Mick Armstrong retains his county GMAS title after a titanic battle with Michael Rossiter
Golden Masters A singles final at St Josephs
Everybody agrees that covid has had a detrimental effect on many of those taking part in the masters (overage) grades, but for a rare few its almost as if time has stood still and they are able to carry on with the same intensity as they did in pre covid times. Last night’s county 4-wall golden masters A singles final between the holder Mick Armstrong, Kilmyshall and Michael Rossiter, Ballyhogue may not have been quite like that in every respect, but it still produced a fiercely contested tie that lasted for well over an hour!
These two warriors have undoubtedly lost a little of their mobility since we last saw them a couple of years ago, but their determination and will to win remains undiminished and this was amply demonstrated throughout a physical draining encounter. The first game ebbed and flowed throughout, with each looking a winner at various stages, but after the scores had been level on 10 occasions, it was Armstrong who got the vital points to adge home 21-18.
The second game saw the Kilmyshall stalwart fly out of the starting blocks and he looked set for a comfortable victory as he dominated proceedings on his way to an 18-8 lead. It was then however that we saw the re emergence of the fighting quailites that have made Rossiter one of the most difficult players to beat, anywhere within the sport of handball. Although clearly feeling the pace of a frenetic match, he simply refused to go quietly and suddenly the comeback was underway. Point by point he closed the gap and as the deficit narrowed it was Armstrong who was displaying the most distress signals. At 18-all you’d put your money on Rossiter, but from somewhere Armstrong found a blast of energy to get his nose in front when it mattered most. With the help of a fortunate bounce he got to 20 and when the chance presented itself for the winner he took it with aplomb for a 21-19 victory.
In defiance of covid, two giants of the game had again produced a classic!