Business end for Juveniles
60 x 30 handball round-up
The County Wexford 60 x 30 Juvenile handball championships will come down to the business end of things this coming week. Nearly every game to be played this week across the county will carry great importance, as a place in the county final is at stake.
In the hotly-contested boys Under-12, Shane Kehoe (St. Mary's) has two wins from two and sits in pole position moving into the final round robin week. But with John Connors and Conor Horan, both from Coolgreany, and Bobby Doyle (Taghmon) waiting in the wings for a mistake to be made, no one is safe just yet in this group.
The boys' Under-13 group is wide open with Johnny Goggins (St. Joseph's), Killian Whelan (St. Mary's), Craig Banville (Taghmon) and Mylie Connors (Coolgreany) all dropping points in the previous rounds. All four players are capable of producing fine handball so this one is definitely going down to the wire.
The boys' Under-14 group winner has been decided with Mark Doyle (Taghmon) taking a clean sweep. The crunch game in this group sees Ben Keeling (St. Joseph's) take on Tommy Connors (Coolgreany) today (Tuesday) in Castlebridge. Both players have tremendous ability and this is not a game to be missed. Conor Murphy (Taghmon) has completed all his games and his attention will now move to his county doubles final.
In the boys Under-15, Dean O'Neill (Ballymitty) and Diarmuid Moore (St. Joseph's) lead the way. Both players will take on each other this coming week, in what should determine the group winner. Also in this group, David Doyle (Castlebridge) will do battle with Michael Shiel (Bridgetown).
The boys' Under-16 group sees Cian Kehoe (St. Joseph's) takes on Jack Murphy (Taghmon), and both players need the three points having previously dropped points. This promises to be nail-biting stuff.
Callum Smithies (Bridgetown) will be hoping to cause an upset when he takes on group leader Josh Kavanagh (St. Joseph's) who is hoping for three wins in a row.
The boys Under-17 have only completed one round of games to date, with action coming thick and fast this week. Colm Parnell (Ballyhogue), Ciarán Power (Coolgreany), Josh Whelan (Bridgetown) and Robert Cogley (Ballymitty) are all still in contention to take the top two spots in this group.
The girls' Under-13 group is made up of Jodie Keeling, Ellie Murphy-O'Gorman, Alannah Wogan and Elizabeth Walsh, all representing St. Joseph's. Jodie is standing on top of this group and it will take a great effort by the other girls to remove her from top spot.
The girls Under-14 all come from Ballymitty, with sisters April and Emily Moran, Danielle Kinsella and Becky O'Neill making up this group. This group is far from decided and it will certainly be a case of leaving friendships at the alley door for the final round of games this week.
Unfortunately, in the girls Under-16 injuries have forced the withdrawal of Clodagh White (St. Joseph's) and Ciara Parnell (Ballyhogue). This leaves Cliodhna O'Connell and Leanne Boland, both from the north Wexford club of Coolgreany, to do battle in the championship final.
The girls' Under-17 group consists of four enormously talented girls in Cora Doyle and Eva Crean, both St. Joseph's, and Lucia Merrigan and Lauren Flanagan, both Coolgreany. All girls will have to show their fighting spirit as they look for the last few points to see them over the finishing line with both places still available.
The boys Under-10 are divided into two groups and will also complete their final round of games.
Group A winner has already been decided with Eoin Kinsella (Coolgreany) taking top spot having impressively not dropped a point. Conor Doyle (Taghmon) and Nathan Lawlor (Barntown) are both battling for second place.
Group B is a different story where four of the seven boys still remain in the mix.
Ryan Murphy (Coolgreany) is leading the way, but just over his shoulder are Rory Goff (St. Joseph's), Jerry Goggins (New Ross) and Mick Connors (Taghmon).
The boys Under-11 have reached their quarter-final stage and two games are fixed to be played this week: Jamie Barnes (St. Mary's) v. Shane Cleary (Ballymitty), and Jack Creane (St. Mary's) v. James Walsh (St. Joseph's). All four are very talented young players and both games have potential to be 'alley crackers'.
The 60 x 30 handball nationals take place this coming weekend in venues across the county. The cream of the crop in both Juvenile and adult handball from all over Ireland will descend on Wexford in the hope of securing these much sought-after titles.
Wexford have a large number of entries across all codes and will feel we certainly have a great chance in keeping some of these titles at home here with us.
Best wishes to everyone taking part; get down to your local ball alleys and support our Wexford players.