Blaine Claims Under-21 Crown

Blaine Dobbins with Club coaches following his Under-21 National Championship victory in the National Stadium on Friday night last.
Blaine Dobbins with Club coaches following his Under-21 National Championship victory in the National Stadium on Friday night last.

ST. JOSEPH’S Amateur Boxing Club celebrated further success in Dubin’s National Stadium last weekend, recording another National Championship win for the Galliagh club.

The club’s talented light-flyweight, Blaine Dobbins, claimed the National Under-21 Championship title on Friday night having defeated Belfast’s T. J. Waite in what proved a thrilling contest.

Indeed, having cruised through his preliminary bouts, Blaine and Waite opened the National Finals as the light-flyweight division was the first final of the evening.

Boxing over the new 3x3 minute rounds, it was the Derry lad who took the opening round on a slender 5-4 scoreline, both boxers landing quality scoring shots.

The second round saw both boxers settle in their rhythm, both producing great skill and accuracy which had the large crowd on its toes.

Waites was controlled and calm when under pressure from the St. Joseph’s boxer whose slick southpaw style caused his Belfast opponent no shortage of problems.

However, with both boxers continuing to score, it was Dobbins who retained his one point lead going into the final round (8-7).

With all to play for over the final three minutes, the Belfast boxer opened the final round on a mission having landed a scoring right hand but the St. Joseph’s lad wasn’t to be denied.

Having retained his composure while under sustained pressure, he went on to produced his best round of the contest catching Waites with some impressive combinations and he deservedly went on to win the round by six clear points (16-10) and, of course, the Under-21 Championship title.

Blaine will now continue his training as his next assignment involves the Ulster and Irish Intermediate Championships which will be staged in Belfast and in Dublin.

O’Kane Tops Poll in

Central Council Vote

Meanwhile, another top honour was bestowed on another Derry man recently when the Irish Amateur Boxing Board staged it’s annual Congress in Buncrana.

Eugene O’Kane, the chairman of the Oakleaf Amateur Boxing Club, located in the Brandywell area of the city, recorded a superb victory when topping the poll in the election of officials seeking places on the high powered Irish Naitonal Council.

The Oakgrove Integrated College caretaker received 185 votes and, for the third time in his career, he emerged the popular choice having also topped the poll in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Commenting after his election, the Oakleaf chairman, said he was delighted to have received so many votes, but he felt it was important, that the North-West area was represented on the National Council.

“I made a decision to stand down from both the Ulster Council and the Co. Derry Board so that I could concentrate more on developing my own club, Oakleaf A.B.C, as well as continuing my representation at national level,” said Eugene.

“However, my son, Eugene jun., was elected onto the Ulster Council this year so I think it’s fair to suggest that I will be kept regularly informed on what’s happening at Ulster level.

“Obviously, I’m delighted to have received so many votes and to have topped the poll has given me a personal boost, but I have always felt that the North-West area needs a represenative if only to keep the National Council informed of the talent which currently exists in our our area,” he concluded.