Arklow players shine in racquetball championships
THE ALL-IRELAND Doubles and Overage Racquetball Championships were held in Arklow last weekend with players from all over Ireland travelling to compete.
The Arklow club were well represented in every event and ended up winning their fair share of the coveted medals.
In the Men’s Open Doubles division local players Joe Farrell and Jimmy Gannon made it to the semi-final only to be beaten by fellow club mate Adam Neary and his partner Noel O’Callaghan (Fermoy), who then went on to win the event beating Fermoy duo Liam Hughes and Patrick Hanley.
Seánie Fitzgerald and Paddy Dodd made it to the final of the Men’s Novice doubles where they were narrowly beaten by Pádraig Ryder (Newport) and his partner James Bolger (New Ross).
The Men’s 30+ Singles saw Joe Farrell battle it out in the semi-final against Jimmy Gannon to win his spot in the final where he defeated last year’s winner Noel O’Callaghan (Fermoy) in two straight games.
The Men’s 40+ Singles was an all Arklow final, which saw Michael Murphy and John Fitzgerald battle it out in a nail biting tie-breaker. In the end it was John who came out on top winning 11-7.
In Ladies Open Doubles Toni Neary and her partner Elma Gibney (Moylagh) fought off all the other competition to come out the victors, beating Bernadette O’Callaghan and Donna Ryder (Newport) in the final.
The BCD Doubles final will be played at a later date and will see two Arklow pairs battle it out for gold. Thomas Fitzgerald and John Fitzgerald will play Brian Byrne and Michael Murphy at a later date to see who will take the cup.
When all games have been played, Arklow players will have won five out of the possible ten silver medals and six out of the possible ten gold medals, which surely cements the Arklow club as one of the strongest in Ireland.
The Moylagh Open was held the weekend of the 7th and 8th February, several Arklow players travelled to Meath to compete but after a successful opening day on Saturday, the remainder of the competition had to be abandoned after heavy overnight snow prevented many of the players arriving at the venue on Sunday morning.
The Men’s Open Singles had progressed to the semi-finals stages with Adam Neary being the only Arklow player left in the competition. Adam was also the only Arklow player left in the Men’s Open doubles with his partner Noel O’Callaghan (Fermoy). In the Ladies Open Doubles, Toni Neary and Orla Byrne had yet to play their semi-final. John Fitzgerald and Brian Byrne were still going strong in the Men’s C/D/Novice Doubles and Michael Murphy was the last Arklow man standing in the Men’s 40+Singles. The organisers, Moylagh Racquetball Club may set a new date for the remaining matches but this has still to be decided.
The next competition is the All-Ireland Singles and Junior Even championships which will be held in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan on the weekend of the 7th and 8th March.
Junior coaching is back on this weekend.