Sunday 17 December 2017

Handball: High-flying Brady refuses to be complacent

It has been an interesting 40x20 Senior Championship to date, and while there was plenty of drama and talking points, one thing has remained constant -- Paul Brady.

The Cavan man, who takes on Dublin's Eoin Kennedy in the All-Ireland Senior Singles semi-final this weekend, has yet to concede over 10 points in a championship game this year. In fact, the total numbers of aces surrendered by the Breffni star is 50.

"It's been a good championship for me so far, but all the previous results are irrelevant now and I'm just focusing on Saturday's game against Eoin," said Brady.

"I will have to be at my best to win; you often hear of players flying early in championships and then getting caught out, but that won't happen to me; complacency is not an issue."

Brady has played four championship games to date and, despite a serious injury towards the end of 2009, he is also back training with Cavan footballers.

"The goal at the beginning of the year was to get back playing football for April and things are going well, so I'm hoping to be available for selection for the last league game," he said.

"In terms of the injury, I'm as good as I can be for handball."

His opponent on Saturday, Kennedy, has come through the new back-door qualifier system and has played five games in the championship. In the Leinster final, he lost to young Westmeath star, Robbie McCarthy, but found his way in the qualifiers with wins over Michael Finnegan (Cavan) and Dominick Lynch (Kerry).

In the second eagerly awaited semi-final of the weekend, there will be a first championship clash of Armagh's Charly Shanks and Wicklow's Michael Gregan. Shanks has never beaten the Garden County handballer competitively, but their last meeting was a corker.

At the John Gaffney Memorial Tournament in January, Gregan recorded a 21-12, 21-20 win over his Armagh counterpart and having also defeated Shanks in the Men's 'A' final at the World Championship in 2003, the history books favour the Coolboy clubman.

Irish Independent

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