Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy has captured the All-Ireland 60x30 trophy on eight occasions since 2002, yet remarkably goes into this weekend’s final showdown with Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy as underdog.

Having bowed out at the hands of the impressive McCarthy twelve months ago, he will enter the Abbeylara court in his new role, as the challenger.

The St Brigid’s player has yet to drop a game en route to his ninth consecutive final, and the pain of last September where he lost out to the Mullingar star in two straight games 21-19 21-13 seems to have spurred the former champ, who has returned to this year’s series in superb form.

Kennedy said: “I was delighted with my win over Ger in the semi-final. I was happy with my own performance but I realise that I will need to raise my game to another level again if I'm to challenge Robbie in the final.”

Reigning champion, McCarthy, like Kennedy has controlled every opponent in his progression to the 2012 final and has also collected the US Open of handball in California last October and the Irish 40x20 Nationals back in May.

Action gets underway at Abbeylara this Saturday at 1.30pm with Leitrim’s Donal Wrynn taking on Limerick’s Padraig Quish in the minor final. Wrynn bagged the 40x20 singles title earlier in 2012 and last weekend he partnered Shane Doonan to defeat Cork’s Daniel Relihan and Michael Hedigan 21-14, 21-12 to the County’s first ever minor softball doubles title.

Preceding the highly awaited senior encounter is the Intermediate doubles final involving Kilkenny’s Ciaran Neary and Timmy Clifford who meet Galway’s Ollie Conway and Martin Mulkerrins.