Mulkerrins and Ní Churraoin lead Galway's gold medal haul

National handball champions Ciana Ní Churraoin and Martin Mulkerrins.

National handball champions Ciana Ní Churraoin and Martin Mulkerrins.

Martin Mulkerrins and Ciana Ní Churraoin claimed top titles at the Wallball Nationals in what proved to be a successful weekend for Galway handball.

The biggest wallball tournament in Ireland, with 392 players competing across the three-day event, it proved Galway is among the top handballing counties in Ireland.

Mulkerrins entered the tournament after losing the final of the US Nationals Open Singles title last weekend. After victories in his quarter and semi-finals, he faced Tyrone's Sean Kerr who had beaten him in the Mount Talbot tournament, and who reached the final, having defeated Galway’s Conor Noone and Jamie Kelly to reach the final.

The first game of the final saw both players display their skills with Mulkerrins eventually edging it 15-11. The Moycullen man then pressed home his advantage to win the second game with some excellent serves, helping him claim the title.

Ní Churraoin endured a difficult route to the final after she won her opening match by a point before facing Kilkenny player Ciara Mahon. The pair were level at 19-19 before the Galway player won the tiebreaker five points to one. She faced Megan McCann in the final after the Armagh woman upset the top seed Martina McMahon in the semi-finals. Ni Churraoin and McCann were level at 11-11 in the opening game before the Micheál Breathnachs' woman played some excellent handball to win 15-12. She took control of the second game, winning 15-7 to claim her first Wallball Nationals title.

There was more success for Galway in the U19 division with Peter Donohue claimed the title. After winning his quarter-final in a tie break, he produced dominant displays in the next two games to round off a successful tournament for him. Ava Sweeney became the first Annaghdown player to win a junior national title when she won the U13 competition. Graham Casburn claimed the masters title, defeating Tyrone’s Chris Curran 19-15 in the final. Gearoid O Fatharta won the ruby masters title as he won his final by one point, while Aine Ni Dhrongheann beat Mayo’s Marie Maloney 28-13 in the women's challenger final.


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