We have picked out 6 key contenders to keep an eye out for in this weekends Men’s Open field….
- Conor McElduff (Tyrone)
McElduff is the top One-Waller in the country at present, with 3 Wall-Ball National Mens Open Titles to his name. He will start this weekend as top seed and favourite to build on his collection and retain his 2017 title which he won by defeating Charly Shanks in the Final. He has appeared in 4 consecutive Finals since his first year competing in the grade in 2014.
- Martin Mulkerrins (Galway)
The recently crowned All-Ireland 4-Wall Senior Champion will be brimming with confidence! And mind you he is no slouch on the 1-Wall court either! The champion in 2016, he has appeared in 2 of the last 3 Finals, and is the only player to defeat McElduff at Breaffy! He typically brings with him a large support from the vocal Moycullen crew and will be a big threat to McElduff’s crown.
- Paudi Quish (Limerick)
Quish has never made the Final at Breaffy, but he is pushing hard to make that breakthrough and is getting closer year on year. He has appeared in the last 3 SF’s, only being ousted by the eventual winner on each occasion. A regular competitor on the European Wall-Ball Tour, Quish has dedicated a lot of time on his 1-Wall game and will be a big contender this weekend.
- Robbie McCarthy (Westmeath)
2012 was McCarthy’s last Wall-Ball Nationals Title win, his second in all. He may not be typically known for his 1-Wall game, but McCarthy is simply a mercurial Handballer that can adapt and compete with the best in all codes! The Mullingar man has a habit of making the game look very simple. He didn’t compete last year, but in 2016 he had McElduff on the ropes before the Tyrone man prevailed in a 5 ace tiebreak.
- Sacha Kruithof (Spain)
An interesting competitor and a bit of an unknown to the Irish Handball community! But the young Spaniard is not here to make up the numbers, and holds a #2 ranking on the European Tour at present. He is a very athletic player and it will be fascinating to see how he fares against the best Ireland has to offer, especially in the timed game format.
- Sean Kerr (Tyrone)
The 19 year old will be competing in the Mens Open grade for the first year, having stepped up from 19&U, a grade he is still eligible for. As a juvenile Kerr has proven beyond doubt he is a fine Handballer, regularly racking up major titles across all codes. Whether he is ready for a crack at the Mens Open Title, who knows…..but he will relish getting a crack at any of the top 5, and in a pressure free environment he should not be discounted for glory at all. Last years 19&U champion.