Taghmon wins softball crown as Wexford host Féile event

WEXFORD HELD its second National Handball event of the summer, with Féile Softball following the National Softball Championships in July. This stand-alone event was held at three locations around the county: Castlebridge, St. Mary’s and Taghmon.

Although registration was understandably down in 2019, the last time the event was held, also in Wexford, it didn’t detract from the fun of the day.

All three venues drew large crowds with a great atmosphere. The hospitality at the venues was second to none and it was great to hear so many positive comments about the visiting club hosts.

Wexford were represented by Taghmon in the boys’ and girls’ Division 2 competitions. Both teams played in front of a home crowd in Taghmon, bringing pride to their club and county with strong performances during the day as both reached their respective finals.

The boys of Jack Breen, Barry Foley, Nathan Lawlor and Conor Doyle picked up a brilliant victory in the final against Kilkenny’s Kells to secure the title.

The women’s team of Mikaela Kavanagh, Zahara Dunne-Sweeney, Ellie Murphy and Boo Murphy qualified from the group stage, having won one game and drawn the other, but lost horribly to Kells in a very exciting finale.

Conor Doyle ended a great day for Taghmon by winning the skills contest, with Conor Deegan (Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny) second. In the women’s skills competition, the winner was Shauna Hayes (Kells), followed by Stephanie Walsh (Moycullen, Galway).

Castlebridge hosted the boys’ and girls’ Division 1 competitions, and both were held on a round-robin basis. Talbot’s Inch from Kilkenny and Loughmacrory from Tyrone met in the men’s final.

Having always seemed in control, Talbot’s Inch proved too strong, and they continued to add to their four-wall Féile title from earlier in the year.

Loughmacrory’s women’s side outperformed their club counterparts when they beat Kilkenny’s Kilfane in the final, having dominated both matches throughout.

In the skills competitions, Anthony Clifford (Talbot’s Inch) and Katie Jordan (Kilfane) took victories, with Ciarán McCrystal and Laura Duff (both Loughmacrory).

The men’s Division 3 event was held at St. Mary’s and featured the highest attendance of the day, with four teams participating. After a series of group matches, Ballydesmond (Cork) and Cullohill (Laois) progressed to the final, with the Cork side winning the title.

The finalists also had the winner and runner-up in the skills competition, with Ryan Linehan (Ballydesmond) in first and Ethan Lafferty (Cullohill) in second.

Many thanks to the three host clubs for making this day very enjoyable for everyone.

Thanks to the three skill judges and all the referees and club officials for their hard work, and to GAA Handball Chairman Dessie Keegan for taking the time to travel to Wexford and see all the venues.