One Wall Championships in new Loughmacrory facilities
Ulster handball action in Loughmacrory
The cream of one wall handball talent in Ulster will converge on Loughmacrory this weekend as the Tyrone venue plays host to the Ulster One Wall Handball Championship Tournament. As the sport continues to accelerate in growth throughout the province, this is just the second year of the event and has seen a large entry of 164 players from seven counties set to compete.
What will provide added significance for the event is that it will be hosted in the new unique Outdoor and fully covered One Wall Handball facility in Loughacrory, Tyrone. This facility will be officially launched as part of a £1million project in the community this Saturday 28th June from 2pm. The massive project includes new state-of-the-art 3 court facility, new 500 seater stand, running track and Loughview centre with Gym overlooking the Lough. GAA President elect, Aogan Ó Fearghail, Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill and World Wallball Association President, Joe O’Shuaghnessy, will be among the special guests at the event.
The on court action will begin from 9.30am on Saturday morning and many eyes will be on the hugely competitive Mens Open event. Tyrone’s Darragh Daly secured the honours twelve months ago when he defeated Armagh’s Conall McCavitt in the final and he will be top seed in his bid for back to back title wins. Daly will face a tough test in 2014 though with the return to one wall action of four times national champion, Charly Shanks (Armagh). The Clann Eireann clubman has retuned from a US Nationals doubles triumph last weekend and poses the greatest danger but Monaghan’s Darren Doherty and tyrone players Conor McElduff and Gabhainn McCrystal will also hold major claims. Cavan’s Paul Fitzpatrick has also displayed his high level of one wall form by claiming two major tournament events in recent weeks and enters the equation in what is set to be an absorbing grade.
Down’s Lorraine Havern has made a return from Australia to defend her Ulster and One Wall Nationals titles. The Saval player has been the number one Irish player now for a few seasons and will be fancied to claim the honours again in an event where Antrim’s Aisling Reilly and Tyrone’s Maeve McElduff and Lisa McAleer will provide her greatest challenge. “This is a fantastic facility, the courts are very fast and I think there will be an amazing buzz at the event this weekend. I’m looking forward to defending the Ulster title and then get ready for the Nationals in just over one week’s time”, commented Havern.
The juvenile grades will also provide high octane action over the weekend with Tyrone’s Johnny Woods, Sean Kerr, Eilise McCrory, Cormac Munroe, Antoin Fox, Monaghan’s Eoghan McGinnity, Cavan’s Stephen Smith and Armagh’s Alana Doran just a few of the rising young stars to keep an eye out for.
The high quality action will climax on Sunday afternoon with all the major finals pencilled in from 3pm onwards.
Ulster One Wall Handball Championships
Saturday 28th June 2014, from 9.30am: play begins and runs through until 6.30pm
Sunday 29th June 2014, from 10.30am.
Finals: Sunday 29th June 2014, from 3pm.
CLICK HERE for all event information, draws and schedules