Dowling and Towey reach final

Handball

Mayo featured in a number of all-Ireland 40x20 semi-finals against Leinster opposition last weekend, and while there was the odd success, it was the Leinster champions who were the better for the exchanges.

Brendan Judge and Aidan Bell made a brave bid for a place in the All-Ireland silver masters’ B final but lost out 21-14, 21-15 to Declan Hart and Fintan Doyle of Wexford. Newport's Ciaran Burke was well beaten by Offaly's David Hope in his junior singles semi-final at Kilbeggan. Frank Macken and John O'Malley were narrowly beaten in a three-game thriller at Coolboy by local Wicklow pair Eamon Rice and Drew Keogh. They meet Antrim duo Kieran O’Hare and Tony Delvin in the final in three weeks’ time.

Ollie Cassidy's hopes of reaching the intermediate singles final came unstuck at Claremorris when he was well beaten by top Kilkenny handballer Brian Manogue in two games. Gus Heraty and Pat Hayes and Bofield duo Padraig Gillard and Joe Neary were also weekend casualties in masters’ doubles semi-finals.

One of the performances of the weekend was in the masters’ B doubles as Ballaghaderreen duo Joe Dowling and James Towey pulled off a great win against Meath duo Christy McGovern and Joe Lynch, in a thrilling contest at Roscommon on a 21-18, 19-21, 21-19 scoreline.

Amy Corrigan and Leona Ryder also have another chance of an All-Ireland minor doubles title as they easily overcame Clare Grace and Denise Doyle of Kilkenny in the semi-final in Claremorris. The duo who narrowly lost the minor doubles final last year were never troubled by the left-handed Kilkenny youngsters and now face Cork in the final in three weeks time.

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