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Salthill Tournament Report

posted 30 Jan 2013, 07:22 by John McLoughlin   [ updated 30 Jan 2013, 20:38 ]

Salthill Handball Club Fundraiser Tournament 2013


Salthill Handball Club hosted a very successful tournament last weekend with over fifty players taking part in Junior “B” singles, Junior Singles and masters doubles.  With five 40X20 courts in use in Galway City over the two day event it meant the tournament could be ran as per the schedule.  With players from Meath, Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Roscommon, Mayo, Westmeath and the Aran Islands taking part it really was an All-Ireland affair. 


In Junior “B” singles some noteworthy matches took place in the preliminary rounds with Ryan Seoige (Inis Mor) playing Aodan Concannon (Salthill/Inis Mor) in a real thriller. 16 year old Seoige was 23-8 down against a more experienced Concannon when the real fight back took place. Both players were locked on 21-21 for what seemed like an eternity but then Ryan took off and got to 27-21, however Aodan was not letting his fellow club mate away so easily and came back to level it at 29-29. Another fifteen minutes of play ensued before Seoige eventually took it 31-29. This had to be one of the matches of the tournament coupled with the fact that Ryan had to catch a ferry from the Aran Islands on a stormy night to play his match, for that alone he deserved his win. Other players deserving mention for such a tight and entertaining match were Jamie Kelly (Loughrea) and Ciaran O’Conghaile (Inis mor) who served up a serious match in the Junior B plate with O’Conghaile winning it 21-20.


Tom O’Connor (Meath) took the junior b cup by defeating Gerry Waldron (Galway), Jamie Murray (Leitrim), Michael Lalor (Galway) and Fergal Coughlan Jnr (Clare) for a well deserved victory. Ciaran Burke (Mayo) also played some real stylish handball to take the Junior Singles cup.  On the way he had tough matches against Shane Heraty (Mayo) 31-28, Martin Raftery (Leitrim) 31-19 and in the final against Denis Creaton 21- 15, 21-1.  Burke will play Creaton again in the Connacht Championship so it was a good first encounter for the pair.

Junior B Champion - Tom O'Connor with Michael Kennedy 

In the masters doubles Mayos James Towey and Joe Dowling came to Salthill really meaning business and made light work of their first game against Steven McInerney and Paul Hynes (31-5). These players made it to the final where they came up against a makeshift team of father /son duo Fergal Coughlan Senior and Junior. Fergal junior had to deputise with his dad due to the late withdrawal of another player. The Coughlans went on to win the masters final beating Towey and Dowling. The whole crowd were delighted with this victory due to the father/son relationship which is what sport is all about.

Junior Champion - Ciaran Burke with Michael Kennedy 

Full winners and runner-ups as follows:


Junior “B” Singles Cup Champion: Tom O’Connor (Meath), r-up Fergal Coughlan Jnr ( Clare)

Junior “B” Singles Plate Champion: Brendan McDonagh (Ros), r-up Pierse Lalor (Moycullen, Galway)

Junior Singles Cup Champion: Ciaran Burke (Mayo), R-up Denis Creaton (Ros)

Junior Singles Plate Champion: Ian McLoughlin (Mayo), R-up Fergal Coughlan Snr (Clare),

Masters Doubles Cup Champions: Fergal Coughlan Snr & Jnr (Clare), R-up James Towey and Joe Dowling (Mayo)

Masters Doubles Plate Champions: Mike Kennedy and Willie Corcoran (Galway), R-up Tony and Steven McInerney (Galway/Limerick)

Fergal Coughlan Sr. and Jr. with Michael Kennedy 

Historically Salthill Handball club was constituted and built under an ANCO scheme in the 1970’s and played a pivotal role, not alone in the promotion and staging of handball in Galway city and its environs, but was also the location for the staging of major tournaments and national championship matches. The building itself is located beside the GAA Pearse Stadium complex in Salthill, and consists of two 40x20 courts and associated changing and shower facilities. The dual court arrangement lend themselves well to the running of tournaments, and in recent years in particular have been ideal in staging juvenile county and provincial handball championships at both national and secondary school level. The Club has also recently hosted a number of charity fundraising events and is used to stage the Army handball national tournament. Major racquetball events are also hosted by the club and a number of members of the club are dual players and enjoy playing both codes.

With the re- introduction of a juvenile coaching programme and improvements to the building itself, and the close co operation between the club and next door neighbours Salthill Knocknacarras fine facilities, the new committee envisage a bright future for the club.

The recent fundraiser tournament was very much welcomed by players from all over the country and all funds raised will help the club in its endeavours going forward. Huge thanks to St.Marys College and Salthill/Knocknacarra GAA for the use of their facilities. Thanks also to  the following sponsors who helped out with the trophies and prizes for the fundraising raffle: Salthill Hotel, Connacht Rugby, Moughans Pharmacy, Aran Sports, William Corcoran Fuels, Joyces Supermarket, Treasure Chest.  This tournament will now be an annual event and promises to be even bigger in 2014, with possibly more grades being added. Please visit “Salthill Handball Club” facebook page for more photos from the weekend.