Preview 3 – county junior singles
Junior Singles semi finals
Josh Kavanagh (St. Josephs) v Mark Doyle (Taghmon), Adam Walsh (St. Josephs) v Noel Holohan (Templeudigan)
It’s a young person’s game! Well that’s not strictly true of course as handball prides itself on being a sport for all the ages, but certainly as far as this, one of Wexford’s premier championships is concerned, it is a statement that can be truthfully applied writes AOB.
The decision taken a few years ago to facilitate and encourage the participation of young players of 15 and upwards in the county adult championship has proven to be a spectacular success, with clear and visible improvement in just about all who have availed of the opportunity. The junior grade is a case in point as in normal circumstances this would be the preserve of players in their 30s, such as Noel Holohan for instance, but at 37 years of age he very much represents the ‘older brigade’ in these knockout stages. Remarkably, despite the claims of the strong Templeudigan player, it is Adam Walsh at 19, Josh Kavanagh at 16 and Mark Doyle at 15 who vie for favoritism of this prestigious grade.
Kavanagh is back again having gone all the way to the final in 2018 when, not surprisingly, he was out of his depth against Galen Riordan. As expected he has looked even better this season, but he will need to be that against the gifted Mark Doyle who, despite his tender years, is rapidly developing into a real star of the future.
Adam Walsh narrowly beat Mark Doyle in the group stages and that kind of form ought to be sufficient to see him defeat Noel Holohan in the second semi final. Notwithstanding that however the experienced campaigner from the foot of the Blackstairs has bruised a few reputations in his time and it would not come as a major shock if he was to do so again.
Prediction: With the aforementioned trio of youngsters coming off a successful World Championship season (amongst other achievements), two cracking semi finals are in store and with so little to separate the players it is difficult to make a call on who is most likely to emerge victorious. However, on the basis that Kavanagh went into the championship as the favourite he must be followed until beaten and therefore he gets a tentative vote to prevail.