The scene is now set for the battle to commence among the top players of the ‘Big Alley’ game as the Last 16 round takes place this Saturday 5th August 2017 across the country.
First up is Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy against Barry Devlin (Tyrone) in Kingscourt, Cavan @11:00am. Though Devlin has talent and experience on his side it is hard to look past Kennedy for this game as he has been in every 60x30 Senior Singles Final since 2004 and will look to continue to that record in 2017.
Moving to the West of the country, the always formidable Dominick Lynch (Kerry) meets Joe McCann (Mayo) in Broadford, Limerick @11:30am. This game is a tough one to call as both men are seasoned professionals and will have a life time of knowledge and experience in their arsenal.
The first of this weekend’s Double headers will take place in Crinkle, Offaly @11:00am. First on the card is Gavin Buggy (Wexford) who will take on Martin Mulkerrins (Galway). This game will be a spectacle to watch as the seasoned Buggy, whose form is on top at the moment, takes on Mulkerrins who is proving his salt in every code of handball this year. Then it’s time for the reigning champion, Robbie McCarthy (Westmeath), to take on Michael Gregan (Wicklow). Though Gregan has a vast amount of skill and experience to his name, McCarthy will want to start his 60x30 season in a spectacular fashion and it is hard to look past him on this occasion.
The next Doubles header is in the South East of the country in Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny @3:00pm. Paudi Quish (Limerick) will meet Carl Brown (Dublin) in the first game. Again, this is a tough game to predict as Brown is a seasoned champion in the ‘Big Alley’ in singles as well as Doubles, but Quish has proved his worth at every opportunity this year, this game is certainly one to watch. Next up in the Kilkenny court is Ger Coonan (Tiperary) and David Hope (Offaly). Both men again have experience and skill on their side, along with a significant presence in the alley, it is a game that will more than likely go right down to the wire.
Closing off the day with one last Double header is Garryhill, Carlow @3:00pm. In the opening game, Ciaran Neary (Kilkenny) will go up against Brian Carroll (Meath). These two are no strangers to each other’s games as they have met countless times in the ‘Big Alley’ throughout the years. As such, you can expect a truly exciting game that will be played ferociously and is a must see for this weekend. Finally, CJ Fitzpatrick (Limerick) meets Gary McConnell (Meath). Again, this game is an example of the incredible talent that is coming through in the younger generation of Senior Handball Players. Though McConnell has had some impressive showings in the 60x30 code, it is hard to look past Fitzpatrick on this occasion, particularly after his impressive win in The Blue Ribband 2017 Hardball Championship.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, make sure to stop into one of the alleys around the country that is playing host to these games. Each one is sure to be as exciting as the last.
You can find a full list of Fixtures and OIC's by clicking here.