Barry Goff and Colin Keeling collected the first ever Irish Nationals 60 x 30 doubles title this weekend as the Castlebridge /St Mary’s duo beat all the came in their paths on a fantastic weekend for Wexford handball that also saw Paul Lambert ( B doubles) and Jason Murphy (C plate ) secure Nationals titles.
The Open doubles was the top event of the weekend in Kingscourt County Cavan and the Wexford duo , followed on the recent Tommy O’Brien tournament success with some terrific wins .In the opening round the model county men beat Seamus O’Carroll ( Limerick ) and Carl Browne from Meath.
The semi final was a real test of the Wexford boys as they were up against the youthful duo of Robbie McCarthy (Westmeath) and Brian Carroll (Meath). However, the Wexford men were too strong for the combined county’s efforts and advanced to an eagerly awaited final against Tom Sheridan (Meath) and Michael ‘Duxie’ Walsh (Kilkenny).
The crowd of handball fans from all over the country were not disappointed with the final as it was a real classic. The final score line of 21-20,21-19 in favour of the Wexford duo was a game of high quality and fine killing shots, while the senior doubles has not begun yet, it’s now fair to say that Barry Goff and Colin Keeling are serious contenders for the All Ireland senior title this year.
Paul Lambert joined forces with David Hope from Offaly in the Men’s B doubles and they proved a very strong combination with too much in the tank for everyone they met. In the final they were pitted against Aonghus Cunningham and Chris Doolin from Roscommon, after beating Ciarán Neary and Peter Hughes in the semi final and Jerome Willoughby and James Gregan in the quarter final.
The final was a 21-17, 21-14 win for the Model /Faithful Counties duo after an impressive weekend display from Lambert and Hope.
Jason Murphy (Wexford) and Christy Philpott (Clare) had a fruitful weekend in the Men’s C competition. While not taking the top prize, they did collect the C Plate title after beating Limerick opposition in the final 31-16.
Leinster Handball championships
Darren O’Toole and David Redmond have advanced to the quarter finals of the junior doubles, but they were given a serious fright in their opening round fixture against Maurice Murray and PJ McGrath from Kildare as they lost the opening game 21-1 against the Lilly white men. It was a wakeup call they heeded though as they moved on to win the game on a 21-7, 21-4 score line.
An all Wexford quarter final in the Junior B singles saw David Kenny defeat his Castlebridge club mate Diarmuid Smyth on a 21-12, 21-10 score line to see him into a semi final on the back of several good wins now and he has a serious chance of taking the honours in the province at least.
Pechelli English put in a sterling performance in the Silver Masters A singles as he defeated Liam Law from Kilkenny on a 21-12, 21-14 score line. However, it was to be the end of the road for Tom Connors in Leinster for 2011 as he was beaten 21-2,21-2 by Christy Donnolly from Dublin in the Masters B singles.