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Mid Kerry handballers Maggie Quirke and Dominick Lynch win national softball titles

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Maggie Quirke from Glenbeigh winner of the Girls Under-13 Doubles National Softball Handball championship in Wexford on Saturday. Photo by Con Dennehy

Maggie Quirke from Glenbeigh winner of the Girls Under-13 Doubles National Softball Handball championship in Wexford on Saturday. Photo by Con Dennehy

Maggie Quirke from Glenbeigh winner of the Girls Under-13 Doubles National Softball Handball championship in Wexford on Saturday. Photo by Con Dennehy

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Excitement reached fever pitch at the weekend when two handballers from Glenbeigh won national titles at the Softball Handball Championships in in Wexford. The sun shone literally in the South East and metaphorically for the promising and ultra talented Glenbeigh player Maggie Quirke who teamed up with Shauna Hayes from Kilkenny in the 60x30 Girls Under-13 Doubles competition. This competition was a high-octane event with Quirke and Hayes easily accounting for Angela Cronin from Kilkenny and Wexford’s Chloe Murphy by 15-2 and 15-2 in the semi-finals.

Then, in a pulsating and energy sapping final, Quirke and Hayes took on the challenge of Amber Cronin and Kitty Roche from Wexford.

“This was a classic game that highlighted the incredible skills of Maggie and Shauna. They won the first game 15-4 but lost the second game 9-15 after a very tough game,” Kerry Handball PRO Jack O’Shea said. “The championship was decided on a tie-breaker with the first to score 11 winning the title. Maggie was superb in this game and they ran out 11-5 winners to the delight of an appreciative packed gallery on what was another great day for Kerry handball.”

This was another classic performance from Quirke to add to the Golden Gloves title she won in Belfast and her All Ireland Wallball silver medal earlier this month.

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There was further success for the Glenbeigh Handball Club in the National Masters Championships when Dominick Lynch teamed up with Paul Hedderman from Limerick to win this coveted title. They beat off the challenge of James Stanners and Alan O’Neill from Wexford 15-2 and 15-4 in the semi-final and had a comfortable victory in the final, accounting for Offaly players Conor O’Brien and Sean Ryan by 15-7, 15-6.

The softball game is widely regarded as the traditional handball code in Ireland. The ball used is much bigger and bouncier than the small alley handball and softball s generally played in the summer months.

Diamond Masters

Pat Lacey from Asdee, playing in the colours of Ballymacelligott Handball Club, was in action mid-week taking on John Lyons from Macroom in the Munster Diamond Masters B Singles semi-final in Broadford. Despite some impressive rallies, the Kerry player lost out 16-21 and 12-21.

Both these players had met in the Munster Diamond Masters B Doubles final in March where Lacey was partnered by Dermot Casey from Ballymacelligott, and Lyons was partnered by Joe Healy from Ballydesmond. The Kerry pair were narrowly defeated in a tie breaker game, 11-10 with the Cork duo reaching the All-Ireland finals.


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