/ GAA

Limerick youngster claims convincing victory

Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:22

Seamus O'Carroll is the All-Ireland Hardball (60X30) Champion
Seamus O'Carroll is the All-Ireland Hardball (60X30) Champion

Limerick's Seamus O'Carroll, claimed the GAA/O'Neill's All-Ireland Hardball (60X30) Championships, Senior Singles title, when he defeated ace Meath veteran, Tom Sheridan, in a thrilling final clash, over two games, at Williamstown, Co. Galway.

O' Carroll, who was last year's beaten finalist in both the Senior Singles and Senior Doubles, also plays inter-county hurling and football for Limerick and has made a major impact since joining the senior national handball circuit.

The young Limerickman has been on the verge of claiming his first All-Ireland Senior title for some time now and will be relieved to have crossed the first hurdle in what promises to be a glittering career.

Sheridan has been the country's most prolific senior doubles player for the past twenty-five years, having claimed an incredible twenty-two All-Ireland Senior Doubles titles in the Softball and Hardball (60X30) and in the (40X20) codes of the sport, since bagging his first senior crown in 1987.

However, the Meath maestro has, so far, been unable to replicate his doubles successes on the singles stage, with only a solitary GAA/O' Neill's All-Ireland Softball (60X30) Men's Open Senior Singles title (2003), to his credit.

In the first game, it was nip-and-tuck throughout, with each player exchanging points and with the score level on several occasions, it was anyone's game.

Both players were displaying their full range of pinpoint kill shots and smooth passing shots, allied to some explosive serving. However, as the game neared the end, O' Carroll had more reserves left in the tank and despite some stern resistance from Sheridan, the Limerickman edged tenaciously ahead, to close out, on a narrow scoreline of 21-18.

The second game began in similar fashion, with each player swapping point-for-point and with the score level, numerous times, again the game hung in the balance. O'Carroll and Sheridan were both killing and retrieving ball, at will and it appeared that this game would also go down to the wire.

However, O' Carroll then hit a purple patch, surging ahead and clinching the vital points, to eventually close out, on a decisive scoreline of 21-14 and bag that elusive first All-Ireland Senior crown.

Meanwhile, in the Minor Singles (Sunday), young Limerick ace, Padraig Quish (Hospital), defeated young Wexford ace, Padraig Foley (Castlebridge), in a hard-fought clash, over two games, on decisive scoreline of 21-14, 21-15.

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