Monday 20 November 2017

Fantastic win for Armstrong

All-Ireland glory in Cavan

Mick Armstrong is congratulated by national handball President Willie Roche who is a Wexford native
Mick Armstrong is congratulated by national handball President Willie Roche who is a Wexford native
Fergal McWilliams with national President Willie Roche

Last weekend was billed as a festival of handball as the final of the All-Ireland 40 x 20 singles took place in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the Senior men's final going to Robbie McCarthy of Westmeath and the Senior ladies' crown won by Cork's Caitríona Casey.

However, all the interest for the purple and gold was centred on Friday night as Fergal McWilliams and Mick Armstrong took to the court in separate finals.

Armstrong has watched his son, Keith, excel on the court in recent seasons, and the winning feeling has now passed up the line as Mick, who had come close on numerous occasions in the small court, finally laid the ghosts to rest with a fantastic win in the Golden Masters 'B' singles final.

Mick was up against the very good Mayo player Tom McCormack, and this was a final that went all the way. Mick took the opening set in impressive fashion on a 21-13 scoreline.

However, the man from the west of Ireland, who was crowned Golden Masters 'B' singles champion in the 60 x 30 court last year with a win over Brendan Murphy from Wexford, roared back in the second set and won it 21-15.

Mick Armstrong began the third set with powerful force and raced into a winning 19-7 position. However, there was a wobble of sorts as McCormack came back, but Armstrong was not to be denied on this occasion and, with his family support in the corner, Mick won the game 21-16 and collected the honours.

Fergal McWilliams was the next Wexford player in action and, unfortunately for the Horeswood man, he left his form behind him and found Trevor Hannon from Galway bang on his game in the final of the Over-35 'B' singles.

The Galway man raced to a 21-3 win in the opening set and, with everything going right for him, he pushed on and took the second set 21-5. Fergal played some fantastic handball to reach the final and his Leinster triumph will be a stepping stone to 2016 and another assault on the All-Ireland title.

The All-Ireland weekend did not finish there as on Sunday afternoon Wexford collected another title as the powerful Under-14 pairing of Josh Kavanagh and Diarmuid Moore won the doubles title with a fantastic comeback victory.

Josh, who claimed a world title last August in Calgary, was keen to add to his success with Moore, but their plan did not get off to the best start as they found Galway duo James Cummins and Enda Collins in top form and the boys from the west won the opening set 15-7.

However, the Wexford boys awoke to the occasion and romped home in the second set 15-6.

Momentum was with the lads in purple and gold and Kavanagh and Moore won a very good third set 15-11 and secured the All-Ireland Under-14 doubles title.

To wrap up a good weekend for the Model county, the Wexford Under-12/13 and the Under-14/15 team of six qualified for the Leinster finals after they both defeated Carlow to set up clashes with Kilkenny this weekend.

Wexford People

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