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Casey wins in Texas; focus turns to Collegiates

Cork’s Catriona Casey continued her brilliant form when she stormed to success in an all-Irish final at the Race4Eight pro stop in Houston, Texas last evening (Sunday).

Casey defeated Roscommon dual star Fiona Tully 15-2, 15-2 in the decider, having seen off Tyrone left-hander Eilise McRory in the semi-final.

Out of luck in the men’s final was fellow Rebel Killian Carroll. The Boston-based Mallow native defeated Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins in a hard-fought semi-final but fell to Mexican Luis Cordova Jr in the final (15-6, 13-15, 11-15).

Mulkerrins’ younger brother Diarmuid, who will compete in the United States Collegiates championship this week in Arizona, enjoyed a stellar run in his first pro stop, knocking out American Max Langmack, a top 10-ranked American, before falling to Cordova in the quarters.

USHA Collegiates

Meanwhile, a group of 24 Irish players, some of whom took part in the Houston event, will be in the field for the USHA Collegiates this week in Tucson.

Also in action will be US-based Irish players Clodagh Munroe (Tyrone), Shane Dunne (Kilkenny) and Mark Doyle (Wexford), who are currently studying at Minnesota State, Mankato and competing for the team there.

Munroe recently comfortably won the Women’s division at the Maverick Open; Doyle and Dunne made the semi-finals of the Men’s Open, which was won by American Ray Ure.

The Irish squad for the Collegiates will be coached by Cork’s David Walsh, who won the Open Singles in 2022 in Missouri, beating Diarmuid Mulkerrins in an 11-10 tiebreaker in the final. The Moycullen player will be hopeful of going one better this time around in what looks a competitive field which also includes Conor Walsh, who lost a tiebreaker to Ure in last year’s quarter-final, and Wexford’s Adam Walsh, who partnered David to the Open Doubles crown three times.

There will be a new name on the ladies roll of honour, with a strong Irish field entered in that too including numerous All-Ireland champions.

The full Irish line-up is as follows:

MTU: Adam Walsh, Conor Walsh

UL: Eoin Hegarty, Tadhg O’Neill, Colin Healy, Rory Grace, Sean Coughlan, Cian O’Donnell, Clodagh Neville, Leah Minogue, Cliona Dunning, Niamh Heffernan, Cliodhna O’Connell, Siobhan Treacy, Aoife Hurley, Sinead Meagher

SETU Carlow: Holly Hynes

UCD: Diarmuid Mulkerrins

DCU: Aoife Holden

UG: Aoife Brophy

TCD: Anthony Fitzgerald, Oran Kiernan, Cuilleann Bourke

ATU: Carragh Kennedy