Paddy Haughton and Matthew Hynes topple Cork at Clonmel to take All Ireland 35 and over B doubles title
On another fine weekend for Wexford handball Paddy Haughton and Matthew Hynes added to the successes already achieved in the 2018 All Ireland softball (60×30) championship by beating a strong Cork pairing of Donnacha O’Dea and Phillip O’Carroll 21-19, 21-10 in the 35 and over B doubles final played today at Clonmel.
The first game may have been key to the eventual outcome of this contest and when Wexford came from 17-19 down to win it 21-19 it must surely have been deflating to the Leesiders who had come from behind to lead near the finish. That said Haughton and Hynes never lost their composure when it mattered most and when they kept Cork scoreless in four successive ‘hands’ at 17-19 it paved the way for their opening game win.
The loss of that game and the intensity of the exchanges appeared to have unsettled O’Dea and O’Carroll as they were somewhat slow to return to the court for the second game. The Wexfordmen waited patiently for the restart but when it came it was O’Dea who notched up the first couple of points to give Cork an early lead. That was as good as it got for the Munster champions however as Haughton and Hynes quickly regained the initiative to race into an 8-3 lead. The St. Mary’s pairing had showed terrific understanding throughout this championship and their far better balance meant that each could rely on the other no matter where the threat came from. It mattered now with an All Ireland in their cross hairs and from there to the finish each displayed a measure of craft and guile, allied to a terrific physicality that their opponents were simply unable to live with. The benefits of a tough and successful Wexford championship was there for all to see as Haughton and Hynes took control to run out comprehensive, if not comfortable, 21-10 winners. It capped a wonderful 60×30 season for both players, but particularly Haughton who a few weeks ago had also captured the singles title in this grade.