Glenbeigh handballers Quirke and Clifford defeat All-Ireland champions in Munster Doubles semi-final

Glenbeigh handballers John Joe Quirke

Con DennehyKerryman

There was high drama in Ballydesmond at the weekend when Glenbeigh handballers John Clifford and John Joe Quirke beat the current All-Ireland Master B handball champions in a pulsating Munster Silver Masters Doubles 40x20 semi-final.

Cork players Ray Griffin and Enda Ahern were hot favourites to win the game and a Munster final berth but failed to read the script as the Kerry players produced a spectacular performance in front of a large Cork following who were stunned into silence and could only watch in awe as their local heroes made their exit from the competition.

The Cork players had the home supporters cheering as they opened up a lead of 13-2 and seemed almost certain to win the first game. However this was as good as it got with Quirke and Clifford fighting back and thanks to some magnificent play levelled the game 13-13 before edging ahead to sensationally win the game 21-13.

“It was just one of those nights when everything went well for us. We were really fired up after that first game victory. Cork came out for the second game with all guns blazing and opened a lead of 11-2. However we did not panic and stayed true to our own game plan,” said John Joe Quirke.

With Clifford using the side walls to good effect, the Kerry duo edged their way back into the game and after an energy sapping 20 minutes the teams were level, 18-18.

“We realised we were so close to a win and had faith in our own ability. We produced a great last few minutes to score important aces to clinch the game, 21-18. It was a very hard fought victory but we were thrilled to get past the Cork boys and can now look forward to a Munster final this weekend.”

Munster Junior Doubles

There was no joy for Ballymacelligott players Daire Keane and Cian Counihan in the Munster Junior A Doubles 40x20 quarter-final which took place in Mallow. Despite a spirited performance they were defeated by Conor Walsh and Shane Flynn from Cork 12-21 and 11-21.