The boys under-15 county handball champions, Kilfane (left) with the runners-up Kells and match referee, Ciaran Neary
This weekend the All-Ireland handball senior softball singles championship will commence with the last 32 round of matches.
The most prestigious title in Irish handball attracts the top players across the country and the action will continue over the next few weeks.
The final is scheduled for Croke Park in early September when the Michael ‘Ducksie’ Walsh Cup will be presented to the champion.
The current holder is Robbie McCarthy (Westmeath). He is one of the favourites for the title, but there are a number of players who are capable of dethroning a man who is hugely talented.
In the Irish softball nationals played in Wexford on Saturday, Ciaran Neary (Talbot’s Inch) was unlucky to lose his first round match to Tommy Hynes (Wexford) in the tie break, 11-5.
In the ladies competitions, Kilkenny supplied two of the semi-finalists in the Open grade.
First up was Aoife Holden (Kilfane) against Catriona Casey (Cork).
This was followed by the meeting of Ciara Mahon (Clogh) and Martina McMahon (Limerick).
Both Kilkenny ladies were defeated with McMahon going on to take the title with victory over Casey in the final.
In juvenile handball the focus has been on the county doubles championships which have been played over the last week.
There was a win for Kilfane’s Joe Healy and Paul Delaney in boys undere-15 doubles. They defeated Kells duo John Hayes and Joe Prendergast.
In girls under-12 doubles, Kells pair Mia O’Connell and Shauna Hayes came out on top when beating Kate Ryan and Niamh Ryan (Kilfane) in the decider.
In girls under-13 doubles there was a win for Glenmore pair, Emma Kelly and Laura Doherty against Kilfane pair, Aoibhe Ryan and Blathnaid Mullins in the final.
In girls under-15 doubles a round robin competition was won by Clogh duo, Lauren Power and Aishling Cooney.
The boys under-14 doubles resulted in a victory for Clogh brothers, Michael and Bobby Brennan, and in the under-16 final Kyle Jordan and Sean O’Keeffe defeated Windgap’s Sean Barron and Adam O’Shea.
The under-12 doubles title went to Talbot’s Inch pair, Andrew Brennan and Rian Dowling, who beat Jack and Conor Buggy (Clogh) in the decider.
In the boys under-17 final at Mullinavat, Windgap’s Jamie Joy and Niall O’Brien defeated Lawrence and Stephen Doheny from the Kells club.
On Sunday in Kilfane, Talbot’s Inch pair Michael Stynes and Matthew Kavanagh won the boys under-13 doubles final when beating Eanna O’Keeffe and Cian Farrell from the host club.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.
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