As the 40x20 season hits its peak this weekend with the festival of handball in Kingscourt, there will be considerable interest from a Kilkenny point of view.
Having contested four All-Ireland semi-finals on Saturday, Kilkenny will be represented in the boys minor singles and ladies junior ‘B’ finals at the Cavan venue.
In the All-Ireland juvenile finals there will be local interest in six contests which are due to be played on Bank Holiday Monday.
On Saturday Kilkenny players were involved in four All-Ireland semi-finals at venues in Leinster and Ulster, evenly split between ladies and men’s competitions.
Travelling North for a minor singles match with Tyrone, Eoin Brennan was in familiar territory as he reached this stage of the championships last year.
Once again the Kells player produced a great display. He progressed to the final this weekend with a 21-6, 21-8 win.
Also in the winners corner was Margaret Purcell (Windgap). She accounted for a Tyrone opponent in her home court.
The South Kilkenny lady was in command all the way and was a convincing 21-5, 21-7 winner.
There was disappointment for Clogh’s Ciara Mahon and Shane Dunne.
They suffered defeats in ladies Open and under-21 singles.
In the ladies Open semi-final in Kingscourt, Ciara faced the unenviable task of attempting to dethrone the defending champion, Catriona Casey, Cork and was a 2-0 loser.
In the under-21 semi-final in Windgap, Shane was defeated 21-12, 21-19 by Gavin Coyle (Monaghan).
The county juvenile handballers made the long trip across the Shannon on Sunday to play the Connacht champions in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
Contesting 10 matches at various venues, Kilkenny progressed to six finals which are scheduled for the Bank Holiday Monday.
The winners were - Amy Brennan (Clogh) in girls under-14 singles; Daniel Hanrahan/Thomas Sharkey (Galmoy) in boys under-14 doubles; John Doheny (Galmoy) in boys under-15 singles; Roisin O’Keeffe (Kilfane) in girls undre-15 singles; Kyle Dunne/Jack Doyle (Clogh/Windgap) in boys under-16 doubles; Jack Holden (Kilfane) in boys under-17 singles.
Those who lost out in semi- finals were - Kyle Jordan (Kilfane) in boys under-14 singles; Ciarán Phelan/Sean Barron (Kells/Windgap) in boys under-15 doubles; Noelle Dowling (Mothel) in girls under-17 singles; Kelly Ann Ryan/Nicole Dowling (Galmoy/Clogh) in girls under-17 doubles.
All-Ireland juvenile results
Girls under-14S, Kilkenny (Amy Brennan) bt Galway (Emma Kinnane) 13-15, 15-4, 15-8; under-16S, Kilkenny (Roisín O’Keeffe) bt Mayo (Hazel Finn) 21-12, 21-15; under-17S, Mayo (Claire Reynolds) bt Kilkenny (Noelle Dowling) 21-9, 21-17; under-17D, Galway (Orla Whyte/Aoife Nic Dhonnacha) bt Kilkenny (Kelly Ann Ryan/Nicole Dowling) 21-8, 21-10.
Boys under-14S, Galway (Mikey Kelly) bt Kilkenny (Kyle Jordan) 14-15, 15-9, 15-12; under-14D, Kilkenny (Daniel Hanrahan/Thomas Sharkey) bt Galway (Cathal/Daire O Laoire) 15-4, 15-4; under-15S, Kilkenny (John Doheny) bt Sligo (Cormac Finn) 15-2, 15-6; under-15D, Galway (Paul Kearns/Darragh Kyne) bt Kilkenny (Ciarán Phelan/Sean Barron) 4-15, 15-9, 15-4; under-16D, Kilkenny (Kyle Dunne/Jack Doyle) bt Mayo (Niall Fleming/Bobby Reilly) 21-5, 21-13; under-17S, Kilkenny (Jack Holden) bt Galway (Tommie McNeela) 21-6, 21-7.
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