The season 40x20 kicks off with a bang this weekend in Ballaghaderreen & St Coman's as the top guns in Irish Men's Handball compete in the John Gaffney Memorial.
Last year Robbie McCarthy ousted Killian Carroll in a final tiebreak, and both men are back again this year for another bite of the cherry, but can meet in a potential cracking SF on Sunday morning. Second seed is Armagh's Charly Shanks, who has a tricky run the the final, with former All-Ireland finalist Diarmuid Nash, returning to the court after a year out due to work commitments, scheduled for a QF bout with Shanks. Sitting in third seed is Martin Mulkerrins, who only fell to Shanks in a third game in last years All-Ireland SF.
The only player missing from the Irish top 10 is Limerick's CJ Fitzpatrick, but there is an array of quality in a stacked draw including current All-Ireland Doubles champion Eoin Kennedy, former Doubles champs Brian Carroll (Meath) & Joe McCann (Mayo), as well as gifted young stars such as Colin Crehan (Clare), Sean Kerr (Tyrone) & Tadhg O'Neill (Cork).
Twenty players are on show across 23 matches, with 8 first round games taking place on Friday evening. The tournament is the final chance to gain valuable ranking points ahead of the 2017 All-Ireland 40x20 Championships, so there is sure to be some absorbing contests and top class Handball.
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