The collegiate handball year is just over a month old and already we look towards the second event on the ICHA’s calendar.
The 60×30 tournament of October left us with a thirst for more of the same, and this weekend’s (Nov 20th -21st) competition, which will incorporate both a 40×20 doubles and a One Wall singles event, promises to quench that thirst.
Last year was the first ever All-Ireland Collegiate doubles event. The Men’s open grade was an all Dublin affair with UCD’s team of Martin Mulkerrins and Galen Riordan taking the title in two against the DCU duo of Terry McElvaney and Darren Doherty.
Ciana Ní Churraoin and Lisa Loughnane added to DCU woes in the ladies tournament as they narrowly defeated the Mayo-Cork partnership of Clodagh McMenamin and Aishling O’Keeffe.
Traditionally, this tournament has focused on the 40×20 code, despite format changes (previously a teams event the format changed to doubles in 2014).
This year however, a singles One Wall event will be incorporated alongside the 40×20 doubles competition. This will test both the quality and the physical fitness of players, as the two day event will see them take on both codes.
The Wexford event always promises to be an action packed weekend. This year will be no exception with entries from all over flocking to the St. Joseph’s courts.
Returning doubles champions UCD have added Terry McElvaney to their ranks, which will surely strengthen the South Dublin College’s cause for retaining their title.
The University of Limerick will return with a team brimming with talent. Colin Crehan, Paudi Quish, and Colin Corbett are all expected to make the trip to Wexford with the Munster University.
The ladies section promises to be enthralling as the standard continues to rise. Ciana Ní Churraoin(UL), Ciara Mahon (TCD), Martina McMahon(UL) and Aishling O’Keeffe(DCU) will exhibit just how strong ladies collegiate handball has become in recent years.
I could write all day speculating about who might win the One Wall and who will win the doubles in Wexford this weekend. But at the end of it all, it’s up to you to upset the odds.
Beat the system, change the way of thinking and put yourself on the page and on the court as the one to beat. And if you are already the one to beat, you best bring it to Wexford and defend your title.