Congratulations to Cashel Handball Club on their magnificent achievement in bringing five gold medals back to the town from last weeks World Championships in Dublin.
The 15-man team travelled to the capital hoping to acquit themselves well and felt they had a good chance of bringing back a medal. The overall performance of the team however was beyond their wildest dreams and but for the fact that lady luck was not on their side in several close fought encounters the medal haul might have been even greater. Colin Ryan was first to win gold in the U13 singles and he was quickly followed by Daniel Hayes, winning in the U15 singles. The following day both players teamed up with their playing partners Jason English, from Ballyporeen, and Jerome Cahill, Lahorna, North Tipp to win their respective doubles titles.
Denis White and John Ferncombe, from Holycross, a long time servant of the club, had to wait until the penultimate day of the championships the win their gold in the Junior C Doubles.
On Sunday night the returning heroes were feted by a huge crowd as they marched down the main street on route to the car park, preceded by St Patrick’s Brass Band. The team members were introduced to the crowd by master of ceremonies, national hunt jockey Ken Whelan, who on the evidence of his performance might have a future behind the microphone when his riding days are over. On the podium to welcome home the athletes were Deputy Mayor Joe Moloney, fellow members of the town council and Deputy Tom Hayes.
Club chairman and team member Noel Murphy, gave a detailed and sometimes humorous account of their time at the championships, his pride in what the team had done was very evident as he detailed the magnitude of their achievement. The club had experienced great success in the past but had been a sleeping giant from 1998 to 2007. Since it opened its doors again to championship handball in mid 2007 it has made significant strides forward in both championship handball and in club facilities. Noel went on to say that it was coincidental that the club’s greatest hour should come in the same week that marks the 37th anniversary of the opening of the alley, which was built to commemorate the memory of his late uncle Monto Carrie, who died tragically in a road traffic accident in 1973. In concluding he thanked the players for their commitment to training over many months, the players’ families for their patience and understanding, their sponsors, O’Dwyers Pharmacy Cashel, Cashel Credit Union and Merck Sharp and Dohme sports and social club Carlow, those who supported the fundraisers and all who turnout on Sunday night to make the homecoming such a warm and memorable occasion.