HomeWorldSligo handballer Cormac Finn qualifies for the Irish World Championship Team

Sligo handballer Cormac Finn qualifies for the Irish World Championship Team


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Team Ireland Wall Ball Men’s Open

© Sligo Champion

The main handball event of the weekend was not in the usual four-wall format but in the increasingly popular one-wall varied of the game. Sligo Handball can claim a lot of credit for the introduction of this code of handball as they hosted the Irish One-Wall Nationals in the late 1990s and that in turn prompted interest particularly in areas that may not have had a 4-wall court. It is the only truly International code of handball, now rebranded as Wall-Ball, and the World Wall-ball Championships will be hosted at the University of Limerick campus for five days commencing on August 18.

GAA Handball will also enter an Official Irish team and with a view to filling those lucrative places, the Irish Team trials took place in Belfast last weekend. The events were boys and girls U15, U17 and U19 singles, Men’s and Ladies Open and Men’s and Ladies Open doubles.

Ballymote’s Cormac Finn, fresh from his Intervarsities singles softball title last weekend, teamed up with Abbeyknockmoy native Mikey Kelly to contest the Men’s Open doubles event. In some truly nail-biting matches the Western alliance of Finn and Kelly recorded a quarter-final win over the Monaghan-Cork pairing of Eoghan McGinnity and Cian O’Driscoll (15-3, 15-13) and followed that up with a 11-8 tie-break semi-final victory over the Louth-Monaghan duo of Ben Devlin and Jack Turley.

In a thrilling final, Finn and Kelly sealed their Irish team Men’s Open doubles sport with a 15-8, 6-15, 11-9 victory over Fiachra O’Duill, Armagh and Cian Dunning from Cork. A quite remarkable achievement for two of the youngest participants of the event as Finn is still only nineteen while Kelly is just twenty. To play three different codes of handball and come away with victory in each in the space of three weeks represents an unprecedented achievement for the young Ballymote ace.

Cormac Finn is in action again this Sunday as he heads up a fine and exclusive field for the annual Michael Porter memorial invitational singles tournament in Ballymote. Others making up a very strong field include Kyle Jordan from Kilkenny, Rory Grace of Tipperary, Limerick native, Paul Hedderman and Swinford’s Ollie Cassidy and serial participant, Vinnie Moran from Ballaghaderreen.

The provincial softball doubles championships gets underway way this week and there will be much interest in the meeting of Drumcliffe duo Clive Slevin and Josian Oskoz who take on Leitrim duo, Anthony O’Flynn and Joel Smith in the Silver Masters doubles semi-final on Thursday next in Drumkerran.

There is much Sligo interest too in the delayed Connacht Junior C 40×20 singles final fixed for Lisacul this Friday evening at 7.00pm, as it features Castleconnor’s Darragh Murphy who takes on Joe Gallagher from Galway for the provincial title.

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