Tully and Ní Dhálaigh make it three in a row in Galway

Conor Breslin

DCU’s Fiona Tully and Meadhbh Ní Dhálaigh were in typically dominant form in taking the 40×20 Women’s Open Doubles title for the third year in a row in Galway.

Overcoming UL’s Doireann Murphy and Ella Donnellan 15-3, 15-3, they demonstrated great power and teamwork to show that they are still the team to beat in this competition.

It has been a busy few months for Tully as this comes little over a month after the Roscommon native won both the Doubles and Ladies Singles Open tournaments at the Irish Collegiate Handball Association in Wexford were she defeated fellow DCU competitor Aoife Holden and won the Doubles tournament alongside her current teammate Meadhbh Ní Dhálaigh.

On top of that Tully won the US Open Doubles championship title played in the famous Los Cabolleros complex in Santa Barbara California last July.

Speaking on their recent win in Galway, Tully acknowledged how great it was to get another Doubles title under her belt for the third year in a row alongside a partner she admitted was very comfortable and easy to play alongside.

“Going into a tournament as the title holders, there is a lot more stress because you are the favourites and you know people are expecting you to deliver. However, I feel we played better this year with a lot more confidence and free flowing play,” Tully told The College View.

The next step for this duo will be a trip to Texas in February 2020 to compete in the US Handball Association Colleges Competition.

“It is a fantastic achievement to represent your college at any level especially if its outside Ireland. My most recent victory in the US was when I won the US Doubles championship last July so I know the standard that is at this level and the quality you have to bring if you want to win,” said Tully.

Both Tully from St Coman’s and Ní Dhálaigh from Na Fianna know all too well what it is like to represent DCU at this tournament as both women won the Doubles tournament in Missouri in 2018 with Tully also beating her teammate Ní Dhálaigh in the singles final. However, 2019 proved a disappointing year at this tournament over ten months ago in Minneapolis as both ladies lost the doubles final with Tully also losing the singles final to Ciana Ní Churraoin.

For Tully, her ambition now is to get into the top two in the Irish ranking. The final year arts student is currently ranked third, however a rankings competition will take place in Tyrone next month, just before Christmas to determine the ladies’ rankings going into the 2020 season. Caitriona Casey and Martina McMahon, currently hold the two spaces in the Irish rankings and Tully knows the effort it will take to push either of those players off their podium.

Conor Breslin

Image Credit: DCU Handball