Local Handball Notes (week ending 1st December 2019)

Cumann na mBunscol A Teams, Clare, Tipperary, Cork.

Clare Teams Win Munster Cumann na mBunscol Titles

The Munster Cumann na mBunscol championships were held in Clare last Sunday December 1st. The A team championship was hosted in Clooney, with teams competing from Clare, Cork and Tipperary.

Clare were represented by Paul Rodgers, Jack Madden, Claire Minogue, Matthew Coughlan, Jerry O’Connor, Donncha Mahon, Martin Bon and Liam Murphy. Clare received a favourable draw and awaited the winners of the Cork v Tipperary semi-final. In the final Clare went head to head with Tipperary.


From the off, it was Clare who hit the ground running and Tipperary had no answer to the quality handball that Clare were producing, with all Clare pairs winning their respective ties. Clare went on to take the title on an overall score line of 90-41.

At the same time, the B Team Championship was hosted in Tulla, with teams from Clare, Waterford, Cork and Tipperary. Clare were represented by Seán Considine, Mark McGrath, Cathal Leamy, Cathal Noonan, Liam O’Meara, Matthew Crotty, Ryan Hayes and Conor O’Brien. In the semi final Clare faced Waterford.

Clare were very impressive throughout and qualified for the final on a score of 90-60. In the final Clare were up against a strong Cork side. Just like what happened in the A Championship, the Clare side looked composed throughout and Cork just couldn’t find an answer for the outstanding shots being played by the banner side.

Clare would go on to win the final on a comprehensive score line of 90-49.


GAA Handball Allstar Awards for Newmarket on Fergus and Kikishen

All roads led to the Croke Park Hotel on Saturday night Novemeber 30th, where the GAA Handball Allstars Awards for 2019 were taking place. This year saw a number of Clare players and volunteers nominated in a majority of the categories.

This is a reflection of all the hard work being carried out currently in county Clare, in developing and promoting the sport of handball.

There was great excitement and celebration with the announcement of Paul Carr Whelan, from the Newmarket on Fergus Handball Club, as GAA Handball’s Administrator of the Year.

Paula has worked diligently since getting involved with handball in the Newmarket Handball Club as PRO in 2009, then moving to the post of Clare Handball PRO and now in her current role as Clare Handball Secretary. Paula also won an Allstar in 2018 to mark her contribution to the promotion of handball through the media.

Kilkishen’s Pat Donnellan also tasted success when he was awarded an Allstar as GAA Handball’s Clubperson of the year. There will be great joy across the county as Pat has given his all for Clare Handball over a long number of years.

Pat has coached countless young players ranging from U10s all the way up to senior level, including current All Ireland Champions such as Colin Crehan and Chloe Philpott.

Pat has also over scene the development of the Kilkishen Club, which last month received an Award from GAA Handball for having the highest membership of any handball club on the island of Ireland.

There was no luck on the night however for our other Clare nominees: Diarmuid Nash in the Male Player of the Year, Mark Rodgers in the Young Male Player of the Year, Chloe Philpott in the Young Female Player of the Year and Kilkishen Handball Club itself in the Club of the Year categories.


Tournament wins for Clare Players

This weekend saw Clare players travelling to various venues to take part in two important tournaments for players ranging from Junior B up to Intermediate grades.

A large number of players travelled to Galway to take part in the Annual Salthill Tournament. Players such as Niall Bolton, Ciarán Malone, Fergal Coughlan Jnr, Fergal Coughlan Snr, Seán Coughlan, Shane Hayes, Kevin O’Callaghan, Darren O’Neill and John Cawley.

In the marquee event, the Men’s A Singles, Clare players were in great form with Clooney Quin’s Fergal Coughlan Jnr and Tuamgraney’s Ciarán Malone reaching the final. This was an intriguing tie for a number of reasons, but not least that they were double partners earlier this year in a run that took them all the way to the All-Ireland Junior Doubles Final.

Salthill Men's A Champion: Fergal Coughlan Jnr receives trophy from Pierce Lawlor, Salthill Handball Club.
Salthill Men’s A Champion: Fergal Coughlan Jnr receives trophy from Pierce Lawlor, Salthill Handball Club.

It was the Clooney man who won bragging rights, winning out on a score line of 15-7, 15-4.

In the Men’s C Singles there was also a strong Clare entry and in the final Clooney Quin’s Shane Hayes took on Kilkishen’s Kevin O’Callaghan. This went all the way to a tiebreaker with the Kilkishen man coming out on top on a score line of 15-13, 11-15, 11-0.

Salthill Men's C Champion:  Kevin O'Callaghan receives trophy from Pierce Lawlor, Salthill Handball Club.
Salthill Men’s C Champion: Kevin O’Callaghan receives trophy from Pierce Lawlor, Salthill Handball Club.

In the Men’s C Plate, Clooney’s Darren O’Neill was extremely to lose out to Kildare’s Stephen Smullen 15-6, 10-15, 11-9. There was also more heartache for Clooney Quin when Fergal Coughlan Snr and John Cawley lost out in the final of the Masters Doubles grade.

However, there was better news for Clooney Quin in Tipperary where Pat Nolan won the Michael Purcell Memorial Doubles Tournament, playing alongside John Ferncombe of Cashel Handball Club.

After five very competitive rounds, Nolan and Ferncombe captured the title for 2019 when they defeated Keith Heelan (Limerick) and Paddy O’Donovan (Laois), in the final, on a score line of 24-17.


Juvenile County Championships Begin

This weekend sees the start of the Clare Handball Juvenile County Championships. This is the time of year that every young handball player looks forward to, as it see the All Ireland Championships start in earnest.

Clare Handball Juvenile Championship Fixtures

Date: Friday, December 6th, Venue: Tuamgraney, Time: 18:30

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Ellen Collins -v- Rachel Danaher

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Aoife Frost -v- Sarah Wiley

U15 Girls Quarter Final: Lola Moroney -v- Emer Rodgers

U13 Boys Prelim: Ryan Hayes -v- Darragh Baker

Venue: Tulla, Time: 20:00

U18 League Semi-Final: Patrick Crotty -v- Tiarnan Slattery

U18 League Semi-Final: Gearoid Sheedy -v- Darragh Keogh

U18 League Final: Winner S/F 1 -v- Winner S/F 2

Date: Saturday, December 7th, Venue: Newmarket, Time: 10:30

U14 Boys Quarter Final: Christian Cummins -v- Kalum Fahy

U15 Boys Quarter Final: John Lynch -v- Mici Sheedy

U17 Boys Quarter Final: Cian Fawl -v- Gearóid Sheedy

Venue: Toonagh, Time: 10:30

U12 Boys Quarter Final: Donnacha Mahon -v- Danny Ryan

U12 Boys Quarter Final: Liam O Meara -v- Mark McGrath

U12 Boys Quarter Final: Cathal Noonan -v- Liam Murphy

Venue: O’Callaghan’s Mills, Time: 12:30

U13 Boys Quarter Final: Donnacha Crotty -v- Matthew Coughlan

U13 Boys Quarter Final: Matthew Crotty -v- Jerry O’Connor

U13 Boys Quarter Final: Billy Moroney -v- Cathal Leamy

U15 Boys Quarter Final: Lorcan O’Connor -v- Tadhg Minogue

Date: Sunday, December 8th, Venue: Clooney, Time: 10:30

U16 Boys Quarter Final: Enda O Halloran -v- Rossa Keehan

U16 Boys Quarter Final: Eanna Culloo -v- Jamie Howard

U15 Boys Quarter Final: David Considine -v- Cathal McNamara

U15 Boys Quarter Final: Aaron Moroney -v- Liam Madden

U13 Boys Quarter Final: Jack Madden -v- Darragh Baker or Ryan Hayes

Venue: Tuamgraney, Time: 10:30

U12 Girls Rd Robin: Claire Minogue -v- Olivia Moroney

U13 Girls Rd Robin: Lily Kavanagh -v- Clíona Rodgers

U12 Girls Rd Robin: Olivia Moroney -v- Clare Shanahan

U13 Girls Rd Robin: Clíona Rodgers -v- Áine Rodgers

U12 Girls Rd Robin: Claire Minogue -v- Clare Shanahan

U13 Girls Rd Robin: Lily Kavanagh -v- Áine Rodgers

Venue: Tulla, Time: 18:00

U17 Boys Quarter Final: Darragh Keogh -v- Cathal McKenna

U17 Boys Quarter Final: Seadhna Liddy -v- Tomas Minogue

Date: Monday, December 9th, Venue: Kilkishen, Time: 20:00

U16 Boys Quarter Final: Fionn Ryan -v- Darragh Moroney

Venue: Tulla, Time: 20:00

U17 Boys Quarter Final: Arron Shanahan -v- David Kennedy


Adult County Championship Results

Action continued in the Clare Handball Adult County Championships last week, with action beginning on Thursday night November 28th in Tuamgraney where Kevin O’Callaghan defeated Shane Walsh 21-18, 21-8 in the Men’s Junior B Singles semi-final.

The second semi-final of the Men’s Junior B Singles was played in Tulla on Friday night November 29th where Glenn Murray defeated Seán Murphy 21-10, 21-6.

This weekend will be a festival of handball in county Clare with singles finals across all grades being played in various venues. In the Men’s Intermediate final we see a rematch of the Clare Open final with Fergal Coughlan Jnr and Niall Bolton going head to head once again.

Both of these players are outstanding handballers and are capable of producing a game for the ages in Tuamgraney on Saturday. The most competitive grade of them all is usually the Men’s Junior B and this year has been no exception, starting out with twelve players, now there are only two remaining Glenn Murray and Kevin O’Callaghan.

This will be a final that will spark great interest, as both players have made their way to the final with some extremely impressive performances. Both players are in excellent form also with Murray runner up in the Men’s B Singles in the Golden Gloves in Belfast, in mid-November, and O’Callaghan winning the Men’s C title in Salthill last weekend.

This is a final not to be missed.

In the Men’s Junior final there is the meeting of Ciarán Malone and Christy Philpott Jnr. Philpott has been one of the outstanding players in this year’s Clare Handball Division 1 and Malone has been the experience of reaching last year’s All-Ireland Junior Doubles final under his belt, so this could be a close one.

Clare Handball Adult Championship Fixtures

Date: Thursday, December 5th, Venue: Newmarket, Time: 20:00

Men’s Junior B Doubles SF1: Glenn Murray/Blake Sheedy -v- Shane Hayes/Darren O’Neill

Venue: Clooney, Time: 20:00

Men’s Junior B Doubles SF2: Ryan O’Neill/Patrick Clune -v- Seán Murphy/Kevin O’Callaghan

Date: Friday, December 6th, Venue: Newmarket, Time: 20:00

Men’s Masters B Singles Final: Aidan Moroney -v- Alan Cummins

Men’s Golden Masters B Singles Final: John Nihill -v- Mike Kenneally

Date: Saturday, December 7th, Venue: Tuamgraney, Time: 14:00

Men’s Junior B Singles Final: Kevin O’Callaghan -v- Glenn Murray

Men’s Intermediate Singles Final: Niall Bolton -v- Fergal Coughlan Jnr

Venue: Tulla, Time: 18:00

Men’s Junior Singles Final: Christy Philpott Jnr -v- Ciarán Malone

Date: Sunday, December 8th, Venue: Tulla, Time: 16:00

Men’s Minor Singles Final: Seán Coughlan -v- Tiarnan Slattery

Men’s U21 Singles Final: Conor Downes -v- Darragh Burke


Clare Handball League Division 1

Kilkishen B and Clooney Quin Pile Pressure on Newmarket

This week sees Round 10, the last round of the regular league rounds. Once Round 10 is complete the top two teams will go forward to play a straight final for this year’s Clare Handball Division 1 League Title. Currently Clooney Quin, Newmarket on Fergus and Kilkishen B sit on the top of the Clare Handball Division 1 League table.

Clooney have a bye week this week and with a win against Tuamgraney in Round 9, they secured their place in the final. As chance would have it Kilkishen B welcome Newmarket on Fergus to O’Callaghan’s Mills in Round 10, in a winner takes all battle, with the winner going forward to play in the final.

In Round 9 Kilkishen B (John Cooney, Barry McMahon, Kevin O’Callaghan, Seán Murphy) took bragging rights against Kilkishen A (Christy Philpott Jnr, Brendan Hannon, Aidan Moroney, Henry

McGrath) in Kilkishen on Tuesday night, November 26th. Kilkishen A put it up to their clubmates but in was Kilkishen B who won out on an overall score of 79-74.

Also in Round 9 Clooney Quin (Fergal Coughlan Jnr, John Cawley, Shane Hayes, Seán Coughlan) bounced back with an impressive win at home against Tuamgraney (Shane Walsh, Cathal McKenna, Conor Downes, Thomas Minogue) on an overall score of 84-33.

The match of Round 10 will be the winner takes all clash of Kilkishen B v Newmarket on Fergus

Tues Dec 3rd at 8pm – Clare Handball League – Division 1, Round 10

Venue: O’Callaghan’s Mills – Match: Kilkishen B v Newmarket on Fergus

Venue: Clooney – Match: Tuamgraney v Kilkishen A


Clare Handball League Division 2

Wins for Clooney A, Tuamgraney and Kilkishen in Round 11

There were a number of close games in Division 2 in Round 11. The narrowest margin of them all came in Clooney where Clooney Quin A (Brian Clune, Darren O’Neill, Pa Clune, John Nihill) took a hard earned victory against Clarecastle (Patrick Casey, Pakie Healy, Finbar Sheridan, Jamie Coughlan) on an overall score of 75-70.

In another extremely competitive tie Tuamgraney (Gearóid Sheedy, Cathal McKenna, Conor Downes, Thomas Minogue) got the better of Clooney B (Cian Keogh, Kevin O’Brien, David Sheehy, Darragh Keogh) in Tuamgraney on an overall score of 76-66

However in Kilkishen there was a more straight forward victory for the home side (Niall Crehan, Greg Shanahan, Mark Crehan, Jacob Loughnane) when they defeated Toonagh (Kevin Hassett, Shane Griffen, Alan Cummins, Noel Barry) on an overall score of 84-24.

Tie of Round 11 will be, Clarecastle v Tuamgraney.

Wed Dec 4th at 8pm – Clare Handball League – Division 2, Round 11

Venue: Clarecastle – Match: Clarecastle v Tuamgraney

Venue: Clooney – Match: Clooney B v Newmarket on Fergus

Venue: Toonagh – Match: Toonagh v Clooney A


Clare Handball League Division 3

Toonagh A do it again

In the same way as Division 1 is coming near it’s end, so too is Division 3. This week sees the Round 10, the final round of the Clare Handball League Division 3. Unlike Division 1 though, when Round 10

is completed it will be the top four sides which will progress to the semi-final stages. There has been one stand out team this year in Divison 3 and that has been Toonagh A and up to Round 10 they remain undefeated. The other three slots however are very much up for grabs, with Clooney, Kilkishen, Newmarket on Fergus and Tuamgraney all in contention.

In Round 9 Toonagh A (Michael Callinan, Brian Reilly, Noel Barry, Philip Lucas) continued their seemingly unstoppable run, to end the season undefeated, when they travelled to Newmarket on Fergus (Barry O’Driscoll, Colin O’Halloran, Pat Callinan, Cian Fawl) on Monday night, November 25th. Toonagh A won out on an overall score line of 76-52.

In Toonagh the home side of Toonagh B (Declan Vaughan, Shane Lenihan, Shane Griffen, Eoghan Hynes) welcomed Kilkishen (Fionn Hickey, Keith Crehan, Ciaran Agnew, Adam Murray). Despite Toonagh putting up a good fight in front of their home crowd it was the visitors who took victory at the end on a score of 77-62.

In Clooney there was an impressive victory for the hosts (Kevin Keogh, David Sheehy, Conor Stack, Brian Clune) over Tuamgraney (Jason McCarthy, Emmett Ryan, Oisín Molloy, Keith Hogan) on a score line of 75-55.

Next week’s match of Round 9 is the Toonagh grudge match, Toonagh A v Toonagh B.

Mon Dec 2nd at 8pm – Clare Handball League – Division 3, Round 9

Venue: Toonagh – Match: Toonagh A v Toonagh B

Venue: Newmarket – Match: Newmarket on Fergus v Clooney Quin

Venue: Kilkishen – Match: Kilkishen v Tuamgraney


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