Mixed weekend for handballers on semi stage
Published 12/03/2016 | 00:00
It was All-Ireland semi-final weekend in the 40 x 20 singles championships.
And it was a mixed weekend for the Model county as two of five survived and advanced to the finals.
First in action was Gavin Buggy as he made the long journey to Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry, to take on his long-time friend and rival, Dominic Lynch, on his home patch.
Gavin was victorious in the opening set 21-15, but that was to be the highlight on the night for the visiting Wexford man as Lynch used home advantage and the huge crowd behind him to turn the game around as he won the second set 21-13.
Lynch was in control then and carried the momentum to the finish to win 21-2 in the third set of a highly-entertaining Over-35 'A' singles championship clash.
On Sunday afternoon there was a triple-header of semi-finals in St. Joseph's in Wexford town. First into action for Wexford was Kilmyshall's Mick Armstrong in the semi-final of the Golden Masters 'B' singles as he faced John Nihill from Clare.
It was a dominant performance from Armstrong as he won in two sets on a 21-7, 21-11 scoreline, and he will now be confident of success in the final in two weeks' time in Kingscourt.
Fergal McWilliams played in the Over-35 'B' singles grade for the first time this year and it is proving to be a very fruitful opening campaign as he is now into the All-Ireland final after he triumphed on Sunday.
In a three-set game, Fergal was best against Jamie O'Donnell from Cork 21-13, 14-21, 21-15.
The final act of the triple-header saw home favourite Daniel Kavanagh up against Tadhg O'Neill from Cork.
These two players have a great history both with and against each other over the past few years.
They were crowned world doubles champions at Under-13 together in 2012 in Dublin, and in Calgary in 2015 they were up against each other in two world finals, with one win coming to both of them in doubles.
However, on this occasion with a place in the Minor All-Ireland final up for grabs, Daniel got off to the perfect start in his home club, winning the opening set 21-18. O'Neill is a real talent just like Kavanagh and the young rebel showed this in the second set as he won 21-13.
In the third set O'Neill sparkled as Kavanagh struggled to find his best and the Cork lad advanced 21-7 in the end.
In the Under-21 singles semi-final it was disappointment also for Wexford as Galen Riordan was defeated by Colin Crehan from Clare. Riordan and Crehan are two fantastic players and real talents, but on this occasion Crehan shone brightest with a faultless 21-11, 21-10 victory.
In provincial action, David Redmond and John Roche have advanced to the Leinster final of the Masters 'B' doubles after they had a fine win over Conor Maxwell and George Ryan from Dublin (21-17, 21-19).
They have set up a final against Christy Donnelly and Conor McAllen, also from Dublin.