Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy retained his MyClubShop.ie All-Ireland 60x30 Senior Singles title at Croke Park this evening when he overcame Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy on a 21-19, 21- scoreline.
Early on, the Mullingar maestro looked stronger, despite some notably aggressive play from Kennedy, nine years his senior. With a succession of trademark dump shots, McCarthy built up a useful lead six-point lead which he managed to maintain, eventually stretching it out to 20-12.
And then came an extraordinary Kennedy comeback. The Dubliner held off four game-balls and edged his way back to 19 with some shots straight out of a highlight reel, including a couple of flat roll-outs.
If the champion was rattled, though, he didn’t show it. He got back into the service box with a courageous flat kill from the backwall.
The most dramatic rally of the first game was the last one. Kennedy had a couple of chances but some awesome retrievals from McCarthy kept the rally alive and he eventually finished it, with the St Brigid’s man visibly annoyed with himself for not taking his opportunity.
McCarthy’s younger legs were expected to be a major factor in game two and while Kennedy was in touch at 7-8, the defending champion soon took charge and surged into a 16-7 lead with some deft front court play.
After patient play, he buried another for 18 and was soon serving for the match before Kennedy again turned it on getting back to 14 before McCarthy closed it out with a 21-14 win with a sweetly-struck kill in the left corner.