Buggy adds to fine haul with win over town rival
GAVIN BUGGY (St. Joseph's) secured yet another Senior county open singles title in 40 x 20 on Wednesday night as he defeated Tommy Hynes (St. Mary's) on a scoreline of 21-14, 18-21, 21-8.
There was a magnificent attendance at the St Joseph's alley and the standard of handball on show was certainly a credit to both players. The first game began at a frantic pace with Buggy securing some early scores.
Both players demonstrated some excellent roof shots throughout this encounter and there were moments of pure magic also displayed by both. Once Tommy Hynes settled into the first game he executed some marvellous serving.
The pure raw power of his serves caused some trouble for Buggy. However, the title-holding Buggy soon began to adapt to this fast pace of serving and ran out the winner of the first game on a scoreline of 21-14.
The second game began with both players exchanging serves and taking point for point until Buggy's dominance prevailed, assisted by some top-class killing of the ball off the rear wall using both left and right hands. This coupled with a serve and volley-style approach left the St. Joseph's man in a commanding lead of 11-3 halfway through the second game.
At this point in the match the players had to switch courts due to the alley becoming wet as a result of the fast tempo of the first game and a half. What happened next can only be described as breath-taking. Once the players changed to the adjacent alley, Tommy Hynes took serve and at 11-3 down and this proved to be the turning point in the second game.
The serving technique put on show by Hynes was at a standard that all young handballers in the county should strive to achieve. His ability to combine power and accuracy when serving was incredible, and this was noted around the gallery by the spectators, as he took the lead in the second game by 13-11 before Buggy regained serve.
Having that said, Buggy would have felt disappointed with himself at this stage as he had some opportunities to regain serve before Hynes had reached 13 points. The remainder of the second game was played out with both players exchanging scores before Hynes served at 17-15 down and made some vital scores to take him to a scoreline of 20-17. Buggy did manage to get back into serve but Hynes secured the second game on a scoreline of 21-17.
And so to the deciding game, in which both players showed signs of fatigue after a long 40 x 20 campaign dating back to the start of the winter league in October. This third game saw some good rally play with both players using good recovery safety shots and also securing scores with excellent kill shots.
However, at that stage of the match Buggy seemed to find another gear and pulled away to win the third game on a scoreline of 21-6. Tom Rossiter, Wexford County Handball Chairman, presented the medals to both players.
Gavin Buggy then said a few words, thanking his opponent for a tough battle and also a huge thanks went out to Tony Breen, County Handball Secretary, who as stated by Buggy 'steers the ship for Wexford handball'.
This was greeted by a huge round of applause from all the spectators who duly acknowledged the tremendous work carried out by Tony Breen.
Buggy and Daniel Kavanagh of St. Joseph's had also defeated Mikey Berry and Mylie Cash (Barntown) 21-6, 21-6 in the 40 x 20 county championship Senior doubles final.
The perfect mix of the youth of Kavanagh and the experience plus awareness of Buggy proved far too strong for the hard-hitting Berry and Cash who had previously tasted success at this level.
Playing in their home alley, Buggy and Kavanagh showed zero mercy as they ran out convincing winners. The early stages of the first game suggested this could be a very tight affair but the St Joseph's pair took a grasp of it half way through and never looked back.
The Barntown players showed great power in the alley but the accuracy of both their opponents proved to be decisive throughout.
Women's Junior doubles: Róisín Walsh and Cora Doyle (St. Joseph's) beat Tanya O'Toole and Una Hughes (Coolgreany), 9-21, 21-10, 21-16.
Junior 'C' singles: Paddy Cheevers (Horeswood) beat Seán Stanners (St. Martin's), 21-14, 21-11.
Junior 'D' doubles: Tomás Murphy and Timmy Farrell (Kilmyshall) beat James Stanners and David Stanners (St. Martin's), 21-9, 21-11.
Golden Masters 'A' doubles: Billy Rossiter and Sonny Sheil (Ballyhogue) beat Declan Hart and Garret Somers (Horeswood), 21-15, 17-21, 21-15.
Golden Masters 'A' singles: Benny Doyle (Horeswood) beat Pechelli English (Davidstown), 21-14, 21-6.
Junior singles: Keith Armstrong (Kilmyshall) beat Damien Kelly (Coolgreany), 21-5, 21-14.
Junior 'C' doubles: Phil Coleman and Alan O'Neill (Ballymitty) beat John Murphy and James Nolan (Kilmyshall), 21-12, 14-21, 21-10.