Hardball Final

With one leg of the coveted Double safely tucked under his belt, Seamus now concentrated on the hardball game. For the second year in succession he reached the Hardball Final with a fine semi-final victory over the Talbot's Inch player, Joe Delaney by three games to one 21-15, 14-21, 21-14, 21-19.

Having already captured the Softball crown and with the experience of the previous year's Hardball Final behind him, it was only natural that the Monaghan representative should feel more than confident for the forthcoming Final with paddy Hickey of Tipperary at Kells in October. Come Final day and this confidence was fully justified as he led by two games to one and had fourteen aces to spare (15-1) in the fourth game.

It looked as if only a miracle could prevent the Hardball trophy joining the softball trophy on the Clones sideboard, but that miracle happened and the game went under an amazing transformation as Hickey fought back to win that fourth game and also the deciding fifth game.

To this day I wonder how such a change could possibly have come about, but a rash change-of-toss appears to have been the main reason for the title taking that sudden change of direction and heading for Tipperary.

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