Mulkerrins brothers through to All-Ireland final

Martin and Diarmuid Mulkerrins have advanced to their first doubles final together after a tight battle against Cork opponents at the weekend.

The brothers progressed to the All-Ireland 4-wall doubles final after a tiebreak victory in their All-Ireland semi final against Daniel Relihan and Michael Hedigan.

The first game was a tight affair with the Galway pairing going 8-5 ahead before the Cork men scored seven aces in a row to lead 12-8. After calling a timeout, the Mulkerrins regained the momentum, and took six aces in a row to lead 14-12. Older brother Martin struck some excellent shots in the back of the court to allow his brother Diarmuid opportunities at front wall kill shots, which he duly took.

However the Liscarroll club men refused to lie down and reclaimed a 19-16 lead. The Galway pairing won the next three points to level the game for the seventh time at 19 points apiece. A Diarmuid Mulkerrins kill shot from an excellent serve pushed the Galway pair 20-19 ahead, and one point away from the opening game. Martin Mulkerrins then struck an unreturned serve to give the Moycullen men the advantage.

The underdogs responded to losing the opening game by establishing a commanding 10-0 lead. The Cork men managed to pin their opponents back in the court with some excellent serving and roof shots. However, the Mulkerrins brothers reduced the deficit to 15-8, but it was as close as they got as their opponents closed out the second game to force a tiebreaker.

Relihan and Hedigan went 3-0 ahead before the Galway pairing struck 11 unanswered points to take a three-point lead. Martin was able to dictate the play from the back of the court as he frequently pinned Hedigan back in the court and forced errors from the Cork man. The Mulkerrins brothers went 16-6 ahead as they began to read their opponents serves and force them back in the court. They won four of the next six aces to lead 20-8. They served it out at the second time of asking to win on a final score line of 21-19 8-21 21-8.

The Moycullen men now face the reigning champions Diarmuid Nash and Colin Crehan in the final in two weeks' time.

All-Ireland Doubles Semi Finals

Emerald Masters B Doubles: Pierce Lalor/Brendan McNeela (Galway ) v Tony Currie/Philip O'Neill (Antrim ) 14-21 21-18 21-20 Over 70 Doubles: Morgan Darcy/John Kelehan (Galway ) v Richard Murphy/Seamus Graham (Antrim ) 21-5 21-6 Silver Masters B Doubles: Graham Casburn/Morgan Duggan (Galway ) v Seamus McCrory/Rory Grugan (Tyrone ) 21-15 17-21 21-7 Over 35 B Doubles: Kevin Gamble/Fionntan Gamble (Antrim ) v Kieran Hanley/Patrick Ward (Galway ) 21-6 21-12 Junior Doubles: Seamus Conneely/Conor Noone (Galway ) v Jordan O'Neill/Mark Rainey (Antrim ) 4-21 15-21 Under 21 Doubles: Diarmuid Mulkerrins/Cian Ó Chonghaille (Galway ) v Matthew Sweeney/Dermot Boyle (Monaghan ) 21-1 21-0 Ladies Junior Doubles: Aisling Ní Mhaoileáin/Eimear Ní Bhiadha (Galway ) walkover against Caitlin Conway/Elizabeth McGarvey (Tyrone ) Emerald Masters A Doubles: Donal Armstrong/Stephen Brady (Antrim ) v Jimmy Connaughton/Martin Ward (Galway ) 21-5 21-19/

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