Hynes sets hot pace
AS THE World handball championship draws ever closer, the Wexford winter league is certainly providing vital game time to all players from the south-east corner of Ireland as competitors from Wexford, Wicklow, Laois, Kilkenny and Carlow battle it out for honours across a vast amount of divisions.
In the Premier Division, Group 1 is headed by Tommy Hynes who picked up his second win of the tournament last week when the St. Mary's man beat Keith Kavanagh 2-0 to move to six points. Gavin Buggy and Johnny Willoughby are tied in second on three points each after Willoughby from Coolboy beat John Ryan from Garryhill 2-0.
In Group 2 of the Premier Division, Peter Funchion sits on top of the pile on six points thanks to a 2-0 win over Pat O'Donnell from Arklow last week.
Peter Hughes from Ballyhogue is the top man in Division 1 with ten points in the bag, while closely following him is Daniel Fenlon from Garryhill who has eight points after two wins last week for the Carlow man. He beat Galen Riordan from Ballyhogue and Darren O'Toole from Coolgreaney. Riordan is keeping in touch in joint fourth after a 2-0 win over John Rossiter from Garryhill last week.
Brendan Burke from Kells in Kilkenny heads the way in Division 2, and his 2-0 win last week over James Bergin from St. Martin's was among his best yet. Closely following him on eight points is Barry McWilliams from Horeswood who was a 2-1 winner over Ollie Ryan from Garryhill last week.
Division 3 is looking like being the hardest to predict after another week of results that leaves Tony Breen still heading the pack, as the Templeudigan man overcame his clubmate Noel Holohan 2-1 to sit with eight points. In hot pursuit are both Thomas Lennon and Pechelli English on five points each, as Lennon (Monavea) was a 2-0 winner over Anthony Martin (Kells) last week. English did lose some ground however as he was beaten 2-0 by Ned Kealy from Arklow. Mick Armstrong (Davidstown) kept in touch in this division also as he overcame Johnny Brennan from Mothel 2-1.
Jim Berry (Barntown) moved clear on his own at the top of Division 4 last week as he got a 2-1 win over Paddy Haughton from St. Mary's. David Redmond slipped back into joint second last week as he was beaten 2-1 by Diarmuid Burke from Kells, while Paul Dowling from Mothel had his first win over Tom Connors (Barntown), 2-0.
Wins for Damien Kelly (Coolgreany) and John Roche (Castlebridge) see both players joint top of Division 5 after the third week of play. Roche was a 2-0 victor over Michael O'Neill from Templeudigan, while Kelly packed too much punch for Andrew Dowling from Monavea in a 2-0 win. Jim Doyle kept in touch in this division also as the Barntown man had a 2-1 win over Seán Stanners from St. Martin's last week.
Division 6 has a trio of players tied for the top spot, with Donal Doyle (St. Martin's), Frank Maddock (St. Martin's) and Fergal McWilliams (Horeswood) all setting the pace on eight points each.
Peter McGrath from Coolgreany is closing following on seven points in the fourth qualification position of Division 6.
The table in Division 7 sees Eoin Leacy (St. Joseph's) on top with full nine points after beating Phil Coleman from Ballymitty 2-0 last week. Robert Byrne (Bridgetown) and Eugene English (Ballyhogue) have seven points each with both winning last week, as English beat Eamonn Purcell from Windgap and Byrne beat Ned Connors from Coolgreany 2-1.
Kevin Barrett from Tinryland leads the way in Division 8 on nine points after another fine win over Kevin Doyle (Davidstown). There is a chasing pack of three players on five points each as Tommy Armstrong (Kilmyshall), Seán Flood (St. Joseph's) and Dom Stafford (Davidstown) are all in pursuit of the Carlow man.
Seán O'Neill from Templeudigan leads the way in Division 9 with twelve points from four games, while Billy Rossiter got his first points of the campaign last week when he beat John Moran from Ballymitty 2-1.
Division 10 has a Davidstown man in charge with nine points, as Tom O'Shea put together another 2-0 win last week over Bryan Kehoe from Castlebridge. Meanwhile, Dermot Flynn (Templeudigan) kept pace with six points following a 2-0 win over Kevin Rossiter from Garryhill.
In the ladies' Division 1, Holly Hynes had a huge win over her clubmate Marguerite Gore last week as the all-St. Mary's clash went her way on a 2-1 scoreline, while Amanda Kelly from Templeudigan is now on six points as she defeated her clubmate Ann Boland 2-0.
Division 11: Stephen Murphy (Castlebridge) beat Richard Flynn (Templeudigan), 2-1; Steve Doyle (Tinryland) beat Pat Leacy (St. Joseph's), 2-0; Noel Sinnott (St. Martin's) beat Richard Ryan (Horeswood), 2-0.
Division 12: Eamonn Bowe (Davidstown) beat P.J. Leacy (St. Joseph's), 2-0; Pádraig Roberts (Kilmyshall) beat Mylie Byrne (Ballymitty), 2-0; Declan Jordan (Coolboy) beat Joey Curtis (Tinryland), 2-0.
Division 13: Tom Rossiter (Castlebridge) beat Andrew Corish (Horeswood), 2-1; Brian Busher (Bridgetown) beat Seán Doyle (Arklow), 2-1.
Division 14: Tom Dempsey (Ballyhogue) beat Geoffrey Atkinson (Tinryland), 2-1.
Division 15: Tom Byrne (Kilmyshall) beat Barry Byrne (Ballymitty), 2-1; Walter Lawlor (Castlebridge) beat Mickey Joe O'Connor (Templeudigan), 2-1.
Division 16: Gavin Goggins (St. Mary's) beat Francis Fortune (Oulart), 2-0.
Division 17: Jason Kehoe (St. Joseph's) beat Stephen Roche (St. Martin's), 2-0.
Division 19: Timmy Farrell (Kilmyshall) beat Joe O'Connor (St. Martin's), 2-0.