Elite field to compete for One Wall honours

More than 400 players are fine-tuning their preparations for this weekend’s GAA Handball One-Wall Nationals at Breaffy House, Castlebar. Three time champion Charlie Shanks returns as top seed in the EDTL Handball Men’s Open having missed the last few tournaments due to his hiatus in New York, while Robbie McCarthy returns after missing last year’s event. McCarthy will replace four time World 40x20 Champion Paul Brady in the men’s open draw after the Cavan man had to withdraw through injury. But McCarthy is a classy replacement and is on the verge of making history. A three time champion himself, Mullingar’s McCarthy will bid to be the first man to hold the All-Ireland Senior 40x20 Title, All-Ireland Senior 60x30 Title, and Irish Men’s Open One-Wall Nationals Title all at the same time, which would be a truly remarkable achievement.

World 40x20 champion Aisling Reilly will be making her tournament debut in the MacSports Ladies’ Open, which is very competitive, with two three time champions in the mix. Reigning champion Lorraine Havern has won three of the last four titles, while Roscommon’s Marianna Rushe also returns having previously won in 06, 08, and 09.

A great weekend’s action is in store at the Mayo venue with action over a further 20 grades from 11 and under to over 65s. Some 400 competitors and up to 2,000 spectators are expected to attend the festival of handball in the impressive Breaffy Sports Arena. Admission is free all weekend and the action kicks off today at 12 noon.

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