Leona goes for USHA glory

Over the Christmas period Leona Doolin from the St. Coman’s Handball Club will endeavour to capture the USHA Junior Nationals 17 and under singles and the 19 and under doubles with Aisling O’Reilly, in Tucson, Arizona. Leona secured her place on the Irish team by winning the Irish trials.    St. Coman’s girls have a good record in the Nationals. Lydia Doolin won several titles at 15, 17 and 19 and under and in 2001 Nicola Kelly won the 15 and under. Last year Marianna Rushe without winning a place on the Irish team went out to Kansas and was the star of the Nationals winning the 17 and under singles and with Pauline Gallagher of Mayo the 19 and under doubles.    Leona has had a wonderful year winning the following titles to date: All-Ireland Minor 40 x 20 doubles with Marianna Rushe beating Kerry.    The Irish National One Wall under 18 singles beating M. Rushe; gained a place on the Irish team to the Basque Country and a place on the Irish team going to Arizona; won USHA Irish trial beating Louise Walshe of Kildare in the final; won for Convent of Mercy, Roscommon, the All-Ireland senior 60 x 30 doubles title with Hillary Rushe beating Clare in the final; On the Connacht Inter Provincial 60 x 30 team that won the inter pro title beating Leinster in the semi and Munster in the final at Ballina, Tipperary. Hopefully she can round off a brilliant year with a win in the USHA Nationals in the US.    Two young players from Ballaghaderreen are travelling, Amy Corrigan and Stephen Cooney. Both excelled in various competitions during the year and are confident of doing well. Michael ‘Ducksie’ Walshe is the team manager and Croke Park official Niamh Egan is the Assistant Manager. Connacht Juvenile U-12, 14,16 Doubles Competitions: The team of six competitions take place on the 6 th January 2008 at Inverin for the boys and Moycullen for the girls. Starting time for both is 12 noon. These competitions are for ‘B’ players only and will give the less experienced juveniles much needed competitions. County 40 x20 Championship: The County 40 x 20 Championship got off to a good start even though there were a few cancellations. Unfortunately, a number of players failed to forward results and therefor lose out on the publication of results.    Players are urged to send their results to the PRO or County Secretary of a matter of courtesy if nothing else. On Sunday night there was a top class Junior Singles game at Curraghboy where Denis Creaton of Lisacul defeated Phillip O’Connor of the host club 21-12 and 21-15.    Niall McGrath of Coman’s defeated Lisacul’s Sean Jennings at Lisacul 21-18, 21-20. The Coman’s man was sharper on the day and his left-hand play was terrific. Paul never got into his stride and the Coman’s man showed his experience and all round skill to win well. Curraghboy Club Tournament: The Curraghboy Club Tournament will be held on Sunday 30 th December and will provide wonderful competition for members of the club. Williamstown Club 40 x 20 Tournament: The doubles tournament was won by Ollie Cassidy and J. Connaughton but there was a marvellous display by Curraghboy’s Phillip O’Connor and Paul Kelly. In the quarterfinal they beat Ollie Conway and partner 26-10 and in the semi they beat Paddy Donovan and partner 31-24 and a very tired Phillip and Paul lost the final to Cassidy and Connaughton 21-10, 21-8. Certainly a tremendous performance by the Curraghboy pair who will play the All Ireland Inter Club ‘B’ final with Padraic Coyle and Billy Kelly on Friday. All-Ireland Junior ‘B’ Inter Club Final: Abbeylara this Friday night is the venue for the ‘B’ Inter Club final between St. Brigids, Curraghboy against Cavan Gaels. On paper this Cavan Gaels team is stronger and have two players Fitzpatrick and Clerkin experienced at various levels including Inter Varsity fare. Brigids have done really well and have beaten Coolboy, Wicklow in the semi final. A good start is vital and in Phillip O’Connor the Curraghboy side have the ideal first singles and in Paul Kelly they have the form player of the competition who will draw in any arrears if they are not too great. The doubles of Billy Kelly and Padraic Coyle is steady and will give little away. It is an All-Ireland final and getting to that stage is a huge achievement for the talented Brigids team. All-Ireland Open Inter Club Final at Kingscourt: Congratulations to the Ballaghaderreen Handball club on winning their third 40 x 20 Open Inter Club title in a row and they stamped a seal of excellence on their performance by winning in style. They beat the Antrim side Gort na Mona. The winning team was Dessie Keegan, Vincent Moran, Paul Flynn, Joe McCann and Campbell Brennan. County 40 x 20 Championships: At Coman’s on Saturday 22 nd December at 5pm: P. Coyle/P. Kelly vs. O. Naughton/N. Neilan, A. Cunningham/C. Doolin vs. P. Deane/R. Carty. At Curraghboy at 5pm: N. McDermot/N.Mc Grath vs. P O’Connor/Pat Nolan At Lisacul at 5pm: J’B’D: N. Gordon/T. McGrath, vs. D. Carty/N. O’Dowd; J.D. Maughan brothers vs. S. Jennings/D. Creaton. Note: A number of these games will be postponed because of Inter Club Games. Players should contact the Secretary John Kennedy and their opponents to see if games are going on as scheduled. Results to the Secretary or PRO.