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Megan McCann hunting US handball title

18/11/2018 Clares Con Collins Picture Seamus Loughran
Tony McGee

MEGAN McCann enjoyed her handball sabbatical in Boston earlier this year when she honed some of her skills and competed in a few events.

Now she is heading back Stateside for the real thing as she has entered for next weekend's Tucson Memorial Tournament, a major ProStop event on the $35,000 USHA Tour.

McCann, on a gap year from college, will mix it with some of the world's top players, including half-a-dozen from Ireland as Corkonian Catriona Casey defends the title.

The Lurgan teenager flies out this morning for the big test.

“I'm looking forward very much to playing in Tucson. It will be a big experience for me and if I could reach the semi-finals or quarter-finals it would be great,” she said.

“It is my first time to play in a ProStop event and I am looking anxiously for the draw. Hopefully, it will be kind to me.”

Obviously, most of the big guns will be firing in the women's event with US No 1 Casey heading the list. There, too, will be the likes of Ciana Ní Churraoin from Galway and Belfast's Ashling Reilly, apart from a strong challenge from across the Atlantic.

“I am not sure if I will be travelling for many other tournaments in America this season as it is pretty expensive and getting sponsorship is very difficult.

“I'll see how the ranking go but I am delighted to get out there for this event. I enjoyed the few months I had in Boston earlier and the few tournaments that I played in but this is the biggest yet,” reflected footballer-cum-handballer Megan.

All players in both the men's and women's events in Tucson will be striving to make an impression as the 2019-2020 WPH Tour get under-way and, of course, the relative newcomers to the top table will also be mighty keen to make their presence felt.

It is a tough test for the Lurgan girl but she could make her dream of a quarter-final, at the very least, real.

The men's tournament will, as usual, be loaded with top players such as World and US Number One Killian Carroll, former R48 Number Ones, Sean Lenning and David Fink, who will defend the men's title.

The draw for both men and women will be interesting but, whatever happens, it is a big date for Megan McCann.

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