THE young players of Ballydesmond Handball Club enjoyed great success recently as they came away from two All-Ireland Feile competitions with 12 medals.
A magnificent achievement for the five young players involved – Ryan Linehan, Thomas Myers, Jack Murphy, Bobby Vaughan and Dillon Ward – as they won both the 60 by 30 and 40 by 20 handball All-Ireland titles. For these achievements they were named as the June winners of the Rebel Og awards, with the presentation ceremony taking place at the Clayton Hotel, Silversprings.
The young handball stars started training approximately 10 weeks prior to the 40 by 20 Feile competition which was held in Tinryland, Carlow, on June 18. They were victorious on the day against teams from Abbeyside; Monavea; Nenagh; St Brigid’s, and Corduff.
The two teams with the highest points from a round robin series of games went head to head in the final. This saw the Ballydesmond boys take on Abbeyside from Waterford in that final. To their credit they won all their games on the day. There was an individual skills competition also on the day and Jack Murphy won that. That meant the club bought home six All-Ireland Feile 40 by 20 medals after some tough games.
Next up was the 60 by 30 Feile Competition which was held in St Mary’s Handball Club in Wexford. Being a 40 by 20 club this was the first time in their history they entered a team in the 60 by 30 competition and these young players kept their winning run going with wins over Cullohill; St Brigid’s, and Mullingar. The same applied here, with the top two meeting in the final after the round robin series.
This saw Ballydesmond face Cullohill from Laois again and once again they won all games. There was also a skills competition that Ryan Linehan took part in and won.
So for the second time Ballydesmond came home with six All-Ireland Feile 60 by 30 medals, making it 12 for the club between the two competitions.
The club was formed in 1984 and since then has achieved great success in both juvenile and adult grades, on an almost annual basis. 2022 has been an exceptional year for our Juvenile Club and especially for five of our very talented young players who competed in both 40 by 20 and 60 by 30 Feile Competitions. All of these players have won various competitions in county and Munster level playing in singles and doubles in various age groups in 40 by 20 to date.