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County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending March 9th 2014

Golden Masters 40x20 All-Ireland Semi-Final

Lisacul's Anthony O'Donnell's impressive Golden Masters campaign came to a painful halt in St. Coman's last Saturday, when, hampered by a shoulder injury, he was beaten by Cork's super-fit John Herlihy. From the off, Herlihy's excellent serving and fantastic mobility gave Anthony fits, but it was also obvious that Anthony was well below par, often mishitting the ball from positions where he would normally kill. Herlihy subsequently piled up the points and easily took the first 21-5. The second game looked like going the same way early on when the Corkonian raced into a 10-1 lead, but to O'Donnell's great credit he finally took the game to Herlihy and with a change of serve getting softer returns his killing ability returned. Remarkably, in just one service visit he tied the game at 11 each. The scores were tied again at 12, 13 and 14, but the sheer effort exerted in the comeback took too much out of Anthony and with Herlihy still as quick as ever, the Cork man finished much the stronger to take the second 21-14.

Ladies Junior B 40x20 All-Ireland Semi-Final

St. Coman's Linda Connolly lost her All-Ireland semi-final at St. Coman's last Saturday after a long, tough battle with Cork's Katie Fleming. In the first game Linda's citeog serving straight down the left side caused Katie a lot of problems and helped her into a 9-0 lead. It took the Cork girl a long time to settle and she made a lot of unforced errors in the first but it was noticable that when she began to settle she generated some serious power and had a very accurate and powerful backwall. Linda, however, had built up a big enough lead to win what looked a comfortable first game by 21-10. Although Linda started the second well again, Katie finally got into the match and began to deal with Linda's serve much more easily than earlier. She eliminated the errors and suddenly the match became a succession of long, stamina-testing rallies. Both girls showed very good mobility, but the power of the Cork girl and some excellent backwall killing helped her to a 21-16 second game. Although Linda took a 7-0 lead in the third Fleming soon reasserted the pattern of the second again. Though Linda's roofshots kept her in it Katie's power really was the difference in the end and she wore the brave Roscommon girl down to take the third 21-13.

Juvenile 40x20 Connacht Finals

St. Coman's Gareth Delaney and Dylan Hanley had a much tougher than expected win in their U14 doubles Connacht final against Galway's Shane Kyne and Robert Pervite. Playing in Carnmore, Co. Galway last Thursday, the Roscommon pair won the first game quite easily 15-6 and this seemed to lull them into a false sense of security, as at the start of the second their concentration was completely absent and they went behind 11-0. Unsurprisingly, the Galway pair took the second 15-3. With their confidence buoyed by their unexpected dominance the Moycullen duo took an early lead in the third and looked strong until the Roscommon pair switched sides which led to Hanley exerting his clever play more on proceedings. With the scores tied at 13-13 it was anybody's game, but the experience built up by the Roscommon lads stood to them and they ground out the final two points for a very hard-earned win.

In the U12 doubles Connacht final the very young St. Coman's pair of Finn Killion and Philip Halliday were really up against it when they took on the physically imposing Carnmore pair of Enda Collins and James Cummins who were playing in their home court. Despite giving away considerable size and strength advantages the Roscommon pair made the impressive Galway lads work for every ace. There were lots of very entertaining rallies where all four players impressed but unfortunately the Galway lads' greater strength usually made the difference. Although Roscommon lost 15-5, 15-9 some of their play left no doubt as to their potential in the long term, as they both only turned 10 at the end of last year.Lisacul's Cliona Roddy had a great victory over Mayo's Lauren Greaney in her U15 Connacht singles final held in Castlebar last Saturday. In the first game Cliona took a while to get into things but she always looked the stronger player and once she settled she pulled away to win 15-9. In full flow, the second was one-way traffic and the West Roscommon left-hander won easily 15-2. Next up for Cliona is the All-Ireland semi-final this weekend and with her athleticism and determination she has as good a chance as anyone left in the competition. This Connacht title is a reward for some renewed interest in juvenile coaching in Lisacul in the last few years and hopefully will inspire more success in the future.

Liam Burke RIP

Everybody associated with Roscommon handball wish to extend their deepest sympathies to the family of Liam Burke, who passed away after a long illness last weekend. Liam had long been a mainstay in both juvenile and adult handball in his native Newport, Co. Mayo and was the true definition of a gentleman. His easy-going nature and gentle wit will be sorely missed.

Handball president praises county's contribution
“Roscommon has played a huge role in the development of handball” and must do so again. Such were the sentiments expressed by the newly-installed President of GAA Handball, Willie Roche, when he spoke at this month's meeting of the Roscommon county handball executive on Monday night last.

The Clare man, who began his term as President of GAA Handball recently, pointed out that Roscommon had been one of the leaders in the development of the sport, particularly highlighting the role the county played in the promotion of Ladies handball in the 1980s and '90s. Thus, he said was not surprised when it was Roscommon who proposed the ultimately successful motion at this year's Handball Congress which will see the introduction of an All-Ireland championship in One Wall Handball from next year.

One Wall Handball is a young sport. This version of handball has grown exponentially over the last decade, with Roscommon holding its first county championship in the grade just last year. Up to that point, players' only competitive outlet was to participate in the various opens which take place around the province during the Summer months. From next year, following the passing of the motion at Congress, the county's champions will have the potential to win provincial and national honours.

Willie Roche, a native of Sixmilebridge, came to Roscommon to congratulate the executive on the creation of the new championship. In his opinion, One Wall Handball will be a key pillar on which the future of handball will rest. “I have a dream that one day there will be a One Wall court in every GAA club in the country, not just every handball club.” he said. GAA Handball is also a founding member of the international One Wall Handball assocation, the Wallball Federation, the ultimate aim of which would be the inclusion of the sport in the Summer Olympic Games. Such a result, should it come to pass, would be “the icing on the cake” for the future of one of our national sports, he added.

Another initiative he is keen to promote during his presidency is the training of interested primary and secondary teachers in the fundamentals of handball. Such a programme would lead to the introduction of the sport into the schools of Ireland and introduce the game to children who might never visit a handball club, due to there not being one in their locality.

Willie Roche finished by expressing his gratitude to the St. Coman's club, Roscommon Town, for their hosting of so many important inter-county games. This was due equally to the club's convenient geographical location and to the “excellence” of the club and its facilities, he stated.

Three other guest speakers took part in what was a very busy executive meeting. After welcoming the GAA Handball President to Roscommon, GAA County Board chairman Michael Fahey spoke on the importance of handball to gaelic games and our county. Its status as the only GAA sport with true international competition was highlighted, he said, by the fact that the walls of the Áras an Chontae boardroom just featured Roscommon's world handball champions! This was a compromise solution as, due to the sheer number of All-Ireland champions from the county, handball would have covered every wall on its own. Fahey also reminded the attendance of another unique benefit of handball – that players could play competitively, no matter what age they were.

David O'Connor, of Club Rossie, also addressed the meeting. He outlined how this new, unified approach to supporter fundraising will work. It should be a win-win for handball, he stated, as it will lead to increased exposure for the sport amongst the wider GAA in the county and will also hopefully put local gaelic games on a sound financial footing.

The final guest speaker was Michael Maguire, Handball Ard Comhairle member and former Roscommon county board chairperson.

County Handball chairperson Liam Ó Ceallaigh, brought the meeting to a close by thanking all the guest speakers for attending, especially Willie Roche, who had travelled so far. On behalf of the entire county executive, he wished the president every success for the duration of his term.

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending March 2nd 2014

Senior 40x20 Connacht Doubles Final

St. Coman's Damien Martin and Rikki O'Gara had probably the best win of their adult career when they defeated favourites Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann of Ballaghadereen in the Senior Connacht doubles final last Sunday. Played before a packed crowd in the Ballagh lads' homecourt, this was a match that contained tremendous fast-paced action from four very hard hitters. In the first game the Ballagh lads were that bit more clinical with Joe's backwall killing really catching the eye. The younger Roscommon pair made far too many unforced errors, similar to their big alley All-Ireland semi-final meeting last year and the older lads were smart enough to play a relatively safe game until the seemingly inevitable setup came their way. Despite a strong burst at the end from the Rossies Mayo won 21-12. After the break it was obvious the Roscommon lads were really upping the pace of the game and focusing much more on Dessie who wasn't playing up to his normal high standards. Damien's radar finally found the bottom brick and suddenly no ball in any part of the alley was safe from his two-handed killing. With Rikki's speed and reading of the front court complimenting Damien the underdogs won the second by the amazing scoreline of 21-4. Despite what had just happened nobody expected anything other than a really tough third game and early on the scores were very tight and the standard of play reached new heights. However, the longer the game went the more mistakes the older lads made and the more clinical the Ros pair became. In the end they pulled away for a very impressive 21-7 win. On this form, the Roscommon duo are a serious All-Ireland threat.

Juvenile 40x20 Connacht Finals

Three of the six juvenile Connacht Finals involving Roscommon players were played last Saturday in Castlebar with Roscommon emerging victorious in two.

The star of the show was St. Coman's Michael Egan who for the second week in a row overcame high quality opposition in the Boys' U15 singles grade. Micheal's opponent was the vastly improved Patrick Murphy from Claremorris who has been causing quite a stir in Connacht in the past few months with his excellent skillset. Aware that the Mayo lad prefers a low power game with the ball coming straight down the alley Michael's clever tactics of a mixture of slow and power round-the-walls serving caused Murphy problems from the beginning. Similar tactics during the rallies where the sidewall played a major part saw Michael race into an early lead of 5-0. Murphy showed some excellent power serving to bring it back to 4-5, but Michael's speed around the court and his clinical killing took him into a seemingly unassailable 14-4 lead. However, some poor concentration let Murphy right back to 14-12, before a stunning backwall kill from Egan regained serve and another even better backwall kill finished off the first. Knowing that Murphy was demoralised, Michael really put the pressure on at the beginning of the second and his all-round game was just too much for Murphy, who continued to try hard but just couldn't cope with the clinical nature of the Rosommon lad's handball. Egan won the second 15-9. This has been an excellent Connacht campaign for Michael and will hopefully stand to him in the All-Ireland series.

Fiona Tully once again highlighted her class in the Girls' U16 singles when she easily defeated last year's All-Ireland U14 doubles champion Maggie Byrne of Kiltimagh. Right from the off Fiona's effortless two-handed skill had the Mayo left-hander in big trouble and at one stage she led 14-0. Maggie, to her credit, never gave up but the gulf was just too large and Fiona ran out a very comfortable winner 21-3, 21-5.

In the Boys' U17 doubles Michael Fallon and Donal Egan never played to their potential when losing their match with Mayo. Things certainly seemed to be going fine in the early going, with Roscommon winning most of the rallies and Mayo struggling to make any impact, but the longer the game went on the more Alan McDermott on the left side for Mayo took control, with his solid left hand and excellent backwall killing doing most of the damage. Unfortunately the Roscommon lads had no answer and lost the first 21-14. Things didn't get any better in the second and Mayo won comfortably 21-9.

Ladies 40x20 Junior B Doubles Connacht Final

St Coman's Siobhan Tully and Laura Mannion were put to the test against tough Williamstown opposition in Ballaghadereen at the weekend, in the Ladies Junior B Doubles Connacht Final. Janet Connaughton and Karen Finnegan have represented the Galway Club for several years and play well together and were always going to be the Roscommon pairs toughest challenge in Connacht. Laura and Siobhan both served very well in the latter stages of the first game, to close it out 21-12. However, the Galway girls reversed the trend and served a number of aces in the second game, coupled with a dominant performance by Janet Connaughton on the left hand side. Galway took the second game on a tight margin, 21-18. Despite a slow start in the third game, Laura and Siobhan clicked into a strong service game, with Laura making aces on power serves and Siobhan forcing mistakes from a slow underhand lob. It's fair to say that the Roscommon girls missed less opportunities to finish rallies in the third game, which helped close out the match on a 21-12, (18-21), 21-11 score line. This gives a clean sweep for the St Coman's girls in the Connacht Junior B grade. Linda Connolly defeated Janet Connaughton in the Connacht singles final. Linda will face Cork's Katie Fleming in a double header at St Coman's on Saturday 8th March at 2pm. The second match sees Lisacul's Anthony O'Donnell take on John Hurlihy (Cork) in the Golden Masters A Singles All-Ireland semi final. Anthony had a great win over Sligo stalwart Francis McCann in the Connacht final. Anthony is a strong prospect for a singles All-Ireland title for Roscommon, in this years 40x20 championship.

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Feb 23th 2014

Connacht 40x20 Senior Doubles Semi-Final

St. Coman's Damien Martin and Rikki O'Gara had a much harder than expected Connacht Senior Semi-Final against Ballaghadereen's Campbell Brennan and Vinny Moran in St. Coman's last Wednesday night. The younger Roscommon lads were expected to advance fairly comfortably and while not playing particularly well early on, everything seemed to be going according to plan when they led 20-13 in the first game. However, Vinny Moran forgot to read the script and some truly sublime killing with his left hand in the front right-hand corner caught the Roscommon players napping and the Ballagh lads made an unlikely comeback to take the first 21-20. Realising they could not take anything for granted the Roscommon pair upped their performance level in the second and some tremendous hard-hitting, fast-moving rallies ensued. The fitter St. Coman's pair were more suited to the longer game and after a close start they pulled away to win the second 21-8. At this stage Damien in particular, was reaping the benefits of the extra game and by the middle of the third he was hitting the ball as sweetly as he has in some years, with some of his straight killing with his left-hand as good as you'll see anywhere. Despite Moran's still dangerous killing threat, from a long way out it was obvious there was only going to be one winner of the third and the Rossies obliged 21-11.

Results from w/e:
GMAD - Anthony O'Donnell/Martin Bruen (Ros) dft Tom Byrne/Michael Heraty (May) 21-16, 21-13
EMAD - Dermot Doolin/Ger Walsh (Ros) dft Pat Hopkins/Kevin Geraghty (May) 21-10, 21-14
LID - Clodagh & Ciara McMenamon (May) dft Bernadette & Fionnula Mee 2-0
MD - Niall Joyce/Sean Cunnane (May) dft James Duffy/Michael Carroll (21-8, 21-13)

Junior C Doubles
John Healy .& Brian Lyster won the J/C Connaught Final, beating Sligo 21-14, 21-12. The lads put in a serious effort this year so a very well done.

Connacht 40x20 Juvenile 'A' Semi-Finals

Roscommon (represented entirely by St. Coman's) had a very successful day in the Connacht Juvenile Semi-Finals versus Galway held in St. Coman's last Saturday. In recent years Galway have been the powerhouse in Connacht juvenile handball, but the tables were very much turned on this occasion with Roscommon winning four of the six matches played. Ironically enough, the two best Roscommon performances were probably from the two players who didn't win.

First up was Fiona Tully in the Girls U16 singles, who, as expected, had far too much class for her very brave opponent Aisling Ni Mhaoilain from Inis Mor. Despite the islander's best efforts Fiona won easily 21-0, 21-4.

Next up in the Boys U13 singles was rapidly-improving Mogomed Yahkyaev, who gave Nationals Onewall champion and hot favourite Evan O Diolluin (Inverinn) the fright of his life. Despite his inexperience, Mogomed showed remarkable composure to come from behind and win the first 15-14. O Diolluin took the second 15-7 and led 9-2 in the third, but yet again Mogomed showed his fighting spirit and showing great tactical awareness made a wonderful comeback which just fell short 15-13.

Michael Egan knew going into his U15 singles match with Inverinn's power-hitting Oisin O Cualain he had a very tough opponent on his hands and so it proved. Michael started fast and showing lovely controlled handball went into a 6-0 lead, but utilising his great power O Cualain stormed back and took the first 15-8. Michael then showed much improved concentration and composure and ruthlessly exploited the Galway lad's weak left hand, clinically killing overhit returns at every opportunity and taking the second 15-7. O Cualain pushed farther up the alley in the third but Michael countered this by hitting pinpoint wraparound shots to really demoralise his opponent and take a tough third 15-9.

In terms of gameplans the U16 competitors Cathal O' Connor and Desmond Conneely (Moycullen) couldn't have more contrasting styles. Reigning All-Ireland U15 champion and son of former top senior Eamon, Conneely has the typical modern low, power-hitting style, while Cathal uses the slower, higher, more patient 'Chapman' type game. The result was a wonderful contest, with some of the handball really out of the top-drawer. Despite having a nagging right shoulder injury, Cathal's roof game and brilliant backwall killing gave the Galway lad all he could handle, but credit must be given to the Galway youngster who pulled out a very tough 21-14, 21-18 victory in very difficult circumstances against one of the country's most improved underage players.

The U17 singles match between Brian Mannion (son of former multi-titled juvenile Noel) and Williamstown's Aaron Connaughton continued the trend of tight matches with no more than three points separating them at any stage in the first. Both players showed some lovely backwall skills, but once Brian sorted out his front-court misses and utilised a strong roof game he always looked the more likely winner, especially as his much improved fitness favoured him in the many long stamina-sapping rallies. The final score of 21-18, 21-17 in Brian's favour went down very well with the big Roscommon crowd.

The final match of the day was the U17 doubles and featured first-time partners Donal Egan and Michael Fallon against the experienced Inverinn brothers Ronan and Ruain O Curraoin. Yet again the crowd were treated to a nail-biter and the tightest match of the day. The Roscommon pair understandably took a while to get their calls right and meanwhile the Galway pair pulled well ahead. At 13-20 down but beginning to really motor it looked like the Rossies would probably lose the first but make a right go of the second. But proving that a game is always winnable as long as you keep trying, the Roscommon lads withstood four game balls to make a remarkable comeback and take the first 21-20. The Galway lads were understandably badly rattled at the start of the second and the Roscommon pair took full advantage racing into an eight point lead at one stage and playing very smart handball. There was a brief scare and it looked like history was going to repeat itself in the second when the Galway brothers clawed back from a 14-20 deficit to bring it to 17-20, but a timely timeout from Roscommon calmed the nerves and the winning point followed immediately.

Roscommon will also be represented in the Connacht Juvenile Finals by the following-

U12S – Liam Egan
U12D – Phillip Halliday / Finn Killion
U14D – Dylan Hanley / Gareth Delaney

Connacht Final Fixtures

JD - Creaton/Jennings vs Raftery/Doonan - St Coman's Wednesday 26th @ 7pm

At Coman's Saturday 1st March at 5pm:
JBD - Casserly/Cassidy (may) vs Keighery/Martin (Gal)
U21D - Kelehan/Mulkerrins (Gal) vs Cunane/Murphy (May)

At coman's on Sunday 2nd March at 4pm
ID - Cassidy/McLoughlin (May) vs Conway's (Gal)

At Lisacul on Saturday @ 5pm
EMBD Lalor/Kelly (Gal) vs McMorrow/McLoughlin or Holloran/Ferrick

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Feb 16th 2014

2nd Level Colleges 40x20 All-Ireland Finals

Fiona Tully added to her already impressive haul of All-Ireland titles when she took down the 40x20 All-Ireland Junior singles title at the 2nd Level Colleges Finals last Saturday in Kingscourt Co. Cavan. Representing Convent of Mercy Roscommon she took on Holly Hynes of Presentation College Wexford in the semi-final. Holly is the daughter of former senior star Tommy and in typical Wexford style she battled all the way, but Fiona's very high skill levels and experience always kept her well ahead. The end score was 15-8, 15-6. In the final Fiona's opponent was the fast-improving Sinead Meagher of St. Mary's Nenagh, who had caused a minor upset in her semi by beating Armagh's Aoibinn Henderson. Despite the Tipp girl's best efforts however, Fiona's game was just too rounded and with her much-improved serving causing a lot of problems she won comfortably 15-3, 15-6.

After winning their first Connacht title last week Cathal O'Connor and Michael Fallon of Roscommon CBS found the step up to All-Ireland level much harder to conquer. Facing Kells Community School duo Robert Fox and Peter Smith in the Intermediate grade, their lack of experience in doubles was evident early on with Fox in particular dominating proceedings. Although the Roscommon lads tried hard and improved in the second game there was never any doubt about the outcome with the Meath boys winning 15-3, 15-6.

St. Nathy's Gordon Nolan faced another Kells Commuity School contender, Dylan Sheridan, in the Senior semi-final. This turned into a very interesting clash of styles, with Gordon's sidearm serving and killing contrasting with Sheridan's less stylish but very consistent underarm 'keep-it-in-play' technique. There were lots of fast-moving rallies and hard exchanges and while Gordon probably hit all the best looking shots in truth he also made far more unforced errors which eventually cost him the match. Sheridan won 15-9, 15-8.

Golden Masters 40x20 Singles Connacht Final

Lisacul's Anthony O'Donnell had an excellent win in the Connacht Final of the Golden Masters 40x20 grade when he beat Sligo's favoured and highly experienced Francie McCann last Saturday in Claremorris. Francie's all-action movement and Anthony's more stationary power-hitting are as far-removed from each other as handball styles can get, but they made for a great game. Anthony's kill was on from the very start, especially his favourtite backwall shot. However, with Francie's ability to pick anything that wasn't flattened the game went back and forth until Anthony eventually killed a few beauties to finish the first 21-17. The second followed a similar pattern except, for once, Francie seemed to tire and with Anthony playing as well as he has in a long time, the Roscommon man took the second 21-12.

Junior 40x20 Singles Connacht Final

St. Coman's Oisin Naughton's pedigree was tested to the limit in his last three matches, all of which were tough three-gamers, and it was always the belief that his Junior Connacht Final against Mayo's excellent Ciaran Burke was going to be an even tougher encounter. And so it proved, with the crowd being treated to some tremendous handball from two extremely fit and skilful competitors. Burke's style has developed from an aggressive and straightforward, low, hard game to a much more rounded version in the last two years and as a result he was much more comfortable coping with Oisin's excellent roof and defensive game than he previously would have been. Burke took whatever opportunities came his way and while Oisin's killing has improved dramatically it was a few extremely narrow misses at the end of both games that allowed a relieved Burke to take the match 21-15, 21-14. Ciaran's well-known and very well-liked father Liam is seriously ill at the moment and everybody involved in Roscommon handball wish him the very best and are hoping for a full recovery.

Over 35 'B' Singles Connacht Final

Glen Walshe of St. Coman's featured in an unusual Connacht Final just before Oisin's game as both he and his Galway opponent were left-handed. Two citeogs facing each other is a rare sight in handball and in the beginning both lads looked as if they weren't used to the scenario. Glen definitely held the power advantage and his off-hand was also stronger, however, eventually Trevor Hannon's better mobility and strong sidearm kill around the left corner wore down Glen's resistance with the Headford man winning in two close games.St. Coman's hosted a number of Connacht Finals over a very busy weekend.

Roscommon venues hosted a number of Connacht Finals over the weekned. In St. Comans, Galway's rising star Martin Mulkerrins had a tremendous match with Ballaghadereen's Joe McCann in the Senior Connacht Final. Having beaten St. Coman's Rikki O'Gara in a tough semi-final the day before, Martin showed no ill-effects and showing some of his tremendous killing ability he took the first 21-7. Remarkably in the second Joe completely turned the tables, going 19-0 up at one stage before winning 21-6. The third was much closer and harder fought for the earlier parts before some superb serving and killing helped Martin win 21-12.
Mayo's Michael Ginley defeated Galway's John Keighery 21-3, 21-6 in the Masters 'B' final.
Sligo's Martin Cooney defeated Galway's Willie Corcoran 21-7, 21-8 in the Silver Masters 'B' final.
Galway's Denis Phelan defeated Mayo's George Miller 20-21, 21-15, 21-13.
In Curraghboy Galway's John Ward defeated Mayo's Kevin Geraghty 21-15, 21-3 in the Emerald Masters final.
In Lisacul Mayo's Martin Cronin defeated Gerry O'Fatharta 21-20, 21-11

Upcoming fixtures in St. Comans
22nd Feb at 4pm
ID: Ollie & Pat Conway (Gal) V Ian McLoughlin and Ollie Cassidy (Mayo)

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Feb 9th 2014

Connacht 40X20 Semi Finals Results
JBD: Nevan McCartan and Brendan McDonagh (Ros) were defeated by Peter Cassidy /Seamus Casserley last Sunday in St. Comans. The Ros pair were very slow off the blocks loosing the first game 21-4. The game plan went out the window in game two with the home pair going for every shot and at one stage were leading 15-2. However the Mayo lads showed some real steel to get back some more aces. The Ros lads won game two 21-15. Mayo went into a big lead in the deciding game 12-3 before the Roscommon duo finally got into the game. After some long and interesting rallies the Mayo pair took the third and the match 21-10.

JD - Creaton/Jennings vs Cradock/Connaughton Sat 15th @ 5pm (game 1) in Williamstown.
RMAD - McHugh/Grehan vs Darcy/Kelehan Friday 14th Feb @ 8pm in Moycullen

Second Level Colleges Connacht 40x20 Finals

Roscommon did very well in the Second Level Colleges Connacht 40x20 Finals held in Salthill and St. Mary's College Galway last Saturday, with three winners out of five entries.

The most popular win of the day came in the Junior Doubles where Michael Fallon and Cathal O'Connor of Roscommon CBS both won their first ever Connacht 40x20 title. In order to speed things up it was controversially decided beforehand that all matches would be of a 20 minute duration or first to reach 31 aces and in their semi-final Michael and Cathal had a very comfortable 31-7 win over Mountbellew opposition. In the final they faced much stiffer competition from D. Hanley and A. McDermott of Rice College Westport. Despite the scores being very tight right through the 20 minutes, the Roscommon lads always looked that bit more consistent, especially Michael Fallon who didn't miss a single ball in the the entire final and by hitting 4 unanswered points in the last 2 minutes they won deservedly 19-14.

Fiona Tully of Mercy Convent Roscommon had an easier time than expected in winning the Girls Junior Singles semi-final against her old rival Eimear Ni Bhiadha from Inverin. Fiona really showed her class with a very decisive 31-4 win and carried on where she left off in the final by beating Aoife Quinn of Convent of Mercy Ballina 31-7. Fiona is playing very well at the moment due to better training games and is in with a good shout of taking down the All-Ireland next weekend.

Dylan Hanley of CBS Roscommon won the First Year Singles title with two very tough wins against much bigger and older opposition. First up he played St. Mary's Shane Kyne who was playing in his home court. After a close start Dylan used his experience and great court awareness to keep the Galway lad running at all times and take a 21-13 win. In the final he met Mayo's physically powerful Thomas Reynolds who really pushed Dylan to the limit. It was only when Dylan stopped playing conservatively and 'went for this shots' that he finally managed to pull away for a hard-fought 24-18 win.

Despite both being talented players Michael Egan and Gareth Delaney of Roscommon Community College have never played together as a doubles team and it really showed when they played the excellent Inis Mor partnership of Sean O Maoilchiaran and Peter O Donnacha. The Galway lads were narrow losers in the All-Ireland U14 doubles last year and are very highly rated. They raced into an early lead that was never going to be recovered, but in fairness to the Roscommon lads they never gave up and finished the game very strongly losing 22-12.

Brian Mannion of Roscommon CBS had the misfortune to run into the reigning All-Ireland U15 champion Desmond Conneely of St. Mary's in his semi-final. Conneely is the son of former top senior Eamon and he certainly has picked up a few of his father's skills. His powerful serving and clinical killing were very impressive but Brian continued to play to the best of his ability and there were many long, skilful rallies which earned Brian a lot of praise from Conneely afterwards.

Cumann na mBunscoil Connacht Finals

Although Roscommon didn't pick up any titles in the Connacht Finals of the Primary Schools competition there were a number of very impressive performances which augur well for the future.

In the boys U11 singles Ahmed Yahkaev of Abbey Boys NS showed why he is a highly regarded prospect despite his very short time playing handball. He met raging hot favourite and reigning champ Niall Fleming from Charlestown in his semi-final and while he lost 11-8, 11-7 to come so close to such a strong player with so little experience bodes well.

Kate Heneghan from Ballyforan NS is very new to handball and she was unfortunate to come up against an exceptionally experienced Galway opponent in her semi-final losing clearly in two games.

Philip Halliday and Finn Killion of Gaelscoil de hIde played solidly in their U11 doubles semi-final win over Sligo, but came up against a stong outfit from Moycullen in the final. Despite the best efforts of Finn who played the best handball of his life they were beaten 11-8, 11-5.

All Shauna Clogher of Mount Talbot NS lacks is experience. In a 3-way playoff in the Girls U13 singles she was somewhat nervous in her first match against Galway and lost a game she could have won. However, having got the nerves out of her system she gave a real hammering to a decent Mayo girl and if she had played like that in her first match she would undoubtedly have won.

Kilteevan's precocious Liam Egan is one of the top players in the country at his age and showed some of his superb skills in an outstanding U13 singles semi-final win against Gary Clogher of Bofield NS. Everything that is good about handball was on display in Liam's 11-8, 11-6 win against the power-hitting Mayo lad. The final was played against Evan Dillon from Inverin who had a superb match with Liam in the Onewall Nationals semi-final last year. Evan is a year older than Liam and although it was another titanic struggle Dillon's physical strength told in the the end as Liam visibly tired before going down 11-9, 11-8 in a high quality thriller.

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Feb 2nd 2014

40X20 Championship Connacht Sem-Finals

JS: Oisin Naugthon (Ros) dft Prionsias Moughan (Galway) 15-21, 21-5, 21-9
JBS: Peter Cassidy (Mayo) dft Brendan McDonagh (Ros) 21-19, 21-15
Over 70's Singles: Peter Mulryan (Gal) dft Michael Naugthon (Ros) 15-21, 21-3, 21-1
Masters "B" Singles: Johnny Keighery (Gal) dft Martin Conroy (Ros) 21-2, 21-3
Ladies Junior "B" Singles: Linda Connolly (Ros) dft Aoife Connaugthon (Gal) 16-21, 21-11, 21-12

Connacht 40X20 Doubles Semi-Finals
Moycullen, Sat 8th, 6pm:

MBD: Ros, Martin Conroy & Danny Shaughnessy v Gal, Sean O'Reilly & Peter Meila.

Williamstown, Sunday 9th, 2pm:
JD: Ros, S. Jennings and D. Creaton v Gal, Davoren/Daveron or Cradock/Connaughton

Moycullen, Sunday 9th, 2pm:

RMAD: Ros, Seamus McHugh & Liam Grehan v Gal, Morgan Darcy & John Kelehan

U21D: Ros, Mark Nally & Cathal Connelly v Gal, Martin Mulkerrins & Eanna Keleghan

Salthill, Sunday 9th, 2pm:

EMBD: Ros, Eamon Ward & James Coghlan v Gal, Pierce Lalor & Padraig Kelly


JCD: Ros, Brian Lyster and John Healy v Gal, TBD

Roscommon post-primary schools 1-wall blitz
The second annual post-primary schools one-wall blitz proved an exiting and well attended event this year, with more than 97 students taking part in the three court complex in Kilglass Gaels, Roscommon. A total of thirty matches were played and each match involved two games of doubles per team. This event was aimed at players in first and second year who are new to the game, i.e., those who have not previously taken part in handball championships. Participating schools were Roscommon Convent of Mercy, Scoil Mhuire (Strokestown), Elphin Community College, Roscommon CBS, Abbey Community School (Boyle) and Roscommon Community College.
In the girls cup event, Roscommon Convent of Mercy were well represented and regular practice on their new indoor courts obviously paid dividends. Each of their teams fought off their respective opposition to come through the first rounds, leading eventually to an all Convent of Mercy final. In the end their team of Ruth McNeil, Laura Kerins, Marie Kelly and Jane Horan came out winners on a score line of 23-18, retaining the title for the Convent girls.
In the boys cup competition, Elphin Community College were out to retain a hard fought title they won in 2013. However, their teams were narrowly defeated in the early rounds by Roscommon Community College and Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown (3). The Roscommon Community College (2) team which defeated Elphin (1), went on to win out the boys cup event. The three Roscommon Community College's boys teams each went on to make the semi finals, a feat their coaches and school will be proud of. The winning team was Jack Donnelly, Kieran Ward, Daire Keenan and Jack Naughton. The runners-up team in the Boys Cup (from Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown) were Thomas O'Rourke, Shane Laven, Gerry Galvin and Mikaela McHugh. The final scoreline was 22-14. Important to mention a very skillful Mikaela McHugh playing on the Strokestown runners-up team.
In the boys plate event, it was an all Strokestown and Elphin semi-final. After last years winners Elphin were knocked out of the cup by eventual champions Roscommon Community College, they got some consolation by defeating Strokestown 4 in the plate final on a scoreline of 24-10. The Elphin team included John Rattigan, Enda Killoran, James Beirne and Niall Higgins.
In the girls plate event, Roscommon Community College, lost out to the Abbey Community College (1), Boyle on a scoreline of 27-5. The Boyle girls team and supporters definitely won the loudest 'cheer' award following this well deserved victory. The Boyle girls team (and subs) were Aine Mullins, Ciara Sheerin, Ruth Cox, Sinead Glennon, Katie Keenan and Shannon and Shannon Kerins. With fine handball facilities and a strong handball tradition, expect Abbey Community College Boyle to feature strongly in future colleges events.
Expression of gratitude must be extended to a number of people, following this event (apart from the obvious one for all the boys and girls on a wonderful days handball). The Kilglass Gaels venue again proved an excellent venue for this annual blitz. Thanks to Anthony Mahody of Kilglass Gaels for coordinating the use of the facility and to the catering staff of Kilglass Gaels for their wonderful hospitality. Secondly, a number of Colleges A Players helped out with refereeing on what was a very busy floor! Thanks to Gareth Delaney, Cathal O'Connnor, Michael Egan and Caoimhe Shanagher for their contributions on the day.
Finally, the teachers and schools throughout the county have put in a great effort behind the scenes, facilitating this event, coordinating training sessions for the pupils and promoting handball within their schools. The Roscommon County Handball Board is extremely grateful to each and all for their continued support.

Photo captions:
All participants at the Roscommon post-primary schools 1-wall blitz

County Roscommon Handball Roundup

Week ending Jan 26th 2014

Schools Handball

Schools handball will be in focus over the next few weeks as the Colleges (post-primary) Championships kick off next weekend in the County.for honours this year will be Fiona Tully (Convent of Mercy), Michael and Donal Egan (Roscommon Community College), Dylan Hanley, Michael Fallon andMannion (Roscommon CBS).finals will take place in Salthill in mid-February andare hoping for strongfrom our schools.Before this 40x20 code takes place, beginners from the Counties post-primary schools will take part in the 2nd Annual Roscommon Schools 1-wall blitz in Kilglass on Friday 31st January. This event starts off at 10am and will comprise cup and plate competitions, and boys and girls brackets. Defending their boys and girls cup titles will be Elphin Community College and Convent of Mercy (Roscommon), respectively. Last years boys plate winners were Roscommon CBS and the girls plate winners in 2013 were Scoil Mhuire (Strokestown).The added impetus in schools throughout the county has been aided by grants from Connacht Handball Council, Roscommon County Board and St Coman’s Handball Club towards the construction ofcourts in school complexes.In 2013, two courts were constructed in the Convent of Mercy (Roscommon) and one court was erected in Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown. Another court will be provided for the Abbey School Boyle in early 2014. The county board is indebted to schools and teachers throughout the county for facilitating and embracing this fun code of handball and to GAA Handball Development Officer, Darraghfor his effortstraining in 2013.GAA Handball officials will continue to liaise with schools with an interest in participating in any code of handball. For further details, contact the Schools Liaisonfor County Roscommon, Oisin Naughton on
The Cumann na mBunscoil handball county playoffs will take place this Saturday in St Coman’s and entries should be in with Mary Tully, Roscommon Juvenile delegate to Connacht Council on 0877826719.The Connacht Cuman na mBunscoil will take place in Salthill on February 9th.
The Collegiate (3rd level) 40x20 championships will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA from the 19th-23 February. Roscommon’s Lauren O’Riordan will be making her come back at this major 3rd level event, Representing Carlow IT. Lauren will be competing in the Ladies Open bracket, her first time competing in this top adult event. Lauren will also team up with Kilkenny Ciara Mahon in the Ladies Open doubles.Roscommon have form in this event, with Hillary and Marianna Rushe winning this event in the USA, previously.

40x20 County Championships

The Roscommon 40x20 County Championships are reaching a climax over these two weekends. Last Saturday at Ballaghdereen, reigning County Junior Doubles winners Denis Creaton and Sean Jennings (Lisacul) defeated Philip O’Connor and Cormac O’Brien 21-12 and 21-18.
In the Junior Singles final, an all St Coman’s county final saw Oisin Naughton come throughDarren Beatty after three games, 21-8, 18-21, 21-17. In the Junior B Doubles final at St Brigid’s, Curraghboy, Comans Nevan McCartan and Brendan McDonagh dft Padraic Coyle and Enda Ward (St. Brigids) 21-17, 21-5. In the U21 Singles, Lisacul’s Gordon Nolan defeated Cathal Connelly (St Coman’s) in the final, 21-10, 21-14.
Last weekend saw Curraghboy’s Benny Lyster and John Healy come through to represent the County in the Junior C Doubles.
The first round of the Connacht Championships for Roscommon will be versus Galway in the Singles Connacht Semi Finals next weekend. Representing Roscommon will be: Linda Connolly (Ladies Junior B), Lauren O’Riordan (Ladies Junior),Duffy (Minor),Nolan (U21S),Kelly (Junior C), Brendan McDonagh (Junior B), Oisin Naughton (Junior), Glenn Walshe (O35B), John Kennedy (Masters B), Anthony O’Donnell (GMAS), Seamus Regan (Golden Masters B),Ger Walsh (EMAS), Michael Naughton (O70’s).

Finally, some personnel changes at Handball Connacht Convention in Ballyhaunis last week: outgoing secretary Connell Cannon (Sligo) was replaced by John McLoughlin (Sligo); outgoing development officer Peter Chambers (Sligo) was replaced by Oisin Quinn (Sligo); outgoing Junvenile Officer Peter Mulryan (Galway) was replaced by Brege O’Chonghaile (Galway).Sitting Chaiperson is Peter Heany (Leitrim), Treasures is John Kennedy (Roscommon), PRO is John McLoughlin (Sligo).

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more informatio

County Roscommon Handball Roundup

Week ending Jan 19th 2014

40X20 County Roscommon Championship

County Junior 40x20 Doubles Final
The St. Comans pair of Oisin Naugthon and Darren Beatty went into this match with good confidence having won the recent Curraghoy doubles tournament. Their opponents though Philip O’Connor and Cormac O’Brien (St. Brigids) are very experienced doubles players having reached two All-Ireland finals in recent years. The first game went to O’Connor and O’Brien 21-8 after being tied at 8-8 for a short while. The second game was much closer with the St. Brigids lad staking it 21-16. Well doen to both sets of players on a very sporting contest and best of luck to Philip and Cormac who now represent Roscommon in the next rounds of the Connacht championship.

Junior B Singles
Donal O’Connor (St. Brigids) played Brendan McDonagh (St. Comans) in a three game battle of will in Curraghboy last Tuesday night. O’Connor took game one 21-10. McDonagh found some form in game two to win it 21-6. With the contest going to the third game both players were trying to outsmart the other with long rallies. O’Connor displayed some fine roof shots but the match was finally won by the Comans man 21-16 in the third game.

JBS Final: Padraig Coyle (St. Brigids) won game one against Brendan McDonagh (St.Comans) 21-8 with some serious volleying of the ball from the service line to kill the ball. McDonagh came out fighting in game two to take it 21-8 and to the decider. After some very long and draining rallies McDonagh took game three 21-4. Thanks to Seamus McHugh for refereeing.

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more informatio

County Roscommon Handball Roundup

Week ending Jan 12th 2014

40X20 County Roscommon Championship

County Junior 40x20 semi-finals

There was a big shock in the first County Junior 40x20 semi-final last Saturday as St. Coman's youngster Darren Beatty defeated the reigning champion Denis Creighton of Lisacul in a very interesting three gamer. Played in Denis's homecourt the roles seemed to be reversed in the first game as Darren stormed out of the blocks killing virtually every opportunity that came his way while Denis struggled badly to settle. Before anybody had time to draw their breath the first game was finished, Beatty winning on a rather astonishing scoreline of 21-4.
The second game restored what seemed to be the natural order as Denis finally got going and showing more of his normal grit he took complete control with some much improved serving and killing to win comfortably 21-7.
Though it seemed that Denis's vast experience might well make the difference at this stage, after two such contrasting games it was hard to predict what was going to happen in the third and it turned out to be the closest game of the three. Scores were much harder to come by and rallies were lasting much longer as neither were now making mistakes. After taking an early lead, Denis was hauled back by some fearless killing from Darren and once he went ahead Beatty never let his let his lead slip, finishing the game decisively 21-15 for a very impressive win in his first year playing the Junior grade.

In the second County Junior 40x20 semi-final also played at Lisacul, St. Coman's Oisin Naughton defeated Curraghboy's Philip O'Connor over a very hard-fought three games. Both protagonists are very experienced and from the off the game was full of long, tough rallies with some excellent roof-play and backwall killing. Philip's harder hitting style gradually took it's toll on Oisin and the first game went his way 21-12.
Realising he needed to be more aggressive in the second Naughton successfully attacked O'Connor's left hand at every opportunity and though the rallies were still very hard won, Oisin's killing improved enough to give him a 21-13 win.
Having had a titanic battle with Lorcan Moughan in the quarter-final last Tuesday, stamina was expected to be an issue for Philip in the third and so it proved as Oisin's pace never relented, but O'Connor visibly wilted. Needless to say Philip never stopped trying but was now struggling to pick balls he was previously getting to and though it was still tight in the end Naughton was clearly the stronger player winning 21-15 to set up a county final with his double's partner Darren Beatty.


JBS: Donal O’Connor (St. Brigids) V Brendan McDonagh (St. Comans) in Curraghboy on 14 Jan at 6pm
JBD: Padraic Coyle and Enda Ward (St. Brigids) V Colm Walshe / Alex McDermott on 15 Jan in Curraghboy

John Gaffney Memorial Tournament
The John Gaffney Memorial GAA Handball tournament, proudly sponsored by Drury Oils Ltd, served up a feast of sporting action over the weekend just past, as the nation’s finest handballers gathered in Ballaghaderreen and St. Coman’s handball clubs. The cream certainly rose to the top as current champion, Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy, and Clareman Diarmaid Nash, Ireland’s number two and three ranked players respectively, came through a competitive field to do battle in the final.
Nash got the better for former two-time champion Eoin Kennedy (Dublin) in his semifinal on a score line of 21-14, 21-7, while McCarthy ran out winner over mercurial Kerryman Dominick Lynch 21-14, 21-3.
By wining through to the final McCarthy has now played in each of the five show-piece matches in Gaffney Memorial history, a remarkable achievement in itself. This consistency was in evidence in the opening game of the final as the Mullingar native settled first. Fleet of foot and with heavy hands, McCarthy picked all of Nash’s kill attempts and blasted in offensive shots at any opportunity. However, every time he pulled ahead Nash managed to peg him back, as the pair drew level on six separate occasions. At 17 all it was anyone’s game, when McCarthy hit a purple patch and closed out the game 21-18.
Nash entered the court for game two graced by a determined air. At 12-5 up the Clareman seemed unstoppable, hitting a ream of underhand kill-shots into the left corner, and re-killing many of McCarthy’s attempts with delicate flicks from front-court into either corner. McCarthy, however, remained undaunted, coming back to level at 12-12. After a rally of truly epic proportions, 52 shots in length and encompassing everything that is good in the game, Nash hit a perfectly placed v-pass to regain serve. Duly heartened, Nash put on an exhibition of serving, wickedly spinning the ball left and right, to take the game 21-12.
The opening exchanges of the tiebreak were dominated by the Clareman. Racing to a 10-0 lead, it looked as good as over before McCarthy hit three stunning roll-outs in a row to make it 10-2. A comeback was on the cards. However, Nash showed true mental strength to take his first attaching opportunity, producing a roll-out of his own from 38 foot. From here Nash made no mistake, taking game and match on a score-line of 18-21, 21-12, 11-2.
A wonderful display of handball in the west of Ireland, greeted by a cacophony of applause from the packed crowd. Ballaghaderreen handball club extend great thanks to Drury Oils Ltd. for their continued sponsorship of the event, without who it would not be possible. Thanks is also extended to St. Coman’s handball club for use of their excellent facilities, as well as Gaynor Plant Sales, Spells Bar, Durkin’s Restaurant and Guesthouse, and the Connaught and National Handball Councils.

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more informatio

County Roscommon Handball Roundup

Week ending Jan 5 2014

40X20 County Roscommon Championship

JBD Brendan McDonagh/Nevan McCartan (St. Comans) dft Cathal McHugh and Donal O’Connor (St. Brigids) 21-16, 21-12.JS- Oisin Naughton (St. Comans) dft Sean Jennings (Lisacul) 15-21, 21-17, 21-9.
Js- Darren Beatty vs Paul Kelly this fri in St Coman'sJS- Lorcan Maughan vs Philip O'Connor Tues at 8pm in st Coman's

Annual Curraghboy 40X20 Doubles Tournament

A large number of players from all over the Country took part in this tournament organised by Seamus McHugh in St. Brigids Handball Club, Curraghboy. Play was fast and furious with alot of some fantastic rallies and some great “gets” on display. Congratulations to Oisin Naughton and Darren Beatty (St. Comans) who had a marathon day of handball to claim the overall cup prize. Full results are:

Round 1Philip O'connor/Paul Kelly dft Alan Tierney/Ollie CassidyD Gleeson/David Hope dft Denis Creaton/S JenningsDarren Beatty/Oisin Naughton dft Connor O'Brien/ Brian DohertyPaul Hedderman/Cusack dft Declan connaughton/Pat ConwayRound 2Philip O'Connor/Paul Kelly dft Dermot Doolin/Aengus CunninghamDavid Hope/D Gleeson dft M Cooney/Shane BruenDarren Beatty/Oisin Naughton dft Martin & Seamus ConneelyPaul Hedderman/d Cusack leading Ger Walsh/Cormac O'Brien

Cup Final
Oisin Naugthon and Darren Beatty (St. Comans) dft Paul Kelly and Philip O’Connor (St. Brigids) 21-28
Plate Final: Connor O'Brien and Brian Doherty (Crinkle, Offaly) dft Cormac O'Brien and Ger Walsh (St.Brigids) 25-21

John Gaffney Memorial GAA Handball Tournament 2014
The fifth annual John Gaffney Memorial handball tournament, proudly sponsored by Drury Oils Ltd., is set to take place on the first weekend in January in Ballaghaderreen and St. Coman’s handball clubs. The season-opener commences on Friday 10 at 6pm in both venues, with finals taking place on Sunday afternoon in Ballaghaderreen. Weekend passes are available at a cost of €15, while day passes may be purchased for €10 on Saturday and €5 on Friday. To order tickets please text Padraig Gaffney on 086-8599533 or email
This year’s tournament sees a return of the invitational format, with the top 24 available players based on GAA national rankings attending. An exciting feature of the 2014 tournament is the clash of youth and experience. Can Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy pull off a spectacular three-in-a-row, or will one of the up-and-coming young guns knock him off his perch?
The last number GAA Handball championship seasons have been some of the most competitive in living memory. As 2013 draws to a close it bares remembering the outstanding achievements of new-school handballers such as Clareman Diarmaid Nash and Galway native Martin Mulkerrins. Nash claimed a stunning victory in the Irish Nationals earlier this year before heading stateside for US Open in Los Angeles. Here the Tuamgraney clubman fell agonisingly short in a tiebreak against American No. 1 seed and eventual champion Louis Moreno. The nature of this defeat is particularly interesting. Moreno, known as ‘the Natural’, is the last man to beat 4-time World Champion Paul Brady in a major singles tournament and is often thought to be Brady’s biggest rival and the hair apparent in world handball. However, Nash’s exceptional performance is emblematic of the emerging generation of handballers. The gap has closed between all players at the top. A competitive spirit abounds.
Add to this the fact that Mulkerrins has triumphed over Nash in their last three competitive meetings, and that the Galway man claimed the scalp of Robbie McCarthy at the 2013 Irish Nationals in an epic 3 hour battle, and it becomes clear how close the rivalries at the top the game are. Throw the precocious young talents of Corkman Killian Carroll, Gaffney Memorial finalist in 2011, and Kildare’s Niall O’Connor into this milieu and explosive on-court action is a guarantee.
Keen to stem this youthful tide will local favourite Joe McCann. Currently enjoying a rich vein of form, the Mayo man has recently claimed major titles on both sides of the Atlantic and has been tipped by many for a good run in this year’s Gaffney Memorial. Alongside McCann will be established stars such Brian Carroll (Meath), Charley Shanks (Armagh), Michael Finnegan (Cavan) and former 2-time champion Eoin Kennedy (Dublin).
In sum, an exhibition of handball awaits any interested spectators in Ballaghaderreen on the first weekend in January. All of the ingredients are in place for this to be the year’s stand-out event. There will be a gathering in Spells Bar Ballaghaderreen the evening of Saturday 11, with live music and finger food. Come along and enjoy as there will be something for everyone.

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more information

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Dec 22nd 2013

40X20 County Roscommon Championship


JBS: Darragh O'Gara (St. Comans) dft Colm Walsh (St. Comans) in three games at St Coman's 21-11, 19-21, 21-10
JBS: Donal O'Connor (St. Brigids) dft nevan McCartin 21-14, 21-8
JCS: Patrick Croghan lost to B Lyster in 2 games at Curraghboy

Funding opportunity for Handball Clubs

Handball Clubs in Co. Roscommon are reminded that their club can apply for tickets under the National Fundraising draw operated by the GAA. Tickets need to be ordered through the main GAA County Board. See GAA

Seasons Greetings

Roscommon County Board wish all players and officials throughout the handball clubs a very happy Christmas and new year.

GRADES: U13, U15 AND U17
The Broadford club will hold a 40x20 singles tournaments for girls U13, U15 and U17 for the year 2014.

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more information

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending Dec 15th 2013

40X20 Championship 2013/2014

The fixtures for this years Co. Roscommon championship are as follows:

December 21st 2013

Curraghboy 5pm: JCS J. Fallon v E. Conboy
JCS P. Croghan v B. Lyster
JCS K. Dolan v J. Coggeran

St. Coman's 5pm: JBS N. McCartan v D. O'Connor
JBS D. O'Gara v C. Walshe
JBS E. Ward v A. McDermott (* has been moved to a different date by mutual agreement)

December 29th 2013

Curraghboy 3pm: JCS J. Nolan v O. Menton
JCS V. Samuels v L. Ó Ceallaigh
JCS Fallon/Conboy v Croghan/Lyster

St. Coman's 3pm: JBS P. Coyle v O'Gara/Walshe
JBS J. Coyle v McCartan/O'Connor
JBS B. Kelly v B. McDonagh

Lisacul 3pm: JS P. Kelly v D. Beatty
JS L. Maughan v P. O'Connor
U21S G. Nolan v M. Nally

January 4th 2014

St. Coman's 3pm: JBD D. O'Connor & C. McHugh v B. McDonagh & N. McCartan
JCD Lyster & Lyster v Conboy & Coggeran
JCD Mannion & Kelly v Coyle & Kelly

January 11th 2014

Curraghboy 5pm: JCS Semi-final 1
JCS Semi-final 2
LJS L. O'Riordan v F. Mee

St. Coman's 5pm: JBS Semi-final 1
JBS Semi-final 2

Lisacul 5pm: JS Semi-final 1
JS Semi-final 2

January 15th 2014

Curraghboy 8pm: JD Naughton & Beatty v O'Connor & O'Brien
JBD Coyle & Ward v Walshe & McDermott

St. Coman's 8pm: JBD Coyne & JD Kelly v O'Connor & McHugh/McDonagh & McCarten
JCD Dolan & Menton v Mannion & Kelly/Coyle & Kelly

January 18th 2014

Curraghboy 3pm: JCD Ó Ceallaigh & Fallon v Lyster & Lyster/Conboy & Coggeran *
JBS Final
JCS Final

Lisacul 5pm: O70S M. Naughton v M. Nolan
EMAS G. Walsh v M. Bruen
U21S M. Nally/G. Nolan v C. Connelly

St. Coman's 6pm: LJBS A. McDonagh v L. Connolly
LJS L. O'Riordan/F. Mee v B. Mee
JS Final

January 25th 2014

Lisacul 7pm: JD Creaton & Jennings v Winner of SF

St. Coman's 5pm: JCD Final
JBD Final

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &
8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more information

County Roscommon Handball Round Up
Week ending Dec 8th 2013

St. Comans Registration day

Registration Day in St. Coman's last Sunday was a resounding success with a large membership renewing for 2014 and a number of new members joining up also. The well-matched competitions held on the day proved to be very entertaining with numerous razor-thin encounters and exciting finishes. Liam Egan won't be too popular in the Cusack household for the coming days as he defeated both brothers Fionn and Oisin 15-14 in the Boys U14 Onewall event. Unfortunately for Liam, Dylan Hanley was just too good for him in the final. The Boys U10 40x20 proved very unpredictable as it contained a group of 8 players any of whom is capable of beating the other on any given day. Here the game of the day was probably Luke Gregory's 15-14 quarter-final victory over Eanna Moran, where the lead constantly changed hands until Luke's excellent volleying probably proved the difference. Ahmed Yakhaev ended up winning out the final 15-9 against the much-improved Finn Killion. Ahmed had a remarkable comeback in his semi-final against the talented Philip Halliday. Philip seemed all set for a comfortable win when leading 13-5, but with a simple change of serve Ahmed staged an excellent recovery to win 15-13. Making it a good day for the Yakhaev household Ahmed's younger brother Irslam beat Eoghan Carty in the final of the youngest members. Aengus Cunningham and Fiona Tully won the adults mixed doubles by beating Siobhan Tully and Cathal O'Connor comfortably in the final. Rounding off the day was an excellent presentation from one of Ireland's top Sports Psychologists Gerry Hussey. Gerry is a mainstay in the Irish boxing squad's backroom team for the last 6/7 years and also works with many of Ireland's top rugby players among many other sportspeople and he kindly offered his services to the club on the day and kept his audience rivetted for over an hour with his thoughts on the mind and how it works in sporting contexts.

In the girls competitions the u11 grade was the most competitive, as well as presenting challenges in drafting the draws, to keep sisters apart! There were many new players in this grade taking part in their first competition. Gillian and Karol Greene and Emma O'Farrell played some minor tournaments at St Coman's previously and put in great performances this weekend, despite coming up short. Emma's older sister Eimer O'Farrell made it through to the final of the U11 girls and fought a tough battle against Cara Kennedy. Cara put in some strong serves and came through eventual winner on a score line of 11-9.In the Girls U14 final Saebh Cusack and Jennifer McCormack faced up to each other in the 60x30 code. This was an interesting tussle between a right hand dominant player and a left hand dominant player. Both were able to test their opponents off-hands and both were equal to the task. Saebh was victorious on the day 15-8. All these girls players will be working to represent the club and county in the forthcoming 40x20 championships.

40X20 Championship 2013/2014

The fixtures for this years Co. Roscommon championship have been released. Dates, venues and times will be circulated in the coming weeks.

Salthill Tournament

A number of Roscommon players competed in last weekends 40X20 tournament in Salthill. With over fifty players entered it was a very busy weekend of handball for all concerned. In Mens C singles St. Comans Nevan McCartan got all the way to the cup final where he was defeated by a strong Declan Gleeson from Ballina in Tipperary. Nevan had good wins over Paddy Farrington, Mickey Quinn, and Mairtin O’Coisteala to get to the final. In Mens B Philip O’Connor from St. Brigis had a good weekend beating Jimmy Martin and Prionsias Moughan before going down to eventual runner up Paul Hedderman from Limerick. Brendan McDonagh (St. Comans) also in Mens B beat John Cawley from Clare in the first round before loosing to Paul Hedderman in round two. The Mens A event was won by a very strong David Hope from Offaly who defeated Ciaran Burke from Mayo who was last years Mens B winner

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more information

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending December 1st 2013

40X20 Championship 2013/2014

The Co. Roscommon handball draws have been released. Junior B and C are very competitive grades with over twenty players entered form various clubs in the county. Full fixtures with times and venues will be released soon.

McCann Gearing Up For Gaffney Memorial

As the fourth annual Gaffney Memorial GAA Handball tournament, proudly sponsored by Drury Oils Ltd., fast approaches, Ballaghaderreen native Joe McCann looks on course to add to his tremendous start to the 2013/2014 season.
In the wake of his stunning victories at the US Open, alongside doubles partner Dessie Keegan, and at the Golden Gloves in Belfast, McCann cites a being fresh as the key ingredient to his recent success.
"Since the World Championships last year it was steady training right up to the 60/30 final this year. So in the run up to the US Open, I decided to take some time off. No gym, no weights, no handball", says McCann.
McCann's new found appreciation for balance in his match preparation could be the crucial missing ingredient to launch a serious 2014 All Ireland campaign. "I think timing is crucial, its important to have a good base of training done, but you can't be stale".
"I hope the Gaffney Memorial will be a springboard for the coming season. For now, I want to build up my strength in the gym, focus on fitness and play my way into the season starting from the Gaffney."
Competition will be stiff at this year's Gaffney Memorial, with vital ranking points on offer the majority of Ireland's top 16 players are already signed up to take part. With this in mind, McCann is looking forward to the challenge, "Competing with the guys at the absolute top level, the likes of Robbie McCarthy, Charlie Shanks, its hard to live with, but this year I have a new focus on singles."
"There's such a high level of competition at the moment, and everyone wants to play against the top players", McCann continues. "Killian Carroll (Cork) is one of the most impressive players coming up, but you've also got Martin Mulkerrins (Galway) and Niall O'Connor (Kildare) that are good enough to cause an upset on any given day."
The mantra which has defined McCann's current good form is a focus on performance. "Growing up in Ballagh', with John Gaffney behind us, it was never really about the titles or awards. It was always about the handball."
"What motivates me most is having the Gaffney name on the cup. When I was younger, John could really let you have it if you hadn't played well, even if you had won!" McCann will have the added advantage of home soil, "the crowed can really help and give you a lift in the middle of a tight game".
McCann will hope to continue as he has started this season, over the weekend of the 11-13 January. Tickets may be purchased from Padraig Gaffney on 0868599533 or

Salthill Tournament

With sixty players entered into this coming weekends Salthill 40x20 tournament it promises to be an even more enjoyable festival of handball than last year. Draws and full details will be available on by Wednesday evening. St. Comans have a number of players taking part namely Nevan McCartin, Brendan McDonagh and Cathal O'Connor while St. Brigids Philip O'Connor is also making the trip to the seaside venue.

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9pm for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending November 23rd 2013

40X20 Championship 2013/2014

All 40 x 20 championship entries to be submitted to your club secretary asap. The County

Championship is starting end of November or early December. From a St. Comans point of

view the following players are entered into their respective grades:

Junior singles and doubles: Oisin Naughton and Darren Beatty

Junior B singles and doubles: Colm Walshe, Brendan McDonagh, Alex McDermott and Nevan

McCartan. St. Brigids will have strong competitors with the likes of Philip O'Connor and

Padraic Coyle. Ger Walsh and Cormac O'Brien aiming to make an impact.

Ballaghaderreen Take All Ireland Club Honours

The heady days which characterise Ballaghaderreen GAA handball club's start to the 2013/2014 season continue as the team of Dessie Keegan, Joe McCann, Vinny Moran, Stephen Cooney and Paul Flynn claimed their latest All Ireland club title, defeating Ballina of Tipperary in the final.
Kingscourt, Co. Cavan played host to the latest in a string of major victories for the Mayo club. Cooney closed out the 60/30 season by claiming the prestigious Intermediate singles title, while Keegan and McCann took to the international stage, taking home the US Open doubles title. McCann then took to the Irish season-opener Golden Gloves tournament, held in Belfast, chalking down another victory.
The All Ireland Club title adds a lustre to this tale of unprecedented success as the club prepare to host the 4th annual Gaffney Memorial tournament, to be held in early January. This result adds to many years of dominance on the club scene, which confirms Ballaghaderreen's status as the greatest club side to ever grace a handball alley.
The match opened with Cooney taking on an old rival in the shape of Fergal Collins, whom he bested in the Intermediate 60/30 final just a short few weeks ago. Playing with an intensity and ferocity that Collins found hard to live with, Cooney took the opening brace of games 21-8, 21-16.
This set the tone for the rest of the matches. Keegan and Moran combined in the doubles, getting the better of Michael Carroll and David Hickey on a score line of 21-8, 21-8. By the time Joe McCann stormed to the first game of the last singles match 21-5 over Ger Coonen Ballaghaderreen has already surpassed an unattainable points-tally and the match was conceded.
Claiming victories on all fronts in recent months, and with the nation's finest players signed up to play the Gaffney Memorial tournament in January, the future is bright for Ballaghaderreen handball club.

Salthill Tournament

Salthill Handball Club will host its annual 40X20 national tournament on the weekend of 6th
December. Mens singles in A, B and C plus Masters Doubles will be contested. Entry form
plus further details is now available on www.gaahandball.ieThe entry deadline has been extended to this Friday 29th November

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &

8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more

County Roscommon Handball Roundup
Week ending November 18th 2013

40X20 Championship 2013/2014

All 40 x 20 championship entries to be submitted to your club secretary asap. The County Championship is starting end of November or early December. From a St. Comans point of view the following players are entered into their respective grades:
Junior singles and doubles: Oisin Naughton and Darren Beatty
Junior B singles and doubles: Colm Walshe, Brendan McDonagh, Alex McDermott and Nevan McCartan. St. Brigids will have strong competitors with the likes of Philip O'Connor and Padraic Coyle. Ger Walsh and Cormac O'Brien aiming to make an impact.

"She's Ace" 2013

Congrats to 17 & under She's Ace winner Fiona Tully. Fiona dft Elise McCrory 12-15, 15-5, 11-4. A huge crowd turned out over all of last weekend to view the best of ladies handball take part in One Wall and 40X20 competitions. There was also for the first time a Mother and Daughter competition which added a fun element tot he occasion. This type of weekend demonstrates once again that ladies handball is only going from strength to strength and with players of the calibre of Fiona Tully representing both St. Comans and Roscommon the future is very bright.
Salthill Tournament

Salthill Handball Club will host its annual 40X20 national tournament on the weekend of 6th-8th December. Mens singles in A, B and C plus Masters Doubles will be contested. Entry form plus further details is now available on

Kilglass Handball Club Training

Handball takes place Friday evenings in Sportshall: 7-8 for Minors &
8-9 for adults. All are welcome. Contact Eddie at 086 0528884 for more