A family affair as McWilliams and Stanners qualify for Junior C Doubles decider
2015 COUNTY 40×20 CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
It will be a purely family affair in the Wexford county Junior C Doubles final after Christmas, following wins for Fergal and Danny McWilliams, Horeswood and Sean and James Stanners, St. Martins in the semi finals played at St. Josephs Handball Centre last night.
This match appeared set for a different outcome when Mick Carty and PJ Lacey led 8-1 in the early stages and more importantly 18-14 later on, but then the father and son combination of Fergal and Danny McWilliams regained the serve and proceeded to close out the game with the minimum of fuss. Prior to that Carty’s big serve up the right had Danny McWilliams in constant trouble and with PJ Lacey using his power to good effect a long and difficult night appeared in store if the favoured Horeswood players were to prevail. Then suddenly the game changed as Carty coughed up a few soft points to give their opponents hope and as 18-14 quickly became 18-18 the writing was on the wall for the long time leaders. Horeswood were doing little more than keeping the ball on the wall at this stage but that proved to be enough as the St. Josephs challenge faded in dramatic fashion and the McWilliams duo went on to clinch the opening game by 21-18. Thereafter the more mobile Horeswood players took over completely and with Danny creating the changes and Fergal finishing them off, the end came swiftly as Horeswood ran out convincing 21-5 winners.
A cracking encounter between two evenly matched pairings went right down to the wire before brothers Sean and James Stanners prevailed by 12-21, 21-16, 21-19 in a desperate finish. Earlier on it was the roof play of the youthful Butler and the clinical finishing of English that held sway but after they had deservedly taken the first game by an impressive 21-12 and then led for much of the second, their challenge faded as the St. Martins players continued to up the ante. Suddenly it was Sean Stanners who was taking charge of the rallies and aided and abetted by James who was working hard throughout, it was no surprise when the St. Martins duo took the second 21-16 to level the tie. With the wind at their back they began the third in blistering fashion to built up an 11-1 lead and although Ballyhogue pulled it back to 13-11, another surge put the Stanners brothers 19-11 ahead and in sight of victory. Then the doubts set in again as English and Butler refused to give up hope and when they reduced the deficit to the minimum at 18-19, a successful fightback looked on the cards. It fell to the very accurate Sean Stanners to restore stability for the Piercestown men and in a welter of excitement he rolled another ball to settle the issue.