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Fleming and Dunning take Shoot-Out titles back to Cork

When the Kingscourt Shoot-out first started, it was a one-day event and open to almost anyone. Quite quickly, demand grew; players enjoyed the innovative format and quickfire games against opponents of different levels from all over Ireland and the competition was soon extended to two days.

The 2024 renewal, staged on January 6-7 last, was the sixth in total and the second two-day event, sponsored again by Kill Shot Handball Gloves.

Each day caters for 32 players. Shoot-Out 1 was for senior players outside the top 10 in the rankings, intermediates, juniors and Masters A players while Day 2 catered for juniors, Junior Bs, Masters B and some minor players.

The standard and depth of the field on Saturday was off the charts and Sunday was super-competitive and fiercely contested. Both days ran exactly to schedule so thanks to all 63 players who showed up and assisted in running almost 125 games over the two days.

A large number of players withdrew in the week leading up to the event due mainly to injury and the flu bug which was circulating but a lot of players stepped up at short notice to fill out the draw  - and some did extremely well.

There were entrants from all over the country including Cork, Kerry, Wexford, Kilkenny, Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Dublin as well as all the Ulster counties.

The format is as follows: The top 16 are seeded and when all 32 players are assembled at 9.30am, a blind draw takes place, with each of the seeded players called to draw out an unseeded entrant.

There is a dropdown for first-round losers, which is in itself an excellent competition with 16 players in it, including a couple of big names who usually bite the dust in the round of 32.

This year, in Shoot-Out 1, two players stood above the field. Kells man Gary McConnell played brilliant handball to advance to the final, showing particularly well in his semi against the in-form Gavin Coyle.

In the decider, he met Cork’s 2023 All-Ireland Masters A champion Brendan Fleming, who had seen off two recent minor champions in Cormac Finn and Eoghan McGinnity as well as Masters All-Ireland champion Conor Maxwell and former Intermediate Singles winner David Hope in a stunning run.

There was little to choose between them in the final but the Ballydesmond strategist, one of the smartest players in the game, edged it with an exceptional performance, playing the right shot at each opportunity and exhibiting a very high execution rate on set-ups from the back wall and up front.

McConnell will be entitled to be happy with his day’s work too and was in terrific form all day while Monaghan’s spinmaster Eoghan McGinnity, conqueror of Gavin Buggy, also showed well as did Coyle, whose two-handed offense is a joy to watch.

The dropdown title went to Armagh’s Fiachra Ó Dúill, whose Drennanesque paddle shots and impressive court coverage saw him defeat talented Kilkenny youngster Noah Manogue, who showed great heart to battle on while carrying a nasty bone bruise.

Ó Dúill was knocked out of the main grade by Hope in a terrific tussle between two wily players.

Shoot-Out 2 was highly competitive but the stand-out player emerged from the pack in Cork’s Cian Dunning. The Conna minor star, who also excels in wallball, rolled through the field. His smooth style and deadly low serves (despite this being a ‘one-fault’ format) saw him make the final with the minimum of fuss and he saved his best till last in defeating his county colleague Gearoid O’Connell.

O’Connell also had some superb performances, including defeating Wicklow’s Willie Quaile in the semi before he found Dunning a little too strong in the final.

The dropdown on Day 2 went to the improving Belfast man Steven O’Neill, who got the better of Monaghan’s Conor Ruxton (who plays his club football with the Shercock club in Cavan as a flying wing-back).

This two-day tournament was a big undertaking and the organisers would like to thank all 63 players who turned up on time, refereed and were a pleasure to host.

Each player received a free commemorative jersey and there were refreshments provided on the day. Huge thanks to Kingscourt HC for use of their magnificent complex.

Could the Kingscourt Shoot-Out be extended to seniors? Stranger things have happened.

Keep an eye out for the Kill Shot wallball and softball tournaments later in the season!

Check out our sweatshirts here, 10% discount right now.


Round of 32

G Coyle dft N Manogue 18-12

C Owens dft R Grace 18-17

J O'Shea dft C Brennan 26-8

C Neary dft N Reilly 26-16

G McConnell dft O Kiernan 23-15

B Mahon dft P Donnelly 26-8

C McMahon dft M McCartan 19-11

D Lynch dft J Gavaghan 17-8

G Buggy dft C McLean 29-8

J Dillon dft P Murphy 19-4

E McGinnity dft A Crotty 31-7

P Fitzpatrick WO S Kerr Scr

D Hope dft F Ó Dúill 21-17

V Moran dft P Clerkin 26-21

C Finn dft N Joyce 15-13

B Fleming dft C Maxwell 29-9

Round of 16

Coyle dft Owens 22-15

O'Shea dft Neary 18-17

McConnell dft Mahon 25-10

Lynch dft McMahon 22-8

Buggy dft Dillon 23-8

McGinnity dft Fitzpatrick 31-10

Hope dft Moran 19-9

Fleming dft Finn 19-10


Coyle dft O'Shea 23-11

McConnell dft Lynch 22-11

McGinnity dft Buggy 24-11

Fleming dft Hope 20-11


McConnell dft Coyle 25-8

Fleming dft McGinnity 19-8


Fleming dft McConnell 12-10 Third place Gavin Coyle

Dropdown final

Ó Dúill dft Manogue 18-13




Round of 32

C Dunning dft B Finn 27-7

S Kelly dft O Cunningham 31-1

E Halligan dft J McDermott 31-7

J McNeela dft G Mee 31-12

J Turley dft B McGeough 31-6

J Keenan dft C Gallogly 17-14

D Gunn dft S O'Neill 17-16

M Duffy dft C Carragher 25-15

C McLean dft C Fearon 29-8

S Og Gargan dft C McCormack 26-10

S Shanahan dft D O'Connor 20-13

W Quaile dft M Kelly 30-8

G O'Connell dft M Kennedy 31-4

J Kiernan dft R Andrews 31-6

S Hazlett dft C Keenan 25-21 AET

C Owens dft C Ruxton 20-13


Round of 16

Dunning dft Kelly 31-7

Halligan dft McNeela 21-19

Turley dft J Keenan 23-13

Duffy dft Gunn 31-10

McLean dft Gargan 27-10

Quaile dft Shanahan 20-13

O'Connell dft Kiernan 24-18


Dunning dft Halligan 29-17

Turley dft Duffy 28-14

O'Connell dft Quaile 15-10

O'Connell dft McNeela 28-12


McLean w/d (inj), Quaile back in

O'Connell dft Quaile

Dunning dft Turley



Cian Dunning dft Gearoid O'Connell 31-8 Third place

Jack Turley

Dropdown final Steven O'Neill dft Conor Ruxton 20-10

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