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Hand drives Larkin to win

Larkin Community College junior boys' team powered their way to victory with a strong team performance in an unbeaten run at last week's VEC SCC Olympic Handball Junior Championship, held at St Michael's Sports Hall, Inchicore.

Larkin's captain, Anthony Hand, Silviu Ashinita and Cian Dunne were dominant figures in their win, accounting for the majority of their goals, with Iwo Kowanda, Conor Lawlor, Jack Kenna, Malcolm Chikarakate, Francis Usba and Bartosa Zawirucha also playing important roles in their success.

Following on the back of impressive 7-0, 6-0 and 8-1 wins, with Hand and Ashinita sharing a hat-trick apiece, Larkin were tested to the full by a spirited showing from Marino College's first-year team in the final game.

With Tomás O'Brannagain, coach of the Irish men's national handball team and TV commentator for the EHF champions league Olympic Handball matches, refereeing, Marino, led by Dylan Grimes, Edvias Rupieka, Shane Rooney and Sylvester Kiwitt, played a short, fast attacking game while Larkin used their superior height and reach to hit their opponents on the counterattack.

Dunne's powerful low drive opened the scoring for Larkin before Marino drew level through Rupieka's super strike.

Larkin's response was swift with Dunne doubling his tally, while keepers Kowanda (Larkin) and Jason Murphy (Marino) pulled off exceptional saves as Larkin won 2-1.

Marino College's girls' team captain Casey Rafferty lifted the Junior Girls Shield as O'Brannagain reflected on the "great spirit" shown by all the teams throughout the tournament.