At the Rochestown Park Hotel for the Cork 96FM/C103 GAA Sports Star of the Month Award for April were recipients Donncha O’Connor and Brendan Fleming with, John Hedigan Chairman Cork Handball Board, Kieran McGeary CE Cork 96FM/C103, Finbarr McCarthy 96FM, Tom Tobin GM the RPH and Marc Sheehan, Chairman Cork County Board. Photo: Tony O’Connell

Handball duo honoured for April

The April winners of the 96FM/C103 GAA Sport Star awards went to Ballydesmond duo Donncha O’Connor and Brendan Fleming in recognition of their achievement in winning the All-Ireland Masters Handball Doubles Championship. The awards are in association with the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Handball like most sports suffered in the past two years and probably more than most given that it is an indoor event but on its return Donncha and Brendan were soon back in action.

Representing Cork they defeated the Kerry champions in the Munster Final and followed that with a thrilling victory over the Mayo duo in a cracking final.

In accepting that award Brendan said they were thrilled to be honoured and worked hard to achieve that goal and were already looking forward to defending their title.

Speaking on behalf of the Cork County Board, Jerry Walsh - himself a Ballydesmond man - in congratulating his colleagues said: “It is great to be here to acknowledge two wonderful exponents of the game and congratulate them on winning the All-Ireland title which is a great achievement.”

Jerry also paid tribute to the sponsors for their continued support of these awards and in particular for including handball which is greatly appreciated by all.

Tom Tobin of Rochestown Park Hotel and Kieran Mc Geary of 96FM/C103 also congratulated Donncha and Brendan on their win and wished them well for the rest of their season.

It was also unique for Donncha as he was previously been honoured for his football exploits with Cork, with whom he was a multiple medal winner, the highlight having been an All-Ireland senior medal in 2010.

Both players had family and friends in attendance while the Cork Handball Board were represented by John Hedigan, Derry Murphy and long serving official Peter Dennehy to whom many tributes were paid to for his outstanding and many years of service to the game at local and national level.

Donncha and Brendan now join the previous monthly winners St Finbarr’s Sam Ryan and Ballygiblin’s Sean O’Sullivan and the representatives of St Francis College Rochestown and Beara Community School for their success in All-Ireland College’s Final.

The 2022 Gala Banquet will take place on 3 February as the event returns to its normal date.