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posted 23 Jan 2017, 13:00 by Sean Foley
 Monday, 23rd Jan 2017

Martina McMahon was in sensational form at the weekend when she produced truly scintillating Handball to defeat the reigning champion Catriona Casey in the 2017 She's Ace Ladies Open Final in Aughagower HC, Mayo on Saturday night.

In front of a packed gallery, both girls served of what genuinely must be considered one of the greatest games of Ladies Handball the game has seen. The athleticism, skill levels with both hands and the intensity displayed was a pleasure to witness.

Martina had never beaten Casey previously in a major four wall event, but took the opener 15-11 with breathtaking power serving and killing. But Casey is a great champion, and is to clever a player not to be able to adapt her game, as she responded to win the second 15-10 and force a tiebreak. 

With scores tied at 5-5 the game was there for the taking for either player. Martina stole a march to go 10-5 up, but Cat saved a match point before reeling off three quick points to narrow the score to 8-10. But Martina got back in again and didn't make any mistakes the second time round, sealing an 11-8 win.

Martina now excitingly has proven herself to be a genuine contender for All-Ireland glory in March.

Early on the Finals Night, after a hectic day of Handball across 6 venues, 7 grades, & 8 courts, the Girls 15&U and 17&U Finals provided the entertainment before the Open Final.

In the 15&U Final, it was Clare's Amber Nolan who emerged victorious in the final against Kilkenny's Noelle Dowling 25-16. Both girls came through 3 matches already on Saturday afternoon and showed a great standard at such a young age. It was followed by the 17&U Final where Kildare's Leah Doyle defeated Tyrone's Caitlin Conway 25-13 with her impressive serving proving the difference.

In finals played in Claremorris, Ballinrobe & Carnacon, there were wins for Aishling Mullin (Gal) in the Ladies B, Clodagh Munroe (Tyr) in the 13&U, and finally to Kilkenny's Bridget Mulholland in the Ladies Challenger.

GAA Handball would like to express their sincere gratitude to the six host clubs and the volunteers who helped make the weekend a success. Without them this celebration of ladies handball would simply not be possible.

Finals Results:

  • Open: Martina McMahon dft Catriona Casey 15-11, 10-15, 11-8
  • 17&U: Leah Doyle (Kildare) dft Caitlin Conway (Tyr) 25-13
  • 15&U: Amber Nolan (Clare) dft Noelle Dowling (Kilkenny) 25-16
  • 13&U: Clodagh Munroe (Tyr) dft Sadbh Ni Fhlaithearta (Gal) 25-10
  • Ladies B: Aishling Mullin (Gal) dft Aoife Quinn (Sligo) 15-10, 14-15, 11-5
  • Ladies Challenger: Bridget Mulholland (Kilk) dft Aine Ni Droigheann (Gal)