Roscommon handball round-up, weekending March 10 by Aengus Cunningham
40×20 Ladies Open
St.Coman’s Fiona Tully had a quick return to action after her recent trip to the World Collegiates in America when she took on Kilkenny’s Ciara Mahon in the 40×20 Ladies Open quarter-final in Crinkle, Co. Offaly last Saturday.
Proving that some habits die hard, Fiona had a very slow start and really struggled to get into the game going 11-2 down.
However, having played through so many slow starts Fiona knows how to deal with them and rather than get rattled she clawed her way back into the match and eventually took the first by the skin of her teeth 21-20.
Fiona kept up the pressure and never let her super-fit opponent into the second, hitting some beautiful corner kills and winning 21-8.
Next up is the semi-final in Kingscourt this Saturday where Fiona faces multi-titled Catriona Casey from Cork and she will enter this match as a big underdog.
40×20 Masters ‘B’
Lisacul’s Sean Jennings put in a superb performance when winning his 40×20 Masters ‘B’ All-Ireland semi-final in St. Coman’s last Saturday.
Facing a useful opponent in Belfast’s Myles McCann, Sean had a few problems early on with McCann’s topspin serving, but once he settled he played a near perfect game moving the Northerner around the court and corner killing with both hands.
Although McCann tried hard and threw himself with abandon around the court, Jennings was always controlling the game from the centre of the court and ran out a comfortable 21-8, 21-11 victor.
On this form Sean stands a good chance in the final irrespective of who he faces.
40×20 Over 35 ‘B’
There was a very unfortunate ending to Glenn Walshe’s 40×20 Over 35 ‘B’ All-Ireland semi-final on the same bill when his opponent Con Collins from Belfast had to retire with a suspected broken finger.
The game was a marathon lasting over two hours ten minutes. Glenn had won the first 21-20 having recovered from a 12-2 defecit. Superfit Collins then took the second 21-9.
Even though Glenn always looked in control of the third it was very tight and with the St. Coman’s man leading 20-16 there was a badly timed collision which resulted in Collins having to be taken to hospital. At the time of going to press there is still some uncertainty over the result.
Roscommon had a mixed bag of results in the 40×20 Juvenile All-Ireland semi-finals held in St. Coman’s last Sunday.
Best performer on the day was Carragh Kennedy who had a very convincing win in her U15 match with Tyrone’s Brona Farley.
Carragh used her terrific sidearm power to great effect and the Tyrone girl simply had no answer. Keeping her cool throughout Carragh ran out an easy winner 15-2, 15-1.
Liam Egan took part in the match of the day when he was very narrowly defeated by Monaghan’s athletic Deveidas Kaklauskas.
These two players were once outstanding 11 year olds who both took extended breaks from handball for differing reasons but they showed why they were once so highly regarded with a wonderful match that ebbed and flowed throughout.
The Monaghan youngster pipped Liam 21-18, 21-20 in a high quality match that could have gone either way.
Shauna Clogher played quite well in her U15 matchup with Armagh’s Caliosa Ni Dhuill before going down 21-10, 21-10.
Shauna showed glimpses of her ability at times, but was a little too inconsisten against a very fit opponent.
Rory Carthy was surprisingly well beaten by Tyrone’s Gary McAleer in the U14 grade. While McAleer is a fine player, it must be said Rory never reached the heights he is capable of and looked completely out of sorts for the match. The Red Hand youngster won 15-3, 15-3.