Dubs Lose Battle Royal   02/11/2018

Dubs Lose Battle Royal!

Last weekend the St Brigids doubles partners Eoin Kennedy and Carl Browne met the Meath team of Brian Carroll and Gary McConnell in what proved to be an epic battle at the Croke Park handball headquarters. Dublin were trying to regain the Senior Doubles title last won by them in 2015 while Meath were the defending champions, having won in both 2016 and 2017.

The three game match proved to be one of the best ever played at the Croke Park venue, since it was first opened in 1970. Taking a full two and a half hours the match ebbed and flowed with the lead swopping on numerous occasions.

Dublin started the better in the first game moving into a 9-1 lead but this was quickly brought back by the Meath duo and the scores were tied at 10 each to the roar of the crowd. Meath went ahead at 17-15 but Dublin persevered with tremendous spirit and were eventually relieved to win the first 21-19.

In the second game the Meath pair were consistently ahead and the rallies were fast and furious. All four players were playing their part and many of the rallies were sensational in terms of the skill, athletic ability and sheer competitiveness. Over one and a half hours after starting the match was tied at one game apiece, as Meath won the second 21-14.

The third game proved an epic in terms of the number of times the scores were tied and the sheer quality of the play. Taking almost one hour the deciding game enthralled the large attendance with both Dublin and Meath each looking the likely victors as the lead was continually swopped. Tied at 15 all the third game was a challenge to the nerves of both players and fans. 

A decisive passage of play left Meath leading 20-15. The Dublin pair were not going to give it to them easily and they took Meath out and scored two points to reach 17. Meath regained the initiative but a tremendous rally saw Dublin take their first hand out. Serving their second hand Meath were very focused and eventually got the deciding point with a great passing shot down the right, to the delight of the Meath fans.

Photo: Carl Browne (left),  Joe Masterson (GAA Handball President) Eoin Kennedy (right)

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