ST Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club ended its season in style with an excellent night of top quality contests in Pitchers Bar & Restaurant on Friday night.
The highlight of the night was the Galliagh club’s senior light-welterweight, Kevin McIntyre’s bruising battle with Sean Duffy from Sean Doran Boxing Club in Keady which was the final bout of the evening.
Unfortunately, the Derry man emerged on the wrong side of a 22-20 decision from the judges after three thrilling rounds, however, McIntrye can take plenty of confidence from his performance.
The contest was worth the admission price alone as both boxers stood toe-to-toe for the duration, exchanging solid blows throughout.
Duffy gained advantage in the first round using his strength to back McIntrye onto the ropes while landing some heavy punches.
McIntyre came back strongly in the second round and landed some great combinations to set up a mouth-watering finale and both produced their best in the final round but at the final bell Duffy’s hand was raised aloft.
In another outstanding contest, senior middleweight Connor Coyle emerged victorious against Crumlin’s John Corcorran.
The Galliagh man got off to a blistering start, dominating the opening round with fast and accurate combinations. He caught his opponent with a succession of devastating right hands and Corcorran did well to survive the onslaught.
To the Dublin man’s credit, Corcorran dug deep and came back strong in the second round, demonstrating why he is considered to be one of the toughest middleweights in Ireland.
After weathering the storm Corcorran caught Coyle on the ropes on a number of occasions but the St Joe’s representative was able to use his superior speed to fight off the Dublin man and again end the round strongly.
The final round was an all-action three minutes as Corcorran attempted to use his strength to bully Coyle, but the Galliagh man was able to control the pace and land his own accurate punches.
The crowd showed their appreciation for the top class contest as Coyle was declared the winner by an 18-15 margin.
Earlier in the night, Blaine Dobbins exacted revenge on former Irish Under-21 and Intermediate champion, Evan Metcalf for his All-Ireland final defeat in 2010.
Both boxers started the contest fast with Metcalf scoring to the body but Dobbins countered well and used his southpaw skills to great effect. In the second round Dobbins took a slight lead after scoring with accurate right hands.
Metcalf, however, finished the round strongly to set up a superb final round. Both boxers gave their all in the last with some powerful punches exchanged and both boxers scored with accurate shots.
Dobbins maintained his composure and with the crowd urging him on, he was able to retain his lead to end up a 12-10 winner. The victory was the perfect confidence-booster for the St Joe’s man as he prepares for the Under-22 Championships in August which will act as qualifiers for the World Championships in September next.
Meanwhile, Michael Stokes and J. Hara (Errigal) got the evening off to an excellent start with both young boys exhibiting great skill. This was a no decision contest and given that both boys are only nine years-old, they both certainly have a bright future in the ring.
In the first bout of the night (Boy 1, 33kg), Connor McLaughlin took on St Canice’s Brandon Newland in a closely fought contest with Newland edging the first round.
McLaughlin was more aggressive in the second round and the fight was all square going into the final round. Newland landed the cleaner punches in the last round to win the contest 8-7.
This was quickly followed by Oran Ferry’s Boy 2, 36 kg contest with Colin O’Neil of Errigal. Ferry produced an excellent performance and was in control throughout the three rounds. Boxing behind a solid jab he scored repeatedly with straight right hands to emerge a convincing 11-6 winner.
In the third bout of the evening Eoghan Boyle’s Boy 1, 33kg clash with Dylan O’Kane (St Canice’s) was an evenly fought contest. Boyle found it difficult at times to get into his stride as O’Kane dropped his head and was cautioned on a number of occasions by the referee. O’Kane eventually won the contest 7-5 but Boyle, as usual, provided a very good account of himself.
In a Boy 4, 60kg bout, Patrick Doherty took on Michael Doherty (Buncrana) and the St Joe’s member had an excellent first round, using his reach well to score with accurate jabs and right hands. He maintained his lead throughout the contest to secure a 10- 5 victory.
Ruairi Deeney and Adrian Maguire (Keady) were next into the ring in Youth 1, 48kg contest. Deeney produced his best performance in the ring to date to stop his opponent in the third round of this all-action contest. Deeney had scored well with both hands from the first bell and used his footwork to get into great position to score with his very accurate right hand.
The referee stopped the contest following two standing counts in the third round.
Next up were Ryan McKinney and Buncrana’s John Hegarty in a Boy 3, 52kg bout and McKinney was in control from the start, using his superior counter-punching in the first round to gain the lead. He pressured his opponent back to the ropes in the next two rounds and came out a convincing winner by 10-5.
In an evenly matched Intermediate, 70kg contest, Gavin Kyle, in his first outing in the ring, took on Eglinton’s Joe Campell. The first two rounds were shared but Campbell landed the cleaner shots in the final round to win the contest by 12 points to seven.
Daithi Glennon then entered the ring for his Boy 4, 54kg bout with Brandon Kennedy from Keady. Glennon finished off the season in great style with a very convincing victory over the Armagh boy who is the current Irish champion.
Glennon used his southpaw skills to great effect, scoring well throughout with his left hand and right hook. He boxed superbly and was a very deserved winner by 13 points to eight in the end. If he can carry this form into next season then he is certain to gain success at provincial and national level.
And finally Gerard Storey was disappointed to lose out 12-9 to Tony McGlen of Crumlin in what was an excellent Youth 1, 60kg clash.
Everyone involved with St Joseph’s ABC would like to thank Mehawl Jack and the staff at Pitchers for helping to make the night a great success.
Also the Co. Derry Board and St John’s Ambulance for assisting on the night. Thanks also to everyone who attended on the night and who have supported the club throughout the year.