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Handball: Irish Juniors take USA by storm

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Handball: Irish Juniors take USA by storm Reply with quote

by Michael O'Neill

Irish handballers have again been to the fore at the 56th USHA Junior Nationals in Tucson, Arizona and have totally dominated in events in the 15-19 age bracket. Ireland sent an "official" team of six to Tucson but there are another 19 also who have made their own way independently to the event. The final stages take place today (Friday) and several of the prestigious titles seem destined for these shores.

Mallow's Killian Carroll has been in fine form throughout, in the Boy's 19 and Under event, and in tonight's final meets Daniel Cordova (CD Juarez) . In yesterday's semi-final Carroll overcame Julio Garcia (San Jose) 21-8 21-8.

In the Girl's event, played on a Round Robin basis, Ballydesmond's Catriona Casey has won all five of her games and was especially impressive against leading U.S hope Brittyn Bidegain with the Irish no. 1 coming out on top 21-0 21-3. The tournament's no 2 seeded, Lauren O'Riordan from Roscommon has also done well though she too suffered at Casey's hands going under 21-6 21-8 when they met on Thursday. Hopefully another Irish 1-2 here.

In the 15 and under age group, Colin Corbett of Tulla, Co. Clare representing Ireland is through to the final against Tyler Stoffel (North Mankato, MN) whilst Galway's Ciana Ní Churraoin has been in magnificent form in this Round Robin event with three wins out of three including a win last night against her Irish team mate, Maeve McElduff (Omagh) whom she defeated 21-4 21-0

That magnificent result now confirms Ciana as Champion for 2012. Great result for one who, almost certainly with Catriona Casey, will dominate Irish handball in the coming years.

The Galway native,who is the current under 16 singles Irish champion in all three codes 40x20, 60x30 and one wall has prepared meticulously for this venture and has benefited recently from the prowess of Ireland’s world senior ladies champion, Antrim’s Fiona Shannon.

“It really helped to take part in the coaching clinics and training sessions with the Irish Development squad and also to have Fiona Shannon train with us has been brilliant. I also spent some time in court to practice shots and have had very competitive games on a weekly basis,” said Ní Churraoin.

News just in that Tyrone's Eilise McCrory has won the Girls U-13 event (also played on a round robin basis). A worthy champion and one of the many Tyrone players who have excelled this week in Tucson.

EuropeanIrish.com will bring you all the news from the finals when hopefully we will be reporting more Irish champions having entered the record books at the the USHA Juniors.
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