Sports

Winning feeling for Two Castles at Nine Counties

Thursday, 22 December 2016

TWO Castles Boxing Club, Newtownstewart, had a successful day in Toombebridge at the weekend, winning four gold in the Ulster Nine County Championships.

Many boxing purists think that this Championship reflects the 'true' championships of the province, as County Antrim (and therefore Belfast) boxers are allowed to compete. Antrim is treated as a separate province (as is County Dublin) in the Irish National Championship Qualifiers. 

First up was Tiarnan Mayse, who after a sticky first round eventually got to grips with old rival Harry O'Donnell, from Moneyglass. Both boxers had success in rounds two and three, but in a sometimes scrappy though always competitive contest, Mayse landed more scoring shots to win. Overall,Tiarnan showed greater desire against a tough opponent to collect his third title in these championships.

Immediately after Tiarnan was Grainne Gallagher who boxed well to beat Tigernach Maguire, from Immaculata, Belfast. The girls had met before, with the score one each, so there was plenty of motivation for Gallagher, and she had trained well for this bout for a well deserved victory.

Next in the ring was Jude Gallagher, seeking his sixth Nine County title. Gallagher renewed acquaintances with Ryan Roy of Lisburn, and gave one of the best displays of the afternoon to win all three rounds comfortably. Roy is a good opponent, and is unfortunate to constantly meet Jude in major finals and semi finals , but credit to Ryan as he never avoids the bout.

Last in action was Padhraic O'Donnell against Star Belfast's John Paul Hale. This was a good contest, the opening stanza could have went either way, and both lads left everything in the ring in rounds two and three. O'Donnell however did show the better fitness and technique and deservedly won the last two rounds, though he was pushed all the way. It was a good tough bout to win, and there is more to come from Pio.

Also winners by walkover were Louise McSorley and Allanah Mayse. Both girls have been training hard, and were disappointed not to get contests, but coaches are very happy with their progression . Overall, head coach Micky O'Neill was delighted with this season's performances, and counts Saturday's performances as one of his most enjoyable days in the sport.

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