Westmeath's Robbie McCarthy is the 2019 Hardball Senior Singles Champion after overcoming Limerick’s CJ Fitzpatrick on a 21-5, 21-10 score line in Thurles today. McCarthy is now the holder of a hat-trick of Senior Single titles that he has won over the last NINE months, what’s even more remarkable is that he has won all these finals without any of them going to a tie-break. This is McCarthy second Hardball Senior Singles title with him winning his previous one in 2011.
McCarthy started the first at a blistering pace to lead 6-2 which he stretched to 11-4 and then 17-5. Fitzpatrick going for his third Hardball Senior Singles title tired his hardest during this period but could not get any aces on the score board. McCarthy finished strongly to take the first 21-5.
The second game started in similar fashion with McCarthy into an early 8-1 lead before extending it to 16-6. Fitzpatrick did bring it back to trial 10-16 to the crowds delight but McCarthy once again raised his game to take the second and the match 21-5, 21-10.
Earlier in the day in Thurles, Kilkenny's Shane Dunne completed the double in the Intermediate grade as he added the Singles title to the Doubles title he won last weekend with victory over Mayo's Patrick Murphy. The first game was a tight affair with Dunne showing the greater composure to take it on a 21-9 score line. The second game was as close, Dunne started well and was always a few aces up and he led 18-13 at one stage, but Murphy fought back to take the second 21-18. Again, in the third Dunne started brightly and led well but Murphy never give up and push him all the way before Dunne clinched the match on a 21-9, 18-21, 21-16 score line to the delight of the large Clogh support.
In the Minor final, Meath’s Daniel Farrelly started brightly and went into an early lead over Billy O’Neill of Kilkenny. Farrelly extended this to 13-8 before O’Neill got into his stride and level the game at 14 all. O’Neill pushed ahead to lead 17-14 before taking the first 21-14. In the second O’Neill dominated from the start to go into an early 6-0 lead before extended it to 11-5 before he finished strongly to win 21-14, 21-5.
Finally, Kerry's Jack O'Shea defeated Cork’s David Walsh in a tight Junior Singles Final on a 21-13, 21-17 score line in Broadford.
GAA Handball would like thank Kevin and Thurles Handball Club for their hospitality and we would like to thank all the clubs for hosting Hardball games this year.
GAA Handball All Ireland Hardball Championships
- Westmeath (Robbie McCarthy) dft Limerick (CJ Fitzpatrick) 21-5, 21-10
- Kilkenny (Billy O’Neill) dft Meath (Daniel Farrelly) 21-14, 21-5
- Kilkenny (Shane Dunne) dft Mayo (Patrick Murphy) 21-9, 18-21, 21-16
- Kerry (Jack O’Shea) dft Cork (David Walsh) 21-13, 21-17