Galway handballers crowned champions

Handball champs: All-Ireland boys’ u-15 winner Michael Lalor (centre) with  Cianna Ni Churraoin (left) and Roisin Ni Chonghaile - the girls’ u-14 doubles champions.

Handball champs: All-Ireland boys’ u-15 winner Michael Lalor (centre) with Cianna Ni Churraoin (left) and Roisin Ni Chonghaile - the girls’ u-14 doubles champions.

Galway handballers secured All Ireland titles at the juvenile championships at the weekend.

Galway’s Cianna Ni Churraoin and Roisin Ni Chonghaile had the honour of opening proceedings at Williamstown, taking on Carlow’s Katie Moran and Shannon Geoghegan in the girls’ u-14 doubles final.

The talented Galway duo, who lost last year’s final, were too strong for their Leinster opponents, who only chalked up a handful of aces in the two games. Ni Churraoin and Ni Chonghaile have now added the 60x30 double to the 40x20 title.

Moycullen’s Michael Lalor faced a stiff test in the u-15 decider against 60x30 expert Richard Martin from Wexford. Lalor, a fine 40x20 and one-wall handballer, coped admirably with the Williamstown court in a thrilling contest. Lalor took the first game 21 aces to 15 before Martin mounted a sustained challenge in the second game to lead by 18 aces to 13. However Lalor battled back to edge to within one ace of his opponent, and with some great serving, secured the win by a single ace, 21-20, to record a memorable victory.

Galway’s Sinead Ni hAinli faced top Kerry handballer Áine Casey. Ni hAinli gave as good as she got against the highly-rated Kerry youngster but after losing the first narrowly by 21 aces to 18, Casey secured the win when she took the second somewhat more easily.

Martin Mulkerrins made a brave bid for honours in the boys u-16 singles decider when he narrowly won the first game at the expense of challenger Dean Corrigan of Wexford on a 21-18 scoreline. The Galway challenge faded somewhat in the second game which Corrigan won 21 aces to 7. Mulkerrins still had his chances in the tie-breaker, but Corrigan secured the victory with an 11 aces to 3 win. Enda Connelley from the Glinsk club lost out to Padraig Quish from Limerick in the boy’s u-14 singles decider in two games.

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