Clare’s Diarmuid Nash & Colin Crehan have defeated reigning champions Paul Brady & Michael Finnegan (Cavan) in front of a packed, vocal gallery to claim the 2018 O’Neills All-Ireland Senior Doubles Title.
In their second year playing together, and their second successive final, the duo came in as underdogs but raced into a 13-1 lead in game one. Somehow though they sensationally let that lead slip as the Cavan men clawed their way back slowly, eventually winning 21-15. That was a real sucker blow, and despite a competitive opening to the second game, they found themselves 14-9 down. But then they made their charge, quickly closing the gap and seeing out the second 21-14, scoring 12 unanswered points.
This filled them with confidence and it was evident throughout the third game, as both players relaxed and found their range to ease to a 21-3 win. It was the first time the title came back to Clare in 39 years since the days of legendary Kirby brothers.
In the Ladies Final, Cork’s dominant Doubles partnership Catriona Casey & Aishling O’Keeffe cruised to their 4th title, seeing off first time finalists Fiona Tully & Leona Doolin (Roscommon) 21-4, 21-5.
In the Minor Finals, Clare’s Tiarnan Agnew & Mark Rodgers prevailed in a rather strange scoreline of 21-2, 19-21, 21-1 against Kilkenny’s Eoin Brennan & Padraig Foley. Kildare’s Leah Doyle & Mollie Dagg proved too strong for Clare pairing Bridin Dinane & Caitriona Millane, winning 21-4, 21-11.
- Mens Senior Doubles: Clare (Diarmuid Nash/Colin Crehan) dft Cavan (Paul Brady/Michael Finnegan) 21-15, 14-21, 21-3
- Ladies Senior Doubles: Cork (Catriona Casey/Aisling O’Keeffe) dft Roscommon (Fiona Tully/Leona Doolin) 21-4, 21-5
- Minor Doubles: Clare (Tiarnan Agnew/Mark Rodgers) dft Kilkenny (Padraig Foley/Eoin Brennan) 21-2, 19-21, 21-1
- Ladies Minor Doubles: Kildare (Leah Doyle/Molly Dagg) dft Clare (Catriona Millane/Bridin Dinan) 21-4, 21-11