Mayo ladies bid for senior glory

Amy Corrigan and Pauline Gallagher carry the hopes of Mayo handball as they line out in their first senior final at Thurles this Saturday against favourites Maria Daly and Ashley Prendiville of Kerry. The Ballaghaderreen-Swinford duo played the match of their lives in the semi-final to comprehensively defeat second seeds, Marianna and Hilary Rushe of Roscommon, in the semi-final three weeks ago to merit a shot at the title, and while the Kerry pair, who also meet each other in the singles final later this month, represent formidable opposition, Corrigan and Gallagher should provide worthy opposition. It is a particularly busy spell for Corrigan who lines out again Cathriona Casey in the ladies’ minor singles final a week on Saturday.

The action gets under way at the Co Tipperary venue at 1pm tomorrow with an excellent four match programme which includes the ladies’ intermediate singles final followed by the ladies’ final, and then both senior men’s doubles final from 3.30pm.

Mayo’s Ollie Cassidy bids to reach a second successive intermediate singles final when he takes on Kilkenny’s Timmy Clifford at Talbots Inch in Kilkenny also tomorrow. Cassidy will be looking for revenge after his defeat in the intermediate doubles semi-final two weeks ago with partner Paul Flynn. It will not be easy for the Swinford ace whose quest for senior status has come unstuck on a number of previous occasions.

Mayo’s Martin Maughan, another Swinford based youngster, lines out as the county’s sole representative in the All-Ireland juvenile boys’ u17 singles final on Sunday at Na Fianna in Dublin. Maughan had an impressive two games to one victory over Dubliner Naoise Green in the semi-final and faces the highly rated Jamie Lynch of Clare in Sunday’s decider at the Dublin city venue. The talented left-hander will need to find the kind of form that got him to the decider if he is to take the honours against the useful Lynch, and Sunday’s final represents a great chance of All-Ireland glory.

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