13 Aug 2022

Kilkenny handball: Ciaran and Billy are alley aces

Kilkenny handball: Ciaran and Billy are alley aces

The curtain came down on the adult 60x30 handball season at the weekend with the county collecting All-Ireland titles in four grades.
On Saturday in Croke Park and Crinkle the handball focus was firmly fixed on Kilkenny involvement.
At headquarters the county was represented in the minor doubles and intermediate singles finals.
At the Offaly venue the Masters B doubles and Emerald Masters doubles deciders featured local players.
The minor doubles final was an opportunity for Clogh pair, Ciaran Cooney and Billy O’Neill to bring the title back to Kilkenny for the first time since 2006.
This contest turned out to be a match in which each pair had the upper hand at various times throughout the three sets.
The first game was won by Kilkenny 21-11, with Cork’s Conor Walsh and Cian O’Driscoll winning the second 21-10.
The early stages of the third game were evenly balanced before the North Kilkenny duo made a break at 10 to secure victory on a 21-10 scoreline.
This was a great win for the Clogh pair. They have improved steadily throughout the year, and they look good prospects going forward.
To complete a good day for the Clogh club, Brian Mahon was also a third set winner over Philip Butler in the intermediate singles final.
A good start by Mahon was rewarded with a 21-9 win in the first game.
The Waterford player upped the tempo in the second game to come out on top 21-13, and so a deciding set was needed to produce the winner.
This third set produced a clear cut 21-8 victory for Brian as he brought back another title to his club.
This was the first time the county has been victorious in this grade since 2009.
On the same afternoon in Crinkle, the Diamond Masters A pair of Johnny Brennan (Mothel) and Joe Hennessy (O’Loughlin’s) claimed more honours.
They came from losing the first game 21-7 to winning the next two games 21-14, 21-12 against the Tipperary brothers, Billy and Pakie Mullins.
To complete the Kilkenny successes at the weekend, Philly Parsons (O’Loughlin’s) and Eamonn Purcell (Windgap) were worthy winners of the Emerald Masters A doubles title on Sunday at Thurles.
This recently formed partnership won the first game 21-9 only to allow the Cork duo, John Herlihy and John Hedigam win the second to level the tie.
In the deciding set Philly and Eamonn survived a late scare to seal the match and win the game 21-17. This victory makes up for defeats in this championship in 2017.
Unfortunately there was disappointment for John Morrissey (O’Loughlin’s) and Willie Murphy (Kilfane).
They lost to Limerick in their Masters B doubles final 21-15, 15-21, 15-21.
In the under-21 doubles final at Crinkle on Sunday, Dylan Caulfield (Kilfane) and Pádraig Cooney (Clogh) lost out to Galway in two games, 21-12, 21-12.

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