Ulster 60×30 Singles title for McManus



Handball

It was a week of mixed fortunes on the local handball scene, with a few close defeats and one Championship title coming back to the county.

Pride of place went to St Pat’s right-hander Cian McManus, who claimed the Ulster Junior B Singles crown against Monaghan’s Stephen Shanahan in Kingscourt on Saturday.

Former Fermanagh senior footballer McManus lost to the Bawn clubman, a native of Limerick, in an agonizing 11-10 tiebreaker in the Ulster 40×20 singles championship. On this occasion, Cian made amends to lift his first adult Provincial singles title.

McManus found himself facing gameball in the first as the skilful Shanahan led 20-17 but the St Pat’s man clawed it back and finished out the game 21-20.

In game two, he played great stuff as his fitness came to the fore, running out a 21-4 winner. They will now face Connacht opposition in the All-Ireland semi-final.

McManus had a very tough semi-final against Virginia’s Paddy O’Reilly the previous Tuesday. O’Reilly won the first game 21-5 and was well ahead in the second before McManus ground it out 21-18 and the Younger man was that bit fresher in the tiebreaker.

In the other semi-final, Michael Smith played superbly against Shanahan. The Killinkere footballer has been in fine form lately; he took the opener and competed strongly in the second, opening a 14-13 lead, before Shanahan found a winning serve and managed to get over the line.

In Junior A Singles, Conor Owens ran into Tyrone’s Conor McElduff, a terrific all-round Handballer who generally concentrates on the One Wall code. Owens started well but McElduff took charge and ran out a straight games winner; they subsequently won the final with ease.

Meanwhile, Cormac McMahon and Paul Fitzpatrick were both out of luck in the Intermediate Singles semi-finals.

McMahon lost 21-15, 21-12 to Tyrone’s Ryan Mullan, a former All-Ireland finalist in this grade, while Fitzpatrick lost in an 11-4 tiebreaker to Tyrone’s Sean Kerr, winning the first 21-15 and losing the second 21- 17.

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