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Hardball Finals Preview: Kerry and Cork clash for Doubles glory

The one thing certain about the destination of the 2019 Hardball Senior Doubles title is that it will be heading South to the province of Munster as an all Munster clash this Saturday evening in Broadford will decide the destination of the title. 

Kerry v Cork is one of the most famous rivalries in the history of the GAA and on Saturday the ancient rivalry will install another chapter as the two counties do battle once more this time for Hardball honours. 

In one corner are Kerry's Dominick Lynch and John Joe Quirke seasoned campaigners and Intermediate Doubles Champions in 2015 who have reached the final following wins over Limerick and a walkover victory in the semi final over Meath. In the Quarter Finals they were convincing 21-10, 21-9 winners over reigning singles champion CJ Fitzpatrick and his partner Evan Murphy. While they will have been disappointed not to have had a game in the semi final they will come into the final in confident fashion of landing their first Senior title.  

In the other corner are the young challengers and the exciting pairing from Cork of Michael Hedigan and Daniel Relihan who have reached the final following impressive victories over 2016 champions Dublin's Eoin Kennedy and Carl Browne and their recent semi final victory over new Westmeath pairing Robbie McCarthy and Colm Jordan. Both victories would have been classed as upsets but not unexpected as the Cork pairing have forged an excellent partnership and are in the form of their life recently. They already hold Hardball Minor Doubles titles from 2012 and 2013 while Michael Hedigan also won the Junior & Intermediate Doubles with Donnacha O Dea in 2016 & 2017 and Daniel Relihan won Intermediate Single in 2016 and Junior Doubles with John Hedigan in 2015. They too will be looking to add their first Senior Doubles title to their list of Honours come Saturday evening. 

The final will be an intriguing prospect with very little between both teams. The action kicks off at 1.30pm in Broadford with the curtain raiser to the Senior Doubles seeing the Junior Doubles Final take place between Tipperary (Paul Mullins/Kevin Dempsey) and Cork (David Walsh/Jamie O’Donnell). Elsewhere on Saturday an all Kilkenny Minor Doubles Final between Jack Doyle/Jack Holden and Billy O'Neill/Harry Delaney will take place in Talbots Inch at 6pm while in Tinahely the Intermediate Doubles Final between Kilkenny (William Love/Shane Dunne) and Dublin (Ian Griffin/Michael Carrie) takes place at 2pm. 

GAA Handball All Ireland Hardball Finals 

Saturday 25th May 

Broadford, Limerick OIC Anthony Donnelly (086 3630234) At 1.30pm

JD Final: Tipperary (Paul Mullins/Kevin Dempsey) v Cork (David Walsh/Jamie O’Donnell)
SD Final: Kerry (Dominick Lynch/John Joe Quirke) v Cork (Daniel Relihan/Michael Hedigan)

Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny OIC Martin Lawlor (086 8184598) At 6pm
MD Final: Kilkenny (Jack Doyle/Jack Holden) v Kilkenny (Billy O’Neill/Harry Delaney)

Tinahely, Wicklow OIC Robert Cleary (087 6132687) At 2pm
ID Final: Kilkenny (William Love/Shane Dunne(sub)) v Dublin (Ian Griffin/Michael Carrie)