1Wall-Ball Takes Center Stage on the First Weekend in July!
Happy 4th of July! The World Players of Handball was excited to cover two of the biggest 1-WallBall events of the year on the first weekend in July, with the 2016 Irish Wall-Ball Nationals in Mayo, Ireland and 5th Annual Honey Martin’s Montreal 1-Wall Big Ball Open in Montreal, Canada. Check out the recaps and upcoming WPH events below!
The 2016 Wall-Ball Nationals: July 1st-2nd,2016
The 2016 Wall-Ball Nationals were contested this weekend in the Breaffy House Sports Arena in Castlebar, Mayo (Ireland), with the top men’s and ladies stars in Irish Wall-Ball handball. More than 400 combined players in the open, juniors, skill level and age division brackets traveled to Castlebar to compete in the Wall-Ball extravaganza, including players from India, Holland, and Ireland.
The 2016 Irish Wall-Ball Nationals kicked off on Friday with all men’s and ladies round of 16 and quarterfinal matches being 20-minute timed-matches. “The matches are extremely tough,” stated WPH Reporter and 2016 Irish Wall-Ball Nationals semifinalist Martin Mulkerrins. “The action is nonstop and the ball is just thrown back into the court so there are no breaks.”
Conor McElduff entered the Men’s Open Singles as the top seed on the heels of back-to-back Wall-Ball National victories in 2014 and 2015. Mcelduff faced a very strong field at this year’s event that included last year’s finalist and 2016 USHA Four Wall National Championships semifinalist Martin Mulkerrins, current R48 Player’s Champion and USHA Four Wall National Champion Killian Carroll, and two-time defending All Ireland 40×20 champion Robbie McCarthy.
Conor McElduff continued his quest for three in a row at the Irish Wall-Ball Nationals, holding off match point in the semifinals at 14-14 in the final 20 seconds of the 20-minute timed semifinal against Irish cross over star Robbie McCarthy. McCarthy had the win in his grasp with a spike kill opportunity in the waning seconds of the match, but the spike narrowly missed. McElduff dominated in the overtime to five points, scoring five of the six points in the extra frame.
Martin Mulkerrins was dominant in the bottom bracket semifinal, cruising past Paudi Quish to setup a repeat of last year’s Irish Wall-Ball Final.
Mulkerrins started quickly in the final, building a one-game lead with effectively aggressive front court play. McElduff responded in game two, demonstrating why he entered the event as the two-time defending champion in evening the match. The pair would need a tiebreak to decide the championship for the second consecutive year, but this time it would be Mulkerrins who would rise to the occasion. Mulkerrins built a huge lead and never looked back, winning his first open national singles title in Ireland.
“I’m just delighted with it,” stated Mulkerrins after his sensational victory. “Everything just went my way in the tiebreaker. Instead of playing it safe like I did last year in the tiebreaker, I just suppose I went for the kills.”
#1 McElduff defeats Doyle 31-6
#4 McCarthy defeats Daly 31-9
#6 Quish defeats #3 Carroll 22-18
#2 Mulkerrins defeats #7 McCavitt 20-19
McEleduff defeats McCarthy 14-14, 5-1 in overtime
Mulkerrins defeats Quish 27-14
Men’s Final: Mulkerrins defeats McElduff 15-5, 8-15, 11-2
Irish Wall-Ball specialist and three-time Wall-Ball Ladies National Champion Lorraine Havern earned the top seed in the Ladies Open and faced a strong contingent of ladies that included 2016 WPH Outdoor Vegas Lte Champion Ciana Ni Churraoin, 2016 WR48 NYAC finalist Martina McMahon, European #1 Wall-Ball star Miranda Scheffer, and European #4 Wall-Ball star Harmke Sigersma.
Havern lived up to her #1 seed in dominating the upper bracket en route to the final, as she cruised past Mahon and Sigersma en route to the final. Left-handed smooth-swinging Martina McMahon emerged from the bottom bracket, overcoming Maeve McElduff in a close quarterfinal and dominating European Wall-Ball #1 Miranda Scheffer in the semifinals to meet Havern in the final.
Havern demonstrated her Wall-Ball mastery in the final, blunting the lefty’s two-handed offensive attack in dominating game one. McMahon would trade kills and challenge Havern in game two, but Havern made the important shots late in the game to clinch her third Wall-Ball title.
#1 Havern defeats Coleman 27-14
#4 Sigersma Mahon defeats 24-22
#3 McMahon defeats McElduff 23-19
#2 Scheffer defeats Dunne 31-12
Havern defeats Siegersma 28-16
McMahon defeats Scheffer 31-4
Final: Havern defeats McMahon 15-6, 15-13
Huge thanks to WPH Reporter and Irish Wall-Ball Champion Martin Mulkerrins for providing in depth analysis and reports from both the men’s and ladies action in Castlebar!
To follow all of the action from the event, Like the GAA on Facebook and go to gaahandball.ie
The 5th Annual Honey Martin’s Montreal 1-Wall Big Ball Open: July 2nd, 2016
Montreal hosted one of Canada’s biggest outdoor tournaments of the year over the 4th of July weekend, with Canadian legend Danny Bell, R48 star Ryan Bowler, and New York City 1-Wall stars George Figueroa, Han-Ching Lin, Veronica Figueroa and Yolanda Monroe amongst the more than 60 players from across Canada and the U.S. entered in the event.
Brooklyn’s George Figueroa dominated the field in the Men’s Open Singles at the Honey Martin’s, defeating fellow New Yorkers Johnny Javier in the semifinals and Han-Ching Lin in the final. “George was dominant throughout the event,” stated WPH Reporter Ryan Bowler. “George served incredibly well and was shooting everything.”
Figueroa teamed with Chris Benitez in slamming the doubles, defeating Danny Bell and Lin in the doubles final.
Quasia Zeigler took the Women’s Open Singles, defeating Shirley Chen in a competitive final, 21-18.
Veronica Figueroa teamed with Yolanda “YoYo” Monroe to win the Women’s Doubles. “Yo Yo and Veronica just dominated the front and had great kills,” stated Bowler. “Team YoYo/Veronica were impressive to watch!”
Huge thanks to WPH Reporter Ryan Bowler for reporting the exciting action from Montreal!
For draws from all of the brackets from the Honey Martins’ Montreal 1-Wall Big Ball Open, go here
The WPH’s RFC 8
The 1WallBall Tour continues next weekend, July 9th-10th, at the WPH’s Rodney Fink Classic 8 International Cross Over Extravaganza in Pittsburgh, PA. Top men’s and women’s Race 4 Eight and junior stars from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland will be in Pittsburgh for the WPH’s longest running event, featuring JR WPH junior handball clinics, 4-Wall Small Ball Singles and Doubles and 1WallBall Small Ball and Big Ball Singles and Big Ball Mixed Doubles. Want to play? Contact tournament director David Fink at email@example.com or find more info here.
JR WPH at the JR Vasquez
The WPH will also be hosting a JR WPH junior 3-Wall handball clinic for the fourth consecutive summer at the JR Vasquez California State 3-Wall State Doubles Championships next weekend with WPH Certified Coaches Shorty Ruiz and Sal Duenas. Stay tuned for the recap!
Log onto wphlive.tv, Like the World Players of Handball on Facebook, or follow the WPH on Twitter @dfwph and @wphlive for all of the handball news from on and off the court! The World Players of Handball is a non-profit foundation aiming to grow the game of handball through innovation and inspiring the next generation of players through junior clinics with Certified WPH Coaches, junior tournaments and the Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor tours.
WPH Senior Writer
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