pions in the Glenbeigh team, they only won them in October at the world championships so I’d say they were feeling confident enough, and rightly so, but, again, with Michael (Gregan) going in, and he’s back in form again, and that probably helped us a lot and it built our confidence to go in there with a 15 lead. Myself and Michael (Lennon) were able to extend that as well and we were able to leave it that bit easier for Jerome and he was able to deliver on that in the end,’ said Johnny.
‘’We’re fierce proud of what we have achieved today (Saturday). We have played in, I’m 33, we’ve played in them for 15 years no, we haven’t won it so it’s nice to finally get that championship,’ he added.
Pat Doyle said that Michael Gregan’s good form of late filled the team and supporters with great confidence.
‘We were very confident because Michael was playing so well, it gave the rest of the team a great confidence, because Dominic Lynch is about seventh in Ireland at the moment and to beat Dominic 15/12, 15/3 was a great achievement altogether, and it gave Michael (Lennon) and Johnny going in in the doubles a great boost altogether,’ he said.
There had been concern over Michael Gregan after he pickede up a shoulder injury at the Golden Gloves in Belfast last week. Richard Willoughby said that the injury was still there bnut that Gregan played through the pain barrier.
‘He had hurt his shoulder in Belfast. He threw everything at it today. He went through the pain barrier, at one stage you could see him wincing. He definitely done well. He got into the game early, usually he’s a slow starter, but he got in early today and dominated the game,’ he added.
Coolboy has a massive tradition and history in the sport of handball. Michael Lennon’s first juvenile All-Ireland win is where it all began for this group says Richard Willoughby.
‘It started back in the early 90s when we were winning a few Féile at the time. Even Michael Lennon, who would be the oldest on that team today, he won an All-Ireland, our first juvenile title, back in 1997 I think it was, that was our first juvenile title other than Féile, we’d never won individual titles before that. So, that’s how long it’s coming, maybe 20 years at least. They’ve reached the top today,’ he said.
On Monday night, supporters and club members turned up in healthy numbers to toast the wonderful success.
Former member Pat Quaile from Tinahely was there and he recalled 10 All-Ireland finals (five 40x20 and five 60x30) that he was apart of where Coolboy teams were beaten in nthe deciders. The handball legend said that Saturday’s win was a huge moment for Wicklow handball and one that should be celebrated near and far.
Coolboy Handball Club secretary James Gregan said that it was a long road to victory with wins over Carlow’s Tinryland and Kells of Meath in Leinster and a Tyrone club in the All-Ireland semi-final before downing Glenbeigh in the final.
Club member Paddy Lennon saud the win was a wonderful achievment and that it had put Coolboy Handball Club back on the handball map in a big way.
ARKLOW MULLINGAR 19 34
ARKLOW RFC’S under-14s welcomed Mullingar to The Oval on Saturday in the Leinster league.
Arklow kicked off and straight away put pressure on Mullingar, turning over possession, and with ball in hand and quick hands from Charlie Graham, Arklow started to make breaks through Stuart Bollard Troy and Gordon Prestage to bring Arklow within ten meters from try line.
The forwards took it on with some fine carries from Sean Carey and Ben Clancy before scrum half Mikey Kinsella passed to Ernest Kaukis who powered over the line for the first try.
Within minutes Arklow were on the attack again and with sustained pressure Mullingar were penalised for off side. Arklow chose to kick this, Charlie Graham was unlucky with his kick as it hit the upright and bounced back and Kade Van den Vyver gathered the
Keith Kavanagh, Jerome Willoughby, Michael Lennon, Johnny Willoughby and Michael Gregan who won Coolboy Handball Club’s first ever Senior All-Ireland Club Championship crown last weekend by defeating Kerry’s Glenbeigh in the final in Laois.
Pat Doyle, Richard Willoughby and Johnny Willoughby discussing the wonderful All-Ireland win on Saturday night in the Little Moon in Coolboy.