Strong finish seals title
Published 02/04/2016 | 00:00
A strong finish sealed the All-Ireland Under-14 40 x 20 boys' doubles title for Diarmuid Moore and Josh Kavanagh recently.
It was a final destined to produce great handball as the brilliant Wexford duo, who had beaten Tipperary in a nail-biting semi-final, faced off against a top-class Galway pairing who had ended the hopes of a strong Tyrone partnership.
It took a superb performance from the Wexford players to see off the Connacht champions after three outstanding games of handball.
Cummins and Collins began the match in impressive manner and after dominating most of the early exchanges they raced away to secure the first game on a scoreline of 15-7. Moore and Kavanagh did take a bit of a battering in that opener but they quickly re-grouped from the re-start and, settling into the match, they took the play away from their opponents with a series of top-class serves and 'kills'.
Score by score they edged ahead and from the halfway point onward they pulled away to level the tie with a 15-7 win.
On foot of that recovery, it was expected from Wexford that they would start the tie-break well, but the Galway lads got their noses in front and at 10-6 ahead they were only five points from outright victory.
Sadly for them it was not to be as Moore and Kavanagh had been in difficult situations before and they simply refused to lie down and accept defeat. Point by point they closed the gap to 10-10 and from there to the finish they demonstrated how to play handball under severe pressure.
The gallant Cummins and Collins tried everything they knew but it was like trying to push back the tide as the Wexford boys decided they wanted this All-Ireland title very badly. From 10-6 down they never conceded again and at the finish few would deny that this promising young duo were good value for their 15-10 win.
It was a victory for skill and determination and, by becoming only the third Wexford pair to win this prestigious title, they have shown that hard work and preparation are as necessary as skill, if victory is to be achieved.