Alley Chat with Noel Holohan
Written by Noel Holohan
Wexford GAA Handball 40×20 County Semi Finals
Daniel Kavanagh from St Joseph’s has secured a spot in the 2017 Senior Open singles final after he and Keith Armstrong from Kilmyshall gave the big gallery a truly memorable match. The opening set would go all the way with the man in red from Kilmyshall getting over the line on a 21-20 score line. The second game saw the tempo and standard of play just as good with both players displaying all the shots with Daniel leveling the game by capturing set two 21-17.
He seized the initiative from that stage with his superior fitness levels really driving him on and when he starting hitting winners Armstrong was unable to step up with Daniel sealing the deal 21-4, with the win giving Kavanagh a chance to take on his club mate, coach and friend Gavin Buggy.
Sean Flood and Adam Walsh fed off the St Joseph’s winning spirit to get a spot in the doubles of the Junior C grade as they were awesome in winning 21-5, 21-5 against Liam Rossiter and Colm Parnell.
Partners in the purple and gold jersey but David Redmond and John Roche will become rivals in the final of the Masters B singles after both won their respective semi-finals last week. David Redmond from Templeudigan was pushed all the way by Sean Stanners in the first game before the man in green triumphed 21-17, and with momentum in his corner Redmond kept the boot down and romped home 21-8 in the second set. John Roche from Castlebridge had to work hard to see off Damien Kelly from Coolgraney in the second semi-final. A close contest went the way of the man in black and amber on a 21-13, 21-17 score.
Kilmyshall pair Paul Murphy and Shay Byrne won a fantastic semi-final in the Masters B doubles as they just about got the better of Phil Coleman and Shane Rossiter from Ballymitty on a 21-17, 12-21, 21-15 score.
Leinster GAA Handball 40×20 Championships 2017
The Christmas tree is down and the new year is now well underway as is the Leinster 40×20 handball championships. Wexford has a full-on county championship and the match practice really showed when the purple and gold army went forth over the past seven days. Fresh from winning his senior county semi-final Daniel Kavanagh was ruthless is hammering seasoned intermediate player William Love from Kilkenny out of the water on a 21-8, 21-6 score line. Despite being only just turned 18 Kavanagh may be a dark horse for the competition.
Two Wexford players have qualified for the quarter finals of the Junior singles with Barry McWilliams and Noel Holohan progressing with impressive wins last week. Barry from Horeswood defeated last year’s beaten semi-finalist Darren O’Toole in a three-set contest 16-21, 21-20, 21-14, with the game coming too quick for injury recovering O’Toole the game sharpness and fitness of McWilliams sees him into the last eight. Joining him there is Noel Holohan from Templeudigan also a semi-finalist in 2016 Holohan was in fine early provincial form in blasting past the challenge of Cian O’Dalaigh on a 21-8, 21-2 score.
James Stanners and Shane Terry are both progressing well in the Junior B singles with both players impressing last week. James Stanners was very impressive in thumping Fergal Lalor from Kilkenny on a 21-6, 21-13 score. Shane Terry is proof of what the Wexford championships can do to a player as he has put two sterling showings together on the Leinster stage with a brilliant 17-21, 21-2, 21-17 win over CJ Delaney from Kilkenny and he carried that form into round two where he hammered Carlow’s Eddie Nolan 21-7, 21-8.
Robert Byrne wrapped up a super week for the county when he triumphed in the Masters B singles with a strong showing to beat Andrew Muldowney from Wicklow 21-16, 21-10.
Wexford men to be to the fore at next weekend’s Leinster Convention.
Next weekend in Na Fianna in Dublin the Leinster GAA Handball convention will take place and it will see Tony Breen from Templeudigan being elected as President of the Leinster GAA Handball Council. After years of hard work in running the game in County Wexford, Tony will once again step onto the provincial stage and he will certainly be a great man to lead the province over the coming years.
Gavin Buggy is also up for election as he will be once again the coaching officer for Leinster and he has a fine record of producing some terrific talent on the county, provincial, national and international circuit over the past few seasons.
Another man who will be honoured at the Leinster Convention is Alan O’Neill from Ballymitty who has revived his club in recent years with hard to lead a committee of locals to renovate the alley and working hard to build the membership and bring in some new talent. Along with this Alan competes strongly on the court and is always to be seen on the back wall in support of his club and county colleague. For his hard work Alan will be named the Leinster Club Person of the year for 2016.