Written by AOB
Matches including group games, semi finals and finals continue throughout the week in the county softball championship, the highlight of which will be the senior open singles final between the holder Tommy Hynes (St. Mary’s) and championship table topper Barry Goff (Castlebridge). This takes place at the recently renovated Taghmon court on Friday next and will see the return of major handball matches to a place once famed for its great names and great games.
And it is with a nod towards the men who graced this historic venue in the past that we say the two men who will face off against each other on Friday are eminently worthy of being spoken about in the same breath as those who have gone before. Each has won All Ireland senior doubles titles as well as a plethora of other national events and additionally, they have dominated the Wexford softball scene with great authority for more than 20 years.
They won their maiden county senior singles titles within 12 months of each other, Hynes back in 1997 and Goff the following year and in the intervening 22 years only three other players have managed to get their names on this iconic roll of honour. Gavin Buggy back in 2009 was the last to break the sequence and since then it has been this year’s finalists who shared the titles. Currently Hynes leads the way with 10 (5 in the last 6 years), but Goff on 9 will have ambitions to level things up after taking a break from the game during that period.
Whatever way it goes on Friday evening these two extraordinary handballers have nothing left to prove to the handball world, but when they walk on to the court at Taghmon, that will count for nought. It is telling that each has attained, and continues to maintain, a level of fitness more commonly found in handballers of half their age and it shows that irrespective of what the rest of us think, to these players it still matters.
It makes for an intriguing finale to a senior championship which this year featured almost 60 games. When they clashed earlier in the league stages it was Goff who came out on top but neither he nor Hynes will attach any particular significance to that outcome. The match gets underway at 7.30 and a titanic battle looks certain before we see whose name will be carved opposite 2019 on the Lyng Cup.
To see the full programme for the week click County Softball Fixture 20