Monday 23 October 2017

Handball: Brady hits vintage form to finish on glorious high

Paul Fitzpatrick

He promised a fairytale ending to his international career and Paul Brady was as good as his word as he delivered a career-best showing to see off Luis Moreno at CityWest.

The Cavan man was forced to do it the hard way when he rallied from a huge deficit to see off the hot-shooting American No 1.

Moreno (24) gave an exhibition of attacking handball early on and led 13-2, with champion looking nervous and struggling to find any kind of potent serve. Brady was forcing his shots but he gradually relaxed and cut the gap to 16-13.

Back came Moreno with two aces to go to 18 but Brady wasn't done yet and an incredible surge saw him level at 19 and make the final point.

The 4,000-strong crowd were on their feet as the players re-entered the court and Brady's ability to combine the powerful with the subtle helped him to a 21-10 triumph.

"I just feel very relieved -- I never stopped fighting," said the Mullahoran ace.

"I still remember a defeat he inflicted on me in 2008, I remember that pain and it drove me and I just said I'd never give up."

Meanwhile, there is a new world ladies champion after Aisling Reilly from St Paul's in Belfast defeated her clubmate, defending champion Fiona Shannon, in a thrilling final.

Veteran Shannon tore into a 12-1 lead in game one, closing it out 21-9.

Reilly (23) totally dominated the second, however, finding her range with aggressive kills to win 21-6. And she rode her momentum in the tie-breaker, moving 9-2 in front with superb serving and finally closing out the match.

"It was so tough, but I dug deep and got over the line," said Reilly. "It's always amazing playing against Fiona, she's a fantastic champion."

Irish Independent

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