Moycullen HC, Galway, IRE, WPH Press, 12/16/18- GAA handball hosted its second ranking event of the season at the Moycullen Club, with 24 of Ireland’s top stars in action. Moycullen host and reigning GAA All Ireland 40×20 champion Martin Mulkerrins headlined the field, alongside his fierce Irish rivals Diamaid Nash, Robbie McCarthy, Colin Crehan, Gavin Buggy, Michael Gregan and many more.
The pride of Moycullen and Irish #1 Martin Mulkerrins proudly declared before the start of the event, “This is the first ever ranking event to take place in the county and the club is really looking forward to hosting the country’s best players in their new facility, which has taken 10 years of tireless work and fundraising to complete the €350000 project. We’ve got a great entry and we’re looking forward to a class event.”
Round of 32
Daniel Relihan dft Colin Corbett 13-15, 15-1, 11-5
Ger Coonan dft Joe McCann 9-15, 15-6, 11-9
Darragh Daly dft Seamus Conneely 15-6, 11-15, 11-10
Michael Hedigan dft Diurmuid Mulkerrins 15-10, 15-3
Sean Kerr dft Peter Donohue 15-9, 14-15, 11-1
Shane O’Neill dft Pat Conway 15-8, 15-13
Conor McElduff dft Cian O’Conghaile 15-5, 15-3
“Great first evening of hanndball,” exclaimed tournament host Martin Mulkerrins. “Over 200 people attended the official opening and there were a number of very tight games with 4 of the 7 games going to tie breakers. Two of those tie breakers went down to the wire with Darragh Daly defeating Seamus Conneely 11-10 and Ger Coonan defeating Joe McCann 11-9.”
Mulkerrins demonstrated why he’s the Irish #1 en route to the final, blitzing Ger Coonan and Sean Kerr en route to the semifinals. “The Buzzsaw” awaited Mulkerrins in the semifinals, as McCarthy was eager to reenter the top of the sport. Mulkerrins overwhelmed the Buzzsaw with steady power and consistency, racing to the final with an emphatic win.
Diarmaid Nash continued the outstanding play that saw him clinch the GAA’s first ranking event at the Golden Gloves earlier this fall, cruising past Brian Carroll, Darragh Daly, and Michael Gregan to meet Mulkerrins in the final.
Mulkerrins entered the Moycullen Open final aiming to defend his home court and take the first Moycullen title, while aiming to erase the memory of a two-game thumping at the hands of his Moycullen finals opponent Diarmaid Nash at the 2018 Golden Gloves. Mulkerrins started quickly in the final, taking game one with controlled aggression. Very little separated the top two ranked stars in Irish handball in the next two games, as both scored 24 combined points. Nash forced a tiebreaker with a two-point second game win and stood two points from the title after rallying from 5-10 to serve at 9-10 in the third game. Nash earned a left-hand fly kill opportunity to tie the decider at 10 but floored the opportunity off the bottom of his hand. Mulkerrins capitalized on the Nash error, ending the match with a right-handed back wall kill on the next rally. “I was happy with how I played all weekend,” stated a thrilled Mulkerrins. “I trained well in the lead up to it since the Golden Gloves and wanted to play well, especially considering it was in my home court where I started playing handball.”
Round of 16
Diarmaid Nash dft Brian Carroll 15-6, 15-6
Michael Gregan dft Shane O’Neill 13-15, 15-4, 11-1
Darragh Daly dft Rikki O’Gara 15-11, 15-12
Daniel Relihan dft Paul Moran 15-9, 15-10
Robbie McCarthy dft Michael Hedigan 15-4, 15-6
Sean Kerr dft Gavin Buggy 15-6, 15-10
Conor McElduff def Colin Crehan 15-12, 15-9
Martin Mulkerrins dft Ger Coonan 15-0, 15-2
Martin Mulkerrins dft Sean Kerr 15-5, 15-6
Robbie McCarthy dft Daniel Relihan 15-4, 15-3
Michael Gregan dft Conor McElduff 15-10, 15-13
Diarmaid Nash dft Darragh Daly 15-0, 15-10
Mulkerrins def McCarthy 15-11, 15-5
Nash def Gregan 15-5, 15-6
Trophy picture courtesy of GAA Handball.
Watch the Moycullen Final, courtesy of GAA Handball HERE
For much more on the Moycullen Open, visit GAA Handball HERE
WPH Senior Writer