Last week the finals of the Wexford handball 40 x 20 winter league took place in venues across the county and there was some fantastic finals played across a total of twenty three adult divisions and also various grades for juvenile handballers, with players from five counties in the south east of the country taking part, from Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Laois and Kilkenny with each county celebrating success.
Gavin Buggy collected the Premier A division title as he had too much experience for Peter Funchion from Kells. Buggy who has held this title before was much better at forcing the winning shots and his high tempo was too much for Funchion as Buggy eventually collected the top prize on a 21-10, 21-12 score line.
Jerome Willoughby one of the famous singing brothers from Coolboy in County Wicklow collected the Premier B singles title as he beat Pat O’Donnell from Arklow in an all Wicklow final. Willoughby came out on top of a three set thriller on a 21-15, 18-21, 11-7 score line.
The final of Division 1 was a clash of two Ballyhogue players the new kid on the block Gaelon Riordan and the more experienced Peter Hughes. It was to be success for Hughes as the two players who were semi finalists in the World Championships this October played a fantastic match in their home court with Hughes getting through 21-16, 21-12.
Brendan Burke from Kells in County Kilkenny won a battle between the Nore and the Barrow as he defeated Garryhill’s Ollie Ryan in a terrific division 2 final. Burke was hammered 21-8 in the opening set but he regrouped and took the game to Ryan and forced a tie break after a 21-15 win in the second set, in the tiebreaker both players had chances but it was Burke who won out 11-6.
Tony Breen won the all Templeudigan clash of him and Noel Holohan in comfortable fashion, never letting Holohan find his form and Breen pushed the pace and won 21-11, 21-14 against Holohan to capture the division 3 title.
Jim Berry playing his best handball of the season as the year draws to a close added the title of Division four to his belt after a tremendous battle against Diarmuid Burke from Kells. A fantastic match eventually saw Berry win 21-20, 21-14.
Damien Kelly collected a fine win for his Coolgraney club in the division five final, as he got by the challenge of Andrew Dowling from Monavea in County Laois. Kelly moves up to division four after this 21-17, 21-15 triumph over the Moore County man.
Peter McGrath completed a double of wins for Coolgraney by adding the division six title as he won a three set final against Fergal McWilliams from Horeswood. The opening two sets were shared 21-17, 15-21 before McGrath delivered a blinding third set and he was victorious on an 11-0 score line.
Robert Byrne from Bridgetown took the division seven title after Eoin Leacy was forced to pull out with injury, while the division eight title was a big win for Kevin Barrett from Tinryland as he blitzed Kevin Doyle from Davidstown 21-6, 21-12.
Aaron Geoghan made it two titles for the Carlow club dressed in blue and white as he won another three set encounter taking care of Billy Rossiter from Ballyhogue. Geoghan came from behind to win 12-21, 21-16, 11-5.
Templeudigan finished the week with a total of three title in adults grades as Dermot Flynn added the division 10 title and his cousin Richard Flynn added the division 11 title in fine style. IN the division 10 decider Dermot Flynn beat Kevin Rossiter from Garryhill 21-18, 21-17. Richard then downed another Carlow man in the division 11 final as he beat Sean Doyle from Tinryland 21-15, 21-17.
Division 12 went the way of Coolboy as Declan Jordan was the winner defeating Padraig Roberts from Kilmyshall 21-18, 21-12 . Division 13 was among the best of the week another three set game went right to the wire before Niall Leacy from St Joseph’s won through 11-21, 21-15, 11-10 against Richard Martin Jnr from Bridgetown.
Keith Armstrong from Davidstown took another close final in division 14 as he beat Seamus Sinnott from St Martin’s 21-14, 20-21, 11-7. There was three sets in the division 15 final also as Stevie Lawlor Bridgetown was the winner over coming Tommy Cummins from Horeswood 21-18, 20-21, 11-7, while Gavin Goggins was too strong in the final of division 16 as he powered past Jody Shaughnessy from Coolgraney 21-15, 21-8.
James Stanners (St Martin’s) won division 20 as he overcame Martin Crowley from St Joseph’s 21-8, 21-10.
The women’s open final was a fine win for Patricia Doyle from Coolboy as she was too strong on the night for Marguerite Gore from St Mary’s as the Wicklow woman won 21-8, 21-7.In division two of the women’s singles Roisin Walsh from St Joseph’s beat Olivia Sweeny from St Joseph’s in a close fought club derby 21-19, 21-13.
Melissa Boland took the win in the final of women’s division 3, as the Coolgraney woman beat Julie Kearny from St Joseph’s 15-12, 15-12.