Local Handball Notes (week ending 8th December 2019)

Christy Philpott receives Munster GAA Award from Munster GAA Tresurer, Pearse Murphy

Philpott Receives Munster GAA Award

On Saturday night last, December 7th, Kilkishen Handball Club’s Christy Philpott received an award from Muster GAA as the Handball Person of the Year for 2019 at their Gala Awards Dinner held in the Castletroy Park Hotel.

Munster GAA referenced Christy’s dedication and expertise when it comes to coaching handball at the highest level in Munster. Christy got involved in Handball when his son Christopher started playing the game as a Juvenile. Shortly after, he completed GAA Handball Coaching Courses to get involved in a Coaching capacity.


He has been a member of the successful Kilkishen Handball Club for 20 years.

One such role included Christy being Manager of the Boys Under 14/15 All-Ireland winning Clare team of 6. Christy has travelled internationally to Calgary, Portland and last year to Minneapolis as part of the Irish contingent including his very talented and successful daughter Chloe, competing in the World Handball Championships.

At Club level, Christy also managed a winning All-Ireland Kilkishen Féile na nGael girls’ team. He had further success as Manager of a boys and a girls Club team with All-Ireland Community Games Handball Titles.

In 2017, Christy was appointed as Coach and Manager of the Munster Ladies Interprovincial Team of 10 competing in both 40×20 and 60×30 Handball Championships. In 2018 the Munster Girls took the All-Ireland 60×30 Title and this year went on to do the Double, claiming both All-Ireland 40×20 and 60×30 Interprovincial Titles.


Bolton takes Clare Intermediate Title

This was the final that every handball fan in Clare has been waiting for since the Intermediate Championship draw was made earlier this year. This year’s final saw, Tulla Handball Club’s Niall Bolton face off against Fergal Coughlan Jnr from the Clooney Quin Handball Club.

This was the second time both these players had met in a major final in Clare this season, following on from a highly entertaining Clare Open final which was held on the October Bank Holiday weekend. It was Niall Bolton who got the better of Fergal Coughlan Jnr on that occasion in two straight games.

Intermediate Singles Finalists: Fergal Coughlan Jnr, Niall Bolton
Intermediate Singles Finalists: Fergal Coughlan Jnr, Niall Bolton

Fergal Coughlan Jnr was in good form however coming into the final having won the Salthill Singles Tournament only the previous weekend.

A large crowd gathered in Tuamgraney for the much anticipated Men’s Intermediate Singles county final on Saturday December 6th at 2pm. The first game was a somewhat cagey affair, with both players having periods of dominance, but with neither playing their best handball.

The pivotal moment in the first game came when Bolton, who was trailing 10-8 at this point, scored six unanswered points before finally losing his service at 14-10. Although neither player scored many consecutive points thereafter, the damage was done and Coughlan never recovered, with Bolton going on to win the first game 21-13.

In the second game Coughlan came out fighting as he knew he would have to do. At the same time nothing seemed to be going right for the Tulla man and Coughlan took complete control of the second game winning on a convincing score line of 21-5.

As the players took their well- deserved five minute break before the beginning of the tie breaker, there was much discussion amongst the spectators gathered in Tuamgraney. The general consensus was

that it was hard to read anything into the tiebreaker, based on the first two games. Both players at this point were capable of doing anything from the sublime to the ridiculous. Upon the resumption of play it was clear that the winner of the title, was going to have to earn it through grit and determination.

Both players picked outstanding shots, played long, energy sapping rallies and pulled off some amazing kill shots. The crowd was buzzing with both players going for broke. It was Bolton however who won the majority of the critical rallies, which seemed to make him even more determined to pick the next ball.

It was Niall Bolton who would go on to capture the Clare Handball Intermediate Singles Title for 2019 on a final score of 21-13, 5-21, 21-16.

The Clare Handball Men’s Junior B Singles final preceded the intermediate final in Tuamgraney on Saturday. This saw Newmarket on Fergus’ Glenn Murray take on Kilkishen’s Kevin O’Callaghan.

Junior B Finalists: Paula Carr Whelan, Clare Handball Secretary presents county medals to Glenn Murray (centre) and Kevin O'Callaghan (right).
Junior B Finalists: Paula Carr Whelan, Clare Handball Secretary presents county medals to Glenn Murray (centre) and Kevin O’Callaghan (right).

Glenn Murray was, on paper anyway, the favourite going into this final, having had some extremely impressive performances in the Clare Open and Golden Gloves Tournament recently. Kevin O’Callaghan was also in a rich vein of form also having won the Men’s C title at the Salthill Tournament the weekend previous.

It was the Newmarket man who was in top form throughout and despite O’Callaghan making some outstanding picks, the Kilkishen man found himself constantly on the defensive. Murray used his power and agility to keep O’Callaghan playing most of his shots from the back of the court. It was Glenn Murray who would go on to win in style on a score of 21-4, 21-7.


Clare Handball Juvenile County Championships

Action continues in the Clare Handball Juvenile Championships this weekend with games to be played in Kilkishen, Clooney, Toonagh and Tuamgraney.

Clare Handball Juvenile Championship Fixtures

Date: Friday, December 13th, Venue: Kilkishen, Time: 18:30

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Sarah Wiley -v- Rachel Danaher

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Ellen Collins -v- Aoife Frost

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Ellen Collins -v- Sarah Wiley

U14 Girls Rd Robin: Aoife Frost -v- Rachel Danaher

Date: Saturday, December 14th, Venue: Clooney, Time: 10:30

U12 Boys Semi Final: Liam Murphy -v- Danny Ryan

U14 Boys Semi Final: Finn Boyce -v- Mikey Bogenberger

U14 Boys Semi Final: Christian Cummins -v- Eden Buckley

U15 Girls Semi Final: Fina Close -v- Emer Rodgers

U16 Boys Semi Final: Jamie Howard -v- Darragh Moroney/Fionn Ryan

U16 Boys Semi Final: Tony Leyden -v- Rossa Keehan

Venue: Toonagh, Time: 10:00

U15 Boys Semi Final: David Considine -v- Mici Sheedy

U17 Boys Semi Final: Gearóid Sheedy -v- Arron Shanahan/David Kennedy

U12 Boys Semi Final: Paul Rodgers -v- Mark McGrath

U13 Boys Semi Final: Billy Moroney -v- Jerry O’Connor

U15 Boys Semi Final: Liam Madden -v- Lorcan O’Connor

U15 Girls Semi Final: Saoirse Keogh -v- Aine Lenihan

U17 Boys Semi Final: Darragh Keogh -v- Tomas Minogue

Date: Monday, December 16th, Venue: Tuamgraney, Time: 19:00

U13 Boys Semi Final: Jack Madden -v- Matthew Coughlan


Adult County Championship Results

It was a busy weekend as The Clare Handball Adult Singles Championships were concluded with county finals being played in various venues across Clare. Action started last Thursday night, December 5th, with the Men’s Junior B Doubles Semi-Finals. In Clooney, Kilkishen’s Seán Murphy/Kevin O’Callaghan defeated Patrick Clune/Ryan O’Neill 21-12, 12-21, 21-12.

At the same time in Newmarket, Clooney Quin’s Shane Hayes/Darren O’Neill defeated Glenn Murray/Blake Sheedy on a score of 9-21, 21-19, 21-16.

The singles finals began in earnest on Friday night December 6th in Newmarket. In the Men’s Masters B Singles final Kilkishen’s Aidan Moroney defeated Alan Cummins, Toonagh, on a score of 21-14, 21-14.

Later that night saw the final of the Men’s Golden Masters B Singles where two Clooney Quin players went head to head, with Mike Kenneally defeating John Nihill 21-19, 21-16. Play moved to Tuamgraney Saturday where Glenn Murray took the Men’s Junior B Singles title and Niall Bolton took the Men’s Intermediate Single title.

The two outstanding games of the weekend took place on Sunday, December 8th, in Tulla where the Men’s Minor Singles and Men’s U21 Singles ended up being two absolute marathons. In the Men’s Minor Singles Tuamgraney’s Tiarnan Slattery defeated Seán Coughlan, Clooney Quin on a score of 21-16, 17-21, 21-20.

This capped off an excellent weekend for Tiarnan after he also won the Clare Handball U18 League on Friday night. In the Men’s U21 Singles final, Tuamgraney’s Conor Downes defeated Darragh Burke, Newmarket on Fergus, on the very same score as the minors of 21-16, 17-21, 21-20.

Focus turns to the ladies championship this weekend with two mouth-watering ties in Clooney on Sunday December 15th. Chloe Philpott looks to continue her continued rise by capturing the Ladies

Minor title against Orla O’Brien. Also what could be the gem of the weekend is the clash of Caitríona Millane and Ella Donnellan in the Ladies Intermediate Singles final. Both of these players have had great success at underage level and last year saw Caitríona win the Ladies Junior Singles All Ireland title.


Clare Handball Adult Championship Fixtures

Date: Sunday, December 15th, Venue: Clooney, Time: 11:00

Men’s U21 Doubles Final: Mark Crehan/Darragh Burke -v- Conor Downes/Fionn Slattery

Ladies Minor Singles Final: Orla O’Brien -v- Chloe Philpott

Ladies Intermediate Final: Caitríona Millane -v- Ella Donnellan

Date: Wednesday, December 18th, Venue: Tulla, Time: 20:00

Men’s Intermediate Doubles Final: Niall Bolton/Cathal Hannon -v- Mark Rodgers/Tiarnan Agnew

Date: Thursday, December 19th, Venue: Newmarket, Time: 19:45

Men’s Junior B Doubles Final: Shane Hayes/Darren O’Neill -v- Seán Murphy/Kevin O’Callaghan


Clare Handball League Division 1

Kilkishen B and Clooney Quin in Division 1 Final

Last week saw the completion of the league phase of Division 1 with action in Round 10. There was a winner takes all battle in O’Callaghan’s Mills where Kilkishen B hosted Newmarket on Fergus. Both side were level on points going into this tie and knew that the winner would go on to join Clooney Quin in the final.

This was just the sort of game that the home side (Conor Cooney, Seán Murphy, Kevin O’Callaghan, Barry McMahon) relish and they had the bit between their teeth from the off.

Newmarket on Fergus (Glenn Murray, Blake Sheedy, Darragh Burke, Darren Cullinan) found it difficult to get any foothold in the game and it was the home side that would go on to take victory on a score of 75-44. This now sets up an intriguing final between the defending champions, Clooney Quin, and the team that has defeated them twice this year, Kilkishen B.

The Clare Handball Division 1 final for 2019 will take place on Tuesday December 10th in Tulla at 8pm.

Tuamgraney received a walkover from Kilkishen A in the second tie of Round 10.


Clare Handball League Division 2

Clarecastle Halt undefeated Tuamgraney

Newmarket on Fergus (Mike Hogan, Colin O’Halloran, Barry O’Driscoll, Darragh Burke) travelled to Clooney to face the home side, Clooney Quin B (Cian Keogh, Kevin O’Brien, David Sheehy, Kevin Keogh) in what would turn out to be one of the closest matches played in any division this year.

It was an enthralling tie from start to finish with a margin of only two points separating them after four games. Newmarket won on a score of 77-75.

Clarecastle (Patrick Casey, Pakie Healy, Darragh Healy, Jamie Coughlan) hosted Tuamgraney (Gearóid Sheedy, Fionn Slattery, Shane Walsh, Thomas Minogue) in Round 11. The Clarecastle side have been in impressive form yet again this year and they recorded another important win on a score line of 73-67 against a previously undefeated Tuamgraney side.

Clooney Quin A received a walkover from Toonagh.

Tie of Round 12 will be, Clooney A v Kilkishen

Wed Dec 11th at 8pm – Clare Handball League – Division 2, Round 12

Venue: Tuamgraney – Match: Tuamgraney v Toonagh

Venue: Clooney – Match: Clooney A v Kilkishen

Venue: Newmarket – Match: Newmarket on Fergus v Clarecastle


Clare Handball League Division 3

Toonagh A and Clooney Quin through to Semi-Finals

Kilkishen (Tim Custy, Keith Crehan, David Kennedy, Daniel Cotter) travelled to Tuamgraney on Monday December 2nd to take on the home side (Jason McCarthy, Emmett Ryan, Oisín Molloy, Keith Hogan). This was an epic contest with neither side ever being far ahead of the other.

It was Tuamgraney however who gained victory at the end on a narrow margin of 72-69.

Newmarket on Fergus (Barry O’Driscoll, Seadhna Liddy, Pat Callinan, Cian Fawl) hosted Clooney Quin (Cian Keogh, Rory Corbett, David Sheehy, Brian Clune). Clooney Quin have been in a great run of form over the past few weeks at that continued as they defeated the hosts on a score of 83-50.

Toonagh A v Toonagh B was postponed.

Next week’s sees the semi-finals take place, in venues to be announced. Please check out Clare Handball on Facebook and Twitter for further details.

Mon Dec 9th at 8pm – Clare Handball League – Division 3, Round 10

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

Venue: Tuamgraney – Match: Tuamgraney v Toonagh A

Venue: Clooney – Match: Clooney v Kilkishen


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Facebook – @ClareHandball

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