/ GAA

Handball doubles down for decision in Roscommon

Updated: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 16:27 | Comments

Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan celebrate their 2012 Senior Doubles final win
Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan celebrate their 2012 Senior Doubles final win

A hugely exciting season finale to the O’Neill’s All-Ireland Championships takes place on Saturday in St Coman’s, Roscommon with the men’s & ladies' Senior Doubles finals down for decision.

Top billing is the eagerly anticipated men’s final between reigning champions Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan of Cavan, and Meath’s Brian Carroll & Tom Sheridan.

Brady & Finnegan enter as favourites, and rightly so as they have dominated the 40x20 doubles scene in recent years. They have appeared in the last 12 consecutive finals, winning nine, and now aiming for an incredible 10th title.

Brady, who missed the Senior Singles Championship, has showed in the last two US Pro-Stops that he is still the top dog in world Handball.

Finnegan has the know how to win big games, and as well as the All-Ireland titles, he has appeared in the last four World Doubles finals, winning three - two with Brady & one with Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy.

Their opponents from the Kells club have proven quality in the 40x20 court as well, they pushed Brady & Finnegan to a 21-20 tiebreaker in an epic 2012 40x20 final.

On Saturday Sheridan will be aiming for title number ten with a fourth different partner in Carroll.

Carroll is a dream man to cover the frontcourt. This combined with Sheridan’s craft and the fact that Sheridan is a lefty, gives them an excellent chance to upset the reigning champs. It all point to another classic.

Preceding the men’s final is another fantastic showdown as Kerry’s Maria Daly & Ashley Prendiville look to retain their 2013 title they won against Cork’s Catriona Casey & Aishling O’Keefe.

This year they have the same opponents who will be aiming to go one better than last year’s tiebreaker defeat to win their maiden title.

They do have an uphill battle against the experienced three-time champions, but the Cork duo have developed into an excellent pairing in recent years and know that they have the game to win.

Having lost out in the singles final a few weeks ago, Casey will be keen to end the season on a high and add the senior title to the intermediate title the duo won in 2012. The experienced Kerry girls will be up for this though and won’t relinquish their title without a battle.

First game on the bill is the Minor Doubles at 2.30pm. Like the singles final, it is Tyrone v Clare as Johnny Woods aims for the double. Woods teams up with Ryan Mullan, and having won last year’s U16 Doubles title, will know each other’s game well. Fergal Coughlan will be out for some revenge against Woods after the singles final, and alongside Jacob Loughnane, the Clare men will be very difficult to beat. 

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