Hynes reigns supreme in as Berry flounders under the pressure


For a while it looked like going to plan for Mikie Berry as the underdog had reigning champion Tommy Hynes scrambling around Ballymitty court chasing shadows. The Barntown player was flattening balls at every opportunity and looking good in doing so, while Hynes was clearly off the pace having spent almost three weeks recovering from injury.

Tommy Hynes confirmed his position as Wexford 's top handballer for the third year in a row by defeating Mikie Berry, Barntown 13-21, 21-12, 21-3
Tommy Hynes, St. Mary’s confirmed his position as Wexford’s top handballer for the third year in a row by defeating Mikie Berry, Barntown 13-21, 21-12, 21-3 in the Senior Open Singles final at Ballymitty

But after Berry had taken the first more easily than the 21-13 scoreline suggested, Hynes slowly but surely got to the pitch of the game and as the rallies lengthened Berry found scoring much more difficult. After an opening game when he punished almost every mistake the champion made, he now found he needed to create chances for himself. Sadly from his perspective Hynes was very accommodating in this regard and as from then on we saw clearly the difference between a good intermediate player and a good senior player.

With Hynes using his experience to take Berry on numerous ‘tours of the court’ the challenger was bound to wane and when he did, Hynes had the craft and the energy to take advantage.  After the scores had been level in the early stages Hynes pulled clear to lead 12-7 and with little coming back from Berry the outcome of the second game was an inevitable 21-12 win which levelled the tie at one set apiece.

The third was a victory stroll for the champion as he simply pulverized Berry into submission. Now fully warmed up and wound up, he looked unrecognizable from the Tommy Hynes we had seen in the opening stages of this final and more like the player who had hammered Gavin Buggy in the 2013 and 2014 deciders.

The winning margin was 21-3 in his favour and clearly the desire to win his third county senior open singles in a row far outweighed concerns over his physical well-being on the night.

A true champion in every respect!