TUAMGRANEY pair Ashling Fitzgerald and Edel O’Grady are once again Munster junior ladies’ handball champions after their win over Tipperary pair Karen Monaghan and Ashling Horan (both Ballina) in this year’s 60×30 final in Tuamgraney on Thursday last.
The visitors won the first game 21-11, before the Clare pair rallied to win the next two, 21-2, 21-7 and claim one of only two Munster adult 60×30 titles won by the Banner County in 2012. The other provincial win was also sealed by Ashling Fitzgerald in junior ladies’ singles and she now moves on to the All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny’s Rachel Hogan, a game fixed for Ballina this Sunday at 2pm.
Hogan, a sister of well-known Kilkenny hurlers Richie and Paddy, will be no stranger to Ashling as they have crossed paths a number of times. In their most recent meeting, the Cats came out on top in the All-Ireland 40×20 doubles semi-final but hopes are high that Ashling can prevail this weekend.
On the same programme in Ballina, local man David Hickey plays the All-Ireland junior singles semi-final against Wexford’s Darren O’Toole. Hickey, with Mike Carroll, also claimed the Munster junior doubles title.
Also, in Tuamgraney this Saturday at 4pm, the All-Ireland ladies’ senior open doubles quarter-final sees Aishling O’Keeffe and Catriona Casey, Cork up against Roscommon’s Leona Doolin and Katie Costello.
Meanwhile, the Munster 60×30 Juvenile Championships continue this weekend and already three Clare players have progressed to the finals. The fixtures are to be confirmed.
There is one outstanding semi-final to be played this week, where Clooney pair Barry Loughnane and Luke Keane (U-15 doubles) will be hoping to join Tiernan Agnew (Kilkishen, U-12), Ella Donellan (Kilkishen, U-13) and Natasha Coughlan (Clooney, U-16) in provincial deciders.
Finally, Clare County Handball Board have announced that this year’s annual general meeting has been fixed for Thursday, August 23 in Minogue’s Bar, Tulla at 8.30pm. This date is earlier than usual and clubs are advised to have nominations and motions in place in advance. The relevant forms will be circulated next week.