Places sealed in All-Irelands
Handballers in flying form
It was another successful weekend for Wexford handball players as three more All-Ireland final appearances were secured.
Keith Armstrong and Daniel Kavanagh have formed a new partnership and it's an exciting one that backed up their Leinster final win by pulling victory from the jaws of defeat in the Minor doubles All-Ireland semi-final. The Wexford boys lost the opening set 21-14 and were on the knife edge in the second game before coming through 21-20.
The loss of the second set affected home players Seán Kerr and Jack Campbell from Tyrone, and with their confidence shot the Wexford duo hit their top form and won the third set 21-14 to secure a spot in the final in two weeks' time.
David Redmond and John Roche are another Wexford pair who have qualified for an All-Ireland final as they were victorious last weekend in Tyrone in the semi-final of the Masters 'B' doubles. The Wexford pair are another new partnership and they have formed a strong combination.
They took the opening set against Seamus McCrory and Rory Grogan from Tyrone with a 21-16 win. Leading 16-12 in the second set, it looked likely they would see out the game but they lost it 21-16. That defeat seemed to galvanise the Wexford men as they hammered their Tyrone counterparts 21-5 in the third set to win this contest.
The third success on the court for Wexford last weekend came in the Emerald Masters 'B' doubles semi-final where Wexford pairing Richie Culleton and John Bail played some fantastic handball on their way to a 21-10, 21-6 win over Brian Havern and Peter McSherry from Down.
Unfortunately, a clean sweep of victories for Wexford pairings was to be denied in the semi-final of the Silver Masters 'B' doubles as Robert Doyle and Ricky Barron lost out 21-13, 19-21, 21-16 to Cavan duo Jimmy McKeon and Kevin Martin.
With the semi-final action now complete, next weekend it is All-Ireland singles finals time with several Wexford players in action in different venues across the country. It is hoped that there will be national titles coming to the Model county in some shape or form.
Saturday, March 14: At Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath, 11.30 a.m., Masters 'B' singles, Barry McWilliams v Shane Bruen (Sligo).
At Leixlip, 11.30 a.m., Silver Masters 'B' singles, Robert Doyle v. Mike Hayes (Clare), followed by Over-35 singles final, Gavin Buggy v. Dominic Lynch (Kerry).
At Dungarva, 12 noon, Diamond Masters 'B' singles, John Bail v. Dave Stack (Cork).
At Nenagh, 12 noon, Emerald Masters 'B' singles, Michael Rossiter v. Denis Phelan (Galway), followed by ladies' Junior singles final, Margeurite Gore v. Sinéad Ní Anlí (Galway).
The semi-finals of the All-Ireland 40 x 20 handball championships had got under way on the previous weekend, with four played in St Joseph's handball centre on Saturday afternoon.
Keith Armstrong lost out in the Minor singles as his remarkable winning run came to an end against a very strong Tyrone player, Seán Kerr
It may have been a case of so near and yet so far as Keith romped to a 21-5 win in the opening set. However, Kerr began to get a grip in the second set and won 21-18. As Armstrong had lost his way, the Tyrone man seized the initiative with a 21-13 success in the deciding set.
Darren Doheny from Monaghan put an end to Galen Riordan's chance in the semi-final of the Under-21 singles. Riordan took the opening set 21-20, but he was unable to back it up as the talented Monaghan man won the next two sets 21-13, 21-14.
Barry McWilliams won a spot in the final of the Masters 'B' singles with a terrific win over Michael Clerkin from Monaghan. In a game that McWilliams never looked like losing, he had a comfortable 21-12, 21-12 margin.
Robert Doyle followed that success with a fine win in the semi-final of the Silver Masters 'B' singles as he walloped Paddy McNicoll from Antrim 21-5, 21-4 to advance to the final.
Mick Armstrong was not as lucky in the semi-final of the Golden Masters 'B' singles as, like his son Keith, he found a member of the Kerr family too good. Conor Kerr won this contest on a 21-5, 21-6 scoreline.
Michael Rossiter pleased the home crowds in St. Joseph's with a brilliant victory in the semi-final of the Emerald Masters 'B' singles as he packed too much punch for Brian Havern from Down, winning 21-3, 21-11.