Story by gaahandball.ie
It is a repeat affair in Saturday’s O’Neills All-Ireland Senior Doubles Final as 11 time champions Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan (Cavan) take on Diarmuid Nash & Colin Crehan (Clare) at Kingscourt.
Having defeated the Banner men in straight games last year, the champs will start as favourites again, and have looked comfortable in their two outings thus far. In the QF’s they took out the Mulkerin brothers 21-12, 21-15, before seeing off the Funchion brothers 21-8, 21-13 in the SF.
Having reached the final last year in their first season playing together, Nash & Crehan have grown into their partnership and will be confident of an improvement from last years final. In this years QF however they were forced to a tiebreak by Kerry’s Dominic Lynch & Jack O’Shea, but they looked good in a good 21-14, 21-13 SF win over the 2016 champions Eoin Kennedy & Carl Browne (Dublin).
So the stage is set for the two clear best partnerships in the country over the last two campaigns, with the Senior Finals (Ladies first followed by the Mens) beginning at 4.30pm on Saturday.
The Ladies Final sees three time champs Catriona Casey & Aishling O’Keeffe (Cork) look strong favourites against Roscommon’s Fiona Tully & Leona Doolin. The numbers competing in the Ladies Doubles has been low in recent years meaning it is difficult to gauge any form, however given the experience and quality of the Cork girls, it will require a huge performance from first time finalists Tully & Doolin to bring the title back west.