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Provincial title claimed by McCann

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Handball took centre stage in Roscommon town last weekend with St Coman’s handball club hosting the Connacht senior handball finals. It was an all Ballaghaderreen affair, with established star Joe McCann and up-and-coming Stephen Cooney playing for the spoils.

Cooney leads Mayo charge in semi-final showdown

Stephen Cooney heads the list of Mayo hopefuls into the second series of All-Ireland semi-finals at various venues this weekend. A former minor champion, his next logical step is to earn his senior spurs by capturing an intermediate title. Such titles are far from easily won and his showdown with the highly rated Diarmuid Nash from Clare this Sunday promises to be a top quality affair. Nash and partner Niall Malone reached the intermediate doubles final when they did just enough against Chris Doolin and Niall McGrath of Roscommon in a refixed semi-final match at Clooney on Saturday. The Cooney v Nash match is currently scheduled as the third of three games at Claremorris but may be moved to Ballaghaderreen the same afternoon.

Keegan reaches senior singles quarter-final

Mayo’s Dessie Keegan remains Connacht’s only senior softball singles quarter-finalist after the third round matches were decided over the weekend. Keegan had the expected victory over Limerick’s Seamus O’Carroll in two games at Roscommon on Sunday. Always quick out of the blocks, the Ballaghaderreen club man won the first game impressively 21 aces to 3 and added the second 21-13 to advance to a quarter-final meeting with Wexford’s Gavin Buggy this weekend. However it was a different story for Keegan’s club mates, Joe McCann and Vinnie Moran, as they lost out heavily to Barry Goff (Wexford) and Eoin Kennedy (Dublin) respectively at the weekend. Pauline Gallagher recorded a hard-earned win over Cork’s Aisling O’Keeffe in her senior singles match at Ballina on Saturday last. The Swinford star showed a lot of determination to win out on a 8-21, 21-6, 21-19 scoreline.

McCann and Keegan to meet in provincial decider

Mayo’s senior handballers saw competitive action for the first time this year as the provincial singles and doubles semi-final were played last week. Dessie Keegan defeated club mate Vincent Moran very comfortably to reach the provincial senior final while Joe McCann accounted for Galway’s Ollie Conway in the other semi-final despite the loss of the opening game on an overall 16-21 , 21-6, 21-1 scoreline.

Action across all grades at the weekend

It was a busy week on almost all handball fronts with action for seniors, juniors, masters, and students alike. Vincent Moran and Campbell Brennan have reached the provincial senior doubles final as they recorded a hard-earned two games to one victory over determined Roscommon pair Neil McDermott and Niall McGrath at Roscommon on Friday evening. The Ballaghaderreen club men won the first game 21 aces to 10 but lost the second 21-13. They had to battle all the way in the third before winning it by a singe ace 21-20 to set up an all-Mayo final. The second semi-final, postponed due to the US Collegiates, features Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann against Stephen Cooney and Ian McLoughlin.

Ballaghaderreen Survive scare in Roscommon

The main provincial action of the past week concerned the various club competitions, two of which were decided at the weekend. All-Ireland 40x20 senior club champions Ballaghaderreen faced off St Coman’s in the provincial decider at Coman’s on Friday night last in a contest that went right down to the wire. Dessie Keegan opened proceedings for the Mayo side against Coman’s Chris Doolin and the duo played out two thrilling games. Keegan took the opener 21 aces to 18 but Doolin fought back to win the second 21-17 to give the host a one-point advantage. Vincent Moran teamed up with Stephen Cooney for the doubles leg and against Coman’s Ricky O’Gara and Niall McGrath. The normally reliable Moran and Cooney were far from their best against two reasonable if unspectacular ball players and the Mayo pair suffered defeat in both games on an overall 21-17, 21-15 scoreline to leave Ballaghaderreen 11 aces adrift going into the last singles. It was now up to Ballaghaderreen’s Joe McCann to rescue the situation as he took on Coman’s Damian Martin.

 

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