Kilkenny handball: Ciara and Aoife eye golden moment in Croker

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Kilkenny handball: Ciara and Aoife eye golden moment in Croker

Leinster minor 60x30 winners, Ciarán Cooney and Billy O'Neill

This Saturday at Croke Park the All-Ireland ladies 60x30 senior doubles handball final will feature Ciara Mahon and Aoife Holden as they attempt to dethrone Cork’s Catriona Casey and Aishling O’Keeffe.
The Clogh/Kilfane duo reached the final in 2017 and put in a very good display which impressed many.
Very competitive
In the semi-final on Saturday Ciara and Aoife beat former champions, Pauline Gallagher and Amy Corrigan, Mayo 21-15, 21-9.
The local pair have been very competitive in ladies handball for the last few years with both winning All-Ireland titles. A win on Saturday against opponents seeking six titles in-a-row would be a tremendous reward for all their hard work and a great boost for the game in the county.
Also playing in Croke Park on Saturday are Ciáran Neary (Talbot’s Inch) and Keith Bourke (O’Loughlin’s). They will be trying to reach their first All-Ireland senior doubles final.
They received a walk-over from Westmeath in the quarter-final. They are untested going into this contest against Meath’s Brian Carroll and Garry McConnell.
It is a tough task for the Kilkenny duo who will need to produce a top class display if they are to prevail.
All-Ireland finals
Last weekend the All-Ireland singles finals were completed. First up for Kilkenny was Dearbhail O’Keeffe, Kilfane who lost to the impressive Sinead Meagher, Tipperary 21-10, 21-3.
There was defeat also on Saturday for Margaret Purcell (Windgap) in her ladies junior ‘B’ final by another rising star, Laura Finn, Sligo, 21-6, 21-4.
The men had no luck either in their two finals at Virginia, Cavan and Na Fianna in Dublin.
In the under-21 decider at the Cavan court, Dylan Caulfield, Kilfane lost to the 2017 minor champion, Diarmuid Mulkerrins (Galway) 21-6, 21-5.
At Na Fianna on Sunday the Diamond Masters singles winner from 2017, Billy Mullins (Tipperary) retained his title when defeating Johnny Brennan (Mothel) 21-5, 21-12.
Juveniles
The All-Ireland juvenile finals are scheduled for Sunday with matches in Lahorna and Ballina in County Tipperary.
One final already played was the girls under-15 doubles in which Lauren Power (Clogh) and Nathania Jackson (Windgap) lost to Tipperary in three sets.
This weekend the All-Ireland semi-finals of the doubles championships will be played at Leinster and Ulster venues.
There are a number of Kilkenny pairs in action on Leinster and Ulster courts this weekend.
On Friday night in Kingscourt, Clogh’s Ciaran Cooney and Billy O’Neill play the host county in the minor doubles championship and at the same venue on Saturday (1pm) the Masters B doubles semi-final will feature John Morrissey (O’Loughlin’s) and William Murphy (Kilfane) as they attempt to defeat Down and book a place in the final.
On Saturday in Clogh, Brian Mahon has home advantage in his intermediate singles clash with Ryan Mullan, Tyrone and at the same time in Talbot’s Inch, Philly Parsons (O’Loughlin’s) and Eamonn Purcell (Windgap) face Cavan in the Emerald Masters doubles semi-final.
All-Ireland senior doubles fixtures on Saturday in Croke Park (2pm) Dublin (Eoin Kennedy/Carl Browne) v Wexford (Gavin Buggy/Tommy Hynes); Kilkenny (Ciaran Neary/Keith Bourke) v Meath (Brian Carroll/Gary McConnell).
Saturday, October 27 – All-Ireland final in Croke Park.
Saturday - All-Ireland final in Croke Par (2pm) senior ladies doubles final, Cork (Catriona Casey/Aishling O’Keeffe) v Kilkenny (Ciara Mahon/Aoife Holden).
Sunday - All-Ireland juvenile finals Lahorna, Tipperary (11am) girls under-14S, Kilkenny (Amy Brennan) v Tyrone (Clodagh Munroe); boys under-17D, Kilkenny (James Love/Tom Carroll) v Cork (Colin Healy/Luke Barrett); boys under-16S, Kilkenny (Kyle Dunne) v Monaghan (Eoghan McGinnity); girls under-15S, Galway (Sadhbh Ní Fhlaithearta) v Monaghan (Louise McGinnity); boys under-14S, Galway (Mikey Kelly) v Monaghan (Sean Callan); boys under-16D, Mayo (Lorcan Conlon/Bobby Reilly) v Tipperary (Cormac Doheny/Rory Grace); girls under-16S, Kilkenny (Roisin O’Keeffe) v Clare (Chloe Philpott); boys under-14D, Kilkenny (Kyle Jordan/Sean O’Keeffe) v Waterford (Charlie Treen/Sean Callaghan); boys under-17S, Kilkenny (Eoin O’Brien) v Waterford (Michael Kiely).
Ballina, Tipperary (11am) -girls undere-16D, Kilkenny (Aine Duggan/Doireann Knox) v Tipperary (Isabel Farnan/Siobhán Prentice); girls under-17S, Meath (Emily Sheridan Fox) v Limerick (Aisling Shanahan); girls under-17D, Mayo (Cuileann Bourke/Claire Reynolds) v Limerick (Ciara McCarthy/Keri Murphy); girls under-14D, Wexford (Ellie Murphy O’Gorman/Rachel Goff) v Tyrone (Cloda McNamee/Meabh McCrystall); boys under-15S, Wexford (Tommy Connors) v Tyrone (Jack Darcy); boys under-15D, Wexford (Conor Murphy/Ross Arnold) v Cork (Cathal Ducey/Evan Enright)
All-Ireland semi-finals on Friday in Kingscourt, Cavan (8pm) - MD Cavan (Conor Owens/Adam Crosbie) v Kilkenny (Billy O'Neill/Ciaran Cooney).
Saturday in Clogh, Kilkenny (1pm) IS Kilkenny (Brian Mahon) v Tyrone (Ryan Mullan); Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny (1pm) EMAD Kilkenny (Philly Parsons/Eamonn Purcell) v Cavan (Joe Dillon Sr/Michael Brady); Kingscourt, Cavan (1pm) MBD Down (Barrie McCoy/Shane Kelly) v Kilkenny (John Morrissey/William Murphy).
Byes to All-Ireland finals - DMAD Kilkenny (Johnny Brennan/Joe Hennessy); LJBD Kilkenny (Margaret Purcell/Caoimhe O'Shea).
Collection
Kilkenny Handball Board will hold their annual collection in Nowlan Park on Sunday. All clubs have been asked to have people availabl to help with the collection. All should gather at the country goal end of the ground at 12.30pm.

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