Tyrone take 8 in Ulster GAA Handball Championships & 3-in-a-row for Conor McElduff
Tyrone GAA Handball dominated the 2017 Ulster GAA Handball WALLBALL Championships in Loughmacrory this weekend and following all the weekend action it was Cumann Liathróid Láimhe Breacach’s Conor McElduff, who returned from a 10 month spell on the sidelines to produce a series of almost flawless displays to power his way to top honours at the event, the Ulster Mens open title.
McElduff was a 15-6, 15-5 win over county colleague, Darragh Daly, in the blue ribband final after Daly had scored an eye-catching win over Armagh’s former champion and 2017 All Ireland 40×20 Senior Champion, Charles Shanks, in the semi final by 16-12. McElduff also produced impressive form to defeat Sean Kerr and Johnny Woods on route to the final.
Of the 14 titles on offer, Tyrone GAA Handball collected 8 title wins in all with 4 Ulster triumphs for Down and 2 going to Armagh.
There will now be 6 Tyrone players in total challenging for GAA Handball All Ireland Wallball Championship titles on 14th July in Mount Talbot Handball Club, Roscommon. Dara Curran (U17 Boys), Cahir Munroe (U15 Boys), Mairéad Fox (Girls U15) and Caitlin Conway (Girls U17) will contest the All Ireland Juvenile Championship grades following provincial title wins while Niall Kerr will bid to retain his Masters title following his Ulster victory again. The Tyrone winners this weekend were completed by Clare Conway in the Ladies Challenger grade and Dearbhail Fox in the Girls U13 singles event.
Both Dara Curran and Cahir Munroe were winning their second Ulster Wallball (One-Wall) championship singles titles. Curran was achieving successive title wins in the Championships, having defeated Lorcan McBride to win the Ulster Under 15 Singles Championship title twelve months ago (2016) while Cahir Munroe won the U13 singles title two years ago (2015), beating Monaghan’s Eoghan McGinnity in the final.
Indeed it is the same scenario for Mairead Fox and Caitlin Conway with Conway having won the Girls U15 title last term (2016), denying Fox in the final of that event, and Mairead Fox having won the Ulster Under 13 Singles title two years ago, in 2015. All four newly crowned Ulster Juvenile champions will certainly travel to the All Ireland Wallball Championships in just under 3 weeks time with major chances.
From a club perspective the Loughmacrory Club were winning a third of the titles overall with five provincial title wins while Breacach came away with two title wins, including the most prestigious Open crown, and Carrickmore claimed one title. It was also a very productive weekend for the Saval Club in County Down as they won four titles in all through Barrie McCoy, Michelle McCoy, Collie Turley and Edmond McKevitt while the remaining two titles up for grabs went to Armagh through Megan McCann an Fiachra O Dhuill.
Ulster Wallball Championship Finals & Winners 2017
- U13 Girls Final: Dearbhla Fox (Tyrone) bt Niamh Curran (Tyrone) 25-11
- U13 Boys Final: Fiachra O Dhuill (Armagh) bt Gary McAleer (Tyrone) 17-13
- U15 Girls Final: Mairead Fox (Tyrone) bt Caiolisa ni Dhuill (Armagh) 22-12
- U15 Boys Final: Cahir Munroe (Tyrone) bt Antoin White (Down) 25-8
- U17 Girls Champion: Caitlin Conway (Tyrone)
- U17 Boys Final: Dara Curran (Tyrone) bt Daire Savage (Down) 27-13
- Men’s Challenger Final: Eddie Mc Kevitt (Down) bt Barry Mc Cullagh (Tyrone)
- Ladies Challenger Final: Clare Conway (Tyrone) bt Eilish Owens (Tyrone)
- Ladies C Champion: Michelle Mc Coy (Down)
- Mens C Final: Collie Turley (Down) bt Seamie Mc Crory (Tyrone) 22-14
- Ladies B Final: Megan Mc Cann (Armagh) by Michelle Warren (Tyrone) 31-4
- Men’s B Final: Barrie Mc Coy (Down) bt Richie Mc Nally (Down) 23-18
- Masters Final: Niall Kerr (Tyrone) bt Paul Graham (Antrim) 24-11
- Men’s Open Final: Conor Mc Elduff (Tyrone) bt Darragh Daly (Tyrone) 15-5, 15-6
Next up for Tyrone Handballers will be the 2017 GAA Handball Wallball Nationals…
It is certainly a big week in the Wallball calendar with the premier event coming now in the weekend ahead, in the GAA Handball Wallball Nationals. All the players mentioned already who were successful in the Ulster championships will travel to Breaffy Sports Arena in Castlebar with major opes of national glory while a host of others will also make the trip in a positive frame of mind.
Conor McElduff will be bidding to regain his Nationals Open crown when he takes to the courts again in Castlebar this weekend. He will be hoping to add to his 2014 and 2015 title wins, having been denied a 3-in-a-row in a thrilling Open decider in 2016 by Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins. Certainly it looks to be the best Mens Open field assembled since 2011 when the likes of Wally Amaro, Herman Mendez, Willie Polanco, Pee Wee Castro and players from England, Netherlands and Italy travelled to take on Irish stars such as Charly Shanks, Robbie McCarthy, James Doyle and Dessie Keegan. It may be an all-Irish Open in 2017 but the quality in the national stage in one wall handball has increased considerably with McElduff, Mulkerrins, McCarthy and Shanks at the top of the tree and a host of players such as Paudie Quish, Diarmaid Nash and Tyrone’s Darragh Daly al challenging.
Tyrone have a host of players travelling and many have very real chances – we will look at this in a preview later this week…
Massive interest aroused ahead of 4th Annual Loughmacrory Wallball Showdown
The climax to the Wallball Tournament season will come with the Loughmacrory Wallball Showdown on the weekend of 28th to 30th July. The Tyrone club have now launched full entry an tournament information for what promises to be a spectacular social and action climax to a wonderful Wallball Season.
Puerto Rico’s former World Champion, Wally Amaro, made a 4,000 mile round trip to Loughmacrory last August and beat the very best GAA handball stars in Ireland as he collected a second Lough Showdown Mens Open Crown, having secured the inaugural title at the event back in 2014.
The return to action of two times Irish National Champion and 2015 Lough Showdown Champion, Conor McElduff, impressive 2016 Mens Open Nationals champion,Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins, US Nationals Champion, Killian Carroll, 3 times Mens Open Nationals Champion, Armagh’s Charly Shanks plus Holland’s Kees Van der Schoot are just some of the players who have challenged for the prestigious Lough Wallball Showdown crown in addition to a host of the very best handballers in Ireland.
The 4th Annual Lough One Wall Showdown will take place at the new Outdoor fully covered One Wall Handball Complex (and surrounding courts) from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th JULY 2017.
And lets not forget the brilliant line-up in the Ladies Open Showdown too – 2017 Ladies Open Champion, Lorraine Havern, will bid for the Open crown while previous two-in-a-row champion, Cork’s Catriona Casey, Holland’s Miranda Scheffer, and last year’s Open Champion, Armagh’s Megan McCann, are some of the ladies stars who have challenged for the top ladies honours. A host of other ladies handball stars are also making the journey including the return to action of 3 times World and 12 times All Ireland Senior champion, Antrim’s Fiona Shannon in addition to brilliant all-codes handball star, Limerick’s Martina McMahon.
Who can enter this Event…
Of course the massive appeal of this event is that there is something for everyone. While the very best players in Ireland and the World will be in action there are grades to cater for all ages (Under 10 up to 60+), Male and Female and of course for all abilities with Challenger and drop-down grades. It will be especially appealing to the many young players starting out and enjoying the One Wall Schools Handball Initiative but who would now like to experience Tournament Handball.
On Saturday night 29th July at the Tournament, there will be a Presentation Evening, Loughmacrory GAA Clubrooms as part of this highly entertaining weekend and that should also be a great occasion – and will follow on from the Mens & Ladies Open Finals – which will take place on the Saturday evening for the first time – having seen how successful this endeavour proved for the GAA Handball Nationals.
Entry Deadline is MONDAY 10th JULY 2017. This deadline will be adhered to in order to guarantee all players Tournament Tee-Shirts for the event. One-off Registration Evening for Local Players on Tuesday 11th July, 7pm at Loughmacrory One Wall Arena. Entry Fee entitles players (All Singles Grades Only) to: Entry to specified event, Refreshments for all Players on each day & Tournament Tee Shirt & Tournament Programme.
Entry & Tournament Info at www.loughmacrory.com