CHAMPIONS: Sisters Maggie and Clodagh Quirke from Glenbeigh are winners of the All-Ireland Cumann na mBunscoil handball finals. Photo: Con Dennehy
By Con Dennehy
It was a case of aces high for two Glenbeigh sisters who began their handball sporting career with the best possible outcome in Cavan at the weekend.
Maggie and Clodagh Quirke, students at Glenbeigh National School, were unbeatable when they represented Munster at the All-Ireland Cumann na mBunscoil Handball finals in Kingscourt, bringing home the prestigious U11 doubles title. This was a spectacular success for the duo who began playing the sport during the summer.
“Before we travelled to Cavan we took part in the Munster championships in Broadford,” Maggie (10) said.
“We were delighted and a little surprised to beat off teams from Limerick, Clare and Tipperary in our first major tournament. Following the medal presentation, it was announced we were part of the Munster team for the All-Ireland finals. We were thrilled with this honour.”
The energy sapping sport that requires stamina, speed, agility and control of the ball that travels at speeds in excess of 35km per hour proved no obstacle for the Mid-Kerry girls.
“Playing in the All-Ireland final was a big step up for us. We were playing more experienced players and had to work extremely hard for a win. In the first game we defeated Galway 15-8 and 15-12. It was more difficult against the Ulster champions, Tyrone. We scraped through with a three-point victory,” said Clodagh (8).
The final was a tense and exciting affair with the Kerry duo winning their first game 15-11 and in a pulsating second game edged ahead 15-14 to win the title at the expense of Kilkenny.
Maggie and Clodagh were top of the class when they returned back to Glenbeigh this week.
“They were all delighted we won the title and brought honour to the school and Glenbeigh Handball Club. We are lucky to have great coaches to teach us the skills of the game. They include Jack O’Shea, Christy Marty and our dad John Joe. We will now train for the U12 Kerry and Munster club competitions and just enjoy this great sport,” Clodagh added.
Clodagh and Maggie are following in the footsteps of their famous father, John Joe Quirke, winner of the World Masters title in the USA last year. He is also the holder of 10 All-Ireland titles at various grades.
With the 2021 World Championships taking place in Croke Park, it will come as no surprise if the names of Clodagh and Maggie Quirke are engraved on the winner’s trophy in the U12 doubles category.
Relegation battle has town divided
By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]
By Sean Moriarty
This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.
After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.
In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.
Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.
Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.
“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.
“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”
Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.
“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”
Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.
The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.
Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.
Handball off the wall in Killarney
By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]
By Con Dennehy
The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.
On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.
“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.
Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.
Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.
One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.
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