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Willoughby and Stanners take top honours at Shoot-Outs

The Kingscourt Shoot-Out, sponsored by Kill Shot Gloves, returned after a three-year hiatus due to pandemic-related restrictions and, as promised, it was bigger and better than ever.

The first three Shoot-Outs (won by Daniel Kavanagh, Galen Riordan and Billy Drennan) were limited to 32 players. This year, the organisers decided to run two events, one on Saturday for any players outside of the top 10 in the national rankings and one on Sunday to cater for Junior B and Junior A players.

The upshot was that 64 players from 19 counties descended on the Cavan venue for two hectic days of action. Players arrived at 9am; the draw took place at 9.15am, with the 16 seeded players pulling the name of an unseeded opponent from the hat.

Play served off at 9.45am on both days, with all three courts in Kingscourt in use until 6.50pm.

“The dropdown system ensured lots of games for everyone. The 20-minute timed format meant games were played at a high intensity and there were a lot of tired bodies by late afternoon and early evening,” stated Cormac McMahon, one of the organisers.

Top marks in Shoot-Out 1 went to Wicklow’s Jerome Willoughby. He defeated Diego Di Folco, Conor O’Gorman, Gavin Coyle, Oran Kiernan and Ciaran Neary (14-12) to take the honours; the Coolboy man played terrific handball all day and was a deserving champion.

Talbots Inch clubman Neary also had a great run, defeating Fiachra Ó Dhúill, Niall Joyce, Paddy Murphy and Ger Coonan.

Giant-killer Oran Kiernan upset the seedings in a big way as he defeated Cormac McMahon and Darragh Daly in two nailbiting matches.

Among the highlights of the earlier rounds were epic clashes between Peter Hughes and Tiernan O’Rourke and Shane Murphy and Paddy Murphy, which both went to the wire, with Tiarnan and Paddy edging them.

First-round losers dropped into the B grade which was a strong 16-man tournament in its own right.

Armagh minor Ó Dhúill emerged victorious, picking up some good scalps along the way. In the final, Fiachra saw off Gearoid Healy from Cork. Third place in the B grade went to Clare’s Ciaran Malone, with Coonan claiming bronze in the A grade.

Shoot-Out 2

Sunday was another intense day of action. Thirty-three players lined up and if anything, it was even more competitive than the previous day, with an even standard across the board.

Star man on the day was David Stanners. He made the long journey from Wexford worthwhile as he held off Kildare’s Stephen Smullen 15-14 in an excellent final.

The champion saw off Aidan Marron, Willie Cahill, Ciaran Gallogly and Gary McElroy en route to the decider. Stephen defeated John McDermott, Conor Keenan, Gary Byrne and David Considine.

Third place went to McElroy, who got the better of Banner man Considine.

Meanwhile, another Clareman, Kevin O’Callaghan, claimed the dropdown title, beating Cavan’s Dwayne Leggett in the final. Kevin came through Cillian O’Reilly (third place finisher), Jack Jones and Aidan Marron, having lost his opener to Willie Cahill.

Leggett lost to Sean Óg Gargan in the first round but went on to beat James Brennan, Niall Woods and Darragh Gunn.

“It was a brilliant weekend’s handball,” stated McMahon, who thanked all of those who entered, stuck to the schedule, refereed and helped out.

Each player received a pair of Kill Shot gloves and there were prizes for first, second and third places in both A grades and dropdown on both days.


Kill Shot Handball Gloves are available here. Contact us directly for bulk orders; our prices for club and county orders can not be beaten. Currently in stock are premium adult and youth four-wall gloves, Pro Wallball gloves (see below) and budget four-wall gloves. Gloves are available in all sizes from Youth Small to Adult XXL.

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