Kilkenny's All-Ireland boys under-15 doubles champions, David Sherman (Galmoy) and Harry Delaney (Kells) pictured with Handball President-elect Dessie Keegan
At the weekend Kingscourt hosted the festival of handball which included All-Ireland finals in juvenile and adult grades.
Over the three days Kilkenny players contested one adult final on Saturday, and on Sunday the county juveniles played in five contests.
On Saturday, Margaret Purcell (Windgap) and Sligo opponent, Laura Finn contested the ladies junior ‘B’ singles final.
When this pair met in the 60x30 final in October it finished in a convincing victory for the Sligo player.
This time Purcell brought home the spoils after a match that was decider over three sets.
A slow start by the south Kilkenny player saw her opponent to take the first set 21-6. However, from there to the finish it was Purcell who dictated.
She levelled the contest when winning the second game 21-15. She continued to dominate and after the third set was crowned champion when taking the game 21-17.
On Sunday morning the attention turned to the juvenile finals. Kilkenny players faced opponents from Tyrone, Sligo, Cavan and Galway.
First up in the girls under-16 singles final was Amy Brennan (Clogh) to renew rivalry with Clodagh Munroe, Tyrone. There was no stopping the north Kilkenny player.
She was well on top from the start and was a convincing 21-14, 21-7 winner.
This was followed by success in the boys under-15 singles decider in which Conor Holden (Kilfane) defeated Cormac Finn (Sligo) 15-5, 15-12.
The third match involving Kilkenny threw up the only loss. In under-14 doubles Michael Brennan (Clogh) and James Purcell (Windgap) came up short against Cavan’s Oliver McCrystal and Adam McKenna, 15-3, 15-8.
The county returned to winning ways in the boys under-15 doubles. Here Harry Delaney (Kells) and David Sherman (Galmoy) comfortably accounted for Cathal and Dara O’Laoire (Galway) 15-1, 15-4.
The blue riband of the juvenile championships is the boys under-16 singles grade. On Sunday Billy Drennan (Galmoy) put on a master class of handball.
The north Kilkenny player had his sights set on this title for the last few months. In his match with Mikey Kelly (Galway) he dominated from early on to ease to a 21-13, 21-6 victory.
Now that the singles championships have been completed, the focus switches to the Open and Leinster doubles competitions.
In the Open doubles grade Kells brothers, Patrick and Peter Funchion won through to the quarter-finals on April 6 where they will play either Tyrone or Galway.
Tonight (Wednesday) in Garryhill, the Leinster junior ‘B’ doubles final involves Eamon Hawe and Sean Foley, Windgap. This will be followed by the intermediate doubles decider involving champions, Ciaran Neary (Talbot’s Inch) and Brendan Burke (Kells).
Both matches are against Wexford opposition.
Close by in Tinryland John Morrissey (O’Loughlin’s) and Noel Doherty (Galmoy) will be chasing Leinster glory when they play Wexford in the Masters ‘B’ doubles final.
Tonight (Wednesday) at Garryhill (7.30pm ) JBD final, Micheal Busher/Robert Byrne (Wexford) v Eamonn Hawe/Sean Foley (Kilkenny); 8pm ID final, Galen Riordan/Peter Hughes (Wexford) v Ciaran Neary /Brendan Burke (Kilkenny).
At Tinryland (8pm) MBD final, John Roche/David Redmond (Wexford) v John Morrissey/Noel Doherty (Kilkenny).
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.