O'Toole & Whelan win epic encounter

Report by Padhraic Roberts
Junior doubles All Ireland semi final Darren O’Toole / Malachy Whelan ( Wexford ) beat Conor McElduff / Pol Clarke ( Tyrone ) 21-13 & 21-17
Tyrone commence proceedings with  serve. Darren O’Toole immediately kills an excellent ball to take serve for Wexford. Whelan serves the ball down the left which McElduff returns but O’Toole flattens it to make the first score. Wexford then loose their first toss. O’Toole severed some good balls and Whelan followed up with two kills and a passing shot to help Wexford into a 5-0 lead before loosing their toss. This game really got off to an electric pace from both set of players. Wexford regain their toss after conceding no score. Wexford make two aces then McElduff kills a great ball with his right. Tyrone then get their first mark as McElduff kills another good ball. However  the Wexford pair bring their opponents straight out without any further scores. The next couple points were exchanged between both pairings. O’Toole then served for Wexford 8-2 up and Whelan volleyed a great kill shot to make an ace. Wexford then made another with a good serve from O’Toole before loosing their toss. The Tyrone pair then settled their game and made two aces before Whelan scraped a great ball up and in turn O’Toole played a good passing shot down the left to retake serve.  The Wexford pairing made the next few scores and they showed some  great team work with both players covering every inch of the alley. This excellent handball left Wexford leading 14-4 before loosing their toss. Tyrone then played a number of good serves coupled with some good rally play to make it 8-14 to Wexford. At this point Wexford took serve and immediately Whelan killed a lovely ball to to make another ace. Whelan made two aces before loosing his toss and O’Toole made one leaving the score 17-8 to Wexford with Tyrone to serve.  The Tyrone pair made two aces before loosing their toss. From here the Wexford pair showed killer instincts and got to game ball before loosing their toss . To the credit of the pair from the North they battled away and made another three points before Wexford took the toss and O’Toole killed a good ball with his open hand to secure the first game.
So to the second game of this thrilling contest and the large crowd in attendance really enjoyed excellent handball in the first game. Whelan serves for Wexford to get the second underway. The home team made two aces before loosing their serve.  Clarke then serves some good balls which Tyrone capitalise on and make three aces. Both teams then exchange aces for the next few points.  Tyrone then sneak into a 7-4 lead before Wexford win the toss. O’Toole and Whelan both made a some aces each to take a 8-7 lead.  Tyrone then take serve and made an ace to tie the second game at 8 points each. From here Wexford take the toss and make two aces before loosing serve. Clarke then serves three nice balls in a row and make three easy aces. Wexford then retake serve as Whelan floats a lovely kill shot off the side wall with the open hand , a real pressure shot. Wexford then make two aces before loosing thir first serve leaving the score 12-13 to Tyrone.  O’Toole then make two aces to give Wexford the lead 14-13 before Tyrone take serve. The second game has really brought some excellent entertainment to the large attendance.  The men form the north managed one ace before the home team retake serve. Wexford  make two hard fought scores before surrendering serve. This ding dong battle was tied once again at 16 each after Tyrone make two aces. Wexford failed to capitalise on taking serve and failed to make an mark. Clarke then makes an ace for Tyrone after a tremendous rally. Wexford then get straight back in. From here the Wexford pair showed pure grit and determination and kicked on to win the second game on a scoreline of 21-17.  An epic encounter with all four players demonstrating some top class handball.