Minor marvels win All-Ireland
Kavanagh and Butler shine
Published 15/10/2016 | 00:00
Croke Park has always been a happy hunting ground for Wexford handballers over the years in the big alley, with names like Lyng, Goff, Buggy, Keeling and Hynes just a few that have graced the big court.
Some would see it as the home of the game and a spot where Michael 'Duxie' Walsh was so often king of the castle.
On this occasion the Model county men of the hour were Daniel Kavanagh and Anthony Butler who shone brightest in purple and gold as they claimed the GAA Handball 60 x 30 All-Ireland Minor doubles title.
The opposition were Tyrone pair Seán Kerr and Turlough Clarke, both players more at home in the small court but both influential big alley players nontheless.
However, the Red Hand lads were powerless to stop the Slaneyside duo as Kavanagh from St. Joseph's and Butler from Ballyhogue played the game at a level of near perfection.
The shot selection of the Wexford men, their ability to retrieve the ball from incredible situations, and their great fitness and cuteness on the short line had the Tyrone men in all sorts of trouble from the off. The opening set was quickly won on a 21-4 scoreline.
In the second set the men from Tyrone gave everything to get a foothold, however they were unable to cope with the power and pace of the Wexford duo as Kavanagh and Butler sealed the deal with a 21-9 win.
This win was a fantastic second Minor title in a row for Daniel Kavanagh who last year won with Keith Armstrong. Kavanagh's stock seems to be growing in all codes of the game in big, small and one-wall formats and he is currently well able to deal with the pressure of high tempo competition.
It was a fantastic first Minor title for the Ballyhogue club as Anthony Butler proved his transformation from small alley to big alley is also top drawer, and this win will certainly make him another to watch in the future with the experience of competing so well in this premier final.
Wexford sit top of the order for Minor Softball doubles titles and with huge work being done at under-age levels in the county, the plans and pathways brought about by those who love the game are now starting to bear vital fruits.