The opening day of the 2012 World Handball Championships proved to be a hugely successful one as over 2,000 turned up to watch a whole host of action on an evening when the USA faced Ireland in the impressive glass showcourt.
The atmosphere was electric in the cauldron of the Citywest arena and in the showdown event it was first blood to the USA as they defeated Ireland 3-1 on the night.
World champion Paul Brady hit the ground running in the opener with a series of phenomenal low serves which had Dave Fink in trouble early on.
The tie developed with some brilliant shooting and retrieving from there, before Brady made it 1-0 to Ireland on the night with a 21-9 win.
Next up was the eagerly awaited doubles clash involving Robbie McCarthy and Brian Carroll, who took on US number 1 doubles team of Luis Moreno and Andy Nett.
This provided some sensational retrieving and shooting from both partnerships, before the US duo edged matters at the business end of proceedings to level the match at 1-1 on a 21-18 scoreline.
The second singles saw Sean Lenning edge out Michael Gregan 21-20 to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
It was left to the experience of Ducksy Walsh and Tom Sheridan to salvage the tie, but the duo surrendered a 16-14 advantage as Naty Alvarado and Luis Cordova recorded a 21-18 victory to earns the USA a 3-1 victory.