Ciara Mahon from the Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny and Clogh handball club won the All-Ireland ladies senior singles colleges final on Saturday in Crossakiel. Ciara came up against Cork’s Aisling O’Keeffe in the semi-final. This was the third time in three weeks the girls clashed on the court.
The first game started at a frantic pace. O’Keeffe used her experience of final appearances and raced into an early 9-1 lead. Ciara was not fazed. She fought back but lost out by the narrowest of margins, 15-14.
Ciara knew what she had to do in the second game. She set the pace from the early stages. With the score at 14-8 the result look ominous for the Cork girl. However, she battled back and applied some serious pressure on Ciara but the Loreto girl stuck to her task to win a nerve testing tie 15-13.
It was all down to the third game. With the nerves well settled Ciara improved with each game. She knew she had the measure of the Leesider. Ciara took over the third game with some excellent serves and a great all round game to win 15-7.
This was a special win for Ciara, who had been second best to Cork in two minor finals earlier this year. She was delighted to get revenge at last. In the final Ciara faced Rosin Ni Chonghaile, Galway. She was always in control and never gave her Galway opponent a chance, winning 15-1, 15-0.
This was Ciara’s first All-Ireland colleges win. Any time you win a senior title it is one to treasure.
The Joe Maxwell A 60x30 juvenile tournament was played in Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny. Kilkenny were represented in the final by two teams. In under-11 doubles Ciaran Cooney, Clogh and Eoin Brennan, Kells played for Team 1 and they went into battle against Robert Dowling, Mothel and Mark Nolan, Talbot’s Inch from Team 2.
This game started off at a ferocious pace with the lads displaying some great serving, rallies and kill shots. Ciaran and Eoin won 15-2, 15-4.
In under-13 doubles Shane Dunne and Marc Purcell, Clogh from Team 1 played Roy Cullen, Kells and Dion Bourke, Mothel from Team 2. The game was very close with all four displaying some great handball.
Shane and Marc won 15-10, 15-10.
The under-15 doubles partnership was J.J. English, Goresbridge and Emmet Landy, Windgap from Team 1 and they played John Walsh, Mullinavat and Brian Mahon, Clogh. Even though Team 1 had the final won John and Brian never gave up, winning the first game 15-4.
Came out fighting
In the second game J.J. and Emmet came out fighting and all four contested the tie to the bitter end with J.J. and Emmet winning 15-2. Team 1 came out on top, 79-43.
Crossakiel proved to be a happy hunting ground for Kilkenny players over the weekend with Talbots Inch’s Ciaran Neary partnering Wexfords’s Peter Hughes to win the McDermott Cup. They beat Leitrim’s Martin Rafferty and Jamie Murray in the final 21-7, 17-21, 21-11.
In the earlier rounds they beat home pairings Christy McGovern and John ‘Boy’ Molloy 31-24, then Anthony McConnell and Jimmy Reilly 31-11 to reach the final.