On Saturday players from the province travelled to Mullinavat Community Centre, Kilkenny to contest a number of handball championships.
Kilkenny failed to secure any titles, but three players reached the final of their grade.
In boys 13 and under Harry Delaney continued his recent good form by reaching the Leinster decider against Mark Doyle from Wexford.
To secure his place in the decider the Kells player accounted for Evan Russell (Louth) in two sets, 15-10, 15-11.
Harry was playing in a grade where the age advantage was very much with Doyle. The Wexford player was in total control in the first set.
In the second game Harry put Doyle under pressure and more than made up for the two years age disadvantage. However the Wexford player did enough to close out the game 15-10 to claim the title.
In boys 17 and under Kyle Dunne from Clogh came up against the impressive Josh Kavanagh (Wexford) in another well contested final.
From the start Kavanagh controlled proceedings and made full use of the court with some excellent play.
In two hard fought sets the Wexford player just had too much skill and power for Kyle when winning 15-10, 15-7.
The men’s Open final involved Ciáran Neary, Talbot’s Inch as he attempted to defeat Ben Devlin, Louth.
To reach the decider Ciáran defeated Jerome Willoughby (Wicklow) in a tie break match, 11-7.
In the final against the Wall Ball specialist Devlin it was the Louth player held on to the crown he won last year. With an excellent display of serving and availing of most of the opportunities that came his way, the Louth player dominated and won 15-3, 15-3.
Other Kilkenny contestants were Gary Law (Mullinavat), who was beaten in the men’s C grade and Shane Dunne (Clogh), who competed in the men’s Open grade.
A big ‘thank you’ was extended to the host club, Mullinavat, and the Community Centre committee that provided a very warm and hospitable atmosphere.
Special thanks went to Denis Law, Joe Anthony, Sean Walsh and Gary Law, who ensured that the day was enjoyable for all the players and spectators.
On Sunday the attention switched to the Clough/Ballacolla Community Centre for the rest of the Leinster grades.
In the Masters championship, Eamonn Purcell (Windgap) was beaten in two games by Stuart Heslin (Louth), 15-5, 15-10. John Maguire (Galmoy) lost out to Offaly’s Declan Kilmurray in the Masters C grade, and in the men’s B championship Dan Breen (Kells) was unlucky to lose a tie break match to John Doyle, Louth, 15-12, 10-15, 11-6.
All the winners of these Leinster championship progress to the All-Ireland series which will be held in Mount Talbot, Roscommon on the June Bank Holiday weekend.
This Saturday the first of the 60x30 championships will commence for Kilkenny when Kilfane travel to nearby Garryhill to play Coolboy, Wicklow in the Leinster junior inter-club grade.
These championships will be completed over the next couple of weeks with the singles and doubles competitions starting in the middle of June.
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