Gathering Trophies stay in Ireland

As the curtain came down on the Irish Olympic Handball Association’s ┬áthe sadness that the much anticipated event was over was softened by the news that both the Men’s and Women’s trophies would be staying in Ireland.

Both winners, the Irish Men’s team and the Astra ladies team went through the tournament undefeated but both teams were also made to work hard in their games before victory was guaranteed.

The Irish men’s team came into the tournament with a new Coach, Alex Markovic and with 8 players representing their country for the 1st time. They dispatched the visitors from Germany, TG Biberach on Friday night before beating Speke Garston from Liverpool and overcoming the potential banana skin of Deva B on Saturday. They wrapped up the tournament victory with a convincing victory over Deva A.

Astra Handball Club will need a bigger trophy cabinet as their ladies team added the Gathering trophy to the league trophy won by their Men’s team earlier this year. They easily overcame the Ladies from Speke Garston before claiming victory in an entertaining match over Irish rivals Lughnasa on Saturday. They then had an impressive victory over Deva HC in a winner takes all match on Sunday.

The Mayor of South Dublin, Councillor Dermot Looney and IOHA President, Fintan Lyons shared the presentation duties and Mayor Looney commented that he was aware of handball as his day job is being a Primary School Teacher.

The IOHA would like to thank all the participants from Ireland and abroad for taking part in the event, the staff and management of the Arena in Tallaght, South Dublin Tourism and especially the volunteers who in a variety of roles ensured the event passed off without a hitch.

The IOHA is hoping to have a similar event in 2014 and the planning will start soon.