HAVING spent a protracted period outside the ropes with injury, Beragh southpaw Ryan ‘Tiny’ Donnelly returned in a blaze of glory this season to win his first ever Ulster Elite Championship at the famed Docker’s Club..
The Two Castles boxer missed out on a quest for provincial glory last season because of a broken hand but that painful episode was banished in style when Donnelly defeated Holy Trinity’s Padraig McCrory in a bruising light heavyweight encounter at the weekend.
Donnelly, who was runner-up in 2012, won on a split decision but his coach Kevin Simmonds insisted it was a thoroughly deserved win.
Reflecting on the fight Simmonds paid tribute to his dedicated protegee.
“I have worked with Ryan since he was nine-year-old. He’s always been a quality fighter and this success is richly deserved,” he said.
“He’s been knocking on the door for the past two years, finishing runner-up in 2012 and last year missed out because of his broken hand.
“That made him even more determined this time around and he certainly peaked at the right time.”
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S STRABANE CHRONICLE