Fiona Tully made history as she made it three 40×20 singles titles in a row writes Aengus Cunningham.
40×20 3rd Level Colleges
Fiona Tully (DCU) made history last weekend in Belfast, when she became the first ever player to win all four Ladies Open titles in the one academic year, adding the 40×20 Singles and Doubles titles to the 60×30 versions she had already won at the end of 2019.
Tully also joined a select few 40×20 Ladies Open singles title three years in a row winners.
After two relatively easy wins over Kelly Curran and Doireann Murphy, Fiona took on long-time rival Elise McRory from Tyrone in the semi-final.
Tully got off to her usual slow start losing the first 12-15, before hitting form to take the remaining games 15-5, 15-4.
This set up a final against Claregalway’s excellent Niamh Heffernan. Aware of the threat facing her, Fiona shot out of the blocks to take the first 15-1.
Her old concentration issues returned however, as she lost the second 10-15, before regaining her momentum to take the third 15-10.
Fiona once again teamed up with Meadhbh Ni Dhalaigh to defeat all-comers in the doubles and take the title for the third year running.
40×20 2nd Level Colleges
Rory Carthy (Roscommon CBS) showed continued progress as he reached the All-Ireland final of the 40×20 2nd Level Colleges Junior singles in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan last Saturday.
Though he was beaten there by Kilkenny’s classy Kyle Jordan (Grennan College) his performances in both semi-final and final have raised his profile considerably.
In his semi-final he faced St. Augustine’s Dungarvan’s strong Charlie Treen. After a nervous start by both players Rory eventually settled and from a score of 7-7 he finished the game off 15-7.
Despite a spirited effort from the Waterford lad in the second Rory led the whole way and finished it 15-9.
The final against Jordan was a repeat of the 60×30 final in the same grade and once again the older and more experienced Kilkenny player came out on top, but not after a spectacular start from Rory who went 9-0 up with some superb serving and killing.
A visibly rattled Jordan finally got into the groove and he hit back with some spectacular serving and two handed killing of his own to take the first 15-10.
The second was straight forward as Kyle kept the pressure on and eased to a 15-3 win.
40×20 Junior ‘C’ County Final
Last Monday night St. Coman’s court saw what will probably be the longest handball match played in Roscommon in 2020 as Fergal Timmons overcame Brian Mannion in a two hour marathon to win the 40×20 junior ‘C’ county final.
The match pitted the determination and fitness of Timmons versus the easy going skill of Mannion.
Brian took the first 21-18, with Fergal taking the second 21-14. The third went back and forth before a near exhausted Fergal won the endurance battle 21-17.