The hugely successful Irish one-wall Nationals championships which concluded at the Breaffy House Resort on Sunday evening, yielded two hard-earned titles and one near miss for Mayo’s handballers. Following his final defeat last year, Aughagower’s Shane Heraty was the top seed in the 40 strong field for the Men’s C singles event. True to form Heraty won his opening match on Friday and added two more Saturday victories to reach Sunday morning semi-finals. Success in the encounter set up an afternoon showdown with Kilkenny’s Ciaran Neary. In a thrilling decider played in a single timed match Heraty kept his head and playing some brilliant handball he landed the title on a narrow 19 aces to 15 scoreline. Mayo were guaranteed the girls’ under 18 singles title after both Amy Corrigan and Leona Ryder reached the final. Corrigan defeated fellow Mayo ace Ciara McMenamon in her semi-final, while Leona Ryder pulled off one of the shocks of the weekend when she defeated the fancied Catriona Casey of Cork and Aoife McCarthy from Westmeath in the tough bottom section of the draw. It was also an excellent and sporting final with the Newport youngster prevailing over her four-wall doubles partner on an 18 aces to 16 scoreline.
Mayo had hopes of a third title of the day when Swinford’s Pauline Gallagher made all to reach the Ladies’ open decider. She got the better of Leona Doolin in the quarter-final and put up the top seed Deirdre Donohoe in the semi-final, and faced former underage champion Lorraine Havern of Down in the decider. Gallagher made a great start and secured the opening game impressively 15 aces to six. However Havern battled bravely to take the second game on the same scoreline to send the match to an tie-break third game. Havern did just enough to edge out Gallagher on an 11 aces to seven scoreline to secure her first Ladies’ Open crown.
The remaining country 60x30 finals will be completed this week ahead of the semi-finals against Roscommon, while it is understood that the keenly awaited All-Ireland senior club semi-final between Ballaghaderreen and Kells of Meath will take place on Monday July 12, with the final against Broadford of Limerick taking place on Saturday week.