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Robbie McCarthy retained his All-Ireland Senior 60x30 Softball final on Saturday in Abbeylara

Updated: Sunday, 02 Sep 2012 19:53 | Comments

Robbie McCarthy defeated eight-time champion Eoin Kennedy for the second consecutive year
Robbie McCarthy defeated eight-time champion Eoin Kennedy for the second consecutive year

Westmeath's Robbie McCarthy remains at the pinnacle of irish 60x30 Handball following a breathtaking display in Saturday's M Donnelly All-Ireland Senior Softball final in Abbeylara.

For the fourth year running it was a Dublin v Westmeath showdown with Eoin Kennedy, chasing a ninth title, playing his first final as challenger against Robbie McCarthy, who won his maiden title against the Dubliner 12 months ago.

McCarthy was sensational in the opening exchanges, opening up a 10-1 lead.

However, Kennedy then upped his game and, Incredibly, the duo were soon deadlocked at 11-11.

From there the Dublin man stormed ahead 16-12. Suddenly a repeat of the 2011 final was envisaged but Robbie McCarthy then signalled why he could be in line to do what his opponent had done through the past decade.

The champion drilled out one brilliant kill shot after another and went ahead again by 17-16. He sprinted for every pass shot dished out from Kennedy and sometimes produced top-class killshots during those retrieves, as he closed out the opening game by 21-16.

The second proved finely balanced for much of the opening part of play as neither player could assert. McCarthy then pushed into a commanding 12-7 advantage.

There were some brilliant rallies to follow and the players exchanged aces until Kennedy closed the gap to 12-15.

But the reigning champion then moved up a gear in the style of a great champion and six unanswered aces provided McCarthy with his second Senior Softball Singles title.

"Its great to come back and win the title," said McCarthy. "This is my ultimate goal every year as I cherish the 60x30 title more than anything else.

"I won last year and that definitely helped my confidence but I felt good today and I had to raise my game as Eoin is a brilliant player and I knew coming here today that he was on the top of his game."

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