2022 Laois Boys 40×20 Juvenile Handball Championships
The 2022 Laois Handball Boys Juvenile 40×20 Championships took place last week with matches held at St. Brigid’s Handball Club, Monavea and Cullohill Handball Club, Cullohill. With handball being badly affected in 2020 and 2021, it was fantastic to see a large number of entries in each of the age groups. The standard of handball presented was excellent throughout with some very exciting games decided in dramatic tiebreakers.
U12 Boys’ Departmental Championships
The U12 Championship saw nine entries with the matches played at Monavea on Friday night. In the top half of the draw, Dara Brennan recorded wins over Cormac Kells and Aaron Brennan while in the bottom half of the draw, Michael Brennan got the better of William Muldowney and Jamie Mahoney to advance to the final.
In a very pleasant, tense and very competitive final, it was Michael Brennan who emerged victorious by a single ace. With the two players splitting the first two games, a tiebreaker was needed to decide who would win as u12 county champions and Michael took victory by the narrowest margin at 11-10.
Credit goes to both players for producing the best game in the championship this year. In the 3rd/4th place qualifier Aaron Brennan of Monavea beat Jamie Mahoney of Cullohill Handball Club to give Monavea a clean sweep of the U12 medals. The list of competitors for the evening was: Sean Farrell, Oisin Dowling, Ollie Delaney, Aaron Brennan, Cormac Kells, Dara Brennan, Michael Brennan, William Muldowney and Jamie Mahoney. Congratulations to all who competed.
U13 Boys’ Departmental Championships
Monavea was also due to host the U13 boys with the competition played on Saturday. In the first round of matches, Fionnan Brennan of Monavea beat Cillian Deegan, Mark Dowling defeated Jack Deegan in a tiebreaker after a very competitive encounter and Cian O’Sullivan received an upset after Geoffrey Duggan failed to could complete the game. In two high-quality semifinals, Fionnan Brennan beat Jack Hennessy and Mark Dowling edged his meeting with Cian O’Sullivan.
In another high quality final, Fionnan proved a very deserving winner by defeating a very talented opponent in Mark Dowling. The 3rd/4th place playoff was won by Cian O’Sullivan of Monavea who overcame a strong challenge from Jack Hennessy of Cullohill.
Departmental Boys U14 Championship
The Boys U14 Championships took place at Cullohill over the weekend with some exciting matches. In the opener, Monavea’s Tiernan Patterson picked up the win over Jamie Fogarty. However, in the semi-finals, he had to lose to a strong opponent, Eoin Delaney. In the other semi-final, Monavea’s Jack Doyle played fantastic handball to defeat Eoin Holland.
The final however proved to be too far away as Cullohill’s Eoin Delaney was set to prevail in a top-flight county final. Eoin showed immense skill throughout the match and deservedly won the boys U14 title. In 3rd/4th place, Eoin Holland took the honors with a hard fought victory over Tiernan Patterson.
U15 Boys Departmental Championship
The Boys U15 Championships also took place at Cullohill last weekend and the matches lived up to expectations with talented handball players who had performed so brilliantly at the Leinster U15 B Championships last December in action. The semi-finals pitted four skilled handball players with Cullohill’s Ethan Lafferty facing teammate Ross Deegan and Monavea’s Fionn Sullivan facing another Cullohill contender in Jimmy White.
After two competitive semi-finals, it was Ross Deegan and Jimmy White who qualified for the final. In the final, Ross came out on top with an impressive display of handball. Ross has shown great potential as a handball player and this win adds to his success reaching the Leinster U15 B final in early December. The third-place play-off was won by Ethan Lafferty.
U16 Boys Departmental Championship
With no Monavea players entered in the U16 County Championships played at Cullohill on Monday night, it resulted in a clean sweep of medals for the Cullohill handball players. In the final, John Delahunty faced Donal Deegan. Both of these players also featured in the Leinster U15 B Championships last December, with both players playing impressively to advance to the final of this competition.
Therefore, a fierce battle between two promising handball players was expected. The final did not disappoint, with John Delahunty proving to be the strongest player of the night to claim victory. Simon Comerford won the bronze medal.
Well done to all the competitors for the weekend action. There was fantastic handball played in all categories and Laois GAA Handball wishes all players who will represent Laois GAA Handball in the upcoming 40×20 Leinster Championships every success. Clearly from this week’s action, the future of Laois handball is in very good shape.
Laois GAA would also like to acknowledge the hard work of clubs and county mentors who help develop and grow the game at the youth level.