Doolin wins a classic encounter

St. Comans was the venue for one of the most enthralling 40×20 Junior singles County Finals for many years. Into the arena to face this titanic encounter came the visitor Denis Creaton from the Lisacul club and Christopher Doolin from the host club. Christopher Doolin just shaded this cliffhanger, winning 21 19, 21 20 and he can count himself very lucky to take the title. The scores tell it all. A marvellously skillful exhibition by both players. The Lisacul man should have won the second game with a slight lead coming into the straight. However, Doolin reeled in the Lisacul man’s lead to win by the narrowest margin. Both players will now go into Connacht Junior singles draw. The referee was Aengus Cunningham (St. Comans). Cumann Na mBunscoil (Primary School) competitions in Ballinrobe: Roscommon schools had mixed fortunes at the Cumann Na mBunscoil boys and girls handball competitions at Ballinrobe on Sunday 26 th January. Boys result: U-11 singles – winner Mayo. U-11 doubles winners Mayo.  Boys U-14 singles: T.J. Byrne (Mayo) competing in this grade was the promising Gordon Nolan of Gortaganny who came close against Mayo and Galway. Boys U-13 doubles: Winners Garry Kelly and Conor Egan of Abbey N.S. (Roscommon town) who beat in turn Sligo 15 2, 15 3, Galway 15 5, 15 4 and Mayo 15 11, 15 9. A really great win here for Roscommon U-13 boys and coach Aengus Cunningham. Girls competition: U-11 doubles: Fiona and Aoife Tully (Derrane N.S.) beat Leitrim and Mayo. U-11 singles: Caoimhe Shanagher (Convent of Mercy, Roscommon) lost to Galway. Girls U-13 singles: Lydia Clayton (Athleague N.S) lost to Leitrim 15 7, 15 3. Girls U-13 doubles: Sara Keenan and Tanya Fergus of Comans lost to the promising Glinsk pair of Rosin O’Brien and Rebecca Warde 15 8, 15 11. The girls who play out of the Ballincurry-Ballymoe Cub have trained hard for this win in recent months. Thanks to all who helped with transport and to Aengus Cunningham (Boys Coach) and Mary Tully (Girls coach) at Comans. All-Ireland Inter-varsities 40×20 singles championships at Kingscourt, County Cavan: Starting this Thursday night at Kingscourt the Inter-varsities handball championship swing into action. A big number of players, both boys and girls, will be taking part from County Roscommon representing their respective Third Level establishments. DIT have one of the biggest representation from Roscommon including as they do Thomas McGrath, Niall Gordon, Darra O’Gara, Emer Coyle, Katie Costello and Aifric Naughton and others.    NUIG have Rikki O’Gara, Nicola Kelly and Marianna Rushe and Sligo IT have one of the top contenders for the men’s Open singles in Christopher Doolin and Deirdre Donohoe of Comans and with the draws not yet complete there could be a number of other Roscommon players taking part. Top names in the Men’s events are P. McGlinchy, Ger Coonan, Rikki O’Gara, Brian Carroll, Christopher Doolin and Ollie Cassidy.    The women’s events are strong this year. There are seven from Comans taking part Emer Coyle (DIT), Katie Costello (DIT), Emer Coyle (DIT), Aifric Naughton (DIT), Deirdre Donohoe (UL), Nicola Kelly (NUIG) and Marianna Rushe (NUIG). The joint favourites for the women’s singles are Emer Fallon, Kildare and UCD and the brilliant Ashley Prendiville of Kerry and UCC. There is great anticipation among the Roscommon contingent that they can be in there at the end to contest titles. Beat of luck to all the players – and do Roscommon proud! Roscommon Herald – Super Valu awards: The sixth annual Roscommon Herald – Super Valu Sports stars Awards take place this Friday. Receiving the September award is Lauren O’Riordan for handball. She is a member of the St. Comans Club. In 2007 she won with Joan McHugh of Curraghboy the U-15 40×20 doubles All-Ireland, beating in turn Mayo, Kilkenny (in the semi-final) and Clare in the final. Lauren also upset the odds by winning the U-15 60×30 singles beating Aine Casey of Kerry in the All-Ireland final at Ballymacelliot in County Kerry. She also starred on the All-Ireland winning Connacht team playing at U-14 level to beat Leinster in the semi and Munster by 17 points in the final. She also took part in the Cumann Na mBunscoil competitions at Croke Park winning all her games. Lauren is currently preparing for the Gale Linn competition, which is a mixed 40×20 competition and plays with Colm Walshe in the doubles. She will also be taking part at U-13 level in the upcoming Irish Nationals and in the Juvenile championship she will be representing St. Comans at U-14 singles and is expected to win out at County level and go on to the Connacht Championship. A pupil of the Convent of Mercy, Roscommon she also competes at Gaelic, soccer, athletics and Golf. She is coached at the Comans club by M. Naughton.  40×20 Championship: The Roscommon teams in Junior ‘B’ and Junior singles and doubles going forward in the Connacht Championship are as follows: Junior singles: No.1 C. Doolin (Comans), Denis Creaton (Lisacul) No. 2. Junior Doubles: No. 1 Aengus Cunningham/C. Doolin and No. 2 Niall McGrath and N. McDermott. Junior ‘B’ Singles: The two singles players are Oisin Naughton and Nigel Neilan (both St. Comans). Junior ‘B’ Singles: No. 1 John Kennedy/S. Joyce (Ballymoe) and Nigel Neilan/O. Naughton No. 2 team. Venues and dates will be decided in a week. It was long County Championship and all the Junior ‘B’ and Junior players are now well prepared and will offer stiff opposition to Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Leitrim.