Local girls Muireann O’Brien from Kilworth and Conna’s Cliona Dunning were both crowned All-Ireland GAA Handball Champions in their respective categories in Roscommon at the weekend.
15 year old Muireann and playing partner Celine Kelleher from Boherbue won the U17 Girls Doubles competition in the 60X30 alley beating Kilkenny duo Emily Kenny and Lauren Grace with a score of 21-5 in the first game and 21-1 in the second game.
This is the Muireann and Celine’s 2nd All-Ireland medal and they are looking forward to contending for another medal next year.
Cliona Dunning from Conna and her playing partner Sarah Walsh from Mallow, also came home with All-Irelands medals after winning the Girls U16 Doubles competition beating Wexford sisters Emily and April Moran in a close battle.
The Cork girls lost their first game by 2 points but came back strong in the second game which finished 21-7 to Cork. Cliona and Sarah narrowly defeated the Wexford girls in the tiebreaker with a score of 11-8.
Speaking after the matches on Sunday, the Preseident Elect of GAA Handball Dessie Keegan, praised the Cork girls for the exceptional amount of commitment and travel they had to to do to train and prepare for the All-Ireland finals.
Cork on top
Eight young people, both boys and girls wore the Cork jersey in the Handball All-Ireland at the weekend and those eight players came home with an All-Ireland medal in their hands, which was an exceptional achievement.
As well as the girls’ wins, the U15 Boys Doubles competition and the U16 Boys Doubles competition, which were played at the weekend in Moycullen, Co Galway, were won by Cork players.
A game for all
Local handball clubs like Kilworth, Ballyporeen, Fermoy, Conna, Liscarroll and others are crying out for players, both girls and boys, to take up the sport.
Sunday’s medal winners are proof that no matter where you’re from, you can succeed at the highest level in handball.