A BUMPER attendance arrived at the Half-Way House, Burnfoot, last Saturday night to support the Illies Golden Gloves ABC’s first big tournament of the new season.
And the Inishowen club’s coaches, Eamon Duffy and Stephen Friel can take great credit for their match-making skills with 15 contests down for decision.
The opening bout saw pint-sized puncher, Charles Delaney (Illies) and St. Joseph’s ABC member Seamus Deeney in action at 29 kgs. and the keenly contested affair saw the Illies’ lad secure a worthy unanimous points win.
In a schoolboys 42 kgs. contest, Barry McShane (Belfast) faced Illies member, Odhran Stewart and the St. Paul’s boxer always had the upper hand securing a unanimous points verdict.
Illies John Moran (33 kgs.), one of two brothers representing the host club, was paired with Shane Murray (Eglinton) and Moran emerged a deserved winner after three hard fought rounds.
National Schoolboy champion, Eamon Sweeney (Illies), locked horns with the rugged Ruairi Maksey (St. Paul’s, Belfast) and it was young Sweeney’s ability to box on the front foot which gave him that vital edge when winning on a split decision.
Kyle McDaid (Illies) turned on the style in his contest against Carrigart’s Martin Lee Lynagh, the home boxer outpointing his opponent with a skilled display of ringcraft.
In the sixth contest, Martin Quinn (Illies) was involved in a battle against St. Joseph’s ABC’s Dale Kelly at 57 kgs. Both boxers exploded into action, testing the weight of either other’s punches in toe-to-toe exchanges. In fact, this contest was fought at a ferocious pace with the Kelly winning following a split-decision.
At 60 kgs., Joseph Redden (Illies) had too much skill and know-how when he faced Letterkenny southpaw, Michael Ward, when recording his third victory of the season.
And in another absorbing contest Matthew Doherty (Illies) emerged a majority points winner over Jake McHugh (Two Castles ABC, Newtownstewart).
David Coyle (Illies) was paired with Gary Canning (Carrigart) in an intermediate Middleweight contest, and it was Coyle’s accurate jabs which gave him a split-decision verdict.
Illies Aaron Harkin entertained Bray’s Casey Berry, a contest which had the attendance on the edge of their seats. As the boxers swapped some hefty combinations, the Co. Wicklow lad secured a very close split points decision.
Former Irish champion, Leigh Moran (Illies) outpointed Donegal Town southpaw, Michael Carr (St. John Bosco’s) in an intermediate 50 kgs. contest.
In the intermediate 52 kgs. division, reigning Ulster champion, John Cassidy (Illies) lost out to Colin McKay, St. Paul’s, Belfast on a unanimous verdict while Oran Mullan (Illies) outpointed Stephen Doherty (Letterkenny) on a majority points verdict at 81 kgs.
Finally, in a cruiseweight (85 kgs.) contest, Michael McConigley (Letterkenny) outpointed Stephen O’Sullivan (Illies) after a unimous decision.