Yesterday (Thursday), saw the action begin at the 26th US Open of Handball in California, and after a double round on Thursday, three big Irish names are left standing at the QF stages in the Men's Open section.
No sooner was he out of the 60x30 court, he was back in the small court, but Robbie McCarthy cruised through his opener, before surviving a tricky contest with Vic Perez 21-19, 21-11. McCarthy will face Luis Moreno in the pick of todays QF's.
Third seed Killian Carroll also cruised through his two matches and will face California's Emmet Peixoto, who survived an 11-8 tiebreak against Jon Iglesias last night. Also in the bottom half is Armagh's Charlie Shanks who faces a tough QF v second seed Mando Ortiz. Shanks cruised through his opening matches, defeating Luis Cordova last night.
Four other Irish lads fell in the opening stages. Kilkenny's Patrick Funchion fell to Daniel Cordova (21-15, 21-8), with Stephen Cooney falling to Luis Moreno (21-14, 21-5) after a comfortable first round win. Peter Funchion came through an 11-10 tiebreak win over Braulio Ruiz, before falling to Mando Ortiz (21-12, 21-7). Clare teenager Fergal Coughlan also fell to Ortiz (21-2, 21-6).
In the Ladies, top two seeds Aisling Reilly & Catriona Casey will open their accounts today and will be expected by many to make yet another major final. Limerick's Martina McMahon however will be looking to break the stranglehold of the top two, buoyed by her confidence boosting All-Ireland 60x30 Final win. If seeds go to plan, McMahon will get a crack at Casey in Friday evenings SF.