Kennedy through to Croke Park: Browne comes up just short! 2016-08-24 21:44:00

St Brigid’s players Carl Browne and Eoin Kennedy were competing last weekend in the quarters of the Senior All-Ireland 60x30 singles championship.

Both matches were played at the recently upgraded handball facility in Crinkle Offaly. Carl was first up against Limerick’s Seamus O’Carroll. Seamus was one of Ireland’s most promising upcoming players and indeed went onto win a Senior Hardball doubles in recent years. Still in his mid-twenties, he was out of the game for a couple of years due to a shoulder injury, which required an operation and long recuperation period. This year he is back to his best judging by his last 16 win against Paudi Quish and his narrow victory against Carl at the weekend. The final scores were 21-19 and 21-17, showing how close the struggle was. Carl had chances to win but unfortunately just came up short. The rallies were long and the leads in both games were swopped regularly with the Limerick man ultimately getting over the line. Browne’s performance bodes well for his upcoming doubles matches in partnership with Eoin when in October they attempt to defend their All-Ireland doubles crown.

Eoin played Meath’s Gary McConnell on the same programme at the weekend and this ended on a more positive note for St Brigid’s as Eoin won 21-15, 21-2. The first game proved very competitive as McConnell has a wide range of skills and very nice backwall and corner kills. Kennedy nevertheless led throughout and pulled away to win 21-15. It was clear from the very start of the second that Kennedy had McConnell’s measure and he dominated the rallies pulling away for an easy second game victory. This puts Kennedy into the All-Ireland semifinal against yet another Meath man, Brian Carroll. A multiple All-Ireland doubles winner Brain Carroll is also one of the top singles players and the semi-final, which will take place next weekend, promises to be very competitive.

A major development is that this year the semi-finals return to Croke Park. The handball centre (at the entrance to Hill 16) has been out of commission for the last 5 years, during which the semifinals and finals were played at the Longford, Abbeylara venue. All handballers are delighted to see the main events return to Croke Park which is a holy grail for handballers and much more convenient for fans.

This Saturday Kennedy plays Carroll in the third match of a four-match programme beginning at 2pm.

The semi-final between St Brigid’s Eoin Kennedy and Kell’s Brian Carroll is expected to start about 4pm on Saturday.

Programme notice below:

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