McCarthy delivers in superb style
When it mattered most, Robbie McCarthy delivered as he turned in a flawless performance to beat Charly Shanks of Armagh in the All-Ireland 40x20 Senior Singles handball final on Saturday.
In the process, the Mullingar maestro sealed a hat-trick of senior crowns – and he did it in style, dominating the crucial front court battle en route to a 21-13, 21-7 win.
“It was always going to be about controlling the front of the court, I think last year I let him drive me back a bit – this time, I wanted to attack more, to serve and shoot. I missed a good few as well but I got a lot of good ones,” he said.
“It feels great to retain the title, to still be at the top with all these younger lads coming through. This year we put in a lot more work, physically and mentally, and we were better prepared.
“I’m holding both the 40x20 and 60x30 senior titles at the minute so everything seems to be going really well.
“Next up for me? Probably the big alley (60x30 championships) or maybe the US Nationals in Minnesota in June, we’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Cork star Catriona Casey battled to a gutsy second Ladies Senior Singles success against world champion Aisling Reilly of Antrim.
Casey, who had lost both the All-Ireland and World Championships finals to Reilly last year, was on the back foot for most of the first game but stole it 21-20 and recovered from a 21-4 second-game loss to win the deciding set 21-9.
“When I heard during the week that it was my fourth final in a row, it dawned on me that to lose three in a row would be very hard to take,” said Casey (22).
“I tried not to over-think it but I was still nervous once the game started, but thankfully it worked out in the end.”
In Minor Singles, Tyrone’s Sean Kerr atoned for losing last year’s final to see off Tadhg O’Neill of Cork in straight games.