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The 55th USA Handball Junior Nationals.


The 55th USA Handball Junior Nationals started on the 27th December. Croke Park send a team to America each year to compete in this tournament and Darren Doherty from Emyvale earned himself a place on the Irish Junior Team when he won the Irish Nationals back in November. The team, consisting of 3 boys and 3 girls as well as Team Manager Joe McCann from Mayo and Assistant Team Manager Ashley Prendiville from Kerry travelled to San Diego, California for the US Junior Nationals on the 21st December.

Darren and the rest of the team were in sparkling form. Darren competed in the 15 and Under Singles competition and also in the 17 and Under Doubles tournament with partner and team-mate Killian Carroll from Cork.

It was a clean sweep for the Irish Handball Team  in San Diego, California, as all six official team players collected titles. Darren won his singles match against Tyler Stoffel USA on a scoreline of 21-8, 21-10 to take his first US Junior Nationals title. 10 minutes later he had to play the Doubles final and although they put it to a tie-break they were unable to take victory. Well done to all of the team and especially to Darren who takes back the first US title to Monaghan!

On Monday, Jan 3rd Darren arrived home and a hastily organised reception by Emyvale GFC was held in the Leisure centre for him. Monica McKernan conducted the event which was attended by a number of locals. Paul Curran, Chairman, and Sean McKenna, secretary, and Marion Donnelly, Treasurer of the County Board attended as did Austin McKenna, Ulster Handball Seretary, and John Finn, Emyvale Chairman. Words of congratulations were offered to Darren by Monica, Paul Curran, John Finn, Austin McKenna and Fabian Murphy, Chairman of Emyvale Leisure Centre. Katrina Moen, County Handball Board Secretary, also congratulated Darren and spoke of his dedication and commitment to the game and stated that he thoroughly deserved the victory and who better to know that than the county secretary and his mother. Katrina was justly and rightly proud of his achievements as are the people of the area. It is terrific that a local can bring such honour to the area and brighten our lives with good news.