Lúthchleas Gael - Gaelic Athletic Association
Chluain Daimh - Clonduff GAA Club
Winners - 9 SFC - 1930, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1957, 1980,
2000, AI Football 7s 2009;
3 Senior Ladies FC - 2006, 2007, 2008; 2 Senior Camogie Championship
- 2007, 2009, AI Camogie 7s Shield 2009; 2 Senior Handball Titles;
2 JHC; 41 County Scór Titles!
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Handball in Clonduff
takes its roots from the hours spent in the "alleys" at St
Colman’s College (or Violet Hill). Everyone it seemed who went
to Violet Hill spent some time in the Alleys. First thing in
the morning, off the bus, the mid morning break, the lunchtime
break, or if one was a boarder then it was hours in the
evening. The surprise is that it took so long for Handball to
take root in Clonduff.
Clonduff's handball team
competed in the Down Junior League from the mid 1980s made
and comprise such players such as Andrew Carr, Mark
Matthews, Gerry McEntee, Jim Harland, Tony Wilson and Gerry
Brown. Gerry McEntee and Jim were both originally from Belfast
where the game was traditionally strong and they brought valuable
experience to the Clonduff Handball scene.
It was during the late
1980s that the coaching began to bear fruit with
Clonduff beginning to win titles in singles and doubles from U12 through to U16. Tony
Wilson collected the U18 doubles title partnering Oliver Mynes
from Shamrocks in the 1987/88 season.
The game got a boost in 1989 with the completion of the
handball court behind Clonduff Youth Club. Esteemed players
such as Billy Silcock and Stevie Madden were invited to the
opening to play an exhibition match. Sean McEntee, a future
President of Irish handball, presented the trophies on the
day. It was a major occasion for handball in the club and
could have heralded a new era but the structures within the
club were not in place and consequently interest waned and
the juvenile scene dissipated.
Individuals though were still playing the game.
In 1992 the juvenile scene returned and Clonduff won the
Co Feile na nGael U14
competition, the first time in its history that it was won by
any team other than Downpatrick. That team (Damian Smyth, Tom
Grant, Paul Shields and Padraig Matthews) went on to compete
in the Feile in Salthill, Galway. That year, Paul Shields won
an Ulster U14 doubles title playing as a member of a
Downpatrick based Down select, the first juvenile Ulster Title
to come to the club.
Following another slump,
the game received
another much-needed boost with the arrival of Des McNeil into
the parish in 1998. A native of St John's, Des devoted
the necessary energy into re-establishing coaching structures
within the club and putting in place procedures, which would
see the eventual re-opening of the handball court that had
been closed for a number of years.
This saw the beginning
of the most successful and prominent period in the history of
the club. Des recruited lads who had previously played at
underage level and those individuals who were looking for
'life after football'.
1999 Tony Wilson won the Down
singles title with Gary Morgan taking the Down Division 2 'B'
title. The same year Paul Girvan, partnering Tony Wilson, won
the Ulster Junior Doubles going on to reach an All-Ireland
final, losing narrowly. Tony also won the Junior singles making
it a clean sweep for Clonduff at this grade. Two teams
competed in the Down Division 1 League and the C team won the
Division 2 title. The team consisted of Colin Shields, Gary
Morgan and Paul McCusker. It was at this time that the club
had its strongest playing population with Tony Wilson, Gerry McEntee, Paul Girvan, Colin Shields, Gerard McNeil, Niall
Quinn, Jim Harland, Paul McCusker, Gary Morgan, John and Paul
Murphy making up the senior selection.
Clonduff joined the North Ulster League at Division 2 level
having secured the Down First Division title in 2001. The team
consisted of Jim Harland, Gerry McEntee, Tony Wilson and Paul
Girvan. This following season the Club was
boosted by the addition of Dona1 Armstrong (World 'B' Singles
title holder), Martin Toner from Loughmacrory in Tyrone who
was teaching locally, and Paul Shields.
claimed the Down Singles title that year. Unfortunately
Clonduff did not fulfil a number of their Ulster League fixtures for that year.
This was a major blow to the club as a lot of work had gone
into getting Clonduff this far.
Paul Shields won the Ulster Junior title in Gort na Mona..
It was these successes and renewed interest that resulted in
the formation of a Clonduff Handball sub-committee in January
of 2004. The committee was as follows: Paul Shields
(Chairman), Des McNeil (Secretary), Colin Shields (PRO), Sean
McNally and Jim Harland (Treasurer). Additional members were
Gerard McNeil, Tony Wilson and Paul McCusker. It wasn't until
the 2004/2005 season that Clonduff re-entered the
Ulster League again at Division 2. However, this year saw a
renewed impetus in Handball and more players available to
play. The team won Division 2 by the slimmest of margins
beating Gort na Mona 'B' into second place. The successful
team was: Colin Shields, Eddie Clancy, Des McNeil, Sean
McNally, and Paul Shields.
Clonduff also achieved
their first All-Ireland title this year with Des McNeil
Dan McCartan to win the Diamond Masters 'B' title in Mullingar
- a tremendous achievement for a club with such a small
Juvenile coaching had
re-commenced in the club in February 2004 with
invaluable work being done by Colin Shields, Des McNeill,
Eddie Clancy and Paul Shields. Clonduff again starting
competing in and winning Feile and Down Championships - the
most notable of which is Shane Milligan who has won
5-in-a-row juvenile titles as of 2013. Paul Shields
relinquished his Co title in 2013 which he has held for the
past twelve years.
Handball is a game
played in the football 'off-season' and is a fantastic way of
developing a player's sharpness, fitness levels and hand/eye
co-ordination. It is our oldest Gaelic Game and therefore it's
continued development should be of utmost importance. Players
like Paul Brady (Cavan) and Tony Healy (Cork) have shown that
it offers our youth an international element. Handball is a
game that is spreading internationally but unfortunately,
struggling in many areas in its 'homeland'. If we, as a club,
are interested in providing the appropriate facilities for our
youth then handball must be viewed as an integral part of
Clonduff again won the Division II Ulster League and
re-gained promotion to the elite division for the 2008/2009
season. In the Divisional Championship Final Clonduff played
St. Paul’s III and were heavily handicapped to the tune of 30
points for the Belfast team but in a great team performance,
Paul Shields, Eddie Clancy, Colin Shields and Sean McNally
outplayed their opponents and won the title with 12 points to
In 2009 Sean
McNally, who has won a number of All Ireland Silver titles
and competed in the World Championships became Chairman of
the Down Handball Association.
Handball section expanded in the winter of 2012 when
over 20 young females joined the Handballing
fraternity and great strides were made in a very short time.
Clonduff girls competed in Co Championships for the first
time in 2013 and also in Feile na nGael the same year.
End of Season for U10
The 'oldies' are convinced
Cups ,Shields and a plethora of medals are what will
trigger the desired responce and bring the best
performance out in our
juveniles. Not so.
Maybe its the fact that
Easter is just round the corner and the lure of
chocolate awaits. But when Easter Eggs were up for grabs
in this final session of winter handball activities the
mood among these usually happy go lucky bunch of lads
changed to a very mean-focused group of fiercely
combative individuals. Suffice to say Game on!
performances from Aidan Quinn, Shane Close, Ben Magee
and Ronan Mathews in the early rounds and steady assured
play from Jamie McDonald, Joey O'Hare, Darragh Lavery,
and the much younger Dan Rafferty questions were being
ask of seasoned players like of Charlie Brown, Patrick
Cowan and the oldest boy on show Oran Wilson. Great
rallies and nail-biting finishes were the order of the
night where most of the challenges went down to the
Ultimately Handball was the
winner on the night and credit goes to all the boys who
displayed patience, discipline and above all a great
healthy competitiveness and friendly rivalry.
All the children gratefully
received Easter Eggs and were wished the best of luck
with the U10s Football and Hurling season which now
takes over from the winter handball practice.
Ps. Any parent wanting to
continue with handball practice for their child just
contact a coach for key and ball. (Report and Photo Sean
Girls Handball End of
It was thought that the
usual Wednesday night slot for the girls would be
sufficient to have an informal handball competition.
However, when it was announced that a very large Easter
Egg was the 1st prize for the winner suddenly a very
serious and determined mentality ensued. With each game
going right to the wire and long rallies to determine
each point, the girls really showed that the winter
training had brought them on a great deal.
Eventually a winner emerged
and it came from a very traditional Clonduff Family name
(but perhaps not in handball). This year's Champion was
none other than Molly Brown and she accepted her prize
with mouth watering glee. All girls received Easter Eggs
for all their efforts on the night and throughout the
year (see picture below).
The games were played with
a great spirit indicative of their off-court
Well done to all the girl
participating and for their commitment throughout the
This was their last session
until the Autumn unless some progress can be made with
the outdoor one-wall court. Until then good luck with
your respective Camogie and Football season which you
all are about to embark upon. The handball exercise will
hopefully have kept you all in good shape for the other
codes within the Clonduff Club.
The U12 Girls are pictured
above with supervisor Marie Cowan and some youthful
supporters. Carol Curran and Bronagh O'Reilly also
helped out with supervisory duties. The girls were
expertly coached by Colin Shields assisted by Sean Cowan
- thanks to everybody who has made a massive effort to
bring Handball to the females of Clonduff and the young
people in particular.
Cumann Na Bunscoil
(Primary Schools) Handball Saval Saturday 16th February
Pictured above is Eamon
Brown (right) who reached the Primary Schools U13
Handball Final on Saturday 16th February. Eamon was
eventually defeated by Philip Doran St Patrick's Saul.
The two finalists are pictured with their medals
following the presentation ceremony
A big well done to all the
boys and girls from St Patrick's Primary School,
Hilltown (above) who played so well in the Primary
Schools Handball Competition in Saval on Saturday 16th
February 2013. They were a credit to themselves, their
school, their parents and their coaches. The five young
ladies in the group who created history by becoming the
first girls from the school to participate in the
The children taking part
Eamon Brown (U13 Singles); Patrick
Cowan, Jamie McDonald, Charlie Brown (U11 Singles), Shane Close &
Joey O'Hare, Aidan Quinn & Ben Magee, Darragh Lavery &
(U11 Doubles). There was no Doubles competition for the
girls - all of them (some very young) competed in the
Ella McCumiskey, Eve
Matthews, Ellen Shields, Erin Lively, Blaithin Shields
It was a great day's
competition and a wonderful experience. A lot of them
will be eligible again next year.
First County Title Winner 2013
congratulations to 16 year old Shane Milligan on
once again claiming Clonduff's first title of
the new year in any discipline. Shane secured
the U17 Handball title in Downpatrick on Friday
18th January 2013 making this his 5th age title
in a row, having won each year from U13. This is
no mean feat. Shane represented
Down in the Ulster Competition.
Clonduff Juvenile Handballers in Action
Our Juvenile Handballers gave a good
account of themselves in the recent
underage County Finals held in Saval
Sports and Leisure Centre (January
The girls, pictured above made history
for Clonduff by becoming the first
females from the Club to participate
competitively in Handball (l to r) Niamh
Fitzpatrick and Erin Rafferty (U12
Doubles) and Clara Cowan (U12 Singles).
The boysare: left: Connor Milligan (U13
Singles) and below Patrick Cowan (U12
Photos courtesy of The Outlook Newspaper
lads, (left), represented Clonduff
Handball Club in the County Competitions in
Saval on Sunday 13th January 2013 are: back:
Patrick Cowan and Joey O'Hare; front Conor
Milligan and Darragh Lavery. Conor (U13) and
Patrick (U12) won their Singles semi finals
15/2, 15/4 and 15/0, 15/2 respectively and
played Downpatrick opponents in the County Final
on Wednesday 16th January again in Saval Sports
and Leisure Complex (See below). Joey and Darragh
encountered very strong opposition in their semi
final which they lost but gave a great account
of themselves. Patrick, Joey and Darragh just
started playing Handball back in November 2012.
Girls singles and Doubles Finals were also played
in Saval on Wednesday night - Clara Cowan (Singles), Erin Rafferty and
Niamh Fitzpatrick (Doubles) - These are Clonduff
History-makers - the first ever females to
participate in Handball competitions having just
started training in November 2012.
"A great experience
was had by all involved at the County Juvenile
Handball Finals in Saval on Wednesday night.
Alas, for the Clonduff finalists the greater
experience of the opposition won through .
However, the fledgling boys and girls from
Clonduff will have learned from this contest.
To all who know the
game of handball 'service' is key to winning
especially at under age level, and the
more game time one has the better one becomes at
this particular skill. Service apart, much of
the rallies were fairly evenly z contested and
so gives the Clonduffians encouragement for
future challenges. Indeed,friendships were made
with the Downpatrick/Saval players and challenge
matches are now being arranged. All very
positive going forward.
Well done all involved and keep up that Monday
and Wednesday night practice. More matches for
all in near future." (Sean Cowan)
Photograph courtesy of 'The Outlook'
Heartiest Congratulations to Colin Shields and Eddie Clancy who won
the Down County Intermediate Handball Doubles Final
beating Ciarán Cunningham and Daniel Connolly in a close
final on Saturday 15th December 2012. Final score 5/21,
21/19, 11/6 in the tiebreaker.
And then on Christmas Eve there were three very exciting Down Singles
Handball Finals played in Saval with Clonduff players in
two of the three finals.
In the Junior Final RGU's John Burns defeated Saval's Jarlath McCarthy
21/10, 21.19. Clonduff's Colin Shields beat Lorraine Havern 21/20, 21/10 in the Intermediate Final.
Sean Digney (Saval took the Senior honours beating Clonduff's
Paul Shields in a tiebreak.
Well done to the players who served up some really good handball. Many
thanks also the the host club Saval and to the referees
on the day.
Pictured below are the Shields Brothers - Colin extreme left and Paul
extreme right with their respective opponents.
U12 Girls Handball
Trail Blasers - Wednesday Nights 7-9pm
Colin Shields dropped in at
the beginning of the night and gave a demonstration to
both parents and children on the three main handball
strokes.It then was handed over to the supervisors to
take the remaining sessions and arrange practice games.
From next week onwards the
girls will be divided into small groups for ease of
management and to allow for adequate supervised practice
sessions. Each small group will have 40 mins on court.
The groups are listed below. More parents -
Mothers or Fathers or Both - are needed to help with
this age group so come along on the time which best
Carol Magee and A.N. Other
Ally Magee, Beth
Fitzpatrick, Caitlin Harper, Ellen Lively
Marie Cowan and A. N. Other
Cara Boden, Molly Brown,
Clara Cowan, Niamh Fitzpatrick
Bronagh O'Reilly and A.N. Other
Niamh Fearon, Tiarna
Mullin, Shannon O'Reilly, Erin Rafferty, Amy Lowry
Clonduff Girls take up the
On Monday 12th November
2012 this group of young girls and James turned up for
Handball Training. This is the U8/U10 group and their
session is 6.30-7.30pm. Well done girls and James. The
group includes Orla and Rosie McCann, Ella McComiskey,
Eveagh and Clodagh Kelly, Ellen and Blaithin Shields. The mentors
for this group are Colin Shields and Des McNeill.
Parents supervision: Gavin McCann, Patrick McCumisky,
On Wednesday 7th November
Twelve U12 girls became the 'Trail Blazers' for females
and Handball in the Clonduff Club. Their training
continues every Wednesday from 7-9pm. U10 boys train on
Monday nights from 7.30-9pm.
the 7.30 to 8.15 Boys' group. Mentor Colin
Shields/Des McNeill. Parents supervision: Paul
Fearon, Berniece McQuaid. The children are: Rian
Quinn, Enda Maginn, Shea Lowry, Sean Harper,
Darragh Lavery, Lee Fearon and Aidan Quinn
the 8:15 to 9pm group:
Will Kelly, Patrick Cowan,
Shane Close, Joey O'Hare, Dan Rafferty, Ronan
Mathews, Ben Magee.
first night was had by all the handballers. Des and Colin illustrated the
various techniques and had all the children attempting to strike the ball
correctly. Well done everybody.
Clonduff Handballers in
Sean McNally (above with
Lorraine Havern, Saval) displaying their Silver Medals
won at the World Handball Championships in city West
Hotel in October 2012. Below, Conor Brown and Colin
Shields pictured at the County Doubles Final v Jim
Cunningham and Niall McManus (Downpatrick)
Ellen in 'Great' Company at World
Young Ellen Shields, daughter of Colin
and Deirdre, with Tyrone Great, Peter
Canavan at the World Handball
Championships last week.
County Handball Awards 2012
Clonduff Handballers were well represented
at the County Handball Awards Ceremony held in Downpatrick GAA Clubrooms on
Friday 8th June. The awards picked up were:
Senior Singles Winner – Paul Shields
Runner Up – Sean McNally
Intermediate Singles Runner Up – Eddie Clancy
Senior Doubles Winners- Paul Shields and Sean McNally
Singles Winner – Rory McQuaid
Singles Winner – Shane Milligan
Singles Runner up – Christopher McAleavey
Singles Runner Up – Eamon Brown
Doubles Runner Up – Charlie Kerr and Jude Campbell.
Senior Team also received their Ulster Club medals and Down League medals and
Sean McNally was presented with an individual award for winning the Nationals
and One Wall Silver Masters.
done to all concerned!
Sean McNally (and Lorraine Havern,
Saval) receive their awards. Sean is Co Handball Chairperson with Fiona
Shannon and Seamus Walsh - Down Co Board Chairperson
Eddie Clancy receiving his award
from Seamus Walsh with Fiona Shannon and other Clonduff Handballers -
Sean McNally, Colin Shields and Des McNeill
Handball O’NEILLS All Ireland 40x20
Sean McNally (left) played in the All
Ireland Silver Masters Handball Final on
Saturday 24th March against
Tipperary’s Jim O’Brien.
It certainly has been a great twelve
months for the Rostrevor native who had
hoped to add the 40x20 Title to his All
Ireland One Wall Championship won
earlier in the year. Sean, who
represents Clonduff in handball is very
committed to his sport and has travelled
all over Ireland and the World to
represent his County.
Sean has recently been elected as Down
GAA Handball Chairman and is very keen
to promote the sport to GAA Clubs in
Down. Indeed it is a tribute to the hard
work being done in the County that there
was a representative in the Finals this
Alas it was not to be - Sean was
narrowly defeated 21-18, 21-17. But as
always, Sean - there is always next
to Clonduff’s Sean McNally (and Saval’s Lorraine Havern) on
winning Ulster Handball Awards this week.
Here is a list of
Sean's achievements in
MASTERS PLAYER OF THE
One Wall Nationals Silver Masters Champion
Ulster 60x30 Silver Masters Champion
Ulster 40x20 Silver Masters Champion
Captain of Clonduff's Ulster Junior 40x20 Club Championship winning
County Handball Chairperson
Clonduff Host Down
Handball Awards 2011
photo right to view slideshow)
The Down Handball Awards for the season
just ended were presented at a function in the Clonduff GAA Clubrooms on Friday night last with Martin Murphy
Chairman of the down Handball committee and county Board chairman Seamus Walsh
Other guest present included, Chris
Curran GAA Handball Ireland, Charlie Shanks Irish Handball champion, Brendan
Murray chairman Clonduff GAA club, Adrian Savage chairman Saval GA Club, Tom
Trainor Chairman RGU, Dermot Russell Newry and Mourne Sports Development Officer
Pat Power Sports Development Officer Down District Council.
Seamus Walsh congratulated the Down
Handball committee on the efficient manner in which they organise their
competitions, he paid tribute to the three clubs Clonduff, Downpatrick and Saval
who through their efforts keep the ancient game alive. The county chairman noted
the recent developments in Clonduff expressed the hope that another phase of the
club development would include Handball Courts. Mr. Murphy in his address
reiterated the sentiments and suggested that given the popularity of the One
Wall game the club should at least consider the provision of this facility.
This has been an eventful and successful
year for Handball in the county, honours achieved were;
Lorraine Havern (Saval) Provincial
Junior Girl all star and US National U 19 champion.
All Ireland winners;
Lorraine Havern Ladies senior One Wall.
Anne Madine (Saval) Ladies Junior
Singles, Sean McNally Clonduff Silver Masters Singles,
Ulster Club champions Clonduff, Paul
Shields Colin Shields, Sean McNally Eddie Clancey Des McNeill
Ulster Div 4 Winners Saval.
Down Under Age winners;
U 12 Singles Eoin McMullen RGU Runner up
Christopher McAleavey Clonduff.
U12 Doubles Ryan Sterrit Ronan Murphy
RGU r- up, Conor Milligan and Jude Campbell Clonduff.
U 13 Singles, Ciarán Bagnall Saval, r-up
Rian Doran RGU.
U 13 Doubles Sean Fallon Michael Havern
Saval r-up Ciaran Hampton Taylor Loudan RGU.
U 14 singles John Madine Saval, r-up
Michael McMahon RGU.
U 14 Doubles, Kevin Polly Hugh Dornan
RGU r-up Colm McEvoy Chris McEvoy Saval.
U15 Singles Shane Milligan Clonduff r-up
Daire Lacken RGU.
U 15v Doubles Ciaran Downey Rory McEvoy
Saval, r-up Tom Burns Declan Fitzsimons RGU.
U 16 Singles Rory McQuaid Clonduff.
U 16 Doubles, Pat Havern Stephen Digney
Saval, r-up Tiernan Curran Joe Hayes RGU.
U 17 singles Keelan Rice Saval r-up Liam
U 17 Doubles Sam Burns Niall Quinn RGU
r-up John Brown Eamon Grant Clonduff.
Down County winners;
Senior Singles Paul Shiels (Clonduff )
r-up Sean McNally (do)
Senior doubles, Sean Digney Marty Turley
Saval, r-up Paul Shields Sean McNally.
Intermediate singles Sean McNally r-up
Intermediate Doubles, Niall McManus
Daniel Connolly RGU r-up Tony O’Connor Blain Lennon RGU.
Junior Doubles; Des McNeill Eddie
Clancey Clonduff., r-up, Eamon Savage Gareth Brown RGU.
Down League winners Clonduff
Clonduff Juvenile Handball Tournament Results - Finals
played Monday 23rd May 2011 in Handball Alley
In May over 20
young boys, who have been training throughout the Spring took part in Clonduff's
internal Tournaments for U8s, U10s and U12s. The youngsters were coached by
Senior players Des McNeill and Eddie Clancy. The final results were as follows:
U - 8 Cup. Winner - Patrick
Cowan. Runner-up - Padraig Clancy
U - 8 Plate. Winner - Shay Morgan. Runner-up - Shane
U - 10 Cup. Winner - Tom Close. Runner-up - Eamon
U - 10 Plate. Winner - Charlie Kerr. Runner-up -
Rory Mc Kernan
U - 12 Cup. Winner - Lyndon Brown. Runner-up -
U -12 Plate. Winner - Jude Campbell. Runner-up -
Click on the image
(above right) to view a slideshow of the participants in the tournament and the
in Primary Schools Handball Initiative
Saval Handball Club was awash with children from right across the county on
Saturday past (15th January 2011), as the annual Cumann na mBunscoil county
finals took place. Before Christmas the County Handball Committee decided to
make the promotion of this competition there number one priority. Working
closely with Cumann na mBunscoil and the three powerhouses of handball
within the county, Downpatrick, Saval and Clonduff, a team set about
promoting the event. These structures seemed to have worked a treat, as 41
children turned out, including twelve from Clonduff, fourteen different
lads, pictured above with mentors Eddie Clancy and Paul Shields are:
Conor Milligan, Jake Morgan, Padraig Clancy, Eamon Brown, Charlie Brown,
Christopher McAleavey, Rory McKernan, Charlie Kerr, Tom Close, Jude
Campbell, Shane Close and Shea Morgan.
Paul Brady, three times World Champion at County
Handball Awards 2010
A crowd of
up on one hundred people attended the County
Handball Awards presentation in Saval Sports and
Leisure Complex on Friday 26th
February when the Achievements of the County’s
three Handball Clubs – Saval, Downpatrick, and
Clonduff – in 2009/10 season were marked.
Clonduff had plenty to celebrate!
Milligan U14 Singles Champion
Branagan and Conor Brown U16 Doubles Champions
Shields County Senior Champion
Shields and Sean McNally Down Senior Doubles
McNeill and Eddie Clancy Down Junior Doubles
team of Paul Shields, Colin Shields, Eddie
Clancy, Sean McNally and Des McNeill County
Division 1 Champions
McNally selected to play for Ireland at World
Championships in Portland, Oregon in Silver
Masters grade and selected as Ulster’s Silver
Player of the Year and nominated for National All Star
and Colin were all on the County Handball
Ulster 60x30 Silver Singles title
Ulster Ruby Master title
honour at the event included three-times World
Senior Champion Paul Brady from Cavan, newly
crowned World U17 Champion Lorraine Havern from
Saval and newly elected Chairperson of County
GAA Board, Seamus Walsh, Chris Curran, National
Manager Irish Handball Council, Mickey Quinn,
Chairperson, Ulster Council Handball, Down
Handball officials, the Down players, their
families and friends. A great night, which
started with a buffet supper (provided by
Downshire Arms Hilltown) was had by all.
Senior League Champions, with Paul Brady (back left) and Martin Murphy
(front right) - Eddie, Sean, Paul Shields; Des, Colin,
Senior Handball Champion Paul Shields
receives his trophy from County Handball
Chairman Martin Murphy
Clonduff Juvenile and Senior Handballers who
received awards at the County Handball
function with World Champion Paul Brady
Junior Handball Champion Eddie Clancy with
County Handball Chairman Martin Murphy and
Collie Turley, Saval (left) Runner Up
Juvenile Co Handball Championships 2010
Clonduff competitors looking
resplendent in their new strip who
participated in the County Handball Finals
on Sunday 24th January 2010. Clonduff
collected two County titles - Shane
Milligan (U14 Singles) and Conall Brown
and Rian Branagan (U16 Doubles). Clonduff
were unlucky in not collecting a hat trick
of titles when Rory McQuaid was narrowly
beaten in a tie breaker for the U15 title.
Other competitors for Clonduff were Eamonn
Grant (U16 Singles) and Packie O'Hagan and Conall Brown.(U-15 Doubles).
This is a tremendous achievement for these
young lads - last year they collected one
title - Shane Milligan (U13) the first
Juvenile Handball title winner for 17
years. Well done boys for the dedication
to training and to your coaches, of
row (l to r) Conall Brown, Eamonn Grant,
Connor Brown; Front row (l to r) Shane
Milligan, Patrick O'Hagan, Rory McQuaid
and Rian Branagan
Clonduff Handballer on Ireland
Team at World Championships
Sean McNally (above) a stalwart of
Clonduff Handball was selected, along with
Brian Havern of Saval, for the Ireland
team competing at the World Handball
Championships being held in Portland,
Oregon during October 2009. Sean and Brian
are competing in the Silver Masters
Doubles. Sean is pictured above with his
Down and Ulster Silver Masters medals.
(Sean and Paul Shields won 2009 Down
Senior Doubles title)
After returning home Sean helped the
Clonduff team win the Down County League!
12-year-old Shane Milligan became the first juvenile
handball player to win a County Handball title in 17
years - he secured the U13 title. He is pictured left
receiving his medal
from Jim Cunningham (RGU Downpartick), a
member of the Down Handball Board
and above Shane proudly displays it for
This group of Clonduff Handballers won Div II of
the Ulster League in 2008. The same group took the Div 1
title in the Down League in 2009. They are left to right
back row: Paul Shields, Eddie Clancy, Sean McNally;
front row: Des McNeill and Colin Shields.
held their second annual Boley Fair Juvenile Handball Tournament on
Saturday 12th July. Competitions were held for U13, U15 and U17 age groups.
Competition was keen and of a very high standard, testimony to the hard work the
boys have put in during the winter months and during the course of the Newry and
Mourne sponsored summer camp held in the Clonduff Alley in the week prior to the
the Tournament. Ten boys and three girls (unfortunately not Clonduff girls) took
part in the Tournament - Clonduff lassies the Handball is open to you too! Why
not give it a go!
To view a
slideshow of the Tournament click on the image on the right!
Ulster League season came to an end on Monday 15th April
2008 with the final of the Divisional
Championships at St. Paul’s Belfast.
Clonduff had already won the Division II League and
gained promotion to the elite division for the 2008/2009
season. In the Divisional Championship Final Clonduff
played St. Paul’s III and were heavily handicapped to
the tune of 30 points for the Belfast team.
Paul Shields played number 1 and was up against Aisling
O’Reilly, the Irish Senior Women’s finalist (Aisling is
probably the best Women's player in World Handball
today). The young Belfast lady played well in the first
game and Paul only pulled away to win 21-16 late on.
However it was a different story in the second game when
Paul played some brilliant handball and he won easily
21-3. Colin Shields and Eddie Clancy played the doubles
and never really got going on their service games. The
Clonduff pair went down by 21-15 and 21-15. This meant
that Clonduff had to win the last singles game by 24
points overall to take the title. Sean McNally was in
very determined form and played a great passing and kill
game to easily defeat his opponent 21-3, 21-3 and give
the title to the Clonduff men. This rounds off a very
successful year in the Ulster League for Clonduff. A big
thanks to all the players above and to Des McNeill and
John McAleavey who also played in the League this year.
(Click on image above to view slideshow in following
order - 1 Paul Shields on court, 2 Sean McNally after
his title winning match, 3 Doubles pair Eddie Clancy and
Colin Shields with their opponents, 4 Aisling O'Reilly
and Paul Shields.
Handball Club staged its first ever Tournament in conjunction
with The Boley Fair on Saturday 30th June 2007. The tournament
was administered by Colin Shields and Des McNeill.
Results in the finals were as follows:
U12: Rory McQuaid beat John Brown;
U14: Conor Brown beat Eamon Grant;
U16: Patrick Matthews beat Rory McGreevy
Click here to view a slideshow of this historic occasion!
Clonduff will play in Div. 1 of the North Ulster League
in 2005 after winning Division 2 in 2004. They
eventually finished five points ahead of Belfast outfit
Gort Na Mona.
The Clonduff team (pictured above) was Colin Shields,
Sean McNally, Paul Shields and Eddie Clancy (inset)
It is no mean achievement to gain promotion in their
first season playing in this league!
Des McNeill and Dan McCartan, who won the
2004 All Ireland Diamond Masters 40 X 20 Doubles Final
accepting new tracksuits from Eilish McParland, Canal
Court Hotel, Newry prior to setting off for the Finals
in Mullingar. They are pictured with Down County
Chairman, Eamon O'Toole. They beat the Galway pair
(Seamus O'Fatharta and Peter Mulryan - they won the
first game at 18 and then demolished their opponents
21-1 in the second game.
Both men transferred to the Clonduff Club when their own
club in Carryduff folded.
Des has been living in the Parish for a number of years
and (with Paul Shields) has been involved in reviving the juvenile game in
Clonduff - upwards on 30 youngsters, up to U16 level
train at least one evening per week.
Handballers 2001! Jerry Quinn, (County Vice Chairman and Clonduff
PRO) presenting the county trophies to the County Winners. L-R Kit
Finnegan (Ulster Handball Council), Paul Girvan, Jim Harland, Jerry
Quinn, Gerry McEntee, Tony Wilson
|1999 County title winners! Peter
Carter (centre front) All Ireland Handball President was at the
County handball presentations in Saval. Clonduff players had won
their share of silverware. Front (l-r) Tony Wilson (Novic), Peter
Carter, Gerry McEntee (Doubles). Back (l-r) Des McNeill (Diamond
Masters), Gary Morgan (Div 2 Champion), Jim Harland (Doubles)
1999 - Clonduff Handball pair in All Ireland Final!
Tony Wilson and Paul Girvan, the Down Champions won the Ulster
title with victories over Monaghan, Derry and Antrim. Then they beat Mayo to set up
Final against the winners of Clare v Wexford. This is groundbreaking stuff for
Clonduff. Unfortunately they lost out in Final! They are pictured
lright at a special presentation celebration in Clonduff
Clubrooms - Left to Right: John McPolin (Vice Chairman) Tony, Paul and Peter McSherry
These young Clonduff lads
lifted the Feile na nGael Handball Title in 1992. They are (left to right) Damian
Smith, Tom Grant, Paul Shields and Paudie Matthews. Included in the picture are Tony
Wilson (Coach), Martin Murphy (Down Handball) and Bernard McGrattan (Chairman Down Feile
|Right - A group of winning Handballers in 1988 Front
(l to r) Lorcan Mussen, Conor Donna, Conal Gribben, Gary Smyth,
Damian Smyth. Back (l to r) Paul McAlinden, Seamus Morgan, Paul
Shields, Maurice Quail and Eugene O'Hagan
Handballers later 80s - Paul McGreevy, Gerard Brown, Adrian Travers
and Tony Wilson
receiving a trophy from Dan McCartan (mid 80s) - Dan later won an
All Ireland Diamond Masters Doubles title for Clonduff in 2004 with
Handballers about 1986. Front (l-r) Tony Wilson, Andrew Carr, Adrian
Travers. Back (l-r) Mark Matthews, Paul McGreevy
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