McElduff in Euro Wallball challenge as Tyrone players in 60×30 All Ireland bids
Tyrone GAA Handball star, Conor McElduff, will embark on a challenge of the top events across Europe in the coming months. This weekend will see the Breacach clubman make the journey to Valencia, Spain, to take on the top European and some US players in the Euro ProWallball ProStop.
McElduff has been the dominant one wall handballer in Ireland now for four years and back in July secured an impressive third Irish Wallball Nationals title as well as claiming the Al Ireland Senior Wallball Championship title. Also a winner of the 2017 Lough Wallball showdown title in Loughmacrory at the end of July, McElduff has actually lost just once on Irish soil since he claimed a first nationals title in 2014.
Of course, the plan will be another big season ahead and a bid for the highly prestigious World Wallball championship crown which will take centre-stage in Minnesota, USA, next August 2018.
Looking ahead to the high-profile ProWallball European Event in Valencia, the Tyrone player is obviously relishing this next big challenge in his pursuit of top honours in the game.
“Well all the top players from across Europe will be playing. The likes of Tunguy, Kees Van Der Schoot & Paudi Quish will be in the mix as well so a very tough field in store in Spain.”
“I’ve enjoyed a great year so far in the one wall and was delighted to win back the Irish Nationals title as well as winning my first all Ireland senior medal in the Wallball Championships. There are some great Tournaments now all over Ireland, Europe and around the World in One Wall so I want to put a big effort in and make my mark across those. The Worlds next year will be the biggest goal of all on that front. With the professional USA players dominating the one wall code so far I would like to push up the ranks there and maybe try and make the same breakthrough in One Wall handball that Paul Brady managed to do in the 40×20.
“That will be very tough to do and of course there are some great players in Ireland too, as I have found out with some serious tests against Charly Shanks and Martin Mulkerrins in particular, in the past couple of seasons.”
Eamonn McCrory and Catherine Kelly will also be traveling to compete in the event while there is a sizable contingent from both Armagh and Down, as well as other Irish players, making the trip to Spain to compete this weekend.
Of course, this is another stage of the season where three codes of handball – One Wall, 60×30 and 40×20 are again beginning to inter-link and GAA Handball Ireland are working hard towards alleviating what has been a highly congested National GAA Handball Calendar, which has been tedious at best to manage in the past few seasons. With these One Wall events going on, the 60×30 Championships nearing a conclusion at all Ireland level and the National ranking 40×20 Golden Gloves Event around the corner next month there is clearly work to do to define proper seasons.
However, while a number of Tyrone players are competing strongly still in the latter stages of the 60×30 championships, McElduff is very much in the one wall handball frame of mind, with an eye ahead to the 40×20 season too, having qualified for senior level with his all Ireland Intermediate Singles and Doubles Championship wins in 2016.
“As part of my plan I’ve reaslised it will be vital to travel and compete in the European Pro WallBall Tour, which ends on November 12th this year and ultimately that has affected being able to compete in the 60×30. I want to make my mark in the one wall at International level.”
“Then I’ll be putting all my focus towards the 40×20 championship and lifting that Senior all Ireland!”
Tyrone Juveniles chasing all Ireland 60×30 Final places…
Tyrone will be sending a team of nine young players down to Lahorna in Tipperary this weekend for a busy programme of All Ireland 60×30 juvenile championship semi-finals against the champions of Munster.
It will be the first taste of championship handball at this level for Conor Fox, Gary McAleer and Eoin McElholm who will represent Tyrone in the All Ireland under-14 boys singles and doubles semi-finals against Tipperary and Cork.
Brian McAleer and Jack Darcy will confront Cork in the boy’s under-15 doubles semi-final, while Cloda McNamee will come up against Tipperary in the girls under-14 singles semi-final.
Tyrone will have a strong and experienced trio in the girls under-16 grade where the county will be represented by former All Ireland medallists Mairead Fox, Caitlin Conway and Elizabeth McGarvey, with the host county set to provide strong opposition in both the singles and doubles fixtures.
Good luck to all nine players carrying the county’s hopes in Lahorna and of course the prize on offer for everybody will be a place in the All Ireland juvenile championship finals on Sunday 15th October.
All-Ireland 60×30 Juvenile semi-final fixtures:
Sunday 1st October in Lahorna, Tipperary at 11 am:
- BU14S Tipperary (Rory Grace) v Tyrone (Conor Fox)
- GU14S Tipperary (Amy McKeogh) v Tyrone (Cloda McNamee)
- BU14D Cork (Kealin Murphy & Gearoid Healy) v Tyrone (Gary McAleer & Eoin McElholm)
- BU15D Cork (Calvin Conroy & Donal Jones) v Tyrone (Brian McAleer & Jack Darcy)
- GU16S Tipperary (Laura Shinners) v Tyrone (Mairead Fox)
- GU16D Tipperary (Siobhan Prentice & Isobel Farnan) v Tyrone (Caitlin Conway & Elizabeth McGarvey)
Two Tyrone GAA pairings in All-Ireland 60×30 adult doubles finals…
Ryan Mullan and Sean Kerr had a great win over Tipperary in the All-Ireland under-21 doubles championship semi-final in Loughmacrory last Saturday. They now go forward to face Kilkenny in the All Ireland decider on Saturday 7th October. Finbarr Fullen and Kenny Curran are also through to the doubles finals weekend and will take on Westmeath in silver masters doubles, with venues and times to be confirmed for both Tyrone doubles teams.
Conor Kerr and Stephen Clarke lost to a strong Tipperary pairing in the All Ireland golden masters doubles semi-final on Saturday.
All-Ireland 60×30 adult doubles semi-finals…
U21D Tyrone (Sean Kerr & Ryan Mullan) beat Tipperary (Daniel Hayes & Pauric O’Donoghue) 21-16, 21-11
GMAD Tipperary (Adrian Johnson & Kevin Mullins) beat Tyrone (Conor Kerr & Stephen Clarke) 21-11, 21-3
All-Ireland 60×30 adult doubles finals…
Saturday 7th October (venue and times to be confirmed):
U21D Tyrone (Sean Kerr & Ryan Mullan) v Kilkenny (Brian Mahon & Emmet Landy)
SMBD Tyrone (Kenny Curran & Finbarr Fullen) v Westmeath (Joe Mulvanney & Mike Naughton)