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GAA handball All-Ireland singles and doubles

Gavin Buggy made a terrific start to the GAA Handball Open Singles last weekend as the man from St Mary’s in Wexford town delivered twice with nice wins to see him progress well in the competition.

In the opening round, Buggy was paired up against Ruairí Kelly from Tyrone and knew he has a tough challenge ahead of him. A fantastic match followed between the two very gifted players with Buggy eventually sealing the deal on a 21-18,16-21,21-16 score line. The next round proved to be an even better win for Gavin as he knocked out Dessie Keegan from Mayo in a fantastic game that was full of emotion and passion from both players with some of the exchanges being very hot and heavy throughout. However, Buggy wasn’t fazed by the aggressive nature of the match and won the day on a 21-20, 21-16 score line to progress to the next round.

Next weekend Barry Goff and Colin Keeling will join forces in the small court for the first time ever as they head into the challenge of Ricky McCann and Seamus O’Tuama from Antrim in the GAA All Ireland Open Doubles competition and they are certain to face a stiff challenge from the northerners.

Marguerite Gore was given the toughest task of all the Wexford players in the Open draws as she faces up against World champion Fiona Shannon in the opening round of the Ladies Open singles. However, it is a challenge that Marguerite is sure to meet head on.

All Ireland Semi Finals

There will be two All Ireland semi finals next weekend with keen Wexford interest. On Saturday Gavin Buggy will travel to Gort na Mona in Belfast to play local hero Seamus O’Tuama in the over 35 singles semi final, in what promises to be a cracking contest with home advantage a big help to O’Tuama but as Gavin proved a few years back against Owen McKenna in the Intermediate singles All Ireland semi final he is well capable of winning up North.

On Sunday the action switches back to a Leinster venue as Paul Lambert and Peter Hughes will hope to make it back to back All Ireland finals as they seek to continue their rise through the grades in the All Ireland Junior doubles semi final against Paul Fitzpatrick and Eddie Callaghan from Cavan in O’Loughlin’s Kilkenny next Sunday at 2pm. It’s another big step for the St Joseph’s /Ballyhogue duo but be sure that they will leave nothing unturned judging on how they clawed victory from the jaws of defeat in the Leinster final this won’t be lost by lack of effort any way.

Leinster Handball Finals

Last week Paul Lambert and Peter Hughes somehow dug out a fantastic Leinster title in Junior doubles, in a fantastic match against Jerome Willoughby and Pat O’Donnell from just across the border in Wicklow. The Garden County men won the opening set 21-20 and looked primed for victory serving at 20-15 in the second set. However, Lambert and Hughes never gave up, got the Wicklow men out at and made two aces to bring it to 20-17 behind, but when they lost their serve again it looked like curtains for the Wexford pair. However, their never say die attitude forced the Wicklow men to crumble while serving again and when they made no aces, Hughes and Lambert made sure to finish out the second set 21-20. That shook the wind out of the Wicklow duo and the Model county men drove on to secure the Leinster title on a 21-9 score line in the third.

In the Ladies Junior grade there was double disappointment last week for Wexford. In the singles Leinster final Marguerite Gore was beaten on a 21-8, 21-13 score line against Aoife McCarthy from Westmeath who won last year’s Junior B singles All Ireland title.Gore was sick of the sound of McCarthy at the end of the week as Gore and Martina Walshe were beaten in the Ladies Junior Doubles Leinster final on a 21-13, 21-8 score line against Aoife McCarthy who was joined by Niamh Egan in another Westmeath victory.