Paul Brady and Michael Finnegan scoop handball doubles title
Despite what some people may think, Paul Brady has not gone away nor is he finished with winning tournaments.
Maybe, he is not as active as before in either Ireland or America, just now, but when he does pop up it is with the usual outcome.
Along with long-time 40x20 doubles partner Michael Finnegan, Brady swept to victory in the eighth staging of the annual Bill Duggan Doubles Memorial Tournament, at Broadford, Co Limerick, after a keen tussle with Kerry's Dominic Lynch and Wexford's Gavin Buggy.
Lynch and Buggy stormed through the opening match to take control of the final by 21-5.
They continued their dominance at the beginning of the second battle and looked like sealing success but the Cavan pair drew on their vast experience and craft of many years playing together to level the match in a drum-tight final minutes, forcing a tie-breaker at 21-18.
That was it as fair as Lynch and Buggy were concerned with Brady and Finnegan being dominant in the shootout and sweeping to an 11-4 victory to take the title.
For 36 years, we have had the Golden Gloves Tournamants, organised by St Paul's GAC, and now we have the Golden Girls' singles and doubles competitions. It was the turn of the doubles competition over the weekend and yet another trophy for Irish and US Number One Catriona Casey.
Playing with a new parter, Clare 17-year-old Catriona Millane, Cork's Casey defeated her now regular challenger Martina McMahon (Limerick) and Pauline Gallagher (Mayo) but it, also, took a third game to seperate the partnerships.
In the Golden Girls Ladies' Final, Catriona Casey teamed up with Clare's 17 year old Catriona Millane to defeat Martina McMahon & Pauline Gallagher, also in a tie-break.
In the Round Robin semi-finals, Casey and Millane defeated Ulster girls Eilise McCrory (Tyrone) and Megan McCann (Armagh) at 6 and 10, while McMahon and Gallagher also overcame the northerners at 7 and 5.
Meanwhile, the closing date for entry into the US Handball Junior Four-Wall Championships, at which Irish players have been highly successful over the years, is next Friday, December 15. The competitions will be played, as usual, at the end of this month at Des Plaines, Illinois.
An added incentive for the competitors is that US Four-Wall champion Killian Carroll, from Cork, will be giving a clinic at the Lattof YMCA, where the championships will be held, on December 26 (7.00 pm).
Billy Duggan Memorial Tournament Men's Cup:
Quarter-finals - Brady/Finnegan dft Murphy/Murphy 21-11, 21-5.
Funchion/Funchion dft Daly/Kerr, 21-6, 21-15.
Buggy/Lynch dft Gregan/Coonan 21-16, 21-12.
Hedigan/Relihan dft Fitzpatrick/Carroll 11-10.
Semi-finals - Brady/Finnegan dft Funchion/Funchion 13-21, 21-8, 11-1.
Buggy/Lynch dft Hedigan/Relihan,
Final - Brady/Finnegan dft Buggy/Lynch 5-21, 21-18, 11-4
5th Place Play-off - Daly/Kerr bt Murphy/Murphy 15-8, 7-15, 15-11.
Fitzpatrick/Carroll w/o Gregan/Coonan.
Daly/Kerr dft Fitzpatrick/Carroll 15-8, 15-10.
Golden Girls' Doubles:
Semi-finals - Casey/Millane dft McCrory/McCann 15-6, 15-10.
Martina/Gallagher dft McCrory/McCann 15-7, 15-5.
Final - Casey/Millane dft Martina/Gallagher.