Irish Juvenile Team Trials
St. Coman's Rory Carthy is the toast of Roscommon handball after winning his way onto the Irish Juvenile Team that will play in San Francisco, USA over the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Carthy displayed incredible character and will-to-win over the weekend in the fabulous handball complex in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. Carthy will represent Ireland in the U17 grade, after
The achievement is made even more impressive as up until two days before the trials it looked like Carthy wouldn't take part, due to a nasty ankle injury picked up nearly three weeks earlier.
Carthy started his first match against Kilkenny's Noah Minogue very tentatively.
Minogue is a fine player, who recently beat Rory's younger brother Eoghan in the All-Ireland U16 60x30 final. Minogue raced into a 13-5 lead. However, Carthy slowly found his rhythm and started using his power to great effect eventually tying the scores at 14 each. From there on in, there was only one player in it, with Rory finishing the match off 21-14, 21-5.
This set up a semi-final later that day against Wexford's very impressive Joshua Roche. Carthy started this match more impressively than his first, but was matched nearly all the way by a very clinical opponent.
The desire to win is very strong in Rory and when the pressure came on at 17-17 it was Roche who made a few crucial mistakes that gave Rory the first 21-17. The second was well-contested, but Rory always held the upper hand and took it 21-12.
The final was played on Sunday and served up the unusual scenario of two left-handers facing each other.
Kilkenny's Conor Doyle was the opponent and had been beaten by Eoghan Carthy in the delayed 2020 U14 60x30 All-Ireland final. Doyle is the reigning 40x20 U16 All-Ireland champion and has filled out and improved considerably since then.
Carthy was carrying a bone bruise on his dominant hand picked up in the semi and ironically looked at sea in the first game trying to play against a citeog. Doyle dominated from the start and easily won the first 21-6.
Realising what was on the line, Carthy came out much stronger in the second, seeming to find some consistent form.
His normally lethal backwall which had been hit and miss up to then steadied up considerably and his deceptive ability to pick balls seemingly out of reach and re-kill them saw him win the second decisively 21-13.
The tie-breaker to 11 started very well with Rory taking a 5-0 lead and although Doyle battled determinedly the whole way those five points were the difference in the end, Rory finishing off the very entertaining match 11-6.
The US trip is a fitting reward for a very dedicated player who endured the disappointment of seeing all the handball championships being cancelled in 2021 when he would have been a very strong contender for both the 40x20 and 60x30 U16 All-Irelands.
On the trip Carthy will be joined by his long-term coach Aengus Cunningham who was recently appointed as coach for the Irish team.
All in Roscommon handball wish them both the best of luck.
Roscommon had three other competitors in the trials; Carragh Kennedy and Siobhan Treacy were both beaten by Kilkenny's excellent Amy Brennan in the U19 grade. Alanna Goggeran was beaten by Amy's younger sister Katie in the U17 grade.
All three girls had limited preparation for various reasons and played reasonably well in the circumstances.