All-Ireland aces in magnificent form
FOUR YEARS ago the officers of Wexford Handball Board put in place 'A Blueprint For The Future'.
This was to chart the development of the years following the plan and the fruits of that work came shining through last weekend in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary when Wexford had a fantastic victory in the GAA Handball 40 x 20 boys' Under-12/Under-13 team of six All-Ireland finals.
After a semi-final victory against a strongly-fancied Monaghan on a scoreline of 75 aces to 54, the team faced into Tipperary in the final. The boys were in terrific form and outplayed the Premier boys by 82 aces to 44 to take home the All Ireland title.
Just the previous week they defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster final so they can rightly claim to being the cream of the crop. The full team was Glen Murphy, Josh Kavanagh, Josh McMahon, Richard Lawlor, Cian Kehoe, Diarmuid Moore and substitutes Dean O'Neill and Gavin Lawlor.
In the All-Ireland semi-final in the team of four boys' Under-16/Under-17 grade, Wexford's Ciarán Busher, Shane Murphy, Liam Rossiter, Darren Murphy, Laurence Dunne and Conor Nolan lost on a scoreline of 16 points to Monaghan's 60 points.
Wexford fought extremely hard but unfortunately came up against a Monaghan side with simply too much class. However, the Wexford team can hold their heads high as the previous week they put in an outstanding performance to secure a Leinster title against a fancied Kilkenny.
Garryhill had hosted one of the most compelling games of Juvenile handball between Wexford and Kilkenny that one could hope to see in the Leinster 40 x 20 boys' Under-12/Under-13 team of six final mentioned above.
The first doubles was a terrific struggle between Glen Murphy and Josh Kavanagh (Wexford) and Jack Holden and Dylan Crehan (Kilkenny) which ended 15-10, 10-15.
Next into the court were Cumann na mBunscoil winners Josh McMahon and Richard Lawlor (Wexford) and they were pitted against Kyle Dunne and Jack Doyle (Kilkenny). It ended up 15-13, 14-15 and that left one ace in it overall.
Cian Kehoe and Diarmuid Moore were our last pair into the court against Jack Buggy and Jamie Maher (Kilkenny), and the title was sealed with a 15-10, 15-11 success.
The 40 x 20 Leinster Under-14/Under-15 team six final in Tinryland saw Kilkenny turn the tables with a 64-61 victory.
Adam Walsh and William Murray-Byrne won 15-6, 15-3 before Colm Parnell and Adam Hanrahan went down 10-15, 1-15, while Robert Cogley and Ciarán Power won the opening game 15-10 and then lost 15-5.
There was success though in the 40 x 20 Leinster Under-14/Under-15 team four final at the same venue, with Kilkenny beaten 51-43. Darren Murphy and Ciarán Busher lost 10-15, 11-15, meaning that Liam Rossiter and Shane Murphy needed to recover nine points to secure the title. And this they achieved with a 15-6, 15-7 success.