Cavan’s four-time World Champion, Paul Brady, may have skipped this year’s All-Ireland Championships but the Mullahoran man admits he is ‘hungry for success’ ahead of this week’s US Nationals in Minneapolis.

Brady may have suffered a rare defeat in his last outing stateside, but one defeat in eight years is a remarkable record and it has served merely as extra motivation, something his fellow competitors won’t particularly want to hear.

He said: “Training is going well and I feel sharp and ready to go.”

Brady enters the fray on Wednesday as top seed having received a bye into the Last 16.

Ireland have other players in the draw who harbor very realistic aspirations of glory, with Clare’s Diarmuid Nash coming in on the back of an All-Ireland Senior final appearance, while rebel man Killian Carroll is a man on form, recently winning the Boston Open & Canadian Nationals with his explosive and action packed style.

In the Ladies Open the script almost writes itself with Antrim’s Aisling Reilly and Cork’s Catriona Casey establishing themselves as the undoubted top two female players in World Handball.

Both ladies have shared every major title in the Irish and International game over the past two years and are again expected for a final showdown. But it is there that the predictability ends in this pendulum rivalry.

Last time out Casey took the initiative with a comprehensive win in Salt Lake City, but as history shows, Reilly normally responds impressively to a defeat and will be eager to retain her title.