Dramatic finish to Juvenile handball round robin
The Co. Wexford 60 x 30 Juvenile singles round robin stages has all but drawn to a close, in what you could describe as a dramatic finish.
In the boys Under-10 the northern county club of Coolgreany has produced the winners of both groups in Eoin Kinsella (Group A) and Ryan Murphy (Group B). They will be joined in the semi-final stages by Conor Doyle (Taghmon) who took second place in Group A.
The curtain will come down on Group B today (Tuesday) in Taghmon when the remaining three games will take place. Only after these games will the other semi-finalist be known.
Over in the boys Under-11, Liam Parnell (Ballyhogue) will take on one of Castlebridge's rising young stars, Joshua Roche. Liam has faced many hard challenges before and this game has the makings to be a terrific contest.
In the other quarter-final, we will see two very talented players as Rory Gilbert (St. Joseph's) will battle it out against Adam Kenny-Cronin (Coolgreany). Rory has played many games on the big stage and will hope his experience will see him overcome his gallant opponent.
Both games will take place today (Tuesday) in the Wexford town club, St. Mary's.
Having secured good wins in their quarter-final games, Jamie Barnes will play Jack Creane, clubmates and doubles partners from St. Mary's, at the semi-final stage.
Shane Kehoe (St. Mary's) took top spot and Conor Horan (Coolgreany), the runner-up, will now face each other in the county 60 x 30 Under-12 singles final. They had wins over John Connors (Coolgreany) and Bobby Doyle (Taghmon) respectively.
The county finalists in the boys Under-13 are group winner Johnny Goggins (St. Joseph's) and Mylie Connors (Coolgreany). Both chaps know each other's game very well and this one might have the makings of a three-game thriller written all over it.
Mark Doyle (Taghmon) will have to wait another few hours before he knows who he will face in the boys Under-14 county final. Tommy Connors (Coolgreany) defeated St. Joseph's player Ben Keeling last week where both players went at it hammers and tongs, producing some fine handball along the way.
Tommy's win also brings Conor Murphy (Taghmon) right back into the frame of things, meaning all three players have finished on the same points. The only way to separate these boys is to have a three-way play-off, which will take place this evening (Tuesday) in St. Mary's. All three have the skills, drive and ambition to make it to the county final.
Dean O'Neill (Ballymitty) and Diarmuid Moore (St. Joseph's) have advanced to the boys' Under-15 county final. With both players having recently paired up together to play in the 60 x 30 nationals and winning the Under-15 plate, there won't be a more competitive final than this one. With the county champion title up for grabs, both will be hoping to add another honour to their list.
Josh Kavanagh (St. Joseph's) has marched impressively into the boys' Under 16 singles final, and he now waits to see who will join him. Cian Kehoe, also a St. Joseph's player, must take on Jack Murphy (Taghmon) in the last round robin game, and it's a case of winner takes it all, as a place in the county final is at stake.
Jodie Keeling (St. Joseph's) continued her dominance in the girls Under-13 and finished her round robin games in top spot. Jodie will now face her 'stablemate', the very talented Ellie Murphy-O'Gorman.
Over in the girls Under-14, made up of all girls from the south county club of Ballymitty, taking the spoils were group winner April Moran and runner-up Becky O'Neill. April holds the title of 40 x 20 county champion 2017 and will hope to add the 60 x 30 to her growing list, but Becky will feel she has every chance to clinch the title herself. Who will emerge victorious in this final is anyone's guess.
Due to unsuitable dates, the girls Under-17 and boys Under-17 groups are slightly behind in their round robin games.
No player in either group has taken an unassailable lead but with two games in each group to played this coming week we will have to wait a little longer to know the identities of the finalists.
The weekend coming will see some Juveniles' attention move back to the county doubles 60 x 30 championship, with the finals being held this coming week. The top doubles pairings will do battle for the title and honour of being crowned 60 x 30 doubles champions 2017.