Moycullen’s Martin Mulkerrins has become only the second Galway man to win the All-Ireland minor 60x30 handball title.
Mulkerrins took the crown after a 21 - 14 win over Limerick’s Padraig O’Carroll, bridging an eight-years gap since Williamstown’s Noel McHugh won the title.
The 17-years-old had now added the 60x30 crown to the 40x20 titles he also won this year.
Mulkerrins went into the finals, held at Abbeylara in Co Longford, as the underdog, given that O’Carroll had advanced to last year’s final before losing to Stephen Cooney of Mayo. And it was the Limerick man who was first out of the blocks, going 14-7 ahead.
However Mulkerrins kept his composure and, coupled with excellent serving, he levelled matters at 16 aces all. O’Carroll made three further aces, but again Mulkerrins pegged him back to 19 aces a piece.
Mulkerrins made ace number 20 and served out for the opening game, completing a great comeback by winning the first game by 21-19, in a nail-biting finish.
In the second game O’Carroll once again took a lead, only to be pegged back to six apiece. Then Mulkerrins forged ahead to lead 15 aces to 8, but once again O’Carroll cut the margin to two. In an intensely entertaining finale Mulkerrins’ 16th ace seemed to break the Limerick man’s spirit and the end came quickly as Mulkerrins added the required five further points without reply to win the second game and his first minor softball title by 21- 14.