History was made on Saturday last in Kingscourt when the Monaghan Harps pairing of Konrad Kowal and Eoghan Mc Ginnity defeated the strong Kilkenny duo of Jack Doyle and Jack Holden over 3 exciting games to win a first-ever Minor Doubles title for Monaghan.
The Monaghan players join a very elite group of players who have won the Minor title.
Victory as hard-earned, however, as the Kilkenny players stormed to a 21-9 win in the first game. They showed a lot of composure in dealing with the Monaghan threat. If game one was one-sided, then game two was anything but.
This was an open, free-flowing contest, with the scores level on numerous occasions. Eoghan produced a superlative performance of serves and kills to bring the tie to a decider. The scores were 21-16. The relief of reaching the tie-break was palpable.
The decider saw Monaghan takes an early lead but the Kilkenny players kept in touch and levelled the scores. This was mostly due to the left-handed kills of Jack Doyle. The tie-break also saw Konrad scoring more points with his serve. Eoghan, however, showed why he won the Minor Singles with a marvellous display. His back-wall play was excellent with several flat roll-outs.
With the scores level at 17-17, the title was up for grabs. A somewhat controversial hinder to Konrad was enough to spur the Monaghan boys on to victory. Eoghan rolled out 3 flat kills for a 21-17 victory. He had achieved the double while Konrad had won his first-ever All-ireland.
Monaghan Harps had several juvenile successes in the Qualifying stages of the Irish Nationals. Well done to Oisín Mc Geown on a fine display in Kells and to Jack Corrigan and Fergal Magee on their victories which ensured that they join their colleagues in the finals on May 11th.
Eoghan Mc Ginnity, Joe Masterson Handball President, Konrad Kowal