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All Ireland Hardball Champions

posted 22 May 2015, 15:32 by Martin Lalor   [ updated 24 May 2015, 08:01 ]

There was double delight for Kilkenny players in Cashel on Friday when Brendan Burke and Ciaran Neary captured the All Ireland Junior and Intermediate Hardball crowns.

In the Junior final, Brendan played Jerome Willoughby (Wicklow) and was a winner in two games. In the first game the Kells player cam from 13-8 to lead 17-15 before closing out the set 21-18. A fast start by the Wicklow man in the second game saw him race into a 10-2 lead. However this was short lived as Brendan found his stride, levelling at 12 all and then taking the game 21-12.

The Intermediate decider was a clash between Ciáran Neary (Talbots Inch) and Dominic Lynch (Kerry), with the Munster player a warm favourite to take the honours. As expected, Lynch was quickly out of the blocks, and with some fantastic serving easily won the first set 21-5. Ciáran took control early in the second game to lead 8-1, before he was pegged back to 12 all. From there to the finish of the game it was nip and tuck before the Talbots Inch player squeezed home 21-20 to bring the match to the deciding set. Scores were very tight at the start of the third set, 7 all before Ciáran pulled away to lead 17-9. Not to give up without a fight the Kerry player reached 16 before the Kilkenny captured his first national Singles title.

Well done to both players on what was a great night for Kilkenny handball.

There was disappointment for Shane Dunne from Clogh who competed in the Minor Singles final in Roscommon on Sunday. The talented young Kilkenny player, last year's 60 x 30 All Ireland champion, was beaten by Niall Joyce (Mayo) in two sets, 21-12, 21-10