Oakleaf Amateur Boxing Club picked up a hat-trick of titles at the National Boy 4 Youth 1 & 2 Championships which were held in Dublin’s National Stadium last weekend.
European Bronze medallists Francie Stokes and Brett McGinty both recorded impressive victories which came against Dublin and Connaught opponents respectively while reigning Irish Champion Ryan Green defeated the very game Tiernan Burns (Holy Family Golden Gloves ABC) 12-5 on points to complete a great day for the local Brandywell based club.
St. Johnston lad, Brett McGinty (Boy 4, 63 kgs.), boxing in his preliminary contest, came up against an old foe in Castlebar’s Colm Quinn who actually took the Donegal youngster to a count-back decision the last time they met.
However, on this occasion, a fully fit McGinty never took a backward step and powered his way to an impressive 14-6 points win.
In the semi-finals the Oakleaf A.B.C. member was pitted against the fancied James McDonagh (Clan Nafa A.B.C) but the Oakleafer again took the fight to the Dundalk boxer catching the talented McDonagh with scoring hits to the body and head, taking the decision on a 16-9 points win.
Brett’s opponent in the final was Michael McDonagh from Ennis but the Co. Clare boxer proved to be no match for McGinty, who won on a very comfortable 16-4 points scoreline.
Team-mate, Francie Stokes, then lifted the 46 kgs. Boy 4 title when outpointing Pat Roche (Castlebar A.B.C.) on points, 14-2,
The 15-year-old St. Columb’s College student was once again hitting top form at the right time and in the final he displayed all his skill and movement, using a great variety of punches with great accuracy.
On his way to the final the Derry lad had disposed of Darren Barnwell (Avona A.B.C., Dublin) 15-7. Once again young Stokes showed just why so many amateur boxing enthusiasts believe Stokes boasts such a big future, provided he can maintain the commitment required to reach his full protential in the sport.
Meanwhile, Irish International, Ryan Green, made it a hat-trick of wins for the Brandywell outfit with another comfortable 14-5 points victory over Tiernan Burns (Holy Family Golden Gloves ABC) in the Youth 1, 52 kgs. final.
The St. Joseph’s student, also defeated Olympic Galway’s Francie Barrett, son of Olympic boxer, Francie Barrett.
Green, who had been boxing brilliantly, always seemed to get off the first and last punches in his rallies to see off the durable Barrett who travelled over from England especially for these Championships.
Oakleaf A.B.C. coaches Kevin McGilloway and Micky Dobbins both were understandably up beat with their young boxers’ performances, adding that the Brandywell outfit were the only club to get three winners and that’s a measure of just how much the boxers have improved over the season.
Dobbins was quick to bring his charges back down to earth, adding that these wins will mean nothing if they do not win the forthcoming National Cadet Championships which will help select the Irish team to compete in the European and World Championships.