Paul Brady back to his brilliant handball best
Paul Brady has proved, once again, that he is one of the all-time greats of world handball by breezing back from his injury disappointment in the World Championships, in Minnesota, last August, to win the prestigious R48/Burt Kossoff Invitational Tournament on the Pro Tour in New York.
The long lay-off didn't seem to damage the Cavan man's game in any way as he overcame all opposition, culminating in defeat of Meath neighbour Robbie McCarthy in the final.
It was an unexpected pairing, as McCarthy eliminated World Number One and favourite Killian Carroll in the semi-finals while Brady demolished the great David Fink and tossed out the in-form Dan Cordova in a shootout.
Again the Irish players proved that they are dominate with three reaching the semi-finals, plus Roscommon's Stephen Cooney and Kilkenny's Peter Funchion reaching the quarters where Cooney lost to McCarthy.
Cork man Carroll, playing out of Boston for the past few years, has been top of the pile on the Pro Tour plus winning the World Championship title last year. He is currently seeded No 1 for every tournament and confirmed that status in News York by whitewashing local Eddie Perez 15-0, 15-1 in the Round of 16 and then dismissing Jonathan Iglesias (Colorado) at 4 and 7 before facing Irish champion McCarthy who reached the final on a 15-8 play-off ticket.
Meanwhile, Gunner Brady was quietly shooting down all opposition in the bottom half of the draw with a 15-3 third game win over Arizonian David Fink, one of the top-ranked US players for many years.
Dan Cordova has become the young pretender this year with a couple of super wins to his credit and got off to a great start in his battle with Brady, winning the first game 15-12. Then the Breffni battler opened up to win at 4 and 3 for a crack at McCarthy.
Brady maintained his wonderful record of never having lost a match in the New York Athletic Club claiming the title and the winner's cheque of 1.5k dollars, proving that he is still one of the world's greatest players.