Sean McDermott Boxing Club had a very successful outing to the Conancht Amateur Boxing Championships in Westport last weekend when Niall Gallagher and Kevin Kelly won Provincial titles.
Manorhamilton’s Kevin Kelly won the Boy 4 54Kg title after defeating Frenchpark’s Peter Gilmartin while Drumkeerin’s Niall Gallagher scored a 4-1 victory over Tuam’s Gerard Ward in the Youth 1 74Kg crown.
Fighting in the first final contest of the day, Kelly dominated the Boy 54Kg fight from the start, commanding the centre of the ring, sending a clear message to his opponent that he was in control of the fight. On the computer scoring system, its direct clean punches to the target area that score and Kelly knew exactly how to fight this fight.
Scoring clean confident shots, Kelly led 11-2 after round 1 and the Manor fighter continued in the same vein in the second. Confident but still focussed ,the Sean Mc Dermott boxer, not to mention his coaches, were delighted when the opposition corner threw in the towel at the end of round 2, giving Kelly his first and very well deserved Connacht title.
Straight after Kelly’s fight, it was time for Niall Gallagher to step into the ring against his arch rival, Tuam’s Gerard Ward. Ward and Gallagher have met several times in competitive bouts, and notably in last year’s final which Ward won following double count back.
Gallagher was hungry for this title and keen to even up the score after last year’s final.
Gallagher took his coaches advice and kept his opponent at a distance. Using his height advantage fully in the first round, Gallagher could score from distance and frustrated his opponent who tried to get in close. After a very tough first round, Gallagher trailed by a point and the second round was more of the same as Gallagher showed great discipline and control.
The Drumkeerin boxer still trailed by one at the end of round two with Gallagher’s coachesd telling him to be patient and bide his time, knowing that two scoring shots would win the title.
Gallagher had a massive final round, forcing his opponent to let his guard down which allowed Gallagher to score the two points he needed.
In the final minute, a frustrated Ward committed was issued with with a public meaning Gallagher had two points in reserve. However, the Sean McDermott Club fighter didn’t need them as he won the final round on an impressive score line of 4-0, winning 4-1 overall. For a young boxer of only 14 years of age, Niall showed great class and patience as he waited for the opportunity to delivery shots which would score.
In other contests, Diarmuid Ward (Boy 4, 52Kg) was first into the ring for his semi-final fight against Cian Byrne of Frenchpark, Roscommon. This was a tough contest and Diarmuid put up a great display of boxing, narrowly missing out on his place in the final on a score line of 5-3. Diarmuid’s opponent went on to win the Connaught title, stopping his opponent in the final in round 1. So Diarmuid did very well to last the distance against a very challenging opponent.
Mark Mc Dermott (Youth 70Kg) dominated his Quarter-Final against Shane McGourty from Drumsna, the fight being stopped in round 3 to win a place in the Semi-Final where he faced Nicholas Gallagher from the Ardagh BC on Sunday morning. This was a tough fight from the start with the Ardagh boxer’s experience showing through as he tested the Manorhamilton boxer.
Unfortunately the task of boxing two days in a row proved too much for Mark who lost after three very tough rounds. Mark is an excellent boxer, and all the crowd agreed that this is not the last we will see of the Manorhamilton boxer.
These two Connacht titles have been a huge lift to the club and have given great encouragement and hope to the younger boxers who are currently preparing for the Boy 1, 2 &3 Connaught championships later on in the month.
Congratulation to Niall & Kevin and also their coaches John Gilligan, Liam Ward James Mc Dowell & James Kelly who put so much time and effort into the club on a voluntary basis and without whom there would be no boxing club.