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Top US Handball Player Preps For Irish Visit With Some Father Ted

Top US Handball Player Preps For Irish Visit With Some Father Ted
By Paul Fitzpatrick

These are heady times for the oft-ignored sport of handball, with Irish players dominating the World Championships in the Men's and Ladies Open grades last August.

The Yanks are determined to strike back, however, and their top player is coming to Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon/Mayo (let's not start that debate, please) next weekend for the first ranking tournament of the season.

And former teenage wunderkind Sean Lenning has been taking tips from an unlikely source in preparation for his visit.

Seattle native Lenning, ranked as the number one American player at present following an excellent 2015, will compete in the Open Singles at prestigious Gaffney Memorial and revealed that he is a big fan of cult sitcom Father Ted.

"I've been studying Father Ted and learning a lot from that," stated the laconic Lenning, a former World Series of Poker contestant whose explosive style of play has made him a huge favourite on the US circuit.

"I don't expect the crowd to be on my side or anything but I know I'll be appreciated," stated Lenning (30).

"I think it's cool when spectators actually root for who they want to win rather than trying to stay neutral. I say, express yourself!"

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The right-hander has previously played in the Ulster Open (2006) and World Championships (2012) in Ireland.

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