Big Day for Banner: 12 handballers in world final action in Calgary

FRIDAY is a huge day for Clare handball as 12 players from the county go for world championship glory in the Optimist Arena in Calgary.
On an historic day for the sport in the county, the team that ranges in age and experience from Chloe Philpott in the 11 and Under singles final through Patrick Donnellan in the over 55 singles will be hoping to bring home a record haul of medals from a World Championships.
Kilkishen Handball Club are leading the way with five members in Chloe Philpott, Patrick Donnellan, Ella Donnellan, Colin Crehan and Tiarnan Agnew taking to the world final stage.
Agnew, who is a member of Team Ireland, is already a world champion having teamed up with Cormac Munroe from Tryone to win the 15 and Under Big Ball Doubles in the one-wall competition, is hoping to add two more golds to his collection.
He plays Galway’s Peter Donohue in the 15 and Under singles final and teams up with Munroe once more in the 15 and Under Doubles final. To reach the singles final Agnew beat Michael Egan (Roscommon) 21-8, 21-5. In the doubles the Agnew/Munroe pairing beat American pair Alex Carew/Ivan Burgos by 21-3, 21-14 to tee up a final against Antoin Fox/Lorcan Mc Bride from Tyrone.
Philpott is also hoping to make it a hat-trick of gold medals — after winning the one-wall 11 and Under Big Ball Doubles with Sadhbh Ní Flaithearta, the young Kilkishen star contests both the 11 and Under singles and doubles finals.
In the singles she faces off against Clóda Nic Con Midhe from Tyrone — in the semi-final she showed all her battling qualities to beat another Tyrone player in Clodagh Munroe by 15-9, 9-15, 11-6.
Tyrone will also provide the opposition in the doubles final, with Philpott and Ní Fhlaithearta taking on the Dearbhail Fox/Clóda Nic Con Midhe after their commanding 15-0, 15-0 semi-final win over another Tyrone pairing in Maggie Carew/Molly Darcy.
The Coughlan clan from Clooney will be hoping for gold on the double, with both Fergal and Natasha in singles final action. Fergal advanced to the final of the 17 and Under final after a 21-17, 21-10 win over Niall Joyce from Galway and plays Danial Kavanagh (Wexford) in the final, while Nastasha will contest the Small Ball C final against Laura Keaver (Waterford) after her 21-20, 21-10 win over Eileen O’Connor in the semi-final.
Clare can’t lose in the 17 and Under girls doubles final, with the all Clare pairing of Ella Donnellan (Kilkishen) and Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle) taking on the Scariff/Nenagh amalgamation that is / Clodagh Nash/Sinéad Meagher.
Meanwhile, Diarmaid Nash will be hoping to bring a first world senior title back to Clare and Tuamgraney Handball Club in 45 years when he contests the Senior Doubles final. After bowing out at the semi-final stage of the singles after a great battle with Cork’s Killian Carroll, the Scariff man teamed up with Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy to beat American pair Andy Nett and Luis Moreno by a decisive 21-5, 21-5 scoreline to set up a final against the Roscommon pairing of Joseph McCann/Rikki O’Gara.
Kilkishen’s Colin Crehan will be hoping to succeed Diarmaid Nash as 23 and Under world champion. After an impressive semi-final win of 21-6, 21-12 over Kildare’s Niall O’Connor he will take on Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins in the decider.
Tulla have two shots at world glory thanks to Colin Corbett and Brídín Dinan. Corbett is paired with Cashel’s Daniel Hayes in the 19 and Under Doubles and after a 21-6, 21-16 win over Limerick pair Evan Murphy and Shane Murphy they take on the Tyrone pair of Johnny Woods and Pól Clarke in the decider. Team Ireland member Corbett suffered defeat in his singles semi-final to Hayes, going down by 21-10, 6-21, 11-4 after a great battle.
Brídín Dinan has teamed up with Limerick’s Caitríona Millane in the 15 and Under Doubles, reaching the final after a 21-7, 21-1 win over Tyrone Mairead Fox and Michaela McCarran and play Armagh pairing Dearbhla Coleman and Megan McCann in the decider.
Clare’s most senior competition in Patrick Donnellan will have American opposition in his Veteran Gold Masters B final in Minnesota’s Phil Kleineschay. Donnellan had an impressive 21-8, 21-8 semi-final win over Wexford’s Jame Dunne.


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