Weekend to forget
Three losses in All-Ireland deciders
Last weekend saw the All-Ireland 40 x 20 doubles finals take place, and it was disappointing for some of the handball players of county Wexford.
Wexford players participated in three finals and unfortunately no results went the way of the purple and gold. Gavin Buggy and Peter McGrath were first into action on Saturday ain the final of the Over-35 doubles. Peter was standing in for the injured Tommy Hynes and the first-time partners were beaten on a 21-14, 21-18 scoreline by Mayo duo Campbell Brennan and Vinnie Moran.
It was another success for Mayo over Wexford in the Emerald Masters 'B' doubles as John Bail and Richie Culleton found the going too tough in the final against Frank Macken and John O'Malley who won 21-14, 21-20. It was a pity the Wexford duo were unable to close out the second set as one feels had they got through the second they may have captured the title.
In Tinryland on Sunday, David Redmond and John Roche were beaten in the final of the Masters 'B' doubles. The Wexford pair lost out 21-11, 21-4 to Clare pairing Tom Kirby and Richard Woods.
The opening set saw the Wexford men lead the early stages 6-3, but once the Clare duo found their rhythm they were scoring more winners. In the second set the Banner men got away early in play as they served a total of eleven points in one serving hand and this broke any resistance that the Wexford players had.
It was certainly a performance where the Wexford duo didn't produce anything near the form that saw them qualify for the final.
It has been a memorable season for Wexford handball and there is still the Minor doubles final to come when Keith Armstrong and Daniel Kavanagh will hope to add to an impressive national medal haul already for the county.
The remaining finals of the county 40 x 20 championships took place over the past week. The team of four final saw Kilmyshall take the honours with a four games to two win over St. Martin's on Wednesday in St. Joseph's handball centre.
The strong Kilmyshall team saw Niall Maher and Keith Armstrong in action in the singles while the doubles pairing of Mick Armstrong and Tom Byrne rounded off a very strong line-up in the red and white, while St. Martin's were well represented in the singles by Seán Stanners and James Stanners, with Paddy Curran and David Stanners taking part in the doubles leg of the competition.
The very successful women's beginners' competition saw a doubles and singles final played on Wednesday.
The doubles final saw Máire Busher and Mary Keeling beat Claire Cousins and Caroline Kehoe, while Máire Busher from Bridgetown collected the singles crown also as she defeated Marguerite Keeling from St. Joseph's in a very competitive final.
All in all it's been another successful small court season, and with the weather improving and the sun coming out it only means one thing: the big alley courts will soon come alive to the sound of alley crackers in the coming weeks with the 60 x 30 championships set to get under way.