ALLEY CHAT with Antóin Ó Braoin
McWilliams off to a Flyer
After a number of years when his challenge for Leinster honours fell just short of what was required, Barry McWilliams of Horeswood Handball Club finally looks to have packed his bag with all the components needed for victory in this year’s Over 35 B singles provincial championship. He began his campaign in hugely impressive fashion at Tinryland on Thursday last by simply obliterating Noel Winders, Kildare on a scoreline of 21-7, 21-1 and in the process served notice of his intentions to make a serious bid for what would be his first national handball title.
A member of the well know family of handballers, Barry embarked on a serious training programme a few months ago which saw him take in the Wexford Winter League along the way and while he was disappointed to lose out to the eventual winner Peter McGrath, Coolgreany in the Division 2 semi-final he has not let that defeat derail his momentum or his ambition. Against Winders he displayed the type of ruthlessness he has often lacked in the past and when asked jokingly how he conceded that single point in the second, he responded “at 15-0 up I skipped one into the corner. I was disappointed”. Precisely the type of attitude needed if this difficult championship is to be won for the first time by a Wexfordman!
Elsewhere in Leinster the 2012 All Ireland junior B winners Darren O’Toole and Malachy Whelan got their campaign in the higher junior grade off to a winning start with a comfortable 21-12, 21-12 victory over Andrew Dowling and Peter Whelan, Laois and while this grade does represent a considerable step up in class for the Wexford players, on this showing they have the skill and bottle to make an impact. Bryan Kehoe performed well in minor singles but was just edged out 21-19 in the deciding third game by Dylan Caulfield, Kilkenny at Goresbridge.
Leinster Convention in Wexford
Wexford plays host to Leinster on Sunday next when the provincial GAA Handball Convention takes place at the Maldron Hotel, Wexford. Delegates from around the province will converge on the county from Saturday evening onwards for the annual meeting of administrators which this year is destined to be one of the quieter affairs. With very few motions on the clár and little of a contentious nature in the offing, an early evening is envisaged. As far as the nominations are concerned Wexford’s interests are now confined to the re-election of Ricky Barnes who will be returned unopposed as Chairman of the Leinster Juvenile Committee. Acting County Secretary, Tony Breen had been nominated for the position of Provincial Administrator but withdrew due to the ongoing difficulties in finding a successor in Wexford. Back in 2002, which was the last time Convention was held in the county, he had been elected as Chairman.
Juvenile Championship at the Knockout Stage
The new county championship format for juvenile handball is working well in its in augural year and next weekend will see the knockout quarter final stage reached ahead of schedule. After two weeks and just north of 100 games the big names now enter the arena having been excluded from the league stages. This new format will see the group winners seeded 5-8 in each age group and they will face the top four seeds for a place in the semi-finals and perhaps, more importantly, a place on the county development squad and on the Wexford team for the Leinster championships. These provincial championships will commence in early February and training has already commenced. The county quarter finals will take place at multiple venues around the county next weekend and the semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of 24-26th January. The finals will be held on the weekend of 31st January-2nd February. The B and C championships which also form part of the new competition structure will take place over the coming weeks.
BU10 Bobby Doyle (STJ) dft John Connors (COG), Johnny ‘Chap’ Goggins (STJ) dft Miles Connors (COG), Jack Murphy (STJ) dft Eoin Roche (BAM), Rory Dobbs (STJ) dft Eamonn O’Shea (TLU), Ryan Moran (BAM) dft Sean Connolly (TLU)
BU11 Ross Cody (COG) dft David Murray (BRT), Conor Murphy (STJ) dft Tommy Connors (COG), Scot Leonard (COG) dft Zack Breslin (STM), Ryan Boland (COG) dft Rory Devereux (STM), Conor Dobbs (STJ) dft Rory Devereux (STM), Ben Keeling (STJ)dftAaron Dempsey (STJ), Shane Kingston (STM) dft Rurdhán Redmond (COG)
BU12 Cian Byrne (BRT) dft Jake Kelly (COG), Michael Gaynor (BAM) dft Laurence Brennan (TLU)
BU13 Jake Kelly (TLU) dft Dorian Reville (BAM), Páidí O’Shea (TLU) dft Ciaran Cullen (STJ), Sam Cody (COG) dft Rory Cassidy (BRT)
BU14 Robert Cogley (BAM) dft Ciaran Connolly (TLU)
BU15 Adam Hanrahan (CAB) dft Ross Cody (COG), Jack Hendrick (BRT) dft Criostoir Reville (BRT)
BU16 Daniel Kelly (TLU) dft Conor Nolan (COG), Laurence Dunne (KIL) dft John Power (COG), Gavin Connolly (TLU) dft Kevin Shannon (BRT)
GU10 Ellie Murphy-O’Gorman (STJ) dft Stacy O’Rafferty (COG)
GU11 Shauna Owley (COG) dft Lillian Condon (BAM)
GU12 Lauren Mahon (STJ) dft Amy Barron (STJ)
GU13 Katie Mahon (STJ) dft Hayley Bohanna (BAM)
GU14 Andrea Carley (STJ) dft Aisling Hennessy (BAM)
Adult Singles Results
Senior Gavin Buggy (STJ) dft Darren O’Toole (COG) 21-12, 21-2, Tommy Hynes (STY) dft Peter McGrath (COG) 21-6, 21-2, Paul Lambert (STJ) dft Peter McGrath (COG) 21-8, 21-16
Intermediate Tony Breen (TLU) dft David Kenny (CAB) 21-17, 21-14
Junior Robert Byrne (BTR) dft Richie Culleton (STJ) 21-7, 21-10, Keith Armstrong (KIL) dft Harry Lacey (STJ) 21-7, 21-9, Robert Doyle (STJ) dft Padhraic Roberts (KIL) 21-8, 21-11
Junior B Gavin Goggins (STY) dft Ronan Greene (BAT) 21-5, 21-9, Michael Goggins (BAT) dft Eamonn Bowe (DAT) 21-4, 21-5, James Nolan (KIL) dft Kevin Cowman (TLU) 21-11, 21-20,
Masters B Richard Ryan (HOW) dft PJ Lacey (STJ) 21-10, 21-8
Diamond Masters Jim Doyle (BAT) dft Miley Byrne (BAM) 21-6, 21-5
Tommy Hynes who advanced in the county senior singles championship.