Four Wexford handballers in All-Ireland finals
WHILE GAVIN Buggy ultimately failed in his bid to gain a place in the All-Ireland Senior open handball final, Wexford triumphed on four occasions over the same weekend to secure All-Ireland spots.
Up against Eoin Kennedy from Dublin, the model professional and the master of the 60 x 30 court, Gavin was always going to be up against it in the semi-final played in Abbeylara, Co. Longford.
The final score of 21-5, 21-9 again showed just how good Kennedy is, and while Gavin will go away disappointed, he knows that his day will come at Senior level.
Indeed, Gavin didn't have long to wait to get back on the winning foot as he and John Roche from Castlebridge joined forces to win a spot in the All-Ireland 0ver-35 doubles final. In the game played in Castlebridge proving too stron for Judge and Michael Ginelly from Mayo winning 21-7, 21-8.
One of the handballers of the year in county Wexford, Paul Lambert, continued his winning run. His performance in Williamstown, Co. Galway, was right from the top drawer as he devoured Kevin Craddock, the Connacht champion, on a 21-5, 21-8 scoreline.
In the Junior doubles final, it was a case of what might have been as Eugene Kelly and Jason Murphy failed to find their Leinster titlewinning form as they crashed out to Roscommon pair Niall McGrath and Chris Doolin. The Roscommon men raced away in the first game as the Castlebridge duo could not find any of their top form and failed to register a single point, losing 21-0.
To be fair to the Wexford men, they gave everything in the second set and, with the game at a crucial juncture and the Wexford men in front, the referee gave a shocking call. Kelly killed a ball.
But the referee gave a cover ball and the momentum was broken. The Roscommon men regained the ascendancy to complete the job with a 21-11 win.
Junior 'B' doubles was won last year by Wexford pair David Redmond and Darren O'Toole, and it may be two in a row for the Model county as Noel Holohan and Peter Hughes have now won their place in the final defeating Seamie Connelly and Derek Ward from Roscommon 21-4, 21-6.
In the Minor doubles semi-final, there was a fantastic start for home duo Dean Corrigan and Cory Murphy from Castlebridge who won the opening set 21-10. However, Mark Nally and Cian Connelly from Roscommon, raised the bar too much for the home side and saw out the game 21-7, 21-3.
Despite this defeat, there was masterly display for Castlebridge taking place in Sligo in the Silver Masters 'B' doubles semi-final as Brendan and Stephen Murphy produced the goods to secure a final spot. After a reasonably comfortable 21-12 win in the opening set, the Murphy brothers excelled in greater fashion with a 21-2 win in the second set.
Unfortunately, the final doubles All-Ireland semi-final involving a Wexford pair resulted in defeat as Mylie Byrne and Aiden Sinnott lost out to Frank Martin and Aidan Bell in Golden Masters 'B' .