Joe Brennan (Monavea) has qualified for the Men’s Emerald Master B All-Ireland Final after a resounding victory over Tim O’Shea of Limerick in his All-Ireland semi-final encounter played last Saturday in Cappagh.
The Laois handballer travelled to Cappagh for his semi-final high in confidence after his marvellous victory over Rory Lynch of Dublin in the Leinster final.
In that final, Joe left himself with a mountain to climb in the opening game having fallen 17-6 behind.
However, Joe showed great determination to reel in his opponent and with some impressive kill shots and precise serving he mounted a remarkable comeback.
A shell-shocked Lynch was now struggling to repel the onslaught and Joe maintained his composure to incredibly take the opening game 21-17.
With the momentum firmly behind him, Joe pushed home his advantage to take the second game on a score line of 21-21 to capture the Men’s Emerald Masters B Leinster title.
This was a truly well-deserved title for the Laois handballer after coming incredibly close to winning Leinster titles in the last couple of years.
In the All-Ireland semi-final, Joe ensured that there was not to be a repeat of the slow start made in the Leinster final by going on the attack from the off.
Impressively, Joe repeatedly found the bottom of the wall whenever the chance to take a kill shot presented itself.
Joe never allowed the Munster champion to find his rhythm and deservedly took the opening game 21-9. The second game proved a much tighter affair.
The high intensity approach taken by Joe in the opening game started to take its toll with the pace of his game dropping slightly during the second.
This suited the Munster man who was beginning to produce the handball that helped him claim the Munster title so impressively earlier in the year.
Having taking an early lead in the second game, Joe now found himself under pressure to repel the comeback that the Limerick man was mounting.
Thankfully, Joe was to show all of his experience to claim the vital aces at the end of the game and hold on for a merited victory on a 21-16 score line.
Joe now progresses to the All-Ireland final on March 22nd in Kingscourt, Cavan where he will face a formidable opponent in Down’s Sean McNally.
The Down man produced a fine performance in his semi-final to overcome Galway’s Brendan McNeela 21-9, 21-10.
Best of luck to Joe.