A Mid Kerry handball family were among the star players at the Irish Wallball championships which took place in Roscommon at the weekend.
Sisters Clodagh and Maggie Quirke from Glenbeigh were competing in the Under-13 singles competition where their individual performances in the quarter-finals was one of the highlights of the competition.
Clodagh put in a sterling performance on Saturday defeating the fancied Galway player Aoife Walsh 31-5, while Maggie also had a comfortable victory defeating Maeve Donoghue from Inis Mor on a 31-4.
On Sunday Clodagh lost her semi-final duel with Niamh Brennan from Kilkenny 29-12 while in the other semi-final Maggie beat Freya Donnellan from Galway 18-8.
In a high octane final Maggie Quirke lost out to Niamh Brennan 18-8 but had the consolation of securing the All-Ireland runner-up berth.
Meanwhile, fresh from his success at the European Handball Tour in England, John Joe Quirke – father of Clodagh and Maggie – was competing in the Masters Championship. In a pulsating quarter-final clash with John Corregan from Roscommon the players were tied at 16-16 at the end of the 15-minute period. This forced a tie-break to decide the winner with Quirke edging out his opponent 5-4 in a fast paced game.
He continued his good form in the semi-final on Sunday defeating David Stanners from Wexford 31-12 but suffered defeat at the hands of James Doyle in the final on a 31-12 scoreline to take the All-Ireland silver medal.
In a very competitive Girls Under-15 championship Roisin King from Glenbeigh progressed to the semi-final where she played Emma Brennan from Galway. This was a classic game of handball between tow evenly matched players with Brennan shading victory on 22-19.
“Rosin was very unlucky in this competition. Unlike most competitions where the winner is first to reach 21, this game lasted for 15 minutes and the highest scored was declared the winner. Time just ran out for Roisin despite a super performance from her,” John Joe Quirke said.
There was joy for Spa Killarney Handball Club on Sunday when Brendan O’Donoghue progressed to the last 16 of the Men’s 55 plus Championship. He defeated John Bourke (Belcarra) to advance to the quarter-finals but lost out to Paul Cassidy (Tydavnet) in a close game.
Meanwhile, in the Munster Junior A 60x30 Singles, Daire Keane from Ballymacelligott beat Gary McCarthy from Waterford 21-6 and 21-7 to advance to the quarter-finals which takes place in Ballymacelligott on Sunday. His opponent will be Kevin Dempsey from Tipperary.