This weekend Mothel club woman Noelle Dowling will bid to become the first Kilkenny player to win an All-Ireland Minor 4-Wall title when she takes on Tyrone’s Mairead Fox.
Ironically, Fox will also bid to become the first Tyrone player to win the same title, so regardless, history will be made on Sunday.
Life has changed since this fixture was originally scheduled way back in March 2020, with Dowling taking a break from her studying and lectures to talk to GAAHandball.ie this week.
She is now studying Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and is still getting to grips to the lifestyle change and how it impacts her Handball.
“I have been struggling to get games up in Dublin to be honest, with many courts not open yet due to Covid restrictions, and then with the added complication of traffic in the city. I have got some game time up in Santry, but that is a fair trek from here.”
“I have found myself going home most weekends to get my Handball training in. Thankfully I have the likes of Aoife Holden down home who is always more than willing to give me games, so it is good getting onto the court with a senior player.”
“I entered the Golden Gloves last month and got defeated by Catriona Casey, but I took a lot away from that match. Catriona is so good and it was a great learning experience to share a court with her.”
As well as trying to fit in her own Handball training, Noelle has found herself as the new Secretary and Treasurer of the Trinity HC, as she tries to re-establish the Club post lockdown. She is thankful to have some familiar faces ably assisting her however, with Mayo players Cuillean Bourke & Claire Reynolds also studying in Trinity this year.
Her opponent this weekend Mairead Fox is no stranger. The pair have met in many occasions during their juvenile careers. Fox ousted Dowling in the 2018 World 15&U Final, but Dowling struck back in the 2019 2nd Level Colleges Final. So it leaves this final nicely poised.
“Mairead is a fantastic player and athlete. She hits the ball with a lot of power and has a top sidearm stroke. But I have my own strengths and will juts have to try and be cute with my shot selections and tactics.”
“I will of course be a bit nervous but once I get warmed up I know I will be fine and relish the challenge!”
Sun 5th Dec @ Kingscourt HC, Cavan, from 11am
- U21: Louth (Ben Devlin) v Cork (Cian O’Driscoll)
- Ladies Minor: Kilkenny (Noelle Dowling) v Tyrone (Mairead Fox)
- Mens Minor: Kilkenny (Billy Drennan) v Monaghan (Eoghan McGinnity)
- Ladies Senior: Limerick (Martina McMahon) v Cork (Catriona Casey)
Watch all matches on GAA Handball's FREE Live Facebook Stream.