Wednesday 13 December 2017

Daniel's star is still on rise

Kavanagh earns final spot

Fergal McWilliams of Horeswood (left) who beat James Stanners (St. Mart's, right) in the Over-35 singles final
Fergal McWilliams of Horeswood (left) who beat James Stanners (St. Mart's, right) in the Over-35 singles final
Eugene English (Ballyhogue, winner) and Tom Byrne (Kilmyshall) met in the Emerald Masters 'B' singles final
Dean O'Neill, Conor Murphy, Richie Lawlor, Josh Kavanagh, Mark Doyle and Josh McMahon represented Wexford in the recent Leinster Juvenile finals

A week after competing in his first-ever Wexford 40 x 20 Senior championship final, Daniel Kavanagh secured his place in a first-ever Intermediate All-Ireland singles final with a polished display to defeat Connacht champion Ian McLoughlin from Mayo on his home patch last Sunday in Newport.

Often the home advantage can swing a game, and certainly the man from Mayo settled best and raced into an early 5-2 lead. However, great game management by Kavanagh saw him break the stride of the Mayo man, and a wisely-taken time-out saw Kavanagh come back strong to tie the game 5-5 and then push 9-5 in front.

With momentum and shot selection in his favour, Kavanagh continued to flourish and he was soon serving at 20-14 and closed out the game in fine style with a nice kill for a 21-14 first set win.

Superb fitness in the gym and on the court was standing to Kavanagh, and he blitzed his west of Ireland opponent in a second set siege of great serving and killing, sealing his spot in a maiden Intermediate decider with a 21-8 win in the second set.

A mouth-watering final is ahead for the St. Joseph's clubman as he will once again meet Tadgh Carroll from Cork, and Daniel knows only too well that anything but his best will not be enough against a hugely-talented Rebel county man.

County Senior champion Gavin Buggy secured his spot in the final of the Over-35 'A' singles championship as he also had success out west, defeating another Mayo man, Vinnie Moran.

In a championship that has been fruitful for Buggy in the past, he wrapped up a final berth with a comprehensive 21-16, 21-10 win over the Mayo man and will now meet Ricky McCann in what promises to be a very good final.

Fergal McWilliams was defeated in the All-Ireland final of the Over-35 'B' singles in 2016 and hoped to go one better, but his dreams were shattered on Sunday as Denis Creaton from Roscommon put paid to the chances of the Horeswood man in their semi-final 21-6, 21-18.

Cora Doyle is on the cusp of greatness at Minor level in the ladies' handball game as the talented star from St. Joseph's was not in the mood for singing the Galway Girl, but she was in the mood to defeat Galway girl Aishling Ní Mhaoláin on her home patch of Moycullen on Saturday.

Fresh from her Leinster success, Doyle was in brilliant form in the semi-final and defeated Ní Mhaoláin on a 21-4, 21-4 scoreline

The prize last weekend for all the talented under-age handballers of county Wexford was to secure a spot in an All-Ireland final in Kingscourt in two weeks' time.

The plan was set and it was followed to perfection by all concerned as every semi-final competed in was won by the Model county.

Mark Doyle and Conor Murphy got the day of wins under way in the Under-14 doubles and they defeated Philip Halliday and Eanna Moran from Roscommon on a 15-2, 15-6 scoreline in Monavea, Co. Laois.

That success got the ball rolling and next into the 40 x 20 court was Under-16 singles starlet Josh Kavanagh, not happy to be just the brother of the talented Daniel Kavanagh. Josh has formed his own line of success over the recent years and will drive on for more when he plays the final after he was a 21-12, 21-4 winner over Jason O'Toole from Galway.

Colm Parnell and Ciarán Power are looking good in the Under-17 doubles as they romped to a fine win over Darragh Jordan and Shane Lawless from Galway 21-6, 21-7, and their win was matched by the ladies in the Under-17 doubles semi-final where Cliodhna O'Connell and Eva Crean blitzed Orla Whyte and Sinéad Healy from Galway 21-2, 21-2.

Wexford People

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