Kavanagh in Senior final

Handball

Tony Breen, who will take over as Leinster President this weekend
Tony Breen, who will take over as Leinster President this weekend

Daniel Kavanagh from St. Joseph's secured a spot in the 2017 Senior open singles final after a truly memorable match with Keith Armstrong from Kilmyshall which thrilled the big gallery.

The opening set went all the way, with Armstrong getting over the line 21-20. The second game saw the tempo and standard just as high, with both players displaying all the shots and Daniel levelling the game 21-17.

He seized the initiative from that stage, with his superior fitness levels really driving him on, and when he started hitting winners Armstrong was unable to step up. Daniel sealed the deal 21-4, with the win giving him a chance to take on his clubmate, coach and friend, Gavin Buggy.

Seán Flood and Adam Walsh fed off the St. Joseph's winning spirit to get a spot in the final of the Junior 'C' doubles grade as they were awesome in winning 21-5, 21-5 against Liam Rossiter and Colm Parnell.

Partners in the purple and gold jersey, David Redmond and John Roche will become rivals in the final of the Masters 'B' singles after both won last week. Redmond, from Templeudigan, was pushed all the way by Seán Stanners in the first game before triumphing 21-17, and with momentum in his corner he kept the boot down and romped home 21-8 in the second set.

Roche, from Castlebridge, had to work hard to see off Damien Kelly from Coolgreany in the second semi-final. A close contest went his way 21-13, 21-17.

Kilmyshall pair Paul Murphy and Shay Byrne won a fantastic semi-final in the Masters 'B' doubles as they just about got the better of Phil Coleman and Shane Rossiter from Ballymitty (21-17, 12-21, 21-15).

The Christmas tree is down and the new year is now well under way, as are the Leinster 40 x 20 handball championships. Wexford has a full-on county championship and the match practice really showed when the purple and gold army went forth over the past seven days.

Fresh from winning his Senior county semi-final, Daniel Kavanagh was ruthless is hammering seasoned Intermediate player William Love from Kilkenny 21-8, 21-6. Despite being only just turned 18, Kavanagh may be a dark horse for the competition.

Two Wexford players have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Junior singles, with Barry McWilliams and Noel Holohan progressing with impressive wins last week. Barry, from Horeswood, defeated last year's beaten semi-finalist Darren O'Toole in a three-set contest 16-21, 21-20, 21-14. The game came too quick for O'Toole who was recovering from injury, with the sharpness and fitness of McWilliams seeing him into the last eight.

Joining him there is Noel Holohan from Templeudigan, also a semi-finalist in 2016, who was in fine early provincial form in blasting past the challenge of Cian O Dálaigh 21-8, 21-2.

James Stanners and Shane Terry are progressing well in the Junior 'B' singles, with both players impressing last week. Stanners thumped Fergal Lalor from Kilkenny 21-6, 21-13.

Terry is proof of what the Wexford championships can do to a player as he has put two sterling showings together on the Leinster stage, with a brilliant 17-21, 21-2, 21-17 win over C.J. Delaney from Kilkenny carried into round two where he hammered Carlow's Eddie Nolan 21-7, 21-8.

Robert Byrne wrapped up a super week for the county when he triumphed in the Masters 'B' singles with a strong showing to beat Andrew Muldowney from Wicklow 21-16, 21-10.

Wexford men will be to the fore at next weekend's Leinster Convention in Na Fianna in Dublin.

Tony Breen from Templeudigan will be elected as President of the Leinster GAA Handball Association. After years of hard work in running the game in Wexford, Tony will once again step onto the provincial stage and he will certainly be a great man to lead Leinster over the coming years.

Gavin Buggy will once again be the Coaching Officer for Leinster, and he has a fine record of producing some terrific talent on the county, provincial, national and international circuits over the past few seasons.

Another man who will be honoured at the Leinster Convention is Alan O'Neill from Ballymitty who has revived his club in recent years with hard wotk to lead a committee of locals to renovate the alley, build the membership and bring in some new talent.

Along with this, Alan competes strongly on the court and is always to be seen on the back wall in support of his club and county colleagues. For his hard work Alan will be named the Leinster clubperson of the year for 2016.

Wexford People