Mulkerrins gunning for world Number 1 handball ranking

Diarmuid and Martin Mulkerrins of Moycullen, in Mexico

Diarmuid and Martin Mulkerrins of Moycullen, in Mexico

Moycullen’s Martin Mulkerrins travelled to Juarez in Mexico needing a good tournament performance to put him in contention for the World Players R48 handball Championship at the end of the season.

The Moycullen man started the season with a win in Portland, but a few weeks later a final defeat in Tucson halted his momentum. In January and February he was narrowly beaten in tiebreakers, 14-16 and 13-15 in St Louis and Montana respectively. This set him back in the ranking from #2 to #3.

Last weekend's 6th Prostop, of eight stops, was crucial if he was to threaten the #1 spot. After five rounds of play, over three days, Mulkerrins endured and claimed his seventh career win on the Pro tour.

Mulkerrins set the tone early in the final, hitting with precision and power to thwart Canales’s strengths. Mulkerrins ripped left-handed kills, paddles and passes from the front and back court, in addition to laser serves and back wall kills to dominate game one.

Game two was more of the same, as Mulkerrins was on a mission. Content to wait for the perfect opportunity, Mulkerrins played the ceiling, two-wall pass shots and wrap-arounds, rarely allowing Canales into the front court.

Mulkerrins slapped his hands together after scoring the final point against Canales, as he inched closer to the Race 4 Eight top ranking.

The tour resumes again in Tucson on April 12, and the final stop is scheduled for Salt Lake City, Utah on May 3. Martin is firmly in the mix, with all eyes on Tucson in a fortnight's time.

The younger Mulkerrins, Diarmuid, also competed and was unlucky not to qualify for the quarter final, after a two hour battle with #2 seed, and local player Danos Cordova. Diarmuid agonisingly lost on a 15-11, 13-15, 14-16 scoreline in what was described as a contender for game of the season.


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