Club News‎ > ‎

2011 Junior Nationals Results

posted 13 Nov 2011, 14:02 by Unknown user

Cork's Carroll and Casey to lead Irish challenge in USA



A record breaking event saw the cream of youth handball in Ireland come together at venues around Kilkenny over the weekend with 16 major youth titles decided and, in turn, the 2011 Irish Junior Handball Team to travel to the USA International Tournament in Tucson, Arizona, finalised.


Ireland's record at the highly prestigious USA event is second to none in recent years and with the eagerly anticipated World Championships coming to Ireland, at Dublin's Citywest Events Centre, in just twelve months time the profile of the game is currently enjoying an all-time high. The newly crowned Irish Junior team will thus be eager to make a significant mark stateside in the build-up to the biggest International Handball event ever to be staged next year.


Meath handball legend, Tom Sheridan, was also announced as the Irish Junior Team Manager, along with Paula Clarke (Tyrone), and he is confident that Irish handball continues to shine the light internationally "Ireland have a great record at youth level and the skill and talent exhibited throughout the weekend suggests that 2011 is as good as we have ever had. I have been to the US as a player on many occasions and enjoyed success at all levels but going now as manager is a new and exciting challenge for me."



A capacity crowd packed into the O'Loughlin's Gaels club in Kilkenny on Sunday with a fantastic series of finals providing top class entertainment on the day. With the six key finals deciding the 2011 Irish Junior International GAA Handball Team to travel to Tucson, Arizona, there was of course added intrigue and excitement surrounding the ties.


Cork's Killian Carroll claimed the blue ribband Boys Youth event as he denied Galway's Martin Mulkerrins in the 19 & Under decider by 11-7 in the tie break while Carroll's county colleague, Catriona Casey, secured the Girls 19 & Under honours with a 21-3, 21-4 win over Westmeath's Aoife McCarthy. Galway's Ciana Ní Churraoin captured the 15 & Under Singles title for the second time with a 21-6, 21-11 win over Tyrone's Maeve McElduff and Roscommon's Lauren O'Riordain completed the girls junior team line-up with a 21-14, 21-14 victory over Limerick's Martina McMahon. 


In the Boys 15 & Under final, Clare's Colin Corbett secured his place on an Irish team for the first time when he overcame Meath's Evan Sheridan by 21-6, 15-21, 11-7. The National team was completed when Clare's Colin Crehan produced a breathtaking display to overcome Leitrim's rising young star, Donal Wrynn, by 21-15, 21-16.


The Irish Junior team will now be preparing on the courts for the next five weeks before flying to Tucson, Arizona, for a Christmas challenge for International honours and Sheridan feels that it will be a Christmas to remember "Christmas in the USA is definitely going to be different but this is the prize every young handballer in Ireland dreams off. There was again record numbers in this year's Junior nationals and the sport is certainly at an all-time high at present in this country. In fact the ever growing number of countries now competing around the world adds to the prestige of what the kids are now going to compete in and securing International gold medals in Arizona is something we will be working very hard to ensure."




A capacity crowd enjoyed another fantastic day handball in the O'Loughlin's Gaels club in Kilkenny on Sunday with a fantastic series of finals providing top class entertainment on the day. With the six key finals deciding the 2011 Irish Junior International GAA Handball Team to travel to Tucson, Arizona, there was of course added intrigue and excitement surrounding the ties.


A record 352 youth players participated in this year's event, with a hugely talented field in every grade. With the cream of youth handball in Ireland continuing to rise in numbers significantly with every season, this has again provided a terrific advertisement for the future strength of the game. Indeed, with the eagerly anticipated World Championships coming to Ireland, at Dublin's Citywest Events Centre, in just twelve months time the profile of the game is currently enjoying an all-time high. 


A total of 13 venues in Kilkenny, Carlow and Laois provided the setting for this year's Nationals and on Saturday in O'Loughlin's the Boys and Girls 11 & Under events exhibited fantastic skill and excitement for the massive entry and packed spectator base. In the end, following over 60 matches in the grades, the Boys title was won by the host county, Clogh's Ciaran Cooney and Kyle Dunne as they defeated St. Coman's (Roscommon) Michael Egan and Dylan Hanley in an 11-9 tie-break. The Girls final also saw fantastic skills served up with Leah Doyle and Niamh Masterson, from the Leixlip club in Kildare, claiming the honours against the combination of Dearbhla Coleman (Clann Eireann, Armagh) and Ciara Clarke (Carrickmore, Tyrone) by 11-7, 11-9.


The final action from Sunday morning, at which a huge crowd have packed into O'Loughlin's two courts, began in some style as Galway's Ciana Ní Churraoin, from the Inverin club, claimed the 15 & Under Singles title for the second time with a 21-6, 21-11 win over Brackey's (Tyrone) Maeve McElduff. That win secured the Inverin clubplayers place on the Irish team and she was quickly followed onto the team by St Coman's (Roscommon) Lauren O'Riordain, who had a terrific tussle with Cappagh's (Limerick) Martina McMahon. Both players were deadlocked for long periods in the opening game until O'Riordain broke at 12-12 and began to move away with a 21-14, 21-14 victory.


The girls lineup in the Irish Junior team was completed following the Girls 19 & Under final, which also decided the ladies Irish Junior Team Captain for 2011. There was little surprise too as Cork's Catriona Casey, from the Ballydesmond club, maintained her incredible winning sequence at all levels to overcome Westmeath's Aoife McCarthy in the final on a 21-3, 21-4 scoreline to claim the honours. 


While that decided the Irish ladies Junior team for 2011, the boys finals are now underway and first up in those was the hugely anticipated showdown involving Mallow's (Cork) Killian Carroll and Martin Mulkerrins, from the Moycullen club in Galway. Carroll, who won the Irish and US 17 & under title in 2010 and took the All Ireland minor honours in 2011, had shown all his class to overcome Clare's Christopher Philpott and Wicklow's Keith Kavanagh to reach the final. Mulkerrins, who won the ALl Ireland minor crown in 2011 had a sensational semi-final match-up with Kildare's gifted teenager, Niall O'Connor, and had to go a tie-break before claiming his place in this year's final.


That match opened at the expected blistering pace with amazing speed and finishing displayed by the two hugely talented young stars of the Irish game. Carroll though had an incredible start to the game and had amazingly opened up a 9-1 lead. While Mulkerrins continued to play deep and keep Carroll away from the supposed danger zone, it simply highlighted the amazing repertoire of skills of the Mallow player as he delivered some sensational long range kills. He sustained his eight point advantage to lead by 15-7 and went on to claim the opening game 21-13. The start of the second game produced a turnaround however as it was Mulkerrins who really began to deliver with incredible precision and power. His serving, which brought a series of low hard spinning drives, put him very much on the front foot and he lead by 9-2 and also kept that 7 point lead for some time before sitting at 14-7. Carroll did continue to keep his offensive game going however and it remained keenly contested as Mulkerrins stayed four points ahead, at 18-14 and then closed out the game 21-15. The tie-break was equally close and Carroll's serving possibly the difference as the deciding game unfolded. He shot 8-4 and then 9-6 in front and while Mulkerrins added another ace, Carroll took the title with two brilliant serves and follow-up kill shots.


That result thus means the 2011 irish Junior Boys and Girls captains will both come from Cork with Killian Carroll and Catriona Casey leading that team in 6 weeks time for the trip to USA. The Management team of Meath's Tom Sheridan and Paula Clarke has also been announced on Sunday in O'Loughlin's as preparations begin for that event.


Meanwhile the Boys 15 & Under event produced a few surprise results on Saturday with the defeat of a number of high ranked players epitomising the impressive standards in this grade. Clare's Colin Corbett, from Tulla club, looked ominously good in his path to the final and denied Meath's Robert Fox and Wicklow's Daniel Curry before defeating county colleague, Fergal Coughlan, by 21-6, 21-8 in the penultimate stage of the event. In the other half of the draw, Ramunas Ramuskas (Monaghan) had a superb 11-8 tie-break victory over Tyrone's Johnny Woods and then denied Clare's Brian Foley in the last eight stage. He fell at the semi-finals though to Kells clubman, Evan Sheridan (Meath), who also produced top class form to beat Oisin Foley (Wexford) and JJ English (Kilkenny) before enjoying that semi-final win over Ramuskas by 21-14, 21-15.

In the final, Corbett was on fire in the opening game with outstanding serving and finishing in the corners and he won 21-6. Sheridan though rallied in the second with a change of gameplan bringing his opponent white deep on court and he set up a tie-break with a 21-15 win. The tie break brought a great start for Corbett and he lead by 7-1 and 9-5 before eventually closing out the game and the competition by 11-7.


The Boys 17 & Under Singles nationals event is arguably the most competitive and some of the results delivered on Saturday possibly emphasised the point. Tulla's Niall Bolton (Clare) caused a real stir as he overcame Monaghan's Darren Doherty and Calre's Barry Nash in his opening round games but he fell then to Leitrim's rising star, Donal Wrynn, by 21-7, 21-8, with Fenagh clubman having overcome Tyrone's Gabhainn McCrystall and Cork's Pa Herlihy in the Saturday's round of games. Number one seed for the event was All Ireland Under 16 Singles champion, Colin Crehan, and he certainly justified the tag in his run to the final. Crehan was unerring in his use of court in all three games as he cruised into the decider with wins over Patrick Fitzgerald (Clare), Galen Riordain (Wexford) and Pa Herlihy (Cork). 

In the final, Wrynn enjoyed a fantastic start and the power and shooting exhibited by the 6'3" Leitrim teenager saw him storm to a 7-1 lead but some brilliant rallies with terrific retrieving from Crehan then saw them deadlocked at 10-10. From there it was Crehan who seized the initiative and he ran out a winner 21-15, with one particular underage kill from the back left corner near the end of the game from the Clare player really thrilling the crowd. Wrynn again had a big start in the second game and he opened up a 14-8 lead in before Crehan produced a series of defining touches to win 11 of the next 12 aces and edge ahead by 19-15. From there he went on to secure the trill by 21-16.


Elsewhere, the Boys A grades were completed with a fantastic Boys 13 & Under A title win for Tyrone's Sean Kerr (Brackey Club). The gifted youngster had to dig deep though against his hard-hitting Micheal Breathnach's opponent, Cian Ó Conghaile (Galway), to win the title by 15-8, 9-15, 11-7. In the Girls 13 & Under A Grade, the title was decided following a very competitive event which left Armagh's Niamh Coleman and Roscommon's Fiona Tully in the final and it produced the closest tie of the weekend. Two brilliant young girls delighted the crowd with fantastic play before Tully took the honours to Roscommon with a 11-15, 15-12, 11-10 victory.


Irish Junior 40x20 Finals Results 2011:


Girls 11 & Under Doubles Final: Leah Doyle & Niamh Masterson (Leixlip/Kildare) dft Dearbhla Coleman & Ciara Clarke (Clann Eireann/Armagh & Carrickmore/Tyrone) 11-7, 11-9

Girls 13 & Under B Singles Final: Elise McCrory (Brackey/Tyrone) dft Alana Doran (Clann Eireann/Armagh) 15-8, 15-11

Girls 13 & Under A Singles Final: Fiona Tully (St. Coman's/Roscommon) dft Niamh Coleman (Clann Eireann/Armagh) 11-15, 15-12, 11-10

Girls 15 & Under B Singles Final: Natasha Coughlan (Clooney Quinn/Clare) dft Mary Buggy (Clogh/Kilkenny) 15-7, 13-15, 11-4

Girls 15 & Under A Singles Final:Ciana Ní Churraoin (Inverin) dft Maeve McElduff (Brackey) 21-6, 21-11

Girls 17 & Under B Singles Final: Aoife Landers (Dungarvan/Waterford) dft Marie Walshe (Kells/Kilkenny) 21-19, 21-12

Girls 17 & Under A Singles Final: Lauren O'Riordain (St Comans) dft Martina McMahon (Cappagh) 21-14, 21-14

Girls 19 & Under Singles Final: Catriona Casey (Ballydesmond) dft Aoife McCarthy (Westmeath) 21-3, 21-4


Boys 11 & Under Doubles Final: Ciaran Cooney & Kyle Dunne (Clogh/Kilkenny) dft Michael Egan and Dylan Hanley (St. Coman's, Roscommon) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9

Boys 13 & Under B Final: Jerome Cahill (Lahorna/Tipperary) dft Daniel Kavanagh (St. Joseph's/Wexford) 12-15, 15-8, 11-3

Boys 13 & Under A Final: Sean Kerr (Brackey/Tyrone) dft Cian O Conghaile (Micheal Breathnach's/Galway) 15-8, 9-15, 11-7

Boys 15 & Under B Singles Final: Kiernan O'Neill (Dungarvan/Waterford) dft Aidan Kerins (Cork) 15-14, 10-15, 11-2

Boys 15 & Under A Singles Final: Colin Corbett (Tulla/Clare) dft Evan Sgeridan (Kells/Meath) 21-6, 15-21, 11-7

Boys 17 & Under B Singles Final: Michael Hedigan (Cork) v Jordan O'Neill (St. Galls/Antrim)

Boys 17 & Under A Singles Final: Colin Crehan (Kilkeeshin/Clare) dft Donal Wrynn (Fenagh/Leitrim)21-15, 21-16 

Boys 19 & Under B Singles Final: Anthony Crotty (Ballyporeen/Tipperary) dft Colum Kearney (Cork) 21-7, 4-21, 11-8

Boys 19 & Under A Singles Final: Killian Carroll (Mallow) dft Martin Mulkerrins (Moycullen) 21-13, 15-21, 11-7