2 Castles ABC (Newtownstewart) had a successful day in Toomebridge winning four gold in the Ulster Nine County Championships. Many boxing purists think that this event 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, Moneyglass ABC. Both boxers had success in rounds 2 and 3, but in a sometimes scrappy though always competitive contest, Mayse landed more scoring shots to win. Overall Tiarnan showed greater desire against a tough, game opponent, to collect his third title in these Championships.
Immediately after Tiarnan was Grainne Gallagher who boxed well to beat Tigernach Maguire, Immaculata, Belfast. The girls had met before, with the score standing at one win each, so there was plenty of motivation for Gallagher, who had trained hard for this bout and she gained a well deserved victory.
Next in the ring for 2 Castles was Jude Gallagher, seeking his sixth 9 county title. Gallagher renewed acquaintances with Ryan Roy, Lisburn ABC , 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 John Paul Hale, Star ABC Belfast. This was a good contest. The opening stanza could have went either way, and both lads left everything in the ring in rounds 2 and 3.
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 their coaches are very happy with their progression. Overall head coach Micky O’Neill is delighted with this season’s performances, and counts Saturday as one of his most enjoyable days in the sport.