Hynes and Carty see off Walsh and Carey in marathon clash at Wexford
Written by Antoin Ó Braoin, Rúnaí Contae
In the end it was the fierce will to win and the sharing of the workload that shaded it for Tommy Hynes and Paul Carty, Wexford, as they retained their Leinster Masters A Doubles title with a 21-16, 17-21, 21-10 win against Ducksy Walsh and DJ Carey, Kilkenny in a classic encounter played in front of a packed house at St. Mary’s, Wexford last night.
This was a match that lived up to the pre match hype as the spectators were treated to a 110 minute marathon of everything that makes 60×30 handball so special. Long rallies with incredible retrieving by all four players, terrific killing by Hynes and Walsh in particular, poise and elegance throughout from the so talented Carey and maybe most of all, the insatiable workrate of Carty which never wavered one iota throughout a very physically punishing contest.
The scores were level on several occasions during a hotly contested first game when after a flying start from Wexford saw them take a 5-0 lead, Kilkenny came back to level at 5-5. Walsh and Carey then forged ahead by 12-8 before Hynes and Carty caught them at 13 all. From there to the finish it was rally after rally as first one side and then the other appeared to have the momentum required for victory but it was the champions from Wexford who kept their nerve to get home by 21-16 after the scores had been tied at 16-16.
The second game was all Hynes and Carty as they began to impose their attacking game on the Noresiders right from the off. An 8-1 lead soon became 15-9 as the sheer workrate of Hynes and Carty made score getting by Walsh and Carey very difficult and after several scoreless hands from the Kilkenny players the end appeared to be coming a lot sooner than had been anticipated. It was then however that we saw what it is that has made these two players great as they slowly but surely began the task of saving this tie. A flurry of points, some of a rather soft nature, got them going again and as the hitherto dominant Hynes and Carty wilted somewhat in the face of a series of fine ‘kills’ from Walsh, the scores were levelled at 17-17. From there to the finish the deadly ‘Ducksy’ gave a masterclass in how to close out a game as he availed of every opportunity, many of which were created by the good passing shots of Carey, to win the rallies and tie up the match with a 21-17 win.
With their Leinster and All Ireland title now firmly under threat Wexford were out quickly for the third game and just as quickly into their stride. Like all great partnerships in sport what had gone before had been forgotten and with work to be done it was back to grinding it out once more. Once again it was they who began well and as the pace began to tell on the Kilkenny legs it was Hynes and Carty who looked the stronger. Carty in particular began to influence matters more and more and while even he would probably agree that his all around handball ability might not match the high standard of the other three players on court, when it comes to work rate, determination and sheer will to win, he plays second fiddle to nobody and that includes those three luminaries of the sport. Well placed serves caused all sorts of problems for the great Walsh and when Carty followed with a few corner kills the champions were on their way. Their 12-3 advantage was paired back to 14-7 as Kilkenny rallied once more but the punishing pace had taken its toll and when Hynes pulled the trigger several times in quick succession it was all over. The final scoreline of 21-10 to Wexford was about right and now the Hynes-Carty bandwagon rolls on to another All Ireland semi final. Three in a row looks more and more possible after this while the brilliant Walsh and Carey lost nothing but a handball match in Wexford.