Castlebridge claim trio of 60 x 30 county titles
There was another week of fantastic finals in the Wexford GAA handball 60 x 30 championships, and the action got under way with the Junior doubles title going to Castlebridge as David Kenny and Jason Murphy defeated Paddy Haughton and Matthew Hynes from St. Mary's 21-7, 21-14.
John Roche added a second title for Castlebridge as he won the Junior 'B' singles by defeating an in-form Pádhraic Roberts from Kilmyshall 21-18, 21-14. A hat-trick for the men in black and amber was sealed as John Murphy collected the Masters 'B' singles title by defeating his clubmate John Roche. Murphy took the opening set 21-17, but the game came to a quick end as Roche, leading 9-2, had to retire after suffering an injury.
Ballyhogue celebrated a double of titles as well during the last week as Michael Rossiter and Billy Rossiter both won county finals. Michael won the Emerald Masters 'B' singles title in a cracking match, defeating Jimmy Dunne from Kilmyshall 20-21, 21-13, 21-16.
Billy was a much more comfortable winner in the Diamond Masters 'B' singles as he got the better of John Bail from St. Martin's 21-10, 21-7.
In the final of the Junior 'C' doubles, another fantastic game was played out and St. Mary's duo Fintan Furlong and Tommy Hardy collected the honours as they came through a ding-dong battle with Ballymitty duo David Cleary and Seamie O'Neill.
The Ballymitty pair won the opening set 21-16, however the St. Mary's duo who have impressed all season were not to be denied on finals night as they recovered superbly to win 21-13, 21-16 in the remaining sets and secure the title.
There was revenge for Ballymitty in the Over-35 doubles final however as J.R. Finn and Alan O'Neill beat the same St. Mary's pairing 21-8, 21-9, with Furlong and Hardy unable to rediscover the form that saw them home in the other final.
Another great story from the week was the sight of Tony Breen from Templeudigan winning the Diamond Masters 'A' singles by beating Jim Doyle from Barntown 21-16, 21-11.
Breen was told by doctors in December that he would not play handball again after suffering a major health scare, but he has made an impressive recovery and his fitness levels have pulled him out the other side and certainly you can expect to see him on the courts again.
It was once again great to see a women's beginners' tournament and this year the winner was Máire Busher from Bridgetown who defeated Claire Cousins from St. Mary's 15-14, 15-6. Due to walkovers, Courtney Browne (Coolgreany) was crowned women's Junior 'C' singles title, Fintan Doyle was awarded the Emerald Masters 'A' singles, and Keith Armstrong was awarded the Minor singles title.
It was a great week for Wexford handball in the Leinster 60 x 30 championships as there was four wins for the county. In the Intermediate doubles, Darren O'Toole and Malachy Whelan were very impressive in defeating William Love and Daniel Love from Kilkenny 21-6, 21-12.
Stephen Murphy was also in fantastic form as he beat Jimmy Shanahan from Kilkenny in the Golden Masters 'B' singles 21-14, 21-4.
There was two all-Wexford clashes in the Emerald Masters 'B' singles. An all-Kilmyshall clash saw Jimmy Dunne defeat his clubmate, Tom Byrne, in a three-set contest 21-10, 16-21, 21-8. Michael Rossiter advanced in the same competition after defeating Brendan Murphy 21-3, 21-6.
Fixtures - Tuesday, July 28, at Templeudigan, 8.15 p.m.: MAS, Eugene Kelly (Castlebridge) v. Ricky Barron (Barntown).
Wednesday, July 29, at Coolgreany, 7.30 p.m.: Junior 'D' doubles, David Stanners and Paddy Curran (St. Martin's) v. Laurence Dunne and Alan Armstrong (Kilmyshall); 8.15 p.m., Intermediate doubles, Mikey Berry and Jim Berry (Barntown) v. Malachy Whelan and David Kenny (Castlebridge).
At Garryhill, 7.30 p.m., Junior 'B' singles, Pádhraic Roberts v. John O'Neill (Kilkenny).
At Talbot's Inch, 7.30 p.m., Junior singles, Paul Lambert v. Keith Kavanagh (Wicklow).
Friday, July 31, at New Ross, 7.30 p.m.: Emerald Masters 'B' doubles, Michael Rossiter and Billy Rossiter (Ballyhogue) v. Jimmy Dunne and Tom Byrne (Kilmyshall); 8.15 p.m., Golden Masters 'B' doubles, Frank Maddock and Kevin Murphy (Ballymitty) v. Stephen Murphy and Brendan Murphy (Castlebridge).
Saturday, August 1, at St. Mary's, 5.45 p.m.: women's Junior doubles, Róisin Walsh and Cora Doyle (St. Joseph's) v. Holly Hynes and Marguerite Gore (St. Mary's); 6.30 p.m., Intermediate singles, Mikey Berry (Barntown) v. Darren O'Toole (Coolgreany).
At New Ross, 6.30 p.m., team event final, Ballymitty v. Kilmyshall.