St Brigid’s Eoin Kennedy in action against Robbie McCarthy. Picture: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

IRISH handball legend Eoin Kennedy missed out on a 10th senior 60×30 softball title after a two set loss to Robbie McCarthy at a packed Croke Park.
The 37-year-old St Brigid’s star lost 21-13, 21-17 to his opponent who is eight years his junior, despite starting quickest to take a 9-4 lead.
McCarthy then took control of the round and after winning it; he carried his form into the next by going 10-1 up. Kennedy produced a spirited comeback but McCarthy managed to stay enough points ahead.
“Obviously disappointed. I thought I played quite well but there were periods were I probably didn’t execute the shots I needed to get over the line,” Kennedy said speaking to GazetteSport.
“The second game I gave him a big lead but I played really well to get back into it and it was nip and tuck then but in the end there was one or two shots that if I had taken them it could have worked out differently.”
Although Kennedy, who has recently become a new father, and McCarthy have played each other in seven successive finals, Kennedy insists he never tires of playing his on-court nemesis.
“I wouldn’t say I get bored playing him. Obviously, he’s matured as a player since those times and I’m a little bit older than I was as well so it’s increasingly more challenging, with him probably in his prime.”
This year was also the first time the final has taking place in Croke Park since 2009 and Kennedy was delighted to be back playing at the GAA headquarters.
“There is nothing like playing a final in Croke Park because it’s a fantastic court and great venue.
“When I was growing up that was the place I was dreaming of playing All-Ireland finals.”
Kennedy will be back in action on Saturday in the quarter-finals of the doubles with his partner Carl Browne as they attempt to defend their 60×30 senior title.