Kennedy bidding for 32nd All-Ireland title

by Gazette Reporter

THE 2017 June Bank Holiday weekend will play host to the singles finals of the GAA Handball Hardball Championships with St Brigid’s Eoin Kennedy going in search of his ninth title.
He will take on reigning champion, Limerick’s CJ Fitzpatrick, who will be gunning for his second accolade, at Lahorna, Tipperary.
It’s the blue riband event of the hardball season. In the semi-finals, the Dublin man advanced after he defeated Kerry’s Dominic Lynch on a convincing score line of 21-12, 21-2.
Not to be out done, after a shaky start in the first game, Fitzpatrick defeated Kennedy’s doubles partner Carl Browne in his own semi-final with scores of 21-20, 21-4.
After what was a gripping final last year, Fitzpatrick can no longer be called the underdog. He proved what he is made of and that he has nerves of steel after coming back from losing the first game to win the 2016 All-Ireland on a score line of 17-21, 21-17 & 21-16.
However, having lost out to Meath in the senior doubles hardball All-Ireland decider last weekend, Kennedy will be vying for a big win this weekend.
Kennedy and Browne came unstuck in the first set of that final 21-2 before producing a much stronger second set but ultimately fell 21-15 to Brian Carroll and Tom Sheridan.
Nonetheless, the Brigid’s man has another shot at winning his 32nd All-Ireland crown across all disciplines following an incredible career to date.
Can Fitzpatrick hold on to his crown, or will Kennedy’s experience weigh in and allow him to add another win to his already decorated career?
It is the third match on court with the junior final pitting Kerry’s Jack O’Shea against Carlow’s Martin Mullins.
Next is the minor singles decider where last year’s finalist, Mayo’s Patrick Murphy, will play Cork’s David Walsh.

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