Sligo Handball news
15 June 2012
Sligo players in Connacht handball championships semi-final action
The handball players of Sligo are in semi-final action this weekend (June 23/24th) in the Connacht handball 60 x 30 championships. Seven players will face Roscommon opponents in Collooney,writes Michael McGee
Shane Bruen will have home advantage when he takes on Roscommon's Billy Kelly for a place in the Provincial final of the Over 35 B singles. Bruen will be out for revenge following last year's Connacht final loss to the Roscommon man by 21-15, 17-21, 21-8. Bruen already having a great year won the Connacht Over 35 B doubles 40 x 20 final with Castleconnor's Mark Murphy. The duo went all the way to the final before falling to Limerick in the decider. Bruen is an out and out 60 x 30 player and his duel with Kelly could be one of the matches of the day. The Collooney star is going well in training and should have that extra bit of class to reach the final this time round.
Castleconnor's Mark Murphy has made steady progress in the last number of years in the 60 x 30 court. The natural left hander comes face to face with Roscommon's Martin Conroy from the Ballymoe club. Murphy will give a very good account of himself and has the ability to upset Conroy and reach the final.
Murphy's clubmate Martin Cooney makes a welcome return to competitive handball following an year out through injury. Cooney has great power and this will unsettle his opponent in Leitrim's Maurice O'Donnell. Despite an enforced injury Cooney is coming back to form and should do enough to qualify for the final.
A welcome sign of the times see's Oxfield's Colin Slevin open the four match programme the following day in the Junior C singles. Slevin, yet to taste a competitive outing in the 60 x 30 court will be making his competitive debut in the 60 x 30 championships. More accustomed to the smaller 40 x 20 Slevin could struggle in the bigger court in Collooney
St. Mary's Peter Chambers has the onus task of taking on Leitrim's Eddie Lee in the Golden Masters B singles. Lee will be the clear favourite and Chambers will need to produce something special here if he is to reach the Connacht final.
Chambers club mate Michael McMorrow will also have an equally difficult assignment when he takes on Roscommon's Martin Bruen. McMorrow who had his best year in handball in 2011 when winning his first All-Ireland title in the Emerald Masters B doubles final with Collooney's John McLoughlin. The step up to the "A" grade for McMorrow may prove a little beyond his reach. However the St. Mary's club man has produced a number of eyecatching performances in recent challenge matches of late and won't lack ability or drive as he endeavours to cause a shock.
Collooney's Peter Davey is another player who has shown great progress in recent months. Davey an An Post employee "hand delivered" the Connacht Junior B interclub title to Collooney in 2009 and played his part in the side that reached that year's All-Ireland club final. Returning to arguably his best form he will give his all as he meets Roscommon's James Coughlin for a place in this year Emerald Masters B singles final.
Ballymote club man Francis McCann in the Golden Masters A singles the reigning All-Ireland champion has a bye to the final.
Connacht handball championships 60 x 30 semi-finals
Saturday June 23rd in Collooney at 5 p.m.
Over 35 B singles: Shane Bruen v Billy Kelly (Roscommon)
Masters B singles: Mark Murphy v Martin Conroy (Roscommon)
Silver Masters B singles: Martin Cooney v Maurice O'Donnell (Leitrim)
Sunday June 24th in Collooney at 2 p.m.
Junior C singles: Colin Slevin v Roscommon
Golden Masters B singles: Peter Chambers v Eddie Lee (Leitrim)
Emerald Masters A singles: Mick McMorrow v Martin Bruen (Roscommon)
Emerald Masters B singles: Peter Davey v James Coughlin (Roscommon)