Local handball players have been setting the 60x30 scene alight over the last few weeks. Kells brothers Patrick and Peter Funchion completed the 40x20 and 60x30 double by beating Galway opponents on a convincing 21-0, 21-7 scoreline.
Patrick completed the clean sweep by winning all four All-Irelands in one year, which is an incredible achievement for a player with a huge future in the game. Martin Lalor and Eugene Downey put in great performances all season and showed the same level of competence in the final when coming out on top in a three game thriller.
This was the second time the Talbot’s Inch pair added a Masters All-Ireland to their impressive collection.
Rachel Hogan completed the junior double when Marie Walshe partnered her to victory. The girls stepped up from junior B last year and maintained their steady progress.
Denise Doyle and Megan Clifford won the junior B doubles, beating Leitrim opponents. The St Canice’s girls never put a foot wrong all year and were very consistent.
Windgap brothers, Eamonn and Jimmy Purcell collected their second win this year when taking the Golden Masters B doubles. In the intermediate doubles final the St Canice’s/Talbot’s Inch partnership of Ciaran Neary and Timmy Clifford overcame Galway’s Ollie Conway and Martin Mulkerrins 21-10, 21-7.
The boys started off slowly but soon hit full stride and the Tribesmen had no answer to their power game. With Neary keeping it steady on the left and Clifford killing the ball with power the Cats were always going to be hard to break down.
It has been another hugely successful year for Kilkenny 60x30 handballers.
Thursday at Talbot’s Inch (8pm) Mas B D final, Ned Lawlor (Partner (Clogh) v Mick Dalton/Jimmy Shanrahan (Kilfane); at Kilfane (8pm) Mas S, Sean Walsh (Mullinavat) v Martin Lalor (Talbots Inch) or Paul Dowling (Mothel); at Mullinavat (8pm) Mas D final, Paddy O’Reilly/Seamus Reade (Talbot’s Inch) v Tom/Billy O’Keeffe (Kilfane); 9pm Mas D, Noel/Willie Holden (Kilfane) v Chris Dunne/O. Falsey (O’Loughlin’s).
Friday in Kells, Meath (7.30pm) GMBD, Kilkenny (Eamonn Purcell/Jimmy Purcell) bt Antrim (Thomas Maguire/Pat Maguire) 21-11, 21-13
Friday in St Coman’s, Roscommon (7.30pm) GMAD, Kilkenny (Martin Lalor/Eugene Downey) bt Mayo (Martin Vahey/John Staunton) 21-13, 20-21, 21-5; under-21 D, Kilkenny (Patrick Funchion/Peter Funchion) bt Galway (Seamus O’Conghaile/Alan Kelly) 21-0, 21-7.
Saturday in Cashel, Tipperary, ladies minor doubles final, Kilkenny (Ciara Mahon/Mary Phelan) bt Limerick (Martina McMahon/Niamh Blackburn).
Sunday in St Coman’s, Roscommon, LJD Kilkenny (Rachel Hogan/Claire Grace) bt Mayo (Stephanie Coleman/Mary Duffy) 21-19, 21-2; LJBD, Kilkenny (Denise Doyle/Megan Clifford) bt Leitrim (Ciara McLoughlin/Mary Shanley) 21-11, 21-18.