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World-beater Brady seals five-in-a-row


Paul Brady

Paul Brady

Paul Brady

Paul Brady cemented his legacy as the greatest handball player the sport has ever seen, winning an unprecedented fifth successive world title last night in Calgary, Canada.

Brady delivered arguably the best performance of his illustrious career as he saw off young Cork sensation Killian Carroll 21-8, 21-2 in just under an hour.

Brady tore into his young opponent from the off, firing bullets from the service box as he raced into a 17-4 lead in game one, reaching 18 with a deft 'paddle kill' in the left corner.

But there were signs as the match wore on that Carroll was growing into the contest. Brady made some uncharacteristic hand errors as the Cork man clawed his way to eight and successfully defended game-ball before the former Breffni footballer closed out the first with a textbook crack serve down the left.

Carroll was attempting to assert himself and slow the pace of the game down, with some success, with three-wall wrap and ceiling shots but he looked in trouble whenever Brady attempted to end rallies early and often. And in the second game, the Cavan man was at his ruthless, brilliant best. Laying down an astonishing eight flat kills, he sped into a 16-0 lead and ended the match in awesome fashion.

An emotional Brady held back tears after the match as he paid tribute to Carroll and his family back home, who he said, had supported him throughout his career.

"I'm just relieved and thankful it's all over, it's been a long journey," he said.

Earlier, holder Aisling Reilly retained her Ladies Open Singles title with a nailbiting 11-6 tiebreaker win over Cork's Cathriona Casey.

Casey stormed to a 21-11 win against a nervous-looking Reilly in the first game but the Belfast woman took control of proceedings early in the second as she raced into an 11-3 lead.

Casey slowly clawed her way back to 5-12 before a long delay when Reilly, who was struck in the face by the ball - a most unusual occurrence - was forced to take a 15-minute injury time-out. Visibly shaken, Reilly returned to the court and closed it out 21-16.

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The pair were tied at 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4 in the decider but Reilly was more aggressive and a brave cross-court kill took her to game-ball before she closed it out.

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