Brady limps through to all-Irish semi-finals
Four Irishmen will make up the semi-final line-up in the Open Singles at the World Handball Championships for only the third time in the 54-year history of the event after a dramatic day of action.
In yesterday's quarter-final action at the University of Minnesota, reigning champion Paul Brady was forced to pull out all the stops against Mexican Luis Cordova. Brady sustained a sprained ankle early in the first game and after taking a 15-minute injury time-out, returned to the court visibly limping. However, the Cavan man somehow managed to close out the first game on a 21-17 scoreline. Despite his restricted movement (he went 10-0 down in the second), Brady rode his momentum to close out the result 21-15.
Meanwhile, top seed Killian Carroll - a native of Mallow now based in Boston - brushed aside the challenge of Clare's Diarmuid Nash in straight games. Carroll, a notoriously slow starter, fell 6-1 behind in the opener but found his groove and delivered a clinical exhibition of attacking play laced with his trademark spectacular retrieving to run out a 21-18, 21-8 winner.
Also impressive was Team Ireland captain Martin Mulkerrins, who defeated the second Banner man in the draw, Colin Crehan (21-14, 21-17), while Robbie McCarthy held all the aces against former World Series of Poker competitor Sean Lenning of Seattle, winning 21-19, 21-15.
"It was a tough game, I got off to a good lead but Sean started knocking out serves and kills from every angle as he can do. But I'm in good shape, I've trained really well. I'll play anyone now, I'm just focused and ready to go," said McCarthy.
In the last four, Carroll will meet McCarthy (5pm Irish time), with Brady taking on Mulkerrins.
In the Women's Open, big guns Martina McMahon (Limerick), Catriona Casey (Cork) and holder Aisling Reilly (Antrim) will all get their campaigns under way today.