Saturday, 28 March 2015

Champions delight Collooney faithful

Cavan's Paul Brady and Michael Finnegan with referee Francis McCann with Mayo's Campbell Brennan & Vinnie Moran.
World handball champion Paul Brady in action in Collooney

A near capacity crowd watched the World handball champions in action

Champions delight Collooney faithful

There was standing room only in Collooney handball court on Saturday to witness the Quarter finals of Irish Handball 40 x 20 doubles championships sponsored by O’Neills, writes Michael McGee.

They all came to see one man in action and that was World Handball Singles Champion in Cavan’s Paul Brady. In fact there was 2 World Champions as his doubles partner Michael Finnegan won two World senior doubles titles in 2003 with Paul Brady and six years later in Portland Oregan with Dubliner Eoin Kennedy . Francis Mc Cann from the Ballymote Club was the referee and did an excellent job ensuring the contest was enjoyable for all in attendance.The  Cavan pair are aiming for an unprecedented 11th doubles title and a six-in-a-row. Their opponents Campbell Brennan & Vinnie Moran both from the Ballaghaderreen club in Mayo faced a torrid opening.  Finnegan playing on the right caused most damage to the Mayo men flattening almost every ball in sight in the opening minutes going into a big 11-0 lead. Cavan pushed even further ahead after Mayo failed to score when in serve.  Though not having to play at his brilliant best Paul “the Gunner” Brady showed great skill when returning a ball between his legs with exquisite ease.  Brady helped to blast the Cavan into an 18-0 lead. Mayo eventually got on the scoreboard and left handed Vinny Moran’s excellent return of the back wall delivering a superb left corner kill but it was not enough with the Breffni men’s solid showing running away with the first game by 21-3.

Mayo went into an early 2-0 lead at the start of the second game but it was short lived with Brady’s scintillating daisycutter serves to Moran’s left side and Finnegan’s thunder bolts and rollouts put Cavan well out in front by 10-2. Campbell Brennan got more into the game for Mayo displaying great split second reflexes.   Brennan dived full stretch to meet what looked like a Brady winner to place the ball into the left corner for Mayo’s fourth point. This was greeted with huge applause from the Mayo’s faithful .Brennan’s accurate serve to Brady’s left forced the World Champion to put the ball onto the ceiling to reduce the Champions lead to 10-6.  It was the closest Mayo would get however.  Cavan took control again and Brady with an unbelievable return of the back wall put Cavan out in front by 14-6.  Mayo’s “pocket rocket” Vinnie Moran used his great left handed power strokes off the left side to gain a number of well executed scores but it was never going to be enough as a rampant Cavan closed out the second game emphatically with Michael Finnegan especially great work inside and another couple of rollouts helped Cavan into the All-Ireland Handball Championships semi-finals the following day.

Following the contest the champions complimented everyone involved in the Collooney handball club for the excellent 40 x 20 playing facility. Brady confirmed he wants to return in May for a exhibition match against Connacht Champion in Mayo’s Joe McCann. By which time he could be All-Ireland handball doubles champion for the 11th time and to have a made a clean sweep (five out of five) in U.S. pro tournaments.     The May handball showdown in Collooney is likely to capture the attention of the entire Sligo G.A.A. fraternity.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

World Handball Champions come to Collooney

Paul Brady quite arguably the World's greatest handball player of all times comes to Collooney this Saturday (March 28th). The club were planning to get the great man to Collooney for an exhibition match and we were going to move Benbulben and hell and high water if we had to to get this man to Sligo, writes Michael McGee.

Croke Park have given us this prestigious fixture following on the success of the Connacht Men's and Ladies Senior finals and last weekend's hosting of the All-Ireland Masters Doubles 40 x 20 finals.

The Sligo G.A.A. fraternity will have a chance to see the World handball champion in action with fellow Cavan player Michael Finnegan in the Quarter finals of the G.A.A Handball O'Neill's sponsored All-Ireland 40 x 20 handball championships.

The Cavan men, going for 6 in a row, and 11 in all, will potentially meet the winners of a Clare v Dublin battle the following day in St Coman's Roscommon.

This season Brady has been the stand out player on the U.S. circuit having already won in Tuscon, Los Angeles, San Francisco and most recently in New York. The player is going for a five-in-a-row and and barring a major upset should "high five" and close out the tour season with the finale to be held in Salt Lake City on April 16-19th next. In the New York Pro Stop Competition he overpowered and overwhelmed Andy Nett in a one sided final 15-3,15-0 that lasted a mere 17 minutes. Brady has been doing that all season and blitzing the opponents off the court and seemingly only getting better with age.

I would go as far to say that Paul Brady is on par with our other outstanding Irish sports men and women the likes of Ronnie Delaney, Sonia O'Sullivan, Eamon Coughlan, Michael Carruth, Barry McGuigan, Cathernia Kiernan etc. If handball was an Olympic Sport Brady would be going for at least his fourth Olympic medal and I would bet my shirt that he would do it.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to my friends in St. John's G.A.A. club & the Sligo G.A.A. fraternity to come out to Collooney not just to see the handball skills but also to view the fine facilities that the club now have at a cost of €200,000 that was opened on August 29th last

Bio on Paul Brady -
Brady (35) the Curent World title holder is attempting to win an unprecedented 5 in a row of World titles in Calgary Alberta next August. A huge contingent of Irish players are expected to attend along with a number of Sligo Handballers. Brady's list of achievements in the sport is quite simply phenomenal which also includes a record breaking 9 in row of All-Ireland singles titles from 2005-2013. Ten All-Ireland Senior Doubles titles with partner Michael Finnegan from the Kingscourt Club. Nine U.S. titles and 4 U.S. open Singles."

Brady's list of Achievements:

10 All Ireland Senior Singles (03,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12,13)

10 All Ireland Senior Doubles with Michael Finnegan (03,04,06,07,08,10,11,12,13,14)

3 Irish 40x20 Nationsals

9 US Nationals

4 US Open Singles

Four World Handball Championships (03,06,09,12) Bidding for an historic 5 in a row in Calgary Alberta in August.

Brady was introduced to the sport as a 12-year-old by Fr John Gilhooly, a teacher in St Patrick's College, Cavan. While he showed an early aptitude and won an All Ireland Feile title in 1993, Brady didn't win his first "full" All Ireland title until the age of 16, partnering Pauric Kiernan to the U16 doubles crown in 1995. In 1997, he defeated Meath's Carl Browne in an all-Irish 17 and Under final at the World Championships in Winnipeg, Canada. The win was a mild shock at the time, and marked Brady out as an outstanding prospect. The following year, Brady landed the prestigious Minor Singles title, defeating Dublin's Eoin Kennedy for the first time in a marathon final in Roscommon.

Senior handball career

Having won the minor title, Brady began to travel regularly to the US for tournaments. In June 1998, he won the US Nationals 19 and Under Singles in Los Angeles, won the Junior Nationals in the same age group the following December in Chicago, Illinois and won the title again the next June, this time in Baltimore, Maryland.

At home, he advanced to intermediate ranks and won the All Ireland title at the first time of asking, defeating Eoin Kennedy in the semi-final and Kerry's Dominick Lynch in the final in Ballaghedereen, Co Roscommon. The following February, Brady again defeated Brad Alesi, this time in the final of the USHA Collegiates in Minneapolis, a tournament which draws the best college handballers in Ireland and North America and has come to be seen as a stepping stone to the professional ranks. That autumn, Brady made it to the last four of the World Championship Open Singles in Chicago, losing a heartbreaking 11-8 tiebreaker to top American John Bike.

The stage seemed set for a major impact at senior level back at home but it took the Cavanman some time to adjust. A crop of dominant senior players, including Ducksy Walsh, Walter O'Connor and Tom Sheridan were coming to the end of their senior 40x20 careers at this time and with the emergence of young stars such as Brady, Kennedy, Carlow's Kenneth Kane and, most of all, Cork's Tony Healy, the senior scene was extremely competitive at this time. Brady would suffer a number of heartbreaking defeats – games which he has often cited as being crucial to his later success – before he finally made a senior breakthrough. He lost the All Ireland senior final, in a tiebreaker to Healy, the Irish Nationals final, the senior doubles final and the singles and doubles trials for the World Championships in 2000 and 2001.

Healy, just a year older than Brady, became senior champion as soon as he graduated from intermediate and would win the title three times before he lost a senior championship match. He and Brady became close friends, as well as on-court rivals, and in 2001 the pair began to travel to the US in an attempt to break on to the USHA Pro Tour.

At the time, no Irish player had ever qualified for the tour but Healy and Brady bucked the trend, reaching the final of a qualifying tournament in Atlanta in late 2001.

Their first tournament on the circuit was in Peoira, Illinois and the pair would travel to Sacramento, Dallas, Juarez, South Bend, Modesto and Las Vegas up toJune 2002, by which point Brady was beginning to assert himself as the top Irish player and a coming force on the world scene. In December 2002, two months after his 22nd birthday, he defeated top Californian Vince Munoz in the final of a pro stop in Milwaukee to become the first Irishman to win such an event, which was a massive milestone in the history of the sport and a turning point in Brady's career.

He followed up with a first All Ireland senior title in March 2003, defeating Cork's Tony Healy 21-6, 21-18 at O'Loughlin's, Kilkenny in the final, and added the doubles title with Michael Finnegan against Meath.

In October of the year, he won the first of four World Open Singles titles, again defeating Healy in an epic match which is often referred to as the greatest game ever played.

Suffering from cramp, Brady looked as if he may be forced to withdraw from the match but in a sporting gesture, Healy called several time-outs in succession and Brady was able to play on. He ultimately defeated Healy, effectively on one leg, in a tiebreaker, and added the doubles title, again with Finnegan, the following morning.

In 2004, Brady began the season with a career-best win over David Chapman, who is commonly regarded as the second-greatest player of all time and who at that point was the world number one, in the final of the Ultimate Handball Showdown in Seattle. Brady comfortably defeated the Californian to win the first prize of $50,000, still the richest purse in the sport's history.

Paul Brady shoots against David Chapman in Seattle in 2004.
He followed up by claiming second, and another $10,000 cheque, to Chapman the following week in Alaska, but it would be 12 months before Brady finally became the first Irishman to win the US Nationals, the most prestigious tournament in American with a century of history behind it.

At the 2005 renewal in Houston, Texas, Brady saw off Healy 21-12, 21-5 in the semi-final before defeating Danny Bell (Canada) - who had shocked American Naty Alvarado Jr in the semi-final, on the same scoreline in the final.

The following June, Brady retained his US Nationals title, defeating Alvarado 21-2, 21-18 on the Californian's home court at Los Cabaleros in LA. He also added the US Nationals Open Doubles title with Finnegan, seeing off top Americans Vince Munoz and Marcos Chavez in an 11-10 tiebreaker in the semi-final.
In August, he followed up with his second world title, this time in Edmonton, Canada, again defeating Healy in straight games in the final. All the while, Brady was continuing his unbeaten run in the Irish senior championships, defeating Healy and Eoin Kennedy in a succession of finals.

In 2009, Brady retained his US Nationals title in June and that October, in Portland, Oregon, he overcame a serious quad injury to come through a tough field in the World Championships, eventually beating Texan Allan Garner in an 11-7 tiebreaker in the final to claim his third world title.

He followed this up with two more All Ireland senior titles, seeing off first-time finalist Charly Shanks of Armagh in 2010 and again in 2011, overcoming a career-threatening finger injury in the latter year, an injury which saw him miss the US Nationals, in which he had been unbeaten since 2005.

2012 was an annus mirabilis for the Cavanman. Back from injury, he trounced new rival Robbie McCarthy 21-6, 21-1 in the All Ireland senior final and followed up by reclaiming his US Nationals title with a final win over Shanks.

In October, he announced plans to retire from Irish singles play in 2013 before winning his fourth World Open Singles crown, defeating American Luis Moreno 21-19, 21-10 in a magnificent final watched by 4,000 fans in CityWest, Dublin.

Two weeks later, he defeated Charly Shanks in the final of the Simple Green US Open in Los Angeles, his fourth time to win the event.

Gaelic football career

Brady was first called into the Cavan senior panel by Mattie Kerrigan in the winter of 2002. He played for Cavan for nine years, generally at wing-back but also in the half-forward line, and was regarded as one of the most consistent players in the county. He earned a call-up to the Ulster squad for the inter-provincial series and has two county U21 medals, three Cavan SFC medals (1998, 2006 and 2012) and one Senior League medal (2012) with Mullahoran Dreadnoughts. He was Man of the Match in the 2012 county final win over Kingscourt Stars. Brady's uncle was the great "Gunner" Brady who played for Cavan for many years, winning three All-Ireland medals.

GAA Handball O'Neill’s 40x20 Senior Open Doubles Championship 2015

Saturday 28th March 2015

At Collooney, Sligo At 1pm

Men’s Senior Doubles Quarter-finals: Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan (Cavan) v Vinnie Moran & Campbell Brennan (Mayo)

Saturday 4th April 2015

Irish Nationals 40 x 20 Juvenile qualifiers at 12 noon in Collooney

Collooney will host 6 Juvenile qualifiers more details to follow.

Monday, 23 March 2015

All-Ireland 40 x 20 doubles finals results played in Collooney

Thomas Magure r-up, Eamonn & Martin Conneeley Galway winners and Tony Caddell Antrim runners-up

Emerald Masters A Doubles: Eamonn Conneeley & Martin Conneeley (Galway) dft Thomas Maguire & Tony Caddell (Antrim) 21-19, 15-21, 21-9

Brendan McNeela runner-up with Pat Maguire & Paddy Hesketh Antrim winners and Denis Phelan Galway runners-up

Golden Masters B Doubles: Paddy Hesketh & Pat Maguire (Antrim) dft Brendan McNeela & Denis Phelan (Galway)21-17, 18-21, 21-20

Ladies Intermediate Doubles final: Maeve McElduff & Lisa McAleer (Tyrone) dft Clodagh & Ciara McManamon (Mayo) 21-13. 21-5.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 doubles finals in Collooney

All-Ireland 40 x 20 Championships finals:
Sunday 22nd March at 2 p.m. in Collooney

Emerald Masters A Doubles: Thomas Maguire & Tony Caddell (Antrim) v Eamonn Conneeley & Martin Conneeley (Galway)

Golden Masters B Doubles:Paddy Hesketh & Pat Maguire (Antrim) v Brendan McNeela & Denis Phelan (Galway)

Sunday 22nd March in Collooney at 6 p.m.
Ladies Intermediate Doubles final:
Maeve McElduff & Lisa McAleer (Tyrone) v Clodagh & Ciara McManamon (Mayo)

Best of luck to all the doubles players in finals


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sligo handballers get K.O’d in Kilbeggan

Wexford's Barry McWilliams the Masters B singles  All-Ireland Champion with Sligo's Shane Bruen gallant runner-up

Sligo handballers get K.O’d in Kilbeggan

There was huge disappointment for Sligo handballers in All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 finals in Kilbeggan on Saturday, writes Michael McGee

Sligo handballers Shane Bruen Masters B singles & Paddy Walsh Over 70’s singles travelled to Kilbeggan in the hope of bringing home All-Ireland handball titles. Instead they hit a brick wall in the form of Wexford’s Barry McWilliams & Dubliner Ned Flynn

Shane Bruen was first into action but a whirlwind start from the Wexford man seen him take a firm grip in proceedings going into an unassailable 15-2 lead. McWilliams a 6’ 4” man mountain controlled the centre court and Bruen faced an uphill battle right from the start. McWilliams took the opening game all too easily by 21-3.

Trailing after the first game demise, Bruen to his eternal credit battled back from the brink. Most players would have faded away under the McWilliams onslaught but Shane Bruen is made of sterner stuff.  The Yeats County man came out fighting like a true prized fighter and he gave his all to try to get back into the contest.  On the ropes, and under pressure he played his best handball. The Sligo man took the game to McWilliams and lead 10-7 in the second but noticeably it took a lot of energy to win the scores. McWilliams for his part was that bit more economical and won scores of the Sligo man more comfortably.  Instead of pushing on alarmingly Bruen’s comeback faltered. McWilliams from the Horeswood Club in Wexford managed to quell Bruen’s brewing storm.  McWilliams who trains regularly with Wexford senior county handball star Gavin Buggy upped the pace again leaving the Sligo man in his wake.  In the end McWilliams took the second game and the title back to Slaneyside by 21-11.  Disappointed though he is Bruen will undoubtably be back

Ned Flynn retains his Over 70's singles title with Sligo's Paddy Walsh runner-up

In the Over 70’s final the legendary Paddy Walsh was aiming for his 31st All-Ireland title. However his opponent in Dublin’s Ned Flynn was in uncompromising mood.  Flynn from the Na Fianna Club was always in control and Walsh was left chasing the game.   Flynn, the reigning Champion never allowed Walsh to get a stranglehold in the game and ran out a comfortable winner in the end by 21-10, 21-6.

Both players will turn their thought to the fast approaching 60 x 30 season. Following his 2014 heroics Shane Bruen who won both All-Ireland Masters B singles and Doubles titles in the 60 x 30 will face the cream of talent at this level in the A grade and will find it tough, while Paddy Walsh is the reigning champion in the 60 x 30 court will fancy his chances of retaining his title.

All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 finals:
Masters B singles:  Shane Bruen (Sligo) lost to Barry McWilliams (Wexford) 3-21, 11-21
Over 70’s singles:  Paddy Walsh (Sligo) lost to Ned Flynn (Dublin) 10-21, 6-21.

(Photos with thanks to Seamus Duffy)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Congratulations to Berni McCabe Club's Bingo winner

Club Chairman Peter Davey presenting  Berni McCabe Drumkeeran with her Bingo win

Congratulations to Berni McCabe Drumkeeran who won the recent Bingo Jackpot of €3,200.

  The Bingo takes place in the Collooney hall every Thursday evening  at 9 p.m. All proceeds go towards the development of the new 40 x 20 handball court in Collooney. Everybody welcome.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Doubles pairing go down

David Maloney, Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney Sligo and John O'Donoghue Tipperary before the start of today's All-Ireland Masters A doubles semi-final today in Collooney

Doubles pairing go down

Sligo Masters A doubles pairing of Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney lost out at All-Ireland semi-final stage to Tipperary’s David Maloney and John O’ Donoghue in Collooney today. It was Tipperary who completely dominated the opening game with Sligo just managing a solitary point. Into the second  Bruen & Cooney came out fighting with Martin Cooney now operating on the right while Shane Bruen moved to the left corner where most of the play was conducted in the first game.  Sligo did manage a brief 3-0 lead.  And they made the second game that bit more competitive but Tipperary always had the little extra class at this level and once they got going they pulled away winning comfortably in the end by 21-6.

All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 championships semi-finals:

Shane Bruen & Martin Coooney (Sligo) lost to David Maloney & John O’ Donoghue (Tipperary ) 1-21, 6-21

Friday, 6 March 2015

Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh to bring home All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 titles to Collooney and Sligo

Paddy Walsh & Shane Bruen go for Gold in Saturday's All-Ireland handball finals

Sligo’s handball stars to shine in All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 finals
All roads lead to Kilbeggan for two enticing All-Ireland handball finals involving Sligo players Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh, writes Michael McGee.

"Roll that dice one more time.  Some will win, some will lose. Some will sing the blues . Hold on to that feeling one more time. Don’t stop believing."

Words from the famous Journey rock band  song “Dont stop believing” hit back in 1981 those words are very apt for our Sligo stars today as they prepare for their own final journey’s of discovery in which it is hoped will end with the coveted Celtic cross on Saturday.

Sligo’s Shane Bruen is first into action against Wexford’s Barry McWilliams in the Masters B singles finale.

The Sligo man’s  handball career went stellar  in 2014  when he  was victorious winning both the Masters B singles and Masters B doubles (with  Martin Cooney) All-Ireland handball  60 x 30 titles last September. The Collooney club man has made great strides and has set his sights firmly on winning the Masters B singles title in the 40 x 20 court. 
Standing in his way is Barry McWilliams who has under achieved  was a runner up to Meath’s Conor O’Connor in last year’s Leinster 40 x 20 final. He did however team up with Wexford Senior Star Gavin Buggy as the Slaneysiders were beaten by Mayo’s Vinnie Moran & Paul Flynn in the Over 35 A doubles 60 x 30 final in 2014. 

Bruen, has kept the momentum going since an unforgettable 2014. He already has registered a successful Connacht campaign when recording a 21-8,21-14 win over Mayo’s Michael Ginley in the provincial decider.

 Over in Leinster there were 16 entries in this grade with McWilliams winning through with relative ease.  His only real test came in the Leinster final where he was brought to 3 games before getting the better of Dublin’s Ciaran McCallum.  McWilliams is highly rated by Wexford handball Secretary Tony Breen who tipped the Horeswood club man for success right at the start of the season.

McWilliams comes from a terrific handball family which boasts three generations currently playing in the Wexford championships; his dad Ger, 71  years  young and also President of Wexford Handball Board, brother Fergal, a former officer of the Board and Fergal's son Danny who played U17 Doubles for Wexford two weeks ago in the Leinster final

In the All-Ireland semi-finals Bruen had a tough battle with Clare’s Tom Kirby in Collooney before winning out by 21-15, 21-16 while McWilliams had a slightly easier passage to the final with an 21-12, 21-12 victory over Monaghan’s Michael Clerkin.

 Both players are extremely fit and picking a winner is difficult. Shane Bruen’s experience of having won recent All-Ireland titles should stand to him and it may just be enough to see him over the line. But it’s going to be mightily close. 

Predication:  Shane Bruen to shade it but only just.

Walsh to dethrone reigning Champion
The other Sligo man who has travelled every highway and byway in Ireland is the legendary Paddy Walsh.  Walsh who celebrates his 75th birthday in August won his first All-Ireland handball title in 1974. Walsh also has 7 County Football titles with the Collooney/Ballisodare side and one County title with St. Mary's. Walsh. Walsh represented Sligo at  Junior/Senior Level in football back in the 1960’s.  Walsh also received a civic reception from the then Sligo Mayor Marcella McGarry in October 2013.  Despite getting two hip operations in 2004 and 2005 the Sligo handball legend has bounced back stupendously and is arguably playing the best handball of his career.  In Connacht his participation was in grave doubt with a shoulder injury picked up the week before hand in training. Walsh, was taken to 3 games against Galway’s Peter Mulryan in the Provinical decider but finished strongly to win overall by 21-12, 16-21, 21-2.  In his All-Ireland semi-final which also went to 3 games against Cork’s Pat O’Brien in Collooney.  Walsh had a sluggish start before finally getting into his rhythm and helped on by the large support in the gallery Walsh went on to win and exciting match by 16-21, 21-6, 21-16.  His never say die attitude has pulled him out of many a tight situation and he had to dig deep against O’Brien in that final game.

 O’Brien was leading by 16-7 and looked homed and hosed.  But Walsh the true Sligo warrior that he is never panicked and staged a remarkable final set recovery that could not have been scripted or dreamt off just minutes previously.  With great heart and battling ability Walsh stormed back into contention and literally took O’Brien breadth away with a stunning victory in the end.

Walsh’s final opponent is Dublin’s Ned Flynn.  The Dubliner is a retired member of the Garda Siochana with 36 year’s service.  A native of Donard Co. Wicklow Flynn has won several Garda handball championships and has the distinction of winning a World Police & Fire games handball title back in the 1990’s.  
On the home front he has won 6 All-Ireland handball titles in the Dublin colours and is the reigning champion in the Over 70’s singles grade.  In his semi-final the metropolitan had an exciting 21-18, 21-20 victory over Antrim’s Seamus Graham in Leixlip. News of that result was welcomed by Walsh.  Walsh was defeated by Graham in the Ruby Masters singles final in 2011 in Abbeylara with Graham utilising the spin serve to devastating effect that day.   

This has the hallmarks of another classic encounter between two highly respected players who have given so much to the sport.  Walsh has been taken to three games in all his matches to the final and Saturday’s encounter may also produce another 3 game thriller between the masters giants.  

Flynn from the Na Fianna club is aiming for his 7th title while Walsh towers that seeking his 31st title in an astonishing handball career. Walsh’s indefatigable will to win should be the catalyst for another historic written chapter for Sligo handball’s greatest ever player.
Predication Paddy Walsh to win in 3 games.

Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh  “don’t stop believing”

All-Ireland handball 40 x 20 championships finals
Saturday 14th March in Kilbeggan at 11.30
Masters B singles: Shane Bruen ( Sligo) v Barry McWilliams (Wexford)

Over 70’s  Paddy Walsh (Sligo) v  Ned Flynn (Dublin)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney play their All-Ireland semi-final in Collooney

Martin Cooney & Shane Bruen  in Semi-final action in Colloney on Saturday

The Masters A doubles semi-final will now take place in Collooney at 2 p.m. It's a stand alone fixture

It means home advantage for our players yet again following Shane Bruen's win over Clare's Tom Kirby in the Masters B singles last weekend.  

Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney from the Castleconnor Club had a narrow but exciting win over Mayo Jason Judge & Pat Foy in the Connacht final but 
Saturday's battle with the Premier county David Maloney & John O'Donoghue will see a step up in class and the Sligo pair will have to play at their optimum to get over the hurdle and hopefully "trip up" Tipperary's title ambitions.

Already through to the final is a pair that needs no introduction the legendary Kilkenny duo of Michael "Duxie" Walsh and legendary hurler D.J.Carey. What a scalp that would be for our Sligo handballer's

All-Ireland handball championships 40 x 20 semi-finals

7th March in Collooney at 2 p.m.
Masters A doubles:  Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney (Sligo) v David Maloney & John O'Donoghue (Tipperary) 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Bruen & Cooney aiming for final

Martin Cooney & Shane Bruen Masters A doubles

Bruen & Cooney aiming for final

Sligo handball doubles pairing of Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney take on Tipperary’s David Maloney & John O'Donoghue for a place in this year’s All-Ireland 40 x 20 Masters A doubles final.  Bruen & Cooney had a narraow 21-20,21-18 win over Mayo’s Jason Judge & Pat Foy in the Connacht final.  

Their opponents David Maloney & John O’ Donoghue defeated Clare’s Declan Frawley & Fergal Coughlan in their  Munster final. 

Bruen & Cooney won last year’s All-Ireland Masters B doubles 60 x 30 title.  Both players are playing at a high standard with Bruen already advancing to the Masters B singles 40 x 20  All-Ireland final following last weekend’s home semi-final victory over Clare’s Tom Kirby.   A further step up will be required if the Sligo duo are to reach this year’s All-Ireland doubles finals

All-Ireland handball championships 40 x 20 doubles semi-finals
7th March at Ballaghaderreen at 2 p.m.
Masters A Doubles: Sligo (Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney)
v Tipperary (David Moloney & John O’ Donoghue)