Sunday 15 September 2019

Local underdog Kennedy sees off McCarthy in Croker finale

Eoin Kennedy with the cup after his victory over Robbie McCarthy. Pic: Grealy
Eoin Kennedy with the cup after his victory over Robbie McCarthy. Pic: Grealy

Paul Fitzpatrick

Eoin Kennedy's confident start was crucial as he delivered a masterclass to see off favourite Robbie McCarthy in Saturday's All-Ireland 60x30 Senior Singles final.

It was a fairytale come true for the Dubliner as he won his 10th title against all the odds in the last singles match ever to be played in the iconic handball centre at Croke Park.

"In other years I started slowly and then made a comeback and I just didn't have enough in me to get there, but this time I started killing the ball well from the start," said Kennedy.

Ahead 12-4 in game one, Kennedy found himself 20-18 in arrears as McCarthy, seeking his fifth title in succession, began to find his radar. But Kennedy came roaring back to win it 21-20 and close out game two 21-18 for a famous and popular success.

"I put everything I could into winning the first game, I knew how important it was at my age to get the first game. I don't have the legs to go on and win in a long third game.

"Then when I won that, I was just determined to give it absolutely everything and thankfully the kills came when I needed them.

"As much as you have to believe you have a great chance of winning, you know that you are going to have to play really, really well to beat a player like Robbie. He's exceptionally talented, he can hit shots no one else could dream of hitting.

"I really, really enjoyed this, it was great to be in a tussle and come out the right side of it.

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"In the last few years it hadn't gone my way but it being the last night in Croke Park, with so many friends and family there, it was definitely special."

On the undercard, Limerick's Martina McMahon retained her ladies title (21-9, 21-12) against Catriona Casey of Cork, with Kilkenny's Kyle Dunne winning the minor singles.

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