Fergal Coughlan Jnr of Clooney-Quin continued his brilliant form in 2019 as he claimed the All-Ireland Junior B 60X30 handball singles title.
He saw off the challenge of Roscommon’s Mikey Egan is what was a gripping showdown in the decider.
Both players flew into the first game, with some gruelling long rallies on show. There was very little to separate the players for the first part of the match and at 7-7 in the first game, it looked like this could be a real marathon. It was at this point that Fergal started to show his years of experience. He took control of the centre of the alley and had his opponent running all over the court. Mikey Egan was looking extremely fit but he was not able to handle the constant pressure which Fergal was applying and the first game closed out at 21-7.
In the second game Fergal maintained control from the off. The Clooney-Quin man was using accurate lob serves along with deceptive spin shots to unsettle his opponent. He now had his opponent on the ropes with a commanding 19-3 lead. Mikey Egan realised that it was now or never and he battled gamely bringing the score back to 20-10 but Fergal finished the match off on this fourth game ball on 21-10 score line.
Fergal has had an amazing 2019. In February he won the 40 x 20 (Small Alley) Irish Nationals Singles A title which was held in Mayo. In April he won the 40 x 20 All Ireland Junior Singles title and two weeks later was he extremely unlucky to lose out in the final of the doubles playing alongside Ciarán Malone of Tuamgraney HC. He will now turn his focus back to the 40 x 20 court as he prepares to travel to the United States to compete at the Atlanta Pro Stop in October which will have some of the world’s best players on show.
Fergal was also competing in the 60 x 30 Junior B Doubles Munster Final, with Pat Nolan of Clooney-Quin in Cashel. The final did not go their way as they lost out to Anthony Fitzgerald and Gary McCarthy, Waterford by 18-21, 3-21.
Brian Reilly and Alan Cummins of Toonagh HC will look to qualify for the All Ireland Master’s B Doubles Final as they take on David Stanners and Robert Byrne of Wexford in the All Ireland Semi-Final on Sunday September 15 in Tuamgraney at 1pm.
There was also an extremely busy weekend for Clare’s juvenile players. The performance of the weekend came in the Girls U-15 Doubles where Leah Minogue of Tuamgraney HC and Eimear Murphy of Kilkishen HC put in a dominant performance to win their Munster Final 15-0, 15-3. Chloe Philpott of Kilkishen HC received a bye into the All Ireland Semi-Finals.
In the Girl’s U12 Doubles Claire Minogue of Tuamgraney HC and Olivia Moroney of Kilkishen HC were unlucky to lose out in a tie-breaker. Both Clare girls played great handball but the Tipperary pair were just that bit more experienced. Tony Leyden and Éanna Culloo of Tulla HC met strong competition in the Boys U-15 Doubles.