The Gael Linn Cup is back to Westmeath following a tremendous win by Robbie McCarthy Jnr against Clare’s Diarmaid Nash.
His form has been extraordinary since the start of our 40×20 season. Robbie came home from our first ranking tournament of the year crowned golden gloves champion having defeated Diarmuid in the final. Robbie continued in his impressive pre-championship form when he cruised to success at the inaugural Southern Classic in Cork having defeated Cork’s Daniel Relihan in the final and was in top form heading into Championship.
In the round of 16, he showed no mercy as he beat Moycullen man Diarmuid Mulkerrins 21-4, 21-2 securing his passage to the quarters and semi-finals to be played over two days. In the quarter finals Robbie came out on top when he met Kilkenny’s Patrick Funchion and secured his place in the Semi Final on a scoreline of 21-6, 21-16. It was back to Abbeylara where Robbie came up against Peter’s brother, Peter in the Semi Final. Having defeated Peter on a scoreline of 21-8, 21-11, Robbie secured his place in the 2023 All-Ireland Men’s 40×20 Final.
It was late on Sunday evening when a packed gallery gathered for the 2023 Men’s Senior 40×20 Final in Kingscourt. While the banner man was coming back looking for his second Senior Championship win, the hunger was clear in every shot McCarthy throughout the match. Robbie cruised to a 9-1 lead in game one before Diarmaid made an effort to edge is way into the game coming to a scoreline of 10-5. After a quick timeout Robbie’s power was unstoppable bringing him to a 17-8 lead and following another brief timeout, he closed out game one on a scoreline of 21-10.
Game two was a little harder to get going as the Clare man jumped to a 3-0 lead. The players seemed to be alternating serve as they sat on the score for a bit. Taking advantage of some mishits from Nash, McCarthy broke off and got the ball rolling bringing him into the lead at 5-4. Robbie broke off once he reached a 12-8 lead and took it all the way to 17-8 before the lads took advantage of another time out. With a glove change at 19-12, Robbie continued to dominate on his return to court taking the title with a beauty of a rare tomahawk shot.
With this win being his fifth Senior singles 40×20 title, it now brings Robbie’s Senior All-Ireland medal haul to an impressive sweet sixteen (five 40×20, nine 60×30 softball and two 60×30 hardball). Massive Congratulations to the Mullingar Maestro on another fantastic display of handball.