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Handball: Brady and Shanks lead Irish challenge in USA

In Belfast, there’s flooding. In the Sunshine State of California though, two Ulster men will go head-to-head for the 62nd United States Handball Association National Four-Wall Championships.

IN Belfast, there’s flooding. In the Sunshine State of California though, two Ulster men will go head-to-head for the 62nd United States Handball Association National Four-Wall Championships.

Cavan's Paul Brady held the title for seven consecutive years, between 2004 and 2010. A fractured finger kept him out last year, but he has returned to the courts in brilliant form. Last May he waltzed his way to his eighth Irish Championship title in a row.

Aiming to derail him will be Co.Armagh's Charlie Shanks. The Lurgan man, now resident in New York, is ranked as number 5 in the USA’s ‘Race4Eight' Circuit.

"Charlie will be the main competition from Ireland and he will have benefited greatly from the experience of re-locating and playing in the US circuit this past year," said Brady.

Last years' Race winner, Luis Moreno from Tucson will be expected to lead the competition from America, but the challenges of Seattle's Sean Lenning and local hero Naty Alvarado will be worth keeping an eye on. Texan Allan Garner, the world runner-up to Brady in 2009 is also a contender.

Brady will clash with the winner of Miami’s Nelson Quintero or Suhn Lee of Lake Forest, Illinois in his opening match. Should seeding go according to plan, Brady will encounter Naty Alvarado Jr in the last 4.

Shanks will meet Dylan Hernandez (Van Nuys, California) in round 1. Should the 5th seed progress though the earlier stages, he will likely face Seattle’s Sean Lenning in the quarter final.

Belfast Telegraph