Mayo handballers fared very well in their opening Connacht 40 x 20 semi-final ties with Sligo opposition over the weekend. George Miller defeated Sligo's Martin Cooney in a thrilling three-game encounter at Castleconnor on a 12-21, 21-7, 21-16 scoreline in the silver masters B singles, while Paschal Tuohy of Mayo had a 21-13, 21-13 win over Michael Browne in the junior C singles at the same venue. Killala's Martin Cronin is also through to the diamond masters A final as he beat Seamus Duffy in two games at St Mary's on Saturday. The only Mayo loss of the weekend was in the ruby masters as John Kenny came out second best against Sligo veteran Paddy Walsh in two games. Mayo host Sligo next weekend in seven doubles semi-finals.
Kingscourt hosted the all-Ireland 40 x 20 colleges semi-finals and finals yesterday but Mayo's only male contenders, T J Byrne and Shane Walsh, were out of luck as they were beaten by Kells CS duo, Robert Fox and Evan Sheridan, in the semi-final on a 21-17, 21-14 scoreline. The ladies’ doubles semi-final, which features Mayo contenders Clodagh and Ciara McMenamon, were postponed until a later date. Leona Ryder plays Mary Phelan from Castlecomer CS in her senior singles semi-final in Mullingar on Sunday at 2pm.
Mayo host Sligo in the second series of provincial semi-finals at three venues this Sunday. Fergal Harte and Lee Finley get proceedings get under way at Kiltimagh from 3pm as they take on Sligo’s Michael Bruen and Gerry Coleman in the junior C doubles. Gearoid Hughes and Niall Burke from Newport stand a good chance of progressing to their first junior B doubles provincial final at the expense of Castleconnor duo Michael Browne and Colm Slevin. Ballinrobe host three masters doubles ties in which Aidan Bell and Sean Cunnane, Frank Macken and John O’Malley, and Pat Hayes and Jim Sheridan will all be in action for Mayo. The other Sunday tie is at Claremorris in which Tim Hughes and Michael Corbett or John Kenny and Matt Coady take on Sligo’s Connell Cannon and Michael McMorrow.