Two first-time champions were crowned at the 2014 Irish One Wall Nationals as Conor McElduff and Martina McMahon won the Edtl Men’s Open and MacSports Ladies' Open titles respectively in Breaffy House Sports Arena on Sunday.
A bumper crowd of over 400 entrants and over 2,000 spectators graced the arena over the weekend as grades from 11 & under up to 65 & over battled to take home National titles.
In the men’s Open final, McElduff from the Breacadh club in Tyrone played the best handball of his career to defeat Darragh Daly, from the Carrickmore club in Tyrone, 15-5, 15-8 in the decider.
The 21-year-old’s astonishing retrieving proved too much for Daly who couldn’t replicate the form he showed when he had earlier produced one of the shocks of the tournament when ousting Robbie McCarthy of Westmeath in the semi-final.
McElduff himself defeated number 1 seed Charly Shanks in a cracking semi-final tie breaker in what was a repeat of last week’s Ulster final, which the Armagh man won.
Meanwhile, in the Ladies’ Open teenage Limerick sensation Martina McMahon was in tremendous form over the weekend. She defeated world champion Aisling Reilly of Belfast en route to the final, where she beat three-time winner Lorraine Havern from Down in a nailbiting 11-9 tiebreaker.
Havern, who has been the dominant force in One Wall Handball, was going for a record fourth One Wall crown and she conquered Miranda Scheffer of the Netherlands in her semi-final, with McMahon seeing off Mayo’s Pauline Gallagher in a cracking semi final earlier on Sunday.