Clare duo topple 11-time champions with razor-sharp moves

GAA Handball: Cavan favourites lose out to Banner county after fiercely fought battle

Colin Crehan and Diarmuid Nash from Clare, winners of the GAA Handball Championship Men’s Senior Doubles Final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/actionshots.ie

Colin Crehan and Diarmuid Nash from Clare, winners of the GAA Handball Championship Men’s Senior Doubles Final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/actionshots.ie

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There is a new name on the All-Ireland 40x20 Senior Doubles trophy after Clare’s Diarmaid Nash and Colin Crehan sensationally toppled 11-time champions Paul Brady and Michael Finnegan of Cavan in Saturday’s All-Ireland final.

Ahead 13-1 in the first game after an attacking blitz that stunned the holders, the young Banner men were unable to close it out and lost 21-15, with Finnegan serving brilliantly as Cavan, in their home court of Kingscourt, hit their stride.

And when the favourites moved 14-9 in front in game two, they looked set to push on for yet another senior crown. However, with Nash razor-sharp in front court and Crehan pulling off a succession of spectacular kills, the Banner men turned it around to win 21-14.

In the third game, they got off to a fast start and rode their momentum to a surprisingly one-sided 21-3 success to secure the first Senior Doubles title for the county since Pat and Michael Kirby’s success in 1979.

Clare’s Mark Rodgers and Tiernan Agnew won the Minor Doubles against Kilkenny (21-2, 19-21, 21-1), with Cork’s Catriona Casey and Aisling O’Keeffe defeating Roscommon’s Fiona Tully and Leona Doolin 21-4, 21-5 to win the Ladies’ Senior Doubles for the fourth time.

Kildare’s Leah Doyle and Mollie Dagg were 21-4, 21-11 winners against Clare in the Ladies’ Minor Doubles decider.

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