Passion, a fighting spirit, peak physical fitness and tactical vision are just some of the attributes needed by a handball team from Kerry as they take on a whimsical side from Cork in the Munster Senior Inter Club Handball Championship this week.
he magnificent Broadford Handball Complex in Limerick is the scene of this highly anticipated clash on Thursday evening where Glenbeigh Handball Club, represented by Seán Quirke, Jack O’Shea, John Joe Quirke, Dominick Lynch and Tommy Quirke, will be the players of Kerry in this prestigious event where they face pre-championship favorites Mallow Handball Club.
The Mid Kerry side won the title in 2018 after losing to Mallow the previous year. Despite winning the Munster title, Glenbeigh were beaten in the All Ireland final by a very strong side from Wicklow represented by Coolboy.
The Glenbeigh team on this occasion consisted of Rory O’Connor, Tommy Quirke, Jack O’Shea, Dominick Lynch and John Joe Quirke. It was the fifth time that the Glenbeigh club suffered defeat in the All Ireland final. The winners of Thursday evening are assured of a last place on this occasion.
“Mallow are a very experienced team and despite beating them in 2018, we go to Broadford in very cautious mode. In 2019, just before Covid hit, we were narrowly beaten by Mallow in the final,” said Kerry Handball Board PRO Jack O’Shea.
“This year we are energized by the return of former Inter Varsities champion Tommy Quirke and the very promising Seán Quirke who won the Plate final in the Killarney 1 Wall Slam competition a few months ago. very balanced with a lot of experience. We will do our best and hope that luck smiles on us.
The 1998 Munster and All Ireland Finals created sporting history for Glenbeigh with three members of the Lynch family competing, brothers Dominick and Anthony were joined by their father Tom on the side which lost the All Ireland Final to Wexford . They were joined in the team by Noel Raymond from Tralee.
The current Glenbeigh squad have an impressive and winning roster. The success of Jack O’Shea and Dominick Lynch in 60×30 doubles in Ireland and Munster was one of the clubs success stories of 2022.
O’Shea also won the Irish National Over 35 Open Singles title in Belfast and added the Munster 40×20 title to his impressive performances in February. He also finished second in the over-35 event at the 71st U.S. Open Handball Championships in Oregon.
Internationally, John Joe Quirke produced stunning performances on the 2022 One Wall European Tour. At the UK Open Championships in London, he won the men’s singles C final and the doubles B final , adding a silver medal in the over 40 doubles.
His good form continued in Spain where he won two gold medals and returned last week from the Belgian championships with a gold and silver medal.
Much will be expected from the very experienced Dominick Lynch in this Munster final. It was another successful season for the Glenbeigh player who won his 35th All Ireland medal and his 63rd Munster medal during the year.
His most notable victories include the All Ireland and Munster 60×30 Silver Masters, winning over 40 singles at the US Open Championships and the All Ireland 40×20 Master A final in March.
Team Mallow for the Munster final includes Cork, Munster and All Ireland medalists David Walsh, Tadhg O’Neill, Cian O’Driscoll and Conor Walsh.