Galway handballers runners-up in US

Galway's Martin Mulkerrins and Ciana Ní Churraoin finished runners-up in their respective USHA National Four Wall finals recently.

Mulkerrins lost his final to five-times world champion Paul Brady - the Cavan man wining his 11th title, equalling Mexican great Naty Alvarado Sr’s haul.

The Moycullen handballer had reached the final after he beat reigning champion Killian Carroll in the semi-finals, producing one of his best displays this year to win 21-13 21-19. In the final Mulkerrins edged ahead early in the match, but Brady raised his game and produced some excellent shots on the run as he claimed the opening game 21-11. The Cavan man built on his momentum, opening up an 11-4 lead in the second game, and despite Mulkerrins’ best efforts Brady claimed the record equalling victory.

Ciana Ní Churraoin also finished runner up in the ladies' final after she was defeated in a tiebreaker by Cork’s Caitriona Casey.

The Galway player used her serve and right hand to control the centre of the court, winning the opening game 21-4. However Casey, who won the All-Ireland title earlier this year, refused to panic and she struck back to win the second game 21-8. The momentum was with Casey and she won the tiebreak 11-0 to claim the final trophy in the US four wall season.

Ní Churraoin did enjoy success later in the day when she teamed up with Roscommon’s Fiona Tully to win the senior doubles title, defeating Casey and American player Tracy Davis. Ní Churraoin and Tully won the final by one point in a thrilling contest.

The Connacht One Wall finals took place in Tourmakeady with Abbeyknockmoy seeing four players crowned champions. Jamie Kelly picked up the Men’s Open title when he beat Mayo’s Niall Joyce 15-2 15-6. Nathan Kelly claimed victory in the U15 tournament when he beat Bobby Reilly, withstanding a fightback from the Mayo man in the second game to win 15-5 15-8. Emma Kinane won the U13 title when she defeated her Mayo opponent 15-1 15-5. Mikey Kelly won the U15 Connacht championship where he beat Sligo’s Cormac Finn.

Jack McNeela lost a tiebreaker in the Men’s B final with Pat Murphy suffering the same fate in the men’s C tournament. Sadhbh Ni Fhlaithearta produced a dominant display to win the Girls U17 final, winning her final 15-0 15-2. Feidhlim Ó Diollúin claimed the boys U13 tournament, while Ava Sweeney won the girls' U13 final. Graham Casburn secured the Connacht Masters Championship with an emphatic 15-1 15-0 victory. John O'Malley and Ashling Mullen finished runners up in the golden masters and ladies' junior respectively.

In the All-Ireland interclub finals Moycullen finished as runners up in the junior age grade when they were defeated by Kildare club Ballymore Eustace. Williamstown reached their All-Ireland final after beating Cavan club Virginia in the semi-final, but they lost to Waterford’s Friary/Abbeyside in the final.

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