Paul Brady in action against Charly Shanks in Los Angeles.
Handball maestro Paul Brady made it a clean sweep of 2012 "Majors" last night in Los Angeles when he added the US Open title to his Irish, world and US Nationals titles.
But the Cavan man was forced to do it the hard way, coming through a tiebreaker in his semi-final against Seattle's Sean Lenning and holding off a strong surge from Armagh's Charly Shanks in the decider.
Brady raced out to an 12-0 lead in game one, utilising huge hooks mid-rally, against his nervous-looking opponent, who was looking for his first-ever win over the Cavan ace.
A flat kill from the backwall made it 17-1 and had the crowd on their feet but New York-based Shanks wasn't giving up. He reeled off a few quick points with a useful spin serve down the right and, suddenly, Brady's World Championship and recent footballing exertions began to show as the Lurgan man rode his momentum to 20-15.
Brady finally closed out the first 21-15 with a backwall kill but was made to fight every inch of the way by the fired-up Lurgan man.
Shanks served first in game two and piled the pressure on. Brady broke clear at 11-8 but the Orchard right-hander marched back to lead 12-11. Brady finally found his groove, however, and he reeled off nine mesmerising points to take the title and the $10,000 cheque.
"Charly is playing really tough, his day will come, but I am just glad to get through," said Brady.
"This is a huge tournament, it's the one we all get up for so I'm delighted to get over the line."