SPRINGTOWN Amateur Boxing Club celebrated it’s debut tournament in Rafters Restaurant last Friday night, with club member, Joe Redden, named the “Boxer of the Night” after 10 top quality contests in a new boxing venue.
Full credit to tournament matchmaker, Daran McCann, who put on a highly polished show which was certainly appreciated by the large attendance.
History will record that the first boxer to enter the ring representing Springtown ABC in its first official tournament was Dale Kelly in a 45 kgs. clash with Shea McLarnon (St. John’s, Swatragh). Young Kelly was very impressive in his first outing as he delivered long range right hands into the body of his opponent. Both lads fought a very closely contested contest with Kelly winning by 20-17.
At featherweight, debutant Ciaran Porter took on Bernie McDonagh (Carndonagh) and this proved to be another pulsating contest. Porter, from Ballymagroarty, had the huge crowd behind him as he worked behind a long jab to score with deft right hooks but McDonagh made it very hard for him with his quick counters. However, in the end, Porter won 16-13.
At 52 kgs, Springtown’s Jordan Coyle made a dazzling debut when he met Ryan McPeake (St. Johns). This was a real ding-dong battle which had the crowd on their feet. Coyle, from Coshquin, showed tremendous skill in slipping McPeake’s jab and countering with a right hand over the top. This tactic reaped dividends for the Springtown boxer, picking up a 13-7 victory.
Raymond Tracey was next into the ring facing Conal McDaid (St. Bridget’s, Clonmany). Tracey, a real livewire, his electrifying exchanges were a joy to behold as he forced McDaid onto the back foot for all three rounds and ran out a convincing winner at 18-7.
Darren Forbes locked horns with Rhys McColgan (Carndonagh) and the pint-sized pugilists boxed a highly entertaining underage exhibition bout. Forbes, from Hazelbank, showed flashes of skill way beyond his tender years and surely has a very bright future.
At 36 kgs. Niall Richards took on Kyle O’Brien (St. Bridget’s) and this was a real nip and tuck affair with both boxers refusing to concede an inch and it came down to who wanted it more. Richards, spurred on by his huge following, seemed to steal the points, as he worked underneath the piercing jab of his taller opponent and there was a great sense of relief as he was announced the winner at 19-13.
At Bantamweight, Ryan Browne totally dominated James Gaile (Coleraine). Young Gaile had no answer to the blistering pace set by Browne who peppered his opponent with spear-like jabs and vicious right hands. Referee Gerry Wilson administered a standing 8 count to the Coleraine lad but Gaile continued to the final bell but lost out on a 19-2 scoreline.
The next contest was made at lightweight and paired D. J. Clarke with Matthew McGonigle (St. Bridget’s). This was a keenly contested match with neither boxer refusing to take a backward step. Clarke, from Bridgend, was intent on taking out his opponent with big right hooks but this tactic favoured the Clonmany boxer who countered well with his own left. This pair had met in the corresponding fixture at Clonmany when Clarke emerged victorious and now honours are even with McGonigle picking up a 54- 51 decision.
Boxer of the Night
Springtown’s rising star, Joe Redden faced St. Bridget’s Martin Kearney at Featherweight and the Nine Counties Novice Champion has been impressive in recent outings. He has met his Donegal opponent twice before and both shared a victory apiece with this contest to close off the triangle. Redden boxes from the back foot using his quick reflexes to evade his opponents’ advances, responding with quick fire combinations and Friday night was no different. Kearney too was conscious of the importance of this dual and used all his obvious skills in launching two handed attacks on his opponent. But Redden was on fire and was simply breathtaking in claiming a 17-9 victory.
Daran McCann faced the challenge of Adam Deighan who had travelled from Coleraine for what was always going to be a highly charged contest between two big hitters. McCann operated from the centre of the ring behind a rapier-like jab which gave the Coleraine man no time to set up any significant attacks. However Deighan caught him with a left hook which stunned the Springtown man, forcing the referee to give a standing 8 count. McCann was leading 5-4 at the end of the first round but it was clear that he hadn’t recovered fully from that blow and Gerry Wilson called a halt towards the end of the second.
Tournament organisers, Min and Denis McCann, complimented the high standard of boxing and thanked the officials appointed by the County Derry Board and the clubs who had travelled to make the evening such a success.
They also acknowledged the staff at Rafters and the volunteers who conducted hospitality and thanked Eglinton ABC for the use of their ring.
St. Mary’s in Tower Hotel
on Saturday night
Meanwhile, St. Mary’s Amateur Boxing Club will host their first show of the season in the Tower Hotel this Saturday night when a team from Drimnagh ABC (Dublin) will form the opposition.
It is hoped to have at least 12 quality contests down for decision with St. Mary’s top boxers in action.
Full details of this weekend’s bill will be published in Friday’s issue of the “Journal” and admission is £5 and £2 (payable at the door).