Sunday 24 September 2017

Wicklow handball heroes do us proud

WICKLOW handballers brought home a total of six gold and three silver medals from the recent World Hanball Championsbhips that took place in City West in Dublin.

The huge competition was a major success and the Coolboy club can be proud of their success with four of the six golds and the three silvers going to the small club.

The remaining gold medals were won for the Garden County by Ned Kealy and Eamonn Rice from Arklow in the silver masters B over-45s.

Speaking after the event Coolboy's James Gregan, who was defeated in the quarter-final of the mens B doubles, said that for the Coolboy club this was a super World Championships as they had increased their number of gold medals since the last event and everyone had given their all on the courts.

"This was a great tournament for us to be honest," said James. "We had Pat Doyle and Richard Willoughby winning the Diamond Masters one-wall doubles to take the gold.

"We also had Sammy and Robbie Willoughby winning the mens C one-wall doubles to claim two more golds and Jerome Willoughby and his handball partner Karl Brown from Meath took silver in the mens A four-wall doubles.

"Then we had Patricia Doyle picking up a silver medal in the womens A four-wall singles. Patricia was beaten by Mayo's Pauline Gallagher.

"And then Daniel Curry and Robert Fox from Meath were beaten in the U-15 four-wall doubles final to take home the other silver medal. So all in all it was a super tournament," he added.

Strong contender for a title, Michael Gregan, was beaten in the second round and although this was extremely disappointing to the dedicated handballer he has put it behind him and is now in LA competing in a professional tournament with a grand prize of €10,000 up for grabs for the winner.

The Coolboy club also welcomed several of their members into the World Championship action this year. Garreth Gregan, Colm Gregan and John Wafer sampled some serious action in City West on the courts and the experience will no doubt stand to them in years to come.

Another well known name in handballing circles, Shauna Hilley was defeated in the semi-finals of the 23 and under category by Belfast's Lorraine Havern.

The Coolboy club wish to thank all of their sponsors for all their support over the last year and a special word of thanks is offered to the tremendous support the players received during the course of this World Championship event.

For now it's back to the courts and the preparation begins for Canada 2015.