Wexford handballers win a magnificent six World titles

Wexford handballers return home from Canada this weekend with an incredible six titles, after an extraordinary successful World Championships in Calgary. A feature of the achievement is that three families shared the medals, with two each going to the Kavanagh’s, Doyle’s and Buggy’s, all of whom will have very fond memories of these games.

All of wins came in the 4-wall events, with pride of place going to Daniel Kavanagh who justified his number one seeding in the boys 17 and under event with a terrific 21-16, 21-11 win over Fergal Coughlin, Clare in the final. Earlier Daniel had defeated Alan Burgos, Ontario, 21-5, 21-5, Gavin Coyle, Monaghan 21-5, 21-11 and in the semi final Tadhg O’Neill, Cork 21-12, 21-14. It was a huge achievement to go through the tournament without dropping a game and in a competition containing all of the top Irish players of that age group, the win was not just a massive personal triumph for Daniel, but a terrific boost for Wexford handball as well.

Daniel made it a games to remember by adding the boys 17 and under doubles title to his collection, when in partnership with Sean Kerr, Tyrone they saw off the challenge of Galway/Cork paring Diarmuid Mulkerrins and Tadhg O’Neill 21-16, 16-21, 11-6 in a classic final.

Josh Kavanagh made it a real family affair as he combined brilliantly with Mark Doyle to take the boys 13 and under doubles winners medals. They came out on top in an event laden with talent and their 12-15, 15-9, 11-7 win over Cahir Monroe and Jason O’Toole (Tyrone/Galway) in the final was a triumph for Wexford juvenile handball as all other partnerships in this competition were made up of players from different counties.

Gavin Buggy and Dominick Lynch, Kerry retained the 35 and over doubles title they won back in 2012 when they comprehensively beat Michael Walsh, Kilkenny and David Moloney, Tipperary 21-14, 21-6 in the final and Ned Buggy matched that achievement by winning  the 65 and over doubles alongside Eugene Kennedy, Dublin. They had a fine 21-13, 21-15 win over Frank Cekan and Dan Scilley, USA in the decider.

Robert Doyle dominated the 45 and over B competition from the start and he took the title by beating William Holden, Kilkenny 21-15, 21-4 in the final. Robert was never in danger of defeat in this grade and his great fitness was a significant factor in all of his games.

Amongst the successes there was also heartbreak, especially for Noel Holohan who put in a series of brilliant performances in both Men’s C singles and doubles, only to have to settle for silver in the doubles event. Partnered by Daniel Breen, Kilkenny they lost 21-18, 21-7 to Michael Donovan and Tomas Lennon, Laois in the final with fatigue playing a major part.

Bobby Doyle, boys 11 and under, Laurence Dunne, boys 17 and under, Sean Nolan, Men’s C, Jimmy Dunne, Men’s 55 and over B and Tom Byrne, Men’s 55 and over B all acquitted themselves well and will have enjoyed the experience.

A more comprehensive results sequence and pictures will follow later.