TUCSON -- The semifinals of the Boy’s 19-Under matches on Sunday produced everything a handball fan would want: amazing rallies, incredible kills, unbelievable retrieves, and tiebreakers with dramatic finishes. The fireworks began between Conor Walsh (Co. Cork, Ireland) and Ray Ure (Des Plaines, IL) in the day’s first semifinal. Ure defeated Walsh to advance to the final, 19-21, 21-13, 11-5.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair until Walsh streaked to a 20-16 lead before Ure gained the side out. Ure pulled within one with three-straight ace serves before serving his fourth attempt into the floor. Walsh put away game point on the next inning.
A motivated Ure jumped out to a big lead in the second and held on to force a tiebreaker with a 21-13 win.
Serving first in the tiebreaker, Ure quickly rolled to a 4-0 advantage. Walsh responded by scoring five unanswered points. The two traded exciting rallies but neither player could capitalize on their serve chances to score points. An exhausted Walsh chased down a shot in the right corner but fell hard into the wall hitting his knee. Play resumed after an injury time out, but Walsh didn’t have the same energy or the legs to maintain the match’s torrid pace ultimately falling to Ure, 11-5.
The second semifinal matchup between Ivan Burgos (Fort Erie, Ontario) and Cian O’Driscoll (Co. Cork, Ireland) was truly an international affair. O’Driscoll showed incredible grit, fighting off match point to prevail in a tiebreaker, 15-21, 21-20, 11-2.
Burgos played steady and methodical and appeared well on his way to the final in the second game, but Cian produced some of his best handball to snatch the victory away from his opponent’s grasp.
O’Driscoll will face Ure in the Boy’s 19-Under final Monday at 10 a.m. MST.
In 19-Under Doubles action, O’Driscoll and Walsh stopped the Canadian team of Burgos and Alex Carew, 21-12, 21-12. They’ll face Luis Mendez and Jorge Pimentel, who defeated Ray Ure and Collin Peters, 21-16, 21-12.
See today's results at the tournament's R2sports site HERE.