Eoin Kennedy in devastating form reaching All Ireland Final   17/09/2018

Eoin Kennedy's Devastating form in Semifinal Overcomes Meath’s McConnell

St Brigids Eoin Kennedy defied his years earlier today to overcome the challenge of Meath’s Gary McConnell in the semi-final of the Senior Singles in Croke Park. With Kennedy giving over ten years to his opponent it was expected that the talented McConnell’s youth, strength, speed and firepower would push Kennedy to the limit.

It was clear however from the start that the St Brigids player had a clear game plan, concentrating perfect overhand serves down to McConnell’s left, forcing difficult returns that Kennedy either killed or drove down the sidewalls. Adopting a more offensive approach than in earlier years, when he would wear down opponents by sending them on a tour of the court while maintaining centre court positioning, he was now going for his kills at the earliest opportunity. His more aggressive approach meant that he wasn’t drawn into long energy-sapping rallies and right from the start he gave an exhibition of precision killing to the delight of his Dublin followers.

Trailing 2-0 in the first, Eoin quickly regained the initiative driving to a 6-2 lead before Gary regained the serve. He was quickly taken out and the next few rallies went Kennedy’s way as he forged into a 12-3 lead. McConnell pulled back to 7-12 before Kennedy again brought down the hammer to lead 16-7. Both players swopped hands without either gaining aces until Kennedy broke the logjam to lead 17-8. McConnell drew back to 9-17 before Kennedy again scored to lead 18-9, while following a long rally McConnell drew back to 19-11. Two superb kills for Kennedy resulted in the first game 21-11.

It was evident from the outset of game 2 that the sting had been extracted from McConnell as Kennedy raced into a 5-0 lead before losing hand. McConnell scored an ace but Kennedy took him out and dominated the next ten minutes to build a substantial lead, frustrating McConnell who tried his best but was clearly playing for second place. With Kennedy’s excellent retrieving and superb killing he was pushing McConnell around the court and undermining his confidence. Known as a talented front-runner who can play fantastic shots when in the lead, McConnell was kept on the back foot and Kennedy succeeded in dominating the second game to run out an easy winner 21-4.

Following this display Kennedy can now look forward to the afternoon of Saturday 29th September when he again faces Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy in the All-Ireland Senior Singles final. McCarthy was winner today in the other semifinal against Limerick’s Paudie Quish.

St Brigids GAA Club,
Russell Park, Navan Road, Dublin 15