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Men’s Senior Softball Doubles down to the last four

The stage is set for the last four of the All-Ireland Senior Softball Doubles Championship, the semi-finals of which are down for decision this Saturday at the National Handball Centre at Croke Park.

First up, at 11am, is the meeting of defending champions, Meath’s Brian Carroll and Gary McConnell and Kilkenny duo Ciaran Neary and Shane Dunne.

The Kells men come into the tie off the back of a 21-14, 21-15 win over Tipperary’s Jerome Cahill and Rory Grace last weekend, with Carroll sure to be on confident form following his impressive recent win in the Irish Nationals in Wexford.

The Cats defeated former winner Gavin Buggy and his partner Keith Armstrong from Wexford 13-21, 21-14, 11-3 in the quarter-final at New Ross and should be a formidable partnership, with the hard-hitting citeog Neary on the left alongside former Intermediate Singles and current Senior Hardball Singles champion Dunne.

The Royals, though, have vast experience and will be expected to take all the beating in what has the makings of an excellent match.

The second semi-final sees former champions Eoin Kennedy and Carl Browne of Dublin face surprise packages Niall Joyce, the former minor champ, and 2019 Junior Singles winner Paddy Murphy of Mayo.

Kennedy, the nine-time Senior Singles champion, and partner Browne, winner of senior titles in all codes, need no introduction. This outstanding pair opened their campaign with a 21-14, 21-9 victory over Kerry’s Dominic Lynch and Jack O’Shea in Ballina, Co Tipperary last weekend and will be determined to return to the winners’ enclosure.

The Mayo men avenged their defeat to Kilkenny’s Jack Holden and Kyle Jordan from last year’s Intermediate semi-final in the round of 16 in a tiebreaker and followed that up with an eye-catching tiebreaker win in the quarter-final against Chris Doyle and Michael Gregan (who made the final of the Nationals) in the last eight to book their spot in their first senior semi-final.

Please be advised that there is limited parking outside the Handball Centre due to the matches being held at Croke Park. Patrons are advised to make use of public transport and city centre car parks.

Tickets for the semi-finals are available to purchase here.

The final is down for decision on Saturday, June 1 at Croke Park, where the Ladies Senior Singles final and the Men's Minor Doubles (both featuring Cork v Kilkenny) and the Ladies Minor Doubles (Kilkenny v Tyrone) are also part of the programme.