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Slam success for Aoife at Spa handball event

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by Con Dennehy

Killarney handball star Aoife Walsh was celebrating at the weekend following her phenomenal success at the inaugural the Spa 1 Wall Slam competition.

The tournament, played at the Spa GAA facility on Saturday, attracted players from Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Dublin. However, pride of place on the honours list was reserved for Walsh, a member of the Spa Killarney Handball Club.

Having advanced to the finals of the Ladies B competition, she outclassed her opponent, Bríd Horgan (Cork), with a polished display to win the prestigious title on a 21-16 scoreline. The victory establishes Walsh as one of the most promising young players in the county.

Also a winner at the ‘She’s Ace’ tournament in Northern Ireland earlier this year, Walsh can now look forward to an exciting handball season.

“The Spa 1 Wall Slam was an outstanding success,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, Tournament Director and PRO of the Spa/Killarney Handball Club. “We hosted 60 games during the day with the standard of handball at a very high level. There were plate and cup competitions for five grades including Men’s B, Men’s C, Ladies B, Ladies C and Masters 45 plus.”

While the majority of the other titles were won by players from outside Kerry, there was joy for Tommy Quirke (Glenbeigh) in the Men’s B Plate final and for Róisín King (Glenbeigh) in the Ladies C Plate final.

In the Men’s B final, John Joe Quirke (Glenbeigh) lost to Anthony Fitzgerald (Waterford) 21-17; John Coggeran (Roscommon) defeated Kieran O’Brien (Killarney) 21-15 in the Masters final; and in the Ladies C final Barbara Hanley (Galway) defeated Sara Dineen (Killarney) 21-16.

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Kingdom youngsters defeat Dublin outfit to capture Kennedy Shield

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Kerry won their first piece of Kennedy Cup silverware in seven years by defeating the North Dublin Schoolboys/Girls League (NDSL) by two goals to one at the University of Limerick.

After drawing with Tipperary South 3-3 and losing 1-0 to Waterford in heartbreaking fashion in the group stage, the Kingdom entered the shield. Goals by Thomas Keane and Donnacha Vaughan helped them to a 2-1 win over Carlow in the quarter-final, which set up a semi-final tie against Clare.

That clash with their fellow Munster men ended in a 1-1 draw at full-time (Jayden Hurley provided the Kerry goal) and so the match went all the way to penalties. Kerry held their nerve to prevail 6-5 and advance to the final.

Kerry started well against NDSL in the decider and goals via a Lachlann Scannell corner and Darragh Keane gave them a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes.

The Dubliners pulled one back in the second period but the Kerry lads showed courage, heart and plenty of skill to hang on and capture the coveted shield.

Congratulations to players and management on a fantastic achievement.

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Silver and gold for Muckross rowers at Munster Branch Regatta

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Muckross Rowing Club had a large contingent of crews competing in the recent Munster Branch Regatta held at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

The event was the latest in an action-packed regatta season for the club that has already taken in regattas in Limerick, Leitrim and a number of events in Cork.

The club enjoyed a very successful outing with three wins, four second place finishes and 11 further crews placing third in race finals.

The club was especially successful in the Men’s J18B Double event, taking both gold and silver in the final with four crews from the club among the final six. The other two golds for Muckross were secured in the final of the Men’s J16 Double and the Men’s J14 Quad.

The club is now looking forward to its next regatta, another outing to the National Rowing Centre for the two-day Cork Regatta. The Cork Regatta is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, June 22/23, with 28 Muckross crews entered.

The Cork Regatta also takes in a round of selection trials, with a number of Muckross rowers in contention for selection to national crews.

The final weekend of June is then among the busiest for the club. On Saturday, June 29, the Rowing Ireland 1k Classic in Lough Rynn, Leitrim is the top national event for Junior 14-15 and Masters crews. And on Sunday, June 30, the historic Killarney Regatta will see local rivalries renewed in the contest for traditional ‘Sixing’ races. The Killarney Six style of traditional rowing boat is now unique to the town.

The busy spell of competition for the Muckross club then leads on to the ultimate national contest: the Irish Rowing Championships in mid-July.

WINNING MUCKROSS CREWS: Men’s J18B Double – Seán O’Donovan, Cillian Leslie. Men’s J16 Double – Ronan Fahy, Cian Scannell (Muckross A). Men’s J14 Quad – Aaron O’Connor, Connor Duffin, Oscar O’Sullivan, Aaron Hegarty.

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