The last weekend in April featured the Irish 40×20 Adult Nationals in Belfast (Ireland) and the Colorado State Singles Handball Tournament at the Denver Athletic Club.
Former R48 #1 and two-time R48 champion Charly Shanks met 2013 USHA national finalist and former R48 qualifier Martin Mulkerrins for the second time this season for the prestigious championship in Belfast. Shanks defeated Darragh Daly en route to the final, while Mulkerrins defeated Owen McKenna to advance to Sunday’s showdown. Shanks dominated game one against his younger rival and appeared to be in control in game two, leading 7-1 before a furious Mulkerrins rally evened the match at one game apiece. Just as he had done at the All Ireland Championships last month, Shanks seized the momentum in the tiebreaker and held off Mulkerrins for the title, 15-4, 14-15, 11-5.
The best rivalry in handball resumed in the women’s final, with two-time defending World Handball Champion Aisling Reilly facing 2016 All Ireland Champion and 8-time WR48 champion Catriona Casey. Inspired by the support in her hometown, Reilly dominated game one, 15-7. Casey was unfazed, outscoring her counterpart 26-7 in the final two games to add the Irish 40×20 Women’s Adult National title to her glittering resume, 7-15, 15-4, 11-3.
Casey and Reilly will be in action just five days from now at the WPH Player’s Championship in Portland, Oregon, with Casey aiming to defend her 2014 and 2015 WR48 Player’s Championship and Reilly looking to win her second consecutive WR48 start. See more on the WPH Player’s Championship below.
The Denver Athletic Club hosted the Colorado State Singles Handball Tournament, featuring the Ibarra brothers, Armando and Alejandro, as well as former SR48 champion Bear Meiring. Armando defeated his brother en route to the final and dominated Meiring in Sunday’s two-game final to clinch the title. Six-time R48 qualifier hopeful Armando Ibarra appears to have all of the necessary the tools to breakthrough on the R48 tour next season!
The WPH Player’s Championship starts in just five days from the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, OR, with nearly all of the game’s top players scheduled to compete. For a full preview on the event, including a sensational video preview, Race 4 Eight stats, an interview with Naty Alvarado, Jr, finishes of all of the top pros this season and much more, click here
Stories Above with pictures provided by the GAA and Armando Ibarra, respectively
The live ESPN3 WPH Player’s Championship broadcast (here) starts on Saturday morning, May 7th at noon est with the R48 quarterfinals. To follow the draws and results from the R48 V Player’s Championship, click here
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