The opening day of the 2012 World Handball Championships proved to be a hugely successful one to get “the ball rolling” as over 2,000 turned out to watch a host of action as well as the evening USA v Ireland Showdown which involved Kilkenny’s Michael ‘Ducksy’ Walsh in the impressive glass showcourt.
The atmosphere was electric in the cauldron of the Citywest arena and in the Showdown event it was first strike to USA as they defeated Ireland by 3-1 on the night.
World Handball Champion, Paul Brady, hit the ground running in the opener with a series of phenomenal low serving which had Dave Fink in trouble early on. The tie developed with some brilliant shooting and retrieving from there before Brady made it 1-0 to Ireland on the night by 21-9.
Next up was the eagerly awaited doubles clash involving Robbie McCarthy and Brian Carroll, who took on US number 1 doubles team, Luis Moreno and Andy Nett. This provided some sensational retrieving and shooting from both camps before the US duo edged matters at the business end of proceedings to level the match at 1-1, with a 21-18 victory.
The second singles match in the showdown brought a rip-roaring tie involving Michael Gregan and Sean Lenning but it was USA who moved in front overall with a 21-20 win, making it 2-1.
Last up on court also brought a sensation contest as the might and experience of Ducksy Walsh and Tom Sheridan, who had won the US Open in 2010, attempted to salvage the tie for Ireland when they took on Naty Alvarado and Luis Cordova. The legendary Irish pair lead by 16-14 at a stage but it went to the wire before two sensational low pass drives from Alvarado saw the USA claim the Showdown Challenge by 21-18.
Overall a superb opening day was enjoyed in The Citywest Arena which continues to gather major attention from the general public, with all the action building up towards a very exciting weekend.
The action has continued on Friday as a host of underage World Championship Grades have got underway while The Mens Open World Singles Championship will take centre stage on Saturday as Ireland’s Paul Brady begins his World title defence at 2pm on the Glass showcourt.
Follow this link for all results handball.servasport.com/tournament/mat…