkey (Galmoy); under-15S, John Doheny (Galmoy); under-15D, Sean Barron/Ciaran Phelan (Kells/Windgap); under-16D, Kyle Dunne/Jack Doyle (Clogh/Windgap); under-17S, Jack Holden (Kilfane).
Girls under-14S, Amy Brennan (Clogh); under-16S, Roisin O’Keeffe (Kilfane); under-17S, Noelle Dowling (Mothel); under-17D, Nicole Dowling/Kelly Anne Ryan (Clogh/Galmoy).
Also in action this weekend are the Leinster adult singles winners. They play the All-Ireland semi-finals against Ulster.
In the minor singles grade Eoin Brennan (Kells) travels northwards to play Tyrone’s Cormac Munroe for a place in the final in two weeks time.
On the same day Clogh’s Shane Dunne will have a home venue for his under-21 singles contest with Gavin Coyle (Monaghan). In ladies junior ‘B’ singles, Margaret Purcell (Windgap) will also have home advantage against Claire Coway (Tyrone).
In the ladies Open championship the All-Ireland semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday at Kingscourt.
Ladies handball has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Kilkenny will be represented by Ciara Mahon, Clogh as she attempts to reach her first senior final.
This is a tough assignment for Ciara. She faces the defending champion Catriona Casey (Cork).
In the Leinster doubles championships there were wins for Keith Bourke and Shem Kelly in junior doubles. They defeated Carlow.
In their Diamond Masters ‘A’ doubles clash, Johnny Brennan and Joe Hennessy advanced to the next stage at the expense of Wexford. Unfortunately it was defeat for Gerry Murphy (Goresbridge) and Sean Love (Clogh) in the Diamond Masters ‘B’ doubles final when they also lost to a pair from the Model county.
In the minor doubles semi-final Cogh’s Ciaran Cooney and Billy O’Neill were in top form. They progressed to the Leinster final where they await another Kilkenny pair.
All-Ireland 40x20 juvenile championships semi-finals, Connacht v Leinster on Sunday in Claremorris, Mayo (11am) boys under-16D, Mayo (Niall Fleming/Bobby Reilly) v Kilkenny (Kyle Dunne/Jack Doyle); girls under-16S, Mayo (Hazel Finn) v Kilkenny (Roisín O’Keefe); boys under-17D, Mayo (Alan Masterson/Patrick Carroll) v Laois (Pauric Walsh/Thomas Walsh); boys under-16S, Mayo (Lorcan Conlon) v Wexford (Josh Kavanagh); girls under-17S, Mayo (Claire Reynolds) v Kilkenny (Noelle Dowling).
Claregalway, Galway (12noon) girls under-14D, Galway (Skylann Ni Mhaile/Eadain Ni Dhonnacha) v Wexford (Ellie Murphy O’Gorman/Jodie Keeling); girls under-15S, Galway (Nicole Sweeney) v Wexford (April Moran); girls under-15D, Roscommon (Siobhan/Aishling Treacy) v Wexford (Daniella Kinsella/Emily Moran); boys under-14D, Galway (Cathal/Daire O Laoire) v Kilkenny (Daniel Hanrahan/Thomas Sharkey); boys under-15S, Sligo (Cormac Finn) v Kilkenny (John Doheny); girls under-14S, Galway (Emma Kinnane) v Kilkenny (Amy Brennan).
Annaghdown, Galway (12noon) boys under-14S, Galway (Mikey Kelly) v Kilkenny (Kyle Jordan); boys under-15D, Galway (Paul Kearns/Darragh Kyne) v Kilkenny (Ciarán Phelan/Sean Barron); boys under-17S, Galway (Tommie McNeela) v Kilkenny (Jack Holden); girls under-17D, Galway (Orla Whyte/Aoife Nic Dhonnacha) v Kilkenny (Kelly Ann Ryan/Nicole Dowling); girls under-16D, Galway (Sadbh Ni Flatharta/Aifric Ni Ghibhne) v Laois (Aoife Brophy/Lauren McGuigan)
40x20 county fixtures
Saturday at O’Loughlin’s (1) 4pm LBD Karen Walsh/Sarah Molloy (Kells) v Margaret Foley/Laura Foley (Windgap); 5pm JS Billy O’Neill (Clogh) v Sean Foley (Windgap); 6pm JS Ciaran Cooney (Clogh) v Eamonn Hawe (Windgap)
At Kells (4pm) JBS final, Fergal Lalor (Talbot’s Inch) v Pauric Foley or Shane Walsh; 5pm MsCS final, Michael Dalton (Kilfane) v Pat O’Keeffe (Kilfane).
Monday at Windgap (7.30pm) MsAS final, Eddie Burke (O’Loughlin’s) v Willie Holden (Kilfane); at O’Loughlin’s (1) 7.30pm MS Eoin Brennan (Kells) v Ciaran Cooney (Clogh); 8pm MsBS final, Joe Anthony (Mullinavat) v Jimmy Purcell (Windgap); at O’Loughlin’s (2) 8pm MS Conor Drennan (Galmoy) v Billy O’Neill (Clogh).
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